Art for Christmas. Gold Coast, Lennox Head

Disclosure:  This post contains “affiliate links.” This means that if you click on a link and purchase an item, we will receive an affiliate commission/payment.  Links will open in a new tab or window.

Today, we feature three offerings from the RedBubble shop of Gold Coast artist and photographer, Virginia McGowan.

Gold Coast Broadwater, Queensland, Australia.”  Is it a photo or a painting?

There are many photos of the Gold Coast skyline, but I haven’t seen any others that are quite as unique as this view.  It’s the Gold Coast, but not as you usually see it.

I was immediately struck by this image when I first saw it, and looked carefully to see if it was a photo or a fine painting.

Then I doubled checked which product category Virginia had placed it in.  Turns out, it is a photograph.

I think this one is perfect for anyone looking for a Gold Coast image that’s not “typical”, but is still immediately recognisable as “the Gold Coast”, especially if you’re looking for a nautical theme and/or Gold Coast skyline.

I just love the subtle hues.  And I can imagine this image as a large or extra large feature wall art piece in the main entertaining area, especially if it’s in a GC high rise with views looking out over the Broadwater or the ocean.

In Virginia’s RedBubble shop wall art range, you can get it as a poster, canvas print, photographic print, art print, framed print or metal print.

It’s also available in a range of apparel including T-shirts, hoodies, leggings, mini skirt and sweatshirt, as well as computer cases & skins, and home decor – although I’m not sure that it works as a wall tapestry or duvet cover.

And you can get it as a tote bag and stationery items.

Virginia also has two other photographs I’m taken with.

Paperbark trees, Lennox Heads NSW

This photograph also gets a double take, and asks that “is it a photo or is it a painting?” question.

It’s almost impressionist in its composition and colours, and would make a fine pairing with “Broadwater Gold Coast misty day”, if you’re looking for local region framed prints to group together.

This beautiful image is available in the full range of products from Virginia’s shop.

And the third offering, “Sunrise this Morning 4.15am Nerang Qld.”

While it’s not distinctly identifiable as being of a particular place, it is an image that captures the mood of the Gold Coast hinterland for anyone who lives here.

If you’ve ever been up early enough (or getting back home from a great night out!) to see a Gold Coast sunrise, the vivid colours captured in this image are sure to evoke the memories.

This image is available in a limited wall art range only.

The three images together as framed prints, would also be suitable as a group feature collection.

Order today (Monday December 10th, 2018), and get delivery by the 18th of December.

Did you like this post?  Please let us know in comments.  And be sure to also check out our very first art recommendation last Saturday,  featuring Guntis Jansons Melbourne streetscenes.

See also other personally curated picks from our “Big Volcano Art Shop”.  We’ve looked for local artists and sought out other art with local themes, including Byron Bay and Tweed Heads.

In case you missed it. Disclosure:  This post contains “affiliate links.” This means that if you click on a link and purchase an item, we will receive an affiliate commission/payment.  (Links will open in a new tab or window.)


Art for Christmas, and beyond

Disclosure:  I was compensated for this post.  This post also contains “affiliate links.” This means that if you click on a link and purchase an item, we will receive an affiliate commission/payment.  Links will open in a new tab or window.

If you’re looking for a unique and local gift for Christmas, or art to adorn your own wall, Gurtis Jansons framed prints of Australian streetscapes, landscapes and portraits available from RedBubble, are superb.


A Guntis Jansons painting in his Melbourne series based on evening urban landscapes.

Add characater to a room, with themed works available from this collection.

On his RedBubble biography, Guntis says. “My paintings are mostly in oils. They range in subject matter from landscapes to still lifes and fantasy subjects.”

Choose from Melbourne and Sydney scenes, Australian landscapes, portraits, nudes and whimsical themes.

His “voice” has a distinct style, with a cohesive, mature and confident technique, using preferred themes and color palettes.

Whether you’re looking for a single signature piece or a group collection, you’re sure to find something suitable.  See a “group” example below.

And right now, RedBubble has 25% off everything, so it’s ideal for multiple purchases.

Order before 10pm tonight – Saturday December 8th, 2018 AEDT, and get 25% off, with  delivery by 20th Of December.

I just love the outstanding artistry and style, with the vibrant colour palette used for the city scenes and whimsical works, while the more subtle and pastel colours infuse the Australian landscape paintings.

Guntis has carefully selected which of his works are available in the various RedBubble product departments, especially in the wall art.

Not all paintings are available in every department or even every product type.

But the framed prints certainly represent the widest range, so browse Guntis’s shop and choose what takes your eye!

Please let us know in the comments, what you think of Guntis’s work, and if you’ve decided to buy something.

RedBubble is the homegrown Aussie product on demand website, that gives independent artists a meaningful new way to sell their creations, and art lovers like us the chance to share our finds.

Addendum:  See also our personally curated picks from our “Art Shop”.  We’ve looked for local artists and sought out art with local themes.

In case you missed it. Disclosure:  I was compensated for this post.  This post also contains “affiliate links.” This means that if you click on a link and purchase an item, we will receive an affiliate commission/payment.  Links will open in a new tab or window.

Big Volcano Art Shop

We’ve got a new affiliate link programame

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on a link and purchase an item, we will receive an affiliate commission/payment.  Links open in a new tab or window.

There’s been talk on the interwebs for years about the value of diversifying income streams and “monitising” web assets.

Many web sites do this by joining “affiliate” programmes (or if you’re from the USA, “program”.)


Margaret Olley Paddington Studio, Tweed Regional Gallery, 2015

Some people do it to cover the cost of running their online hobby or passion, others do it to build and “flip” the web site or business within as little as a few months, and move onto the next opportunity or challenge.

There’s a whole online industry niche devoted to providing people with tutorials, courses and a mind boggling array of third party management tools.

But we’re not going there right now.  (Although we might do some posts down the track to let you know about interesting developments, providers, trends and cool tools, if we feel like it.)

Our current affiliate programs

So what are affiliate links? Basically, they tell a merchant that a customer came from Big Volcano.  And if there’s a confirmed sale or booking, we get a cut of the commission.

Here’s a potted history of our forays into affiliates over the years.

Amazon Associates

We actually started with Amazon Associates waaaay back in 1998.  We only use it in the Ecotourism Resource Centre (aka ERC, which is embarrassingly, also in need of a make over.  Sigh…).

As we started the Big Volcano Visitor Guide so early – we went live in 1997, books were the only option on Amazon at the time.  And being control freaks, titles were selected personally and added along side the appropriate ERC category links.  (A rod for the webmaster’s back, as the link addresses and titles change regularly.)

Google Adsense

Most people though, start with Google Adsense.  It’s pretty much a no brainer, and as we generally like “no brainer” solutions, anyone who visited Big Volcano from late August 2009, would have started seeing Google Adwords.

We haven’t got ad units plastered all over the site pages, and some of our 300 plus content pages, don’t have any Adsense units at all.


Then we decided that if you couldn’t beat ’em, join ’em.


Mount Warning / Wollumbin across the Tweed River.

We’re talking OTAs – also known as Online Travel Agents.

If you’ve ever travelled anywhere, you’ve probably done some online research, and chances are you landed on TripAdvisor,, or any one of their stable of online travel channels, at some point in your “journey”.

We wrestled with this one for a while, as from day one, our vision was to support local operators, and have people book with them as directly as possible.

But 15 years was already a long time on the internet.  Tastes, trends, and the technology was also changing fast.

With the overdue arrival of affordable web based Reservation Management Systems (RMS) providing direct real-time availability and bookings, most hospitality and accommodation operators also quickly learned about paying commissions to global OTAs.

They also became more comfortable with a PPC advertising model (Pay Per Click via the likes of Google Adwords, Bing Ads etc.), than investing directly in display advertising links on locally owned destination web sites like Big Volcano.

So in 2012, we began slowly linking directly to selected local accommodation operators pages on

Again, we’re control freaks, and we prefer to display and link to properties that are properly licensed and registered businesses.  (Although there’s nothing to stop people from making a reservation with any property they want to, once they reach the web site.)

We’ve also experimented with, for tours and cruises since 2016.

Which brings us to our latest foray into affiliate marketing.

Product on Demand


Fingal Head Public School students showing off their shore birds awareness posters in 2015.

Product on Demand (aka POD) providers and their associated affiliate programmes have mushroomed over the last 5 to ten years, and are a boon for creative producers.

Makers web sites like Etsy, and POD web sites like RedBubble means that artists, artisans and crafts people can market and sell their product directly to the general public and collectors.

Our new affiliate programme

Over the years, we’ve received a few email enquiries asking if we could sell product on behalf of producers, and as the idea of being retailer wasn’t really our thing, we did what all good one track mind geeks do; said “sorry, no”, ignored it and kept doing what we were doing.

But we’d also noticed over the years, that many accommodation operators we visited had no local artists works, or locally themed work on display.

The Northern Rivers and Gold Coast hinterland has so many talented artists and photographers whose works could, and should, grace the walls of local properties, that it became another no brainer for us to join a POD programme, to compliment our current affiliate lineup, and add selecting and curating the work of local artists, to get wider coverage and more sales.

Of course, if you’re not a local, but you like it, you’re still welcome to buy it!

So please let us introduce to you, a new feature on the Big Volcano Visitor Guide.

The Big Volcano Art Shop.

Whether you’re looking for a unique gift or souvenir, want to fill that empty space on the wall, update your art collection, home decor, wardrobe, or stationery, then check out our carefully curated selection of art works from RedBubble artists.

Are you creative? Then check out RedBubble, where you can exhibit and sell your art to the world – for FREE!

In case you missed it.  Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” This means that if you click on a link and purchase an item, we will receive an affiliate commission/payment.  Links open in a new tab or window.

P.S.  Please follow us if you want to get notified when we post new art works we’ve selected.

Margaret Olley Art Centre receives national recognition

Tweed facility wins prestigious MAGNA Award

The Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre tonight won a prestigious national award from the peak Australian body for museums and galleries.


Photo caption:  An interior view of the Margaret Olley Art Centre at the Tweed Regional Gallery in Murwillumbah.

The Gallery was presented with a Museums & Galleries National Award (MAGNA) in the Permanent Exhibition or Gallery Fitout category at an awards ceremony at Sydney’s Town Hall.  Other finalists in this category included the Australian War Memorial, Royal Australian Mint, Shrine of Remembrance, the Australian Botanic Garden, Western Australian Museum and the Aviation Heritage Museum.

The award was accepted by Tweed Regional Gallery Director, Susi Muddiman OAM and Tweed Shire Council General Manager, Troy Green.  “The project was a culmination of great teamwork and the community working together and we certainly couldn’t have done without the commitment of Council and the resources of our support organisations – the Tweed Regional Gallery Foundation and the Friends of the Gallery – and the work of the dedicated staff team,” Ms Muddiman said.


Photo caption: Chair of the board of Museums and Galleries NSW, Jennifer Barrett, MOAC’s first curator, Sally Watterson, Tweed Regional Gallery Director, Susi Muddiman and CEO Museums & Galleries NSW, Michael Rolfe.

“The initial gift from the Margaret Olley Art Trust was the catalyst of a period of commitment which saw the Gallery rise to new levels.  “The Gallery is part of a commitment from Tweed Shire Council to cultural facilities in the Tweed, which also includes the stunning new Tweed Regional Museum in Murwillumbah.”

Mayor of Tweed, Councillor Gary Bagnall, said all the Tweed could be proud of this great achievement.  “Last week I called Tweed the regional capital.  Today we have become a national leader.  Congratulations to all those who have throughout the years contributed to making our gallery a winner,” Councillor Bagnall said.

Council’s General Manager, Troy Green, said: “It was a very humbling experience to accept the award on behalf of the Tweed community, especially given the high calibre of the other finalists”.

“The award is testimony to the world class gallery that we have in the Tweed – something that every resident in the Tweed should be extremely proud of and have on their to-do list when friends and family are visiting them in the Tweed,” he said.

The $4.5 million Margaret Olley Art Centre (MOAC) at the Tweed Regional Gallery celebrates the career, life and legacy of Margaret Olley AO (1923-2011), arguably Australia’s most celebrated painter of still life and interiors.  The purpose-built extension to the Gallery, honours the wish of the late artist that her artist’s studio elements of her Paddington home in Sydney and her collections be re-created at Tweed Regional Gallery.

The MAGNAs recognise excellent work nationally in the categories of exhibition, public programs and sustainability projects. The awards are open to all Australian cultural collecting institutions who are members of Museums Australia.  The panel of judges was selected from staff at the National Museum of Australia and the National Gallery of Australia and a member of the museum-going public.

Press release and photos courtesy of TSC Media Unit Friday 22/5/2015.

Take a Walk

Murwillumbah treasures old and new

Guided heritage walks of the Murwillumbah town centre will be launched by Tweed Regional Museum in partnership with the Murwillumbah Historical Society on Saturday 7 March.

Big Volcano Visitor Guide : Murwillumbah

This follows the launch of the Murwillumbah Murals Guided Walks by Caldera Arts last year.

Photo by J. Palmer.Levy wall art © Big Volcano

Museum Director Judy Kean said it was the perfect opportunity for anyone who wants to learn more about the town’s history from the experts.

“We’re delighted these walks complement each other and take in a large slice of the history and culture of Murwillumbah,” she said.   “Contemporary Murwillumbah owes a lot to a rich past and visitors can also enjoy a great deal more of this story on a visit to the Museum.”

Murwillumbah Historical Society Vice President Tony Clark said previous heritage walks had been extremely popular.

“Through the long service and dedication of our former President, Ron Johansen, the Murwillumbah Historical Society has led many heritage walks around town over the years,” he said.  “We think there is still a lot of interest out there and I’m looking forward to leading guided walks on the first Saturday of every month.”

Judy Kean is also anticipating a good turnout.

“We hope people will take some time to explore Murwillumbah and the opportunity to relax and refresh in one of the many great eateries and shops in town,” she said.

Tweed Regional Museum is open this Saturday and the first Saturday of every month between 10am and 4pm.

Tweed Regional Museum on Big Volcano

Murwillumbah Murals Walk
Guided by Caldera Arts
First Saturday of each month
8.30am starting in the Murwillumbah Visitor Information Centre, Budd Park
Bookings essential
(02) 6672 1340,

Murwillumbah Town Centre Heritage Walk
Guided by the Murwillumbah Historical Society
First Saturday of each month
1.00pm starting at the Tweed Regional Museum, Queensland Road
Bookings preferred
(02) 6670 2273,

Courtesy of TSC Media Unit Monday 2 March, 2015