A May garden

Beautiful in May

The rain is falling, the Salvias are flowering and the garden is full of birds and bees.

And the secret garden bloomed and bloomed and every morning revealed new miracles.
— Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

paper and ink

geranium in ink and geranium in paper

Geraniums in ink and paper for the Et,Al Christmas sale at Side Gallery, Redhill

Opens this Friday 7 December.

side gallery website: http://sidegallery.com.au/

Joy's Garden

Flowers picked in Joy’s Garden.

Joy lives at the end of our road. I always walk past her house and see her tending her small garden. She was delighted when I offered to paint her garden for a couple of weeks. I was delighted too. It was a wonderful couple of weeks.

The studio smelt of Nasturtiums.


winter flowers

winter flowers in the studio....

I must have flowers, always, and always
— Claude Monet

early spring

When the days become longer and there is more sunshine,the grass becomes fresh and,consequently, we feel very happy.
— Dalai Lama

September. Spring has arrived.......

the last days of winter

the last days of winter .....working with paper........ inspired by nature

 

grevillea heaven

The Grevilleas are flowering. Painting heaven.....

in the shadow

The beauty of shadow comes from the beauty of light!
— Mehmet Murat Ildan

winter landscape

winter gathering

I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of landscape - the loneliness of it - the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show.
— Andrew Wyeth

a return to the lake.......

All pictures painted inside the studio will never be as good as the things done outside
— Paul Cezanne

Cooler weather ...it"s time to head into the garden and paint.

thorns and petals

The Arid Zone......Thorns....During the month of April I enjoyed the arid zone with it's beautiful Aloes and Euphorbias and the succulents in the Cacti and Succulent house. I also enjoyed meeting Prue who looks after the succulents,the fern house and the tropical Dome.

The Temperate Zone......Petals....... on the other side of the lake the Camellias and Magnolias are flowering. What a beautiful sight!

un doing

This week I went to the Botanical gardens and sat on the park bench. No need to take a photograph. No need to pick a specimen. No need to do anything.

Look at the lake. Smell the swampy water. Listen to the birds. Feel the gentle morning breeze on my skin.

Just perfect!

Blow the candle out - I don’t need to see what my thoughts look like
— Emile Zola

the picture of the lake taken on the 17 March

oh Stapelia!

This week I continue to paint specimens from the succulent and aloe garden.

During my early morning visit to the gardens on Wednesday I met Prue who is back from her holiday. She looks  after the succulent area.. She very kindly picked me  a Stapelia from the garden to include in my box of specimens to paint for the week... She also informed me I would have to clean the fly larvae out of the center as I may have a maggot problem in the studio if I don't! The Stapelia is a carrion flower and its odour of rotting meat attracts insects to it.

Back in the studio I immediately set to work picking the fly larvae out of the flower centre with a toothpick and giving it a good rinse. The flower feels like latex. looks like a starfish. and it proved a very difficult specimen to paint.

I failed. My miserable effort ended up being torn up and placed in the bin. But I was treated to a wonderful display of the Stapelia flower on my work desk being lit up by an afternoon ray of sunshine.

That was worth the struggle!

 

 

 

 

into the arid zone

The work table in the studio is full of wonderful thorny specimens from the botanical gardens.

Handle with care!

the desert is oozing power”
don Juan whispered in my ear
”there is no time to be timid”
— Carlos Castenanda

thorny poetry

For the month of April I will be in the arid zone.......

I am meeting Steve,the supervisor of this area of the botanical gardens,  on Friday. I will be focusing on Southern African succulents and have some ideas for 'arid zone inspired' sculptures. I'm excited!

‘So they drove again, Vivien sitting up and looking now, but as navigator only, letting the desert scratch it’s own thorny poetry on the enormous moon’
— Douglas Woolf

 

 

autumn

“Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of each.” —Henry David Thoreau

learning through seeing

Monday mornings I go early to the botanical gardens to collect  specimens to paint during the week. I carefully select, cut and take them back to my studio. They are placed in a row of glass bottles on my work table. Each day I select a single flower to focus on. I try to simply paint what I see .

when you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world for the moment. I want to give that world to someone else.
— Georgia O'Keefe

pastel drawings of this week's specimens hanging in the studio.