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74.Pop-Eye II & Art


This painting is of Popeye which is an iconic Adelaide institution, it is privately owned and the first ferry was launched in 1935 and took you between Elder Park and Adelaide Zoo.  The first two boats in service carried 20 passengers each and the three next Popeyes made seated up to 40 people. A very popular tourist attraction and they even took Queen Elizabeth ll and Prince Philip on a little ride in 1977.  The new fiberglass models,  was launched in 1982 by the then Prime Minister Malcom Fraser.

If you look closely at this acrylic on board painting you will see me, my husband and the two kids in the middle of the boat, the kids loved going on it when they were little (I’m in pink and hubby green).  I have even done a ceramic and mosaic version of this painting which hung in the old Adelaide Airport for many years.

painting of iconic tourist attraction Popeye ferry in Adelaide,South Australia in naive style

Iconic Adelaide Tourist attraction in Art


I will get back to the Popeye story soon but firstly let me tell you why we came to take another ride on the boat a few years back.  When the kids were in high school here in Australia they had a program going whereby Japanese exchange students would come over for 2 weeks each year and learn English and also learn about the Australian way of life. So we discussed this as a family and all thought it would be a worthwhile experience for our family to do.  We thought it would help to teach the kids tolerance and respect for other customs and cultures and perhaps learn a little Japanese too. I have for many years had a strong connection to Japan anyway.

During my modeling days I fulfilled a couple of contracts there as a Fashion model each one of three months duration (that’s another story) and then as I have written about in these art blogs 57. “THE SIGNING OF THE CONTRACT” ‎as well as 64.  “FLYING TO JAPAN” ,  I have also traveled there many times for my art exhibitions as well.

In any case all the parents who agreed to have the Japanese students attended meetings and were given information and lists of what to do and not to do, what was expected of us and also some basic words in Japanese. According to this information the Japanese students loved going for car rides, sightseeing, shopping (particularly for souvenirs), food shopping (as they liked to see the different types of food we have here) exploring Museums and Galleries and going out for lunch and dinner.


Over the years this had all worked very well and we had 5 students come and stay with us over the years and all were delightful.  However one particular boy drove me completely nuts one day, he was a very quite boy and hard to communicate with but seemed happy enough.  A week or so into his stay when we had been very busy with life and work we thought we better plan a day for the boy to see a bit more of Adelaide.

None of us really had any time to this, I could not really afford to take any time away from the art studio, my teenage daughter was supposed to go to a birthday party which she regretfully cancelled and son and hubby likewise cancelled other engagements. We asked him what he thought of the plans and he seemed very excited at the prospect so up early in the morning and into the car for a big day of fun.

Now we lived a three hour round trip to the city and with a few detours for points of interest we covered a quite a few kilometers to say the least.  However the “Star” of the day sat bolt upright with his eyes firmly closed asleep for the entire trip, (as only the Japanese can do on transport,lol) only to open them for a minute or two when poked to have a look at something.


Then as we showed him the Museum and the Art Gallery, he walked everywhere with us but looked down on the floor the whole time, and when we sat down to enjoy a lovely lunch he was not hungry and only had a glass of water. So we thought a spot of shopping would surely get him in the mood and took him to the center of the shops and asked what type of things he wanted to get and which shops he would like to go to?

That’s when he informs us that he doesn’t like to shop and doesn’t want to buy anything! What was wrong with telling us that yesterday!!  So at this stage we are nearly all tearing our hair out, my children rolling their eyes as teenagers do. We then ask him what he would like to do now and when no suggestions were forthcoming we suggest a few other things and he settles for a ride on the Popeye.

So we go and purchase the tickets, now the tickets aren’t expensive but for the five of us it’s still 60 dollars, ordinarily I would not have minded, but when the five of us sat down and the Japanese boy promptly fell asleep again I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, lol. However the four of us looked at each other and just cracked up laughing, thinking about what we should/could have been doing that day instead of dragging this sleeping boy around Adelaide and totally wasting everybody’s time.  We laughed till tears streamed down our faces and still the boy just slept.

So as we drove the one and a half hours back to the farm I thought of this quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson (essayist and Philosopher)

“Finish each day and be done with it.  You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can.  Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it well and serenely.”

Till next time happy painting and sculpting to you all,

Love Marie xxx

FOOTNOTE; we hope and pray that our Japanese exchange students; Kaori, Kazuya, Takahiro, Yuki and Megumi, and their families and friends are all safe and well after the Tsunami.  We are thinking about you and hoping to hear from you.  Love Marie, Bryan, Kai and Hillivi xxxx                (c)

Why not come and have a look at Marie Jonsson-Harrison’s PAINTINGS FOR SALEGICLEE PRINTS FOR SALEand SCULPTURES for sale or WALLBASED SCULPTURES.  Enjoy an original artwork on your walls or perhaps one on your bed ARTnBED.

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