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Photos > Kytherian Art

submitted by George Poulos on 12.06.2004

Peter Sophios - Isadora

Pointelist style. Ink on Paper 8" x 10".

To learn more about Peter Sophios, and the Sophios family; and to view more of Peter's artwork, you can visit their website at:

http://www.hinet.net.au/~sophios/

Photos > Kytherian Art

submitted by George Poulos on 12.06.2004

Peter Sophios - The Seagull

Pointelist style. Ink on Paper 8" x 10".

To learn more about Peter Sophios, and the Sophios family; and to view more of Peter's artwork, you can visit their website at:

http://www.hinet.net.au/~sophios/

Photos > Kytherian Art

submitted by George Poulos on 12.06.2004

Peter Sophios - Those Eyes

Oil on Canvas 24" x 24".

To learn more about Peter Sophios, and the Sophios family; and to view more of Peter's artwork, you can visit their website at:

http://www.hinet.net.au/~sophios/

Photos > Kytherian Art

submitted by George Poulos on 12.06.2004

Peter Sophios - Girl in a Chapel - Acrylic on Board - 20 x 18

GIRL IN A CHAPEL.

To learn more about Peter Sophios, and the Sophios family; and to view more of Peter's artwork, you can visit their website at:

http://www.hinet.net.au/~sophios/

Photos > Kytherian Art

submitted by George Poulos on 12.06.2004

Peter Sophios - The Stripper - Acrylic on Board 14" x 18"

To learn more about Peter Sophios, and the Sophios family; and to view more of Peter's artwork, you can visit their website at:

http://www.hinet.net.au/~sophios/.

Photos > Kytherian Art

submitted by George Poulos on 12.06.2004

Peter Sophios - The Student - Acrylic on Canvas 28

THE STUDENT.

To learn more about Peter Sophios, and the Sophios family; and to view more of Peter's artwork, you can visit their website at:

http://www.hinet.net.au/~sophios/

Photos > Kytherian Art

submitted by George Poulos on 08.06.2004

George C Poulos holding the official Rising Sun Flag of Bondi Beach over a life-saver wearing one of the original Bondi Beach Rising Sun Life Saver's uniforms from the 1920's and 1930's

Vexillography as an art form.

The world-famous "cumares" (arches) of the Bondi Beach Pavilion lies in the background.

Photos > Kytherian Art

submitted by George Poulos on 08.06.2004

George C Poulos running across the sands of Bondi Beach with the official Bondi Beach Flag - his own design

Vexillography as an art form.

Photos > Kytherian Art

submitted by George Poulos on 25.08.2005

George C Poulos gambolling in the surf at Bondi Beach with the official Bondi Beach Flag - his own design

Vexillography as an art form.

In the background, the world famous Ben Buckler headland juts into the ocean at North Bondi.

The landscape and seascape is the inspiration for the flag.

Photos > Kytherian Art

submitted by George Poulos on 05.10.2005

George Tzannes, New York

Tzannes Fine Art Gallery, located on the Island of Kythera in Greece, exhibits the work of Greek-American artist George Tzannes from June through October. The work is of Kytherian subjects in various media, including acrylic painting on canvas, board and paper; oil painting on canvas and board; original, limited edition lithograph and silkscreen prints; pencil, watercolor and mixed media on paper; sculpture; and cement fresco. When not in Greece, the artist lives and works in New York City. This web gallery brings together artwork from both places.

[I am still searching for a photograph of George Tzannes.

Can you help to provide photographs to fill this current (June 2004) deficiency? - GCP.]

Information originally from:

http://home.newyorknet.net/rtzannes/about.html

See also,

http://mysite.verizon.net/vzeoxdoo/tzannesart/

For further information on George Tzannes, including a picture gallery.

ABOUT GEORGE TZANNES

In 1971 New York artist George Tzannes first visited Kythera, where his father was born. Since that time, the idyllic island has become the exclusive subject of his work.

Tzannes studied drawing at the Art Student's League, and fine art lithography at Pratt Graphics Center and The Printmaking Workshop in New York City.
Over the past twenty years Tzannes has made frequent and extended visits to Kythera with his family. His works of Kythera have been exhibited throughout the United States, in Canada, and in Athens. In recent years he has established a studio/gallery on Kythera.
______________________


REVIEWS
By Dora Iliopoulou-Rogan
In Kathimerini, Athens 9/25/83
George Tzannes, in his work inspired by Kythera, reveals a dynamic talent. In every one of his oil paintings, monotypes and lithographs exhibited in ORA Gallery, the artist has created a composition which is a true experience for us. Evidently this Greek-American artist is deeply touched by the landscape and the atmosphere of his father's homeland. He visits Greece often and stays for some time in Kythera, where he paints for hours without any distractions.

He has succeeded in decoding something important and absolutely essential from the 'climate' of the place and the enchantment it evokes in the Monastery of Myrtidiotissa which he has pictured, or rather orchestrated, with a characteristic directness and knowledge of the particular atmosphere; in the olive trees as well as in the other trees of the island that erupt with a unique freshness from the implicit variations of green; in the goat, in the inner courtyard; in the slightest architectural detail. In the landscapes inspired by Hora, in Kapsali, in the church at Paliohora, in the landscape with ruins, in the "White City", in the imposing doors, in the windows, in the fields and valleys and trees, Tzannes has decoded, isolated and captured something of the essential enchantment of nature in its most attractive and simultaneously fundamental state, so as to project it with an intense tension.

Beyond this, the artist has interpreted every stimulus with a characteristic sense of metaphysics. Looking at the trees, their branches, and the smallest bush right next to them, we feel that something essential has been absorbed here from the cycle of cosmogony. And it is precisely this ability of the artist, beyond his artistic perfection, that moves us most in his works.

The works with the theme of Hora, Kapsali, a monastery or a church, substantiate his talent for composition and the faultless instinct with which he creates the volumes of the buildings, molding them through a special lighting. As a genuine spirit of optimism emerges from his works, we share his inspiration just by looking at them, and most important of all, this spirit stays with us for a long time after we have stopped looking at them.

Translated from Greek by Marianna Halkia

______________________


EXHIBITIONS
One-man Exhibitions
1999 OK Harris, New York, NY
1998 Beatrice Conde Gallery, New York City
1994 OK Harris, New York City
1987 Greek Consulate, Vancouver, Canada
1985 Potamos Cultural Center, Kythera Island, Greece
1983 ORA Gallery, Athens, Greece
1983 Jean Lumbard Fine Arts, New York City
1983 Church of the Annunciation, New York City
1983 Florida Junior College, Jacksonville, Florida
1982 Simon/Maier Gallery, New York City
1979 Greek Press & Information Service, New York City


Group Shows
2003 Cast Iron Gallery, New York, NY
2000 Potamos Cultural Center, Kythera, Greece
1999 OK Harris, New York, NY
1997 Beatrice Conde Gallery, New York City
1990 "New Voices in Greek-American Art", Cooper Union School of Art
1990 "14th Annual Small Works," New York University
1988 Marden Fine Arts, New York City
1984 "Tribute to Robert Blackburn", AC-BAW Arts Center, Mt Vernon, NY
1984 Original Print Collectors Group, New York City
1984 Greek Consulate, New York City
1984 Charles Adams Gallery, Lubbock, Texas
1983 "16 Artists from the Printmaking Workshop", City Gallery, New York
1983 Original Print Collectors Group, New York City
1983 Greek Cultural Festival, Astoria, New York City
1983 Kouros Gallery, New York City
1983 National Greek Art Exhibition, Springfield, Massachusetts
1982 Galerie 212, Paris, France
1982 "Multiples by Multiples", Basson Mall Gallery, SUNY at Buffalo, NY
1982 "Multiples by Multiples", Community Folk Gallery, Syracuse, NY
1982 "Landscape Drawings", Kaber Gallery, New York City
1982 "11th Annual Print and Drawing Exhibition", Minot State College, ND
1982 Original Print Collectors Group, New York City
1981 Original Print Collectors Group, New York City
1980 Original Print Collectors Group, New York City
1978 "21st Print & Drawing Annual", University of Grand Forks, ND
1978 "Fine Prints", Dreyfus Gallery, New York City
1977 "19th Exhibition of Prints & Drawings", Oklahoma City Art Center
1977 Original Print Collectors Group, New York City


________________
PUBLICATIONS
Books
Greek Artists Abroad, Niki Loizidi, Athens, Greece 1983
Periodicals
Ta Panimatika Kythera, Athens, Greece, September 1983
Greek Accent Magazine, New York, New York, January 1982
Nea Yorky, Greek-American Monthly Review, New York, June-August 1979
Lychnari, Verkenningen In Het Griekenland Van Nu, "Schilder op Kythira: George Tzannes", by Riek Weijand, April 1992
New Voices in Greek American Art, Cooper Union School of Arts, New York, by April Kingsley, November 1990 Exhibition Catalog
Newspapers
The Florida Times Union, Jacksonville, FL, February 10, 1983
Kythiriaki Idea, Athens, Greece, October, 1983
Hellenic Times, New York, New York, October 14, 1983
Kathimerini, Athens, Greece, September 25, 1983
Bradini, Athens, Greece, September 19, 1983
Nea, Athens, Greece, September 30, 1983
Edeuth Gnomy, Athens, Greece, September 6 and September 17, 1983
Proini, New York, New York, January 17, 1982 and May 18, 1979
Greek World, New York, New York, June 26, 1979
Ethnikos Kirix, New York, New York, May 16, 1979
Radio & Television
WNET-TV, Printmaking demonstration for Thirteen Collection, 1979
90 FM radio, Jacksonville, Florida, Interview, February, 1983
1330 AM, WPOW, New York, New York, Interview on Hellenic Harmonies
with Manos Galanis, May, 1979

Photos > Kytherian Art

submitted by George Poulos on 05.06.2004

Logotypes - Logo's - and non-religious iconology as art - the Astarti trademark

One of my fields of interest and expertise is in the area of non-religious iconology and iconography - vexillology, (flags) heraldry, and logo-types.

Superior iconography displays the following characteristics:

i) it's impact transcends the immediate impact of the "mark" or "sign" chosen to represent it.
ii) it is simple in its design. (Uncluttered - not "noisy".)
iii) It distills a complex concept/product/institution/corporation/message into a singular unifying symbol.
iv) it communicates the core values that it represents clearly, and unambiguously.

A very superior logo(type) that complys with these requisites is that chosen by my cousin Harry Tzortzopoulos to denote the Kytherian organic produce that he manufactures and distributes.

Harry explains his "logo" in the following way:

"Astarti was the name of the Goddess of love of ancient Phoenician times, and later Kythera came to worship this Goddess as Astarti-Aphrodite. We chose the ancient symbol of the fruit of the olive tree taken from Linear B script to identify with astarti and both name and symbol are the official registered trademarks of our company and the Tzortzopoulos Estate."

From,

http://www.mediterraneandiet.gr/astarti/

Photos > Kytherian Art

submitted by George Poulos on 19.05.2004

Panagiotis Protopsaltis at work in his studio

Panagiotis Protopsaltis at work in his studio.

As Panagiotis states in the People, subsection - High Achievers entry:

"I was born in Athens in 1945 and even though my father came from Potamos in Kythera, I have never been there myself unfortunately. I left Greece in 1961 for England where among other things like studing Philosophy and English Literature, I stumbled upon painting which was to become my true passion."

Photos > Kytherian Art

submitted by George Poulos on 19.05.2004

Gogol and Propapou 2003, Panagiotis Protopsaltis

Gogol and Propapou 2003.

By, Panagiotis Protopsaltis.

Oil on canvas, 186 x 156 cm's.

Photos > Kytherian Art

submitted by George Poulos on 19.05.2004

Global Gallery, Paddington, NSW, Australia - site of Panagiotis Protopsaltis exhibition, 3 June - 13 June, 2004

5 Comber Street,
Paddington NSW 2021

Telephone : (02) 9360 5728
Facsimile : (02) 9331 5518
Email : info@globalgallery.com.au
Website : www.globalgallery.com.au


Gallery hours :
Tuesday to Saturday 11:00am to 6:00pm
Sunday 12:00am to 4:00pm



Gallery Profile:

Situated in a Paddington warehouse and being one of the largest galleries in the eastern suburbs gives us the ability to offer a broad range of art services including regular exhibitions, a large stockroom and expert independent consultancy.

We hold regular exhibitions every 2 weeks across a diverse range of styles. Our 300m2 space enables large group exhibitions or solo shows from several artists at once. Why not come to one of our exciting openings and see what all the fuss is about !!

Visit our stockroom or search this website where you'll find young emerging painters to more established traditional artists. Limited edition prints, Sculpture and Photography and other exciting contemporary work in a range of styles and materials to suit modern interiors. We are sure to have a whole range of work that will enable you to find exactly what you like.

Global Gallery has a number of expert independent consultants available free of charge to service your requirements and source artwork in the areas of design, corporate and investment art.

Please call Joe McGuinness for an appointment on 9360 5728 or 0411 426 184.

Artists are welcome to contact us to submit proposals for exhibitions or our stockroom.

Remember to join our mailing list by submitting your details on this site.

Our space is also available for exhibition and event hire.

Hope to see you at the gallery soon.

Photos > Kytherian Art

submitted by Peter Tsicalas on 08.05.2004

James Fardoulys

Blue Roses (Betty the Barmaid) by James Fardoulys 1964

James Nick Fardoulis, 1900 Potamos – 1975 Brisbane, landed 1914 and went to Warwick to join his uncle, Mick Charles Catsoulis. He also spent some time in Bellingen, Tamworth and Stanthorpe prior to he and his brother Stathis following Catsoulis to Goondiwindi in 1916. They subsequently bought the business, but around 1922/23 James seems to have split from Stathis and taken the road to Southport to acquire Jack Cos Aroney’s cafe. (See Golden Gate café photo at http://www.pictureaustralia.org/apps/pictureaustralia .)
The Southport venture only lasted a year or so, but the experience decided him against pursuing the art of cooking. He subsequently spent many years in the travelling theatre business before settling in Brisbane in ~1940 to become a taxi owner/driver. His art slowly evolved over the following years as he lived a bohemian lifestyle in the circle of Blackman, Churcher, et al, but flourished after he gave the driving side of the business the flick. His ‘naïve style’ became very well known and features in various art books and galleries. The National Gallery in Canberra holds four paintings.

The following interview, conducted in 1972, appeared in an art book, the details of which unfortunately went unrecorded. Thanks to the art lover Gaye Hegeman (granddaughter of Theo George Andronicos of Narrabri, Boggabri, Coonamble and Brisbane) for the transcript.

The author’s two page preamble finishes with:
The visit to Fardoulys occurred in 1972. I was not to see him again. I was immersed in a legal practice at the time and had difficulty completing the manuscript of this book. Not long after my visit he wrote a letter to Barbara Blackman, part of which I quote as an example of his style and personality. It is written in a flowing script, slightly uneven, with frequent underlinings (I have altered the punctuation where absolutely necessary).

Dear Barbara,
I don’t know if I wrote to you that my brother Peter got killed by a taxi 3 weeks ago tonight – I miss him terrible – a very humble man – he left no will and about $2000 – so all the sharks are in for the kill. I am not worried for the money – but it’s disturbing Barbara. Very humble and proud to be his Brother (Peter my brother).
Roy Churcher is going to Europe – he was here collecting letters of introduction to my island Kythera … I gave him the Bishop – the School Teacher – (I was the scholar of Greece at 12 years of age) – the Magistrate, the President of the Community of POTAMOS (my town) the Bank Manager, the leading Doctors & Hospital Staff & two Good Legal men. HOW is that Barbara?!
I have a Daughter in Sydney Shirley by my first marriage – Good Girl Barbara … you try and find her for me in the Electoral Rolls Barabara – Shirley FARDOULYS.
Don’t worry about the Book – I have got plenty – I will try & get your painting for Xmas, Burke and Wills 1870. I finished Migration to Gympie 1850 – one of my Greatest ever (Beautifull). My solicitor-barrister bought it on my conditions – no delivery before Xmas. I want the poor masses to see it. You see Barbara I am for the people and not Dictatorships!!! We have one right here! I am looking for someone to write my memoirs – it will be terrific – nobody knows my life.
Ask Charlie & the other Gentleman about it. I can get plenty here. The Melbourne Critics call my work a continuous Colourful Pantomime – and all my Collectors have one of mine over their bed – Margaret Carnegie has over her Bed my original Self-portrait. I said to her What about Doug? The husband? Oh – she said My dear Jim, he loves you too. Who cares.
I am very proud as a human being but I am also the Poorest Greek in Australia but you know the Rest.

Love to all
From Jim & Claire

James Fardoulys died in Brisbane in 1975, and Claire died in the following year. At the time I met him in 1972 he had been married to Claire for about a year. Peter Fardoulys, his son, told me that originally Claire had been married to a friend of Jimmy’s and it was the friend’s dying wish that Jimmy should look after Claire. They lived together for some years before marrying.
Even in old age he was passionately proud of the good looks of his first wife. One imagines that she and Jimmy must have been a striking couple when they were first married.
In his taxi-driving days Fardoulys was interested in art and particularly in drawing, but he seems to have been even more interested in his work as an amateur inventor and designer. The one or two paintings he did then were academic in approach. In this respect he differs from the other painters in this book, as he is quite a fair draughtsman.
The paintings of Fardoulys are visually exciting, with details such as the flowering red poinciana tree burning against the blue sky above the naked figure of the girl in the
Embarrassed Model, [Plate12], or the similar white-flowering tree in Village Smithies [Plate 13]. Another horse-and-smith painting with similar composition has a wonderful jacaranda tree flowering against a dull sky.
Often the details seem to have no direct relationship to the main subject-matter of the painting. In
Blue Roses [Plate14], the collection of flowers surrounding the barmaid, who is the main subject, emphasizes her allure, but the white horse rearing on its hind legs on the right side is irrelevant if beautiful. Blue Roses was originally called Betty the Barmaid, but the old title was painted out and the new one painted in. Women are among Fardoulys’s favourite subjects, although horses and cattle (and perhaps brightly coloured parrots) occur most frequently in his paintings. The barmaid lacks conventional prettiness but has a dark and arresting beauty. As she holds the stems of gladioli flowers which are only just about to open, and places her other and on the counter, her pose is one of challenge. The white horse echoes her mood. There is a sensual dent between her nose and the top lip, which is suggested by a brown shadow. Not all of Fardoulys’s paintings of women are as successful. While the suggestion of Betty The Barmaid’s breast through the tight black dress is quite dramatic, in paintings of naked Aboriginal girls the result is generally coarse.
The visual excitement of many of his paintings also has drawbacks. Particularly in paintings done within the last six years or so of his life, there are too many coloured cliffs and pretty parrots. In
Village Smithies and Animal Devotion Down Sydney Town [Plate15] the colouring is much subtler than in some of his recent work. In Animal Devotion Down Sydney Town the moral degradation of the drunken dog-owner is matched by the stormy electric sky, which is similar to the wonderful sky in Four Ghost Horses [Plate 16].
There are a number of other recurring themes which appear in
Four Ghost Horses. I have seen at least one other painting by Fardoulys in which there is a ghost coach and horses suggested by a blank white silhouette (its title, if I remember rightly, is Infinity of Time), although the device does not work in that particular painting. Bunya pines also recur – Four Ghost Horses has one leaning on the right. Mobs of cattle often appear. All these theme, however, are joined in Four Ghost Horses with singular power. It is, like most of his best paintings, from his earlier period. The later paintings have about them a perfunctory gaudiness. There is almost invariably a cloud sitting across the sky like a long foreboding flying saucer, with a varied assortment of parrots and other birds flying or perched in trees. Dramatic rock formations, a waterhole, mobs of cattle and men on horseback are the other ingredients for the formula. Some of these paintings are impressive, such as Burke and Wills (in the Sydney Art Gallery). But they are disappointing when compared with the work he painted during his early and middle sixties.
Most of Fardoulys’s paintings are thoroughly Australian in subject matter. Many of them are historical and have titles such as
Migration to Queensland – which shows a group of early settlers urging their mobs along. Occasionally, as in St. George and the Dragon, he deals with European subject-matter. In The Embarrassed Model [Plate 12] the figure of the naked girl is seated in the centre of the painting like a madonna, while the red poinciana and yellow wall provide a suitably splendid setting for the painter to celebrate the awkward and charming beauty of the girl.
In
The Embarrassed Model one feels the influence of religious works which Fardoulys may have absorbed as a child in Greece. One hesitates to point to other influences, although primitive painters tend to develop distinctive obsessions. In the interview which follows Fardoulys makes the intriguing suggestion that he hardly ever did a painting without water in it somewhere. (This is not altogether true, as a number of his paintings contain no sign of water. It is true, however, of his large historical panoramas of the outback.) Animals are another element that never seems to be absent from his paintings. Even in The Embarrassed Model a white, fluffy cat is sitting in the foreground, and parrots and a peacock are arranged on the yellow wall above the model. Tchaikovsky’s “The Waltz of the Flowers”, which shows balletomaniac blue and red roses waltzing, and even flower beds describing great arabesques of colour in a paddock, while a squadron of clouds wheel in formation, has (inevitable) three horses. All of the twenty reproductions in my files have at least one animal in them. I cannot recall a Fardoulys painting without one. In many of the paintings the main point is an animal. Only the figures of a few women equal his depiction of animals.
Like many other primitive painters he is happier in the work of animals and flowers than in the world of human beings.

I could have been a rich Greek, but I suppose I am what do you call it – a bit like one of your English bohemians. I was born in Greece, in Kythera, in 1900. I can’t forget my age. Every time I look at the calendar I get scared. I came out to Australia when I was fourteen. My mother was a wonderful woman. I was on a German ship in Colombo when the war broke out. We finished up in Batavia. My mother borrowed money to send me out. The Dutch and Indonesians treated us like dogs. We were sent to barracks in a quarantine station where there was no fresh water. We had no consulate to help us. They put us on the Tasman, a luxury liner, and we had the run of the ship. I finished up in Queensland, in Warwick, earning ten shillings a week in a café, learning everything up in the front. I had a brother in Scone. I was like one of these English bohemians. I would be up to anything. I tell you something very philosophical. I know a woman in Greece with nine children. Four died of diphtheria. That woman never bough a loaf of bread or got a pound of flour in her life. But there was always bead in the house. Where did it come from? That woman was my mother. She grew all her own wheat. No bulldozer or anything like that. That was my mother. My mother’s brother was Lord Mayor of Piraeus. My father used to go to America. Three trips. I have a daughter that works with the CSIRO in Sydney. She spent three years in Europe. My country Greece is a very poor country, but my daughter thinks it is the best country in the world and I can’t work it out. This is my daughter, a lovely looking girl, not what you call put together with bits and pieces as they say of bad pictures.
I worked at Warwick for about six months. Then all of a sudden, like a bolt out of the blue, they sent me to Stanthorpe. Stanthorpe in those days was nothing. You could fire a gun down the main street and you wouldn’t hit anything. I didn’t like it, and they kept me there. My uncle who sent me there in the first place, he had in interest in Bellingen in New South Wales, and he bought an interest in two shops in Tamworth, and I went there, and there I met my eldest brother that I hadn’t met since I came there because of conditions, economics. From there I worked. I was pretty good as a youngster working. There was a Greek in Boggabri, a good sort of guy, a kind-hearted man, and great racing man – horses – imagine a Greek following horses in those days – it’s very unusual, you know. He spotted me working in this oyster saloon with my older brother. I was fourteen or fifteen, my brother was twenty-one or twenty-two. And he spotted me and said, “Do you have any relations here?” I said, “Yes, my brother over there.” The he said to my brother, “I want to take your brother over to Boggabri.” My brother said, “Does be want to go?” The bloke said, “I’ll give him two quid a week.” That was over and above what a grown-up was earning. He was a racing man, a gambler. My poor brother he was earning twenty-five bob a week. And I was in short trousers. My brother didn’t know what to say. And I accepted and went up a couple of days later. I stayed with Theo about eight or nine months.
My brother and an uncle went to Goondiwindi, the Olympia café, and asked me to join them and I did. That was a very good business.
When I was about twenty-five or twenty-six I got married. I married an Australian girl off the stage. She was a ventriloquist, and I toured Queensland for many years with a carnival show. Then I started taxi-driving in Brisbane and chucked it whin I was sixty and started painting. When I was with the show I did a bit of singing. Good stuff. You wouldn’t call them classics. Not cheap stuff either. I sang “Macushla” once. That was a beautiful thing.
Money was hard in those days. I done a lot of money – just quietly, a thousand smackers, a lot of money for those days. I owned the show with my wife’s father. Her father was a great magician. He was a good man. I have been as far as Bourke, on the Darling. Bad country, you know. Timinburra is famous as the second greatest sheep station in the world. We bailed up there in the rainy weather and couldn’t get away. But the people were wonderful, so they put up all my company for a fortnight, fourteen of us, and at the finish we drove away without getting bogged. It could carry 172,000 sheep. I was going to paint that once. My first wife died a couple of years ago with cancer.
I paint a lot of horses because I like them and because people want pictures of horses. I was mad on horses when I was young – not racing, mind you.
Nothing in particular made me take up painting. I knew I could draw. I could draw when I was at school. The first painting I did in 1962 I gave to my doctor. It was no trouble. I just start working on it, using my imagination, you know, I never throw a picture away. I never got anything unframed. I finish a painting, then I frame it. A small painting takes at least two weeks. That is a lovely painting there. Do you see it?
Birds of Paradise. You see the spearman behind it? Waiting to spear them? And the little hut there? It’s on swampy ground, of course. The larger paintings take a couple of months. I make a story up, somehow, you know. I do not think Greek icons in churches when I was a child have influenced my work. I want to put a bit more crudeness in it.
My cat is a famous cat you know. He is in a lot of paintings. They want him. He is about fourteen years of age. He has been painted dozens of times, you know, by request. Here is
Douly on the Bank of the McIntyre. There was an exhibition about a year ago. There were big abstracts on the walls and that sort of things, and the only painting that sold was my cat.
Life is a funny thing, you know. It’s full of dreams. I’ve always been a dreamer. I was never satisfied with what I was doing, you know what I mean? Never satisfied, until I had a go at the next one. That’s how I finished up, other wise I’d been a very wealthy Greek. Follow me? My son was a great foot-runner, Peter Fardoulys. My eldest son was lost in the river in 1938, aged eleven, led in by another kid. My first wife was a beauty queen. She won a prize in Sydney, for long hair or something. She was a beautiful looking woman. I tell you who she resembled - Carole Lombard, those old stars. Her name was Gladys Elizabeth White. I did my money with the carnival because of bad weather. I did not get on too well with her people. They were bogged down in the old routine, the little country hall, you know, with houses worth about three quid. I had other ideas.
I like painting mountainsides. I like rocks. I like water. I always put water in my paintings. There’s not one without water in it. I was nearly drowned at the time of the cyclone here, three or four weeks ago. Fair dinkum. I was lucky. You might think it’s a joke to get drowned down here, understand? The wind blew me down on a Saturday morning at the height of the cyclone. I was going at half past nine to my grocery shop by the pub where the painting is. I always go inside with a couple of friends and have a couple of drinks and I always book a cab home. I never tackle without it. See? And the wind blew me down, turned my umbrella inside out and I couldn’t get up. You understand? And the street down here was like a river. Now what would I do there for half an hour? Luckily a young man spotted me. Some others spotted me and thought I was drunk. And when this fellow came along he lifted me up and said, “Will you be right now?” I said, “No, for God’s sake take me home.” I couldn’t stand up. I was finished. That’s very close to the Hell, you know. It’s unbelievable. That’s the first time in my life I got frightened about anything, right here at the bottom of this corner. I couldn’t make it. I couldn’t walk it. And if nobody had seen me, well, with my complaint, anything could happen. I could have smothered without breath. I was wet. My umbrella was blown inside out.
I always use a lot of sky. There’s a lot of green in my work. I never run dry – there’s always something seems to come somewhere. When I was driving taxis I didn’t see many paintings. I used to read about it – the Wynn Prize. After twenty-nine years of driving taxis I was a nervous wreck. There was no business then. I said I’ll get a pension now, see what I can do. I owned my own taxi for twenty years and I gave my licence away in 1971, and now they’re worth twenty thousand dollars. I had a terrific reputation. I knew all the prime ministers like I know you now, Bob Menzies, Chifley. I knew them all. My breathing has developed bad the last six or seven years. Around sixty-four they put me in hospital. Of course now it’s not getting any better. You know what I mean. I’m not getting any younger.
In the morning I’m better than at any other time. Claire goes to Church every morning. I do the place up the best I can. I like a bit of housework, do a bit of cooking that has to be done, clean up and sweep, and then I get on my stool over there, see and it’s a funny idea with me, I keep the night for thinking what will I go do to that painting today. You know the one I’m working on, I keep thinking about it the night before in bed. I even think of the colour I’ve got to use. I don’t have to think about it while I’m doing it. That painting of the Lord up there, that’s off that big painting of the atomic bomb. I couldn’t destroy that, you know. I had great faith in that painting. But nobody wanted it.
At school I learned English, French and Latin. In Greece our education is condensed, pressed in. No play between. There isn’t much play there. You do about seven or eight hours a day.
I was driving Menzies. He had his secretary with him. A bloke was coming along the road there. It was at the time of the yes and no vote, after the war. He was electioneering. Bob Menzies said, “Ask him if he wants a lift.” He got in. Menzies asked, “Where are you going? You look all played out.” “Oh yes,” he said, “I’m on the run, running away from the army.” Get it? He never said another word. He asked him a few questions. “You don’t like it eh?” When he got out at a little township, he said, “Thank you very much, boss.” Menzies said, “Come back here,” and put a quid in his hand and said, “Go and report to the unit as soon as you can. I’m the prime minister.”
I’m a great believer in the Lord as a human being. I paint over here on the veranda, in the corner. That’s the factory, right here. You don’t see any paint anywhere, do you? There’s not a spot on the wall, you know. I paint mostly out of the tube. I don’t dissolve my paint. I work with very small brushes. I have no palette. I squeeze from the tube to the brush. I work on two paintings at once sometimes. I get my frames made. They give me good service.
I used a donkey when I was a child as a taxi. I carried important people around on my donkey. I made more money on the island than I got in Warwick in wages. We would meet the boats. The town where I come from is in the centre of the island. There was a big competition. I was the little one, but I got my share because somebody wanted me. I was a well-known boy, good in school. My donkey was always dressed up, well dressed, you know. The passenger sits on a nice quilt. You might get five or ten bob for a trip. You could see Sparta from where I lived. You know the famous Spartans?


‘You know the famous Spartans’ appears to be the title of the piece.
James was a prolific letter writer to politicians, one of which was to Mr Opperman, Minister for Immigration, in 1964. Love his opening style:
‘Now Mr Opperman – listen carefully – I am from Greece, came about 1914….. Now go back Mr Oppenman and ask the attorney-general – and the Minister for the Interior to show you my correspondence this week….’
What chutzpah and verve!