Paraty, Brazil

Guest writer Marele Day is author of the award-winning Claudia Valentine crime novels as well as wonderful literary works Lambs of God and her most recent (and evocative) The Sea Bed. Here, she visits Paraty, a Brazilian town with cobblestone streets, natural beauty and a vibrant cultural life. With her is artist and photographer Gary Worley.


Views of Paraty including Praia do Pontal (bottom)

With its island-studded bay, secluded beaches, verdant jungle surroundings, the small town of Paraty is the perfect chill-out place to end our visit to Brazil. We are staying at one of the town’s many appealing guesthouses, pousada Morro do Forte. As the name suggests, it’s on the hill occupied by the old fort, with spectacular views of the town – a patchwork of white buildings, trees and lush gardens. A schooner is moored in the bay, with masts of yachts faintly visible in the distance. Jutting into the sky is the bell tower of Nossa Senhora das Dores church, a black metal cockerel at its peak. As the bell tolls six, we stroll down to the beach for the evening caipirinha. The national cocktail consists of sugar, crushed lime and cachaça, a potent alcohol derived from sugar cane. We order it sem açucar (without sugar) and while away the balmy evening, watching the islands turn misty, the only sounds the sea quietly lapping the shore and ice melting in our glasses.

Fra Angelico and The Masters of Light – ATL Xmas Special

Guest reporter Caroline Nivison experienced the magic of the Musee Jacquemart-Andre and this impossibly beautiful show in Paris just in time for Christmas. Wishing peace and joy to all our readers and the best in art, travel and life for the coming year.


Fra Angelico (c. 1400-1455), 1428-1430, National Gallery, Parma. 128 x 68 cm tempera on wood.© 2011. Photo Scala, Florence - courtesy of the Ministero Beni e Att. Culturali


Gerhard Richter – Panorama

Guest writer Alice Nivison views Gerhard Richter’s Panorama at the Tate Modern in London, a retrospective of one of the world’s finest contemporary artists and one of the best exhibitions of 2011, anywhere. Catch it if you can - finishing January 8, 2012. Gerhard Richter – a compilation of contradictions …


Gerhard Richter - Forest (3) [Wald (3)] 1990 (CR 733), Private Collection © Gerhard Richter


The road less travelled - Camino del Norte, Spain

Guest writer Sharne Wolff (see her regular byline on and in Art Monthly Australia) takes the road less travelled through Spain. She follows the yellow arrows of the Camino del Norte, with a side art pilgrimage to Bilbao.


Earlier this year I found myself sitting on a train in Spain …staring at my feet. For the past decade or so several friends and I have embarked on a yearly hike into the wilderness. Over the years we tackled rain and mud on the Milford, Routeburn and Greenstone tracks in New Zealand. We’ve been amazed by February snow on Tasmania’s Overland Track, spotted brumbies in the Victorian Alps, and marvelled at the infinity of night desert skies on Central Australia’s Larapinta Trail. A flippant comment by a friend, however, resulted in an entirely different challenge for this year. Read More...