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Vale Doc Neeson

Duke Doc in full voice

Duke Doc of Rock, much loved in The Principality of Wy passed away peacefully in his sleep on the morning of the fourth of June 2014.  

Doc gave a voice to a passionate generation of young Australians.

We have great memories of him performing for us from the heart.  

His music will live on. 

Duke Doc The fire within

We convey to Marquise Annie Souter and his family our deepest sympathy.

“Am I ever going to see your face again….”  

Paul Delprat

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Sir Douglas Mawson Centenary Exhibition

Australia has sent its largest and most ambitious expedition, comprising 60 scientists, to Antarctica over Christmas to follow up the scientific work done by Sir Douglas Mawson one hundred years ago. The measurements that Mawson collected are perceived as being vital as part of the charting of global warming.

The necessary ground work currently being done, combined with the vast quantity of Mawson data, is necessary to build computer models.

The Russian research vessel Akademik Skokalsky, commissioned to convey the scientists, became trapped in the heavy pack ice on Christmas day. There were concerns that a Chinese ice breaker Xue Long in an heroic attempt to reach the stricken vessel was also trapped in the ice. The Chinese ship’s helicopter transferred the group of scientists from the Akademic Shokasky to ice near the Australian icebreaker Aurora Australis. The Aurora suspended the resupply of Casey Station to rescue the 52 passengers from the Russian ship.

On one of the occasions when I was exhibiting with Kym Bonython in Adelaide and staying with my great aunt Paquita, who was the widow of the great explorer, she recalled that Mawson had told her. “Down South you attend to every detail but predict the unexpected.”  Lady Mawson had to wait anxiously for news from Antarctica unlike the more fortunate connected families of today’s scientists. The rescue mission has been a success. We all hope that this drama resolves itself quickly and that all the icebreaker mariners and scientists from the countries involved come home safely.

We are reminded that a century after the Mawson expedition and the associated tragic loss of life, the ice continent remains hazardous in the extreme.

It appears that leopard seals have shrunk in size over the intervening century possibly because of environmental change. There is so much we need to know on their behalf and our own.

I see the seals and penguins diving on the edge of the ice floes, oblivious in their natural environment to the dramatic events that have unfolded nearby.


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Best Wishes from Principality of Wy for 2014

What a pleasure it is to draw in the totally magical landscape of the Principality of Wy.

We of Wy all love drawing and find great pleasure in capturing the random way in which the forest of Wy rearranges itself to provide pleasing new vistas.

Our unique copse of hybrid walking tree ferns is a great joy.

Real is real – Wy is Wy. 

Occasionally flights of fantasy cause members of the Serene Family to wistfully imagine the joy of riding a bicycle up some sort of AccessWy to the wider world.

Here Prince Paul conjures that dream in paint.

All at the Principality of Wy, this year celebrating our first Decade of Secession, send best wishes to our friends and supporters around the world, which, from our correspondence, is pretty well everyone.

On New Years Eve the fireworks over Sydney Harbour were again magnificent and Sydneysiders of all ages lined the foreshores to party into the New Year.  

This year, for the first time fireworks were sent skywards from the iconic Sydney Opera House. On the television at Wy we viewed with great delight the vivid displays in other cities. With the refinement of pyrotechnics in colour and shape fireworks are rapidly becoming an awesome art form. It may not be far distant when we see The Mona Lisa recreated in a dramatic fireworks display.

There is no doubt that the painting “Guernica” by Pablo Picasso had a profound impact on the world’s perception of the horror of war. Is there a role in 2014 and beyond, for artists in drawing attention to what appears to be a truly global crisis, the ongoing warming of the planet?

Young artists from cold countries like Russia that has a great artistic tradition and bold new world Canada are aware of extremes of climate as are sun baked tropical countries like Brazil. The art of every country is the mirror that each of us shines on one another. Images from spacecraft of our world are the sum total of that beauty.

Art speaks all languages. May your painting, above all, bring you happiness. 

Venturing into the “Bay of The World” on New Years Day, Paul painted Peggy’s Point from the Serene Sloop Wy.   Art is always a serene occupation even on a rolling boat , yet it is just something we quietly do for ourselves that afterwards others may share.

We of Wy wish you well for 2014


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Paul Delprat at the Norman Lindsay Gallery

Paul Delprat at the Norman Lindsay Gallery 40th birthday celebration

On Saturday 9th November 2013 a party was held at the Norman Lindsay house in Springwood by the National Trust, to which the artist had entrusted its care. Recent bushfire which reached the boundary of the property, had caused the evacuation of all the artworks and their subsequent return after the crisis had passed. “It was an opportunity to paint some of the rooms”, said Amanda Trevillion philosophically. She has been the loyal manager of the gallery for over 20 years.

Paul was delighted to catch up with Helen Glad, Norman Lindsay’s granddaughter, who retained all the fire and enthusiasm of her grandmother Rose and also with Margaret Stewart who used to visit the house with her father the poet Douglas Stewart throughout her youth. Paul was among the artists had been invited to paint vases for the 40th Anniversary and these were on display in the company of many Lindsay vases. It was a nostalgia trip for Paul who had visited the house on many occasions commencing when he was sixteen to see the reclusive master of Springwood. Norman had given him a lesson in watercolour technique – “leave lots of white paper to retain light and brilliance” He also gave advice on pen technique and etching, all media in which he was a great master.

Paul was invited to speak and fondly remembered the first Lindsay he ever saw. It was a lithograph in his grandfather Howard Ashton’s house. On the back of a tiger, in the company of a wonderfully wild bohemian group in various stages of undress, rode a boy nonchalantly munching an apple. Paul identified with that boy. He went on to tell of the making of two films based on stories by Norman for which he was later invited to create paintings;” Age of Consent” and “Sirens”.  Norman had spoken of his friendship with Paul’s great grandfather, Julian Ashton and was an inspiration to Paul when he was commencing his own studies at The Julian Ashton Art School. The Lindsay Gallery now receives a constant stream of visitors from all over the world and is a permanent showcase of the work of one of the most original and gifted artists in Australia. In the image above Paul, who had forgotten to bring a tie, is wearing a splendid bow tie designed by Rose Lindsay which he purchased from the gallery shop. 

Long may the Norman Lindsay Gallery continue its good work.

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Duke Doc of Rock

Duke Doc at Wy

Rock on Duke Doc.

When the news came from his close friend Marquize Annie Souter that the legendary Australian singer, Doc Neeson, was ill in hospital over Christmas, there was deep concern in the Principality of Wy.

All those who have been at celebrations at Wy have indeed been blessed when Doc has picked up his guitar and sung from his repertoire. Who present has not been affected by the richness of his voice and the spontaneous generosity of his spirit?  Our noble and valued friend is known as “Duke Doc of Rock” in the Principality. We of Wy, heartily, wish Doc Neeson a quick recovery and a return to his lifelong muse as a Master Musician.


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Great Driveway Cake of Wy

The Great Driveway Cake of Wy

At recent celebrations at the Principality, in November 2012, guests congratulated Prince Paul on reaching his 70th birthday in this year.

A highlight of the day was the presentation of The Great Driveway Cake of Wy designed and baked by Arch Duchess Penelope.

The Prince and Marquise Wantonne , who is an acknowledged  connoisseur of haute cuisine, felt that it did not fit into the category of entrée nor of dessert  because of the subtle broccoli element suggesting  bushland and the contrasting sweet confections for the road.

An historic new classification was created and the Driveway creation won the award for “Desentrees”. The Prince was amused. Culinary invention is admired in the Principality of Wy alongside all the other arts, there being no vocational heirarchy in the Palace of Art. 

Amused Prince

Those who were fortunate to savour the dish were heard to enthuse; “Beyond Rocky Road” and “A Bicuspid Boulevard”.  

The supportive message attached to the “Desentree” reflects brave hopes, raised recently in the Principality, that the sound of carriages may soon be heard in the drive.

Award presentation at Principality of Wy

Award presentation at Principality of Wy

An esteemed guest, who won the Gold Medal in the Ladies Couturier Competion, is seen wearing a stunning garment of exquisite provenance, and is about to receivea complimentary Principality of Wy T Shirt which bears the ever smiling visage of the prince.

Your respectful Equerry

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Mosman Election 2012

Sketching on election day

On the 8th September 2012 local elections were held in NSW. Mosman electors went to the polls to select a new mayor and 6 councillors. The Prince of Wy settled down to a happy interlude, with a cup of coffee and the Despatch Case, sketching next to the florists shop. Paul sincerely admires those who dedicate themselves to public service.

Here is of the sketches in which the Serene Wymobile drives past a polling booth.  (click to enlarge)


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Mysterious Antique Mechanism of Wy

Wy mechanism 1

The Principality of Wy has been intrigued by the recent discovery of a strange mechanism embedded in a rock found washed up at the base of its wild sea crags. The court of Wy has been made aware that there exists an historical precedent for this discovery.

In 1902 an archaeologist was examining the finds from the detritus of a Roman cargo ship wrecked off the Greek island of Antikythera and observed that one of the pieces of rock had a gear wheel embedded in it. He at first believed it to be an astronomical clock but after much debate academics decided that it was too complex to have been constructed during the same period as the other fragments that had been discovered. It is believed that it was being taken to Rome together with other treasures looted from the Greek island of Antikythera to be displayed at a triumphal celebration initiated by Emperor to be, Julius Caesar.

The mechanism appeared to be a machine designed to predict celestial events according to the theories current in its day. This is a unique relic of brilliant Greek engineering and one of the surviving wonders of the Hellenic world. Consisting of bronze coaxial spindles, superior planet gears,  fixed input gears, slot gears, offset axes and epicyclical gearing, it is a work of pure genius.

Wy mechanism 2

The recent exciting Wy discovery, which measures 8cm across, similarly has gear wheels embedded in it. It seems, from comparison that it is less complex than Antikythera however and as the rock is very dense the true mechanical nature of the relic is yet to be ascertained.

This machine was found in the sand. Truly this was the sand of time. Is this remarkable visitor a reminder of the ephemeral nature of all things?   The scientist in us wants to find out how it works.  The poet says. Leave it as it is, It is beautiful.  

 Is it just possible that ancient Greeks visited Wy?  The Prince has a reverence for the Golden Age and would like to think so. Then again it may have a more recent provenance.  Research is continuing.


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Olympic Dream of Wy

“Over Olympus hovered a golden presence”-  Homer

As in London nations gather,

A princess holds a Golden Dove.

Washed from Greece to Wy this year –

the sculpted hope of peace and love.

On Mount Olympus she sets down,

this relic, Home, for Gods to bless.

The bright eyed youth who now compete,

deserve, from ancient Greece, no less.

We run as though our hearts will burst,

for medals – further still we hurl.

May the Golden Dove of Peace inspire,

Olympic dreams of boy and girl.

Paul Delprat

Post Olympic thoughts…

In Australia there has been, in some quarters, a rather ungenerous reaction to the exploits of young Olympians who have not achieved the coveted Gold Medal. To some Silver and Bronze is just not enough. The Principality of Wy, which is not currently a participant, respectfully suggests that future Olympic classifications should be GOLDGOLDER and GOLDEST so that medal winning bronzed Aussies and all award winners around the world may come back to unreserved acclamation in their homelands


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Guillaume Tourniaire Conductor

Guillaume Tourniaire at Balmoral

Over coffee at a beachside café at Balmoral beach Paul made a drawing of Guillaume Tourniaire, the amazingly youthful French orchestra conductor who is presently in Sydney to conduct with the Sydney Opera.

They discussed music and the beauty of clouds. The previous evening Paul had enjoyed Guillaume’s inspired conducting of The Pearlfishers  by Georges Bizet and he had been tempted to draw the gorgeous spectacle on his (silenced) IPhone but refrained, realising that the light from the screen may irritate others.  Born in Provence France Guillaume studied piano and conducting at the Geneva Conservatoire.  

Young artist

He knew from a very early age that music was to be his life.  Singing in a children’s choir in Provence crystallised in his mind the idea of making music with others –

hence his love of conducting and our good fortune as part of his worldwide audience.

Creativity starts young. It is never ending. Later in the day Paul found a happy familial subject in a young artist drawing an IPhone intent sibling.

22 7 2012