Yesterday was a lovely day…my 61st birthday. I had a great day out up on the mountain with Taz (Mt Tamborine). It’s their Open Garden Trail all weekend. We spent the day looking at beautiful gardens and enjoying a picnic at the Knoll National Park. The gardens were all different in style; a small (almost overwhelming) cottage style, a house garden with marvellous orchids, and a palatial residence with some french styled parterre gardens. Many magnolias featured, and some plants happily appeared in all the gardens…must be climate. We didn’t visit all the gardens that were on display, but there’s always next year. Please enjoy these pics! (Thanks to Taz for most of these pics).
My new painting, “Big Scrub-nearly gone” addresses some environmental concerns I have regarding loss of natural habitat. The Big Scrub was a large forested area from the Qld border down to Grafton; quite a large piece of land, once rainforest covered. Remnants remain in gullies, hillsides and national parks, and this artwork depicts such a pocket on the side of the Pacific Highway, northern NSW. The forest is so diverse and I employed bright colours to indicate this…a feature plant is the iconic Bangalow palm. Years previously I lived in this area and have developed much love for these beautiful remaining pieces of forest. Through this painting I’m endeavouring to bring to awareness the issues of loss of natural treasures in Australia. Hope you love the painting and feel some connection to the natural world through viewing the image.
Yesterday we drove down to Currumbin to view the “Swell” Sculpture festival, which showcases sculpture in an outdoor setting, on, or surrounding Currumbin Beach. The weather was perfect and the sculpture was truly amazing. Everyone in the Gold Coast/ Brisbane area should make an effort to go along. I’ve taken masses of pics, and here are some of my highlights (mostly everything!). All of them were beautiful in diverse ways, and some celebrated beach life, but many spoke about our relationship with the environment and this country. We personally loved “Stillness in time” (the pink discs) and “Save our seabed” (the colourful recycled plastics powered with a solar panel). It all finishes on Sunday.
Early winter saw the arrival of some extreme weather conditions, resulting in large dangerous surf and damaged beaches. My painting “Storm surge” reflects these conditions and the changes to our environment. Nature provides drama in our landscapes not always to our liking. I wanted to capture that drama and also to contrast the deep blue oceanic hues with stark white, in order to maintain a simple yet energetic expression of nature at its most extreme.
One of my works is currently on show in the Belle Arti Prize, at Chapman and Baileys, Melbourne….entitled “Lake, earth, sky”.
One of my artworks has been pre selected for the Brisbane Art Prize. The theme is about the artists interpretation of the meaning of life, which is very broad. My painting is titled “Night birds soul dreaming”. It’s a way, for me, to show the interconnectedness of nature and ourselves. The bird is quite mystical and magical, its presence hinted at. I like the idea of the forest at night, and so have tried to capture this tying it in with some magic….a strange little painting. If you are in Brisbane during the exhibition dates, come along and have a look….better still, come to opening night!
Inspired by the winter flowering wattles that are iconic Australian plants, I’ve painted this energetic work which evokes both the drama of the brilliant yellow wattle blooms, and also, in contrast, the colder, windy weather of our winter season. “Winter wattle blooming” is a smaller painting of free and lively brushstrokes and vivid contrast between yellow and darker more sombre “winter” hues.
It is priced at $450(AUD)…..and loving this weather!
Pranged my car yesterday…not sure if it’ll be written off or not….feeling sad. I don’t know if I have enough finances for a new one. And also sad because we can’t go out driving occasionally like we normally do, to remain sane. Luckily we visited Brunswick Heads on Tuesday, and we had a great day, on the beach and in little shops. (Good coffee too!) The beach has been somewhat damaged by the recent storm surges and the river was running very high, a big swell at the river mouth. But the day was pleasant and no wind on the beach. Eventually the sky started to clear from the west. A beautiful day out.
We often don’t think about the affect of visiting local natural areas of bushland has on our wellbeing. Just travelling a short distance from the city, even on the edge of it, affords an enjoyable experience of the natural world. These images, feelings and memories subtly influence me, and emerge onto my painting canvas….a pleasant and comforting memory of Australian landscapes….something that quintessentially resonates of the locale I live in. I’ve titled this painting “Comforting locale”, and it expresses the essence of the above.