Monthly Archives: March 2013

Pink!

Pink – bright, neon pink – is the colour of the the flowers on our Eucalyptus Leucoxylon Rosea tree – much better known as our Pink Flowering Gum!

As you can see from this photo by Geoff Park, the beauty of the flowers is masked by the mass of this small tree that is native to Australia.

pink-flowering-yellow-gum by Geoff ParkI did my best to simplify and show off the design of the flowers and leaves moving in the breeze in this, the next of my series of ‘Wildflowers at Balligar’.

Pink Flowering Gum at Balligar

Pink Flowering Gum at Balligar

The pink in the original watercolour painting is much more vibrant than reproduced here.  I haven’t been able to reproduce the colour ‘Opera Rose’ by photographing or scanning.  This colour ‘swatch’ may give a better impression:

Opera Rose

Opera Rose

I hope I leave you feeling ‘in the pink’ today,
:)Helen

Gee… It’s Not Easy Being A Pollyanna!

Geewillingkinwinkings – Monday again – time to lift spirits.  Not always easy – not always a specific reason – always a first world problem I assume…

I don’t always draw / paint flora – here’s something else:

Rock, Paper, Scissors

Rock, Paper, Scissors

I think it best to focus on the more uplifting experiences though – even though it can be hard swinging one’s mind around.

Here’s a ‘Wow!’ item to try and do just that.

This outstanding video is compiled by a 19 year old student, Zack Hemsey, for his video production class.  With the dramatic music and fast moving images, it just feels marvelous to go through the entire history in just 2 minutes and 10 seconds – Our Evolution 

🙂
Helen

The Floor of the Sky

‘The floor of the sky’ is an Aboriginal description of the carpet formed by a mass of Blue Leschenaultia in bloom.  Isn’t that a great expression?  The floor of the sky.

The intense blue of the flowers is hard to describe or replicate.  This photo conveys the mass and blueness but not quite the intensity of the blue.

The Floor of the Sky

The Floor of the Sky

Blue Leschenaultia is natural only in Western Australia and grows well on gravely hillsides – which is why it does well at Balligar!

Contemplating painting it, my thoughts ran similarly to when considering painting Native Wisteria, which I described in my ‘Purple Rain’ post – overwhelming confusion of forms – focus on a part – simplify – suggest the confusion…   I decided to do a similar composition – and a watercolour and ink series was born – ‘Wildflowers at Balligar’.

Blue Leschenaultia at Balligar

Blue Leschenaultia at Balligar

Blue Leschenaultia has found its way into bush poetry and I can see it vividly in my mind’s eye when reading or listening to this evocative poem by Keith Lethbridge , ‘The Old Wungundi Hall’. although it only gets a brief mention.  I hope you enjoy the very Australian images Keith evokes.

Hooroo,
🙂
Helen

How Did It Get So Late So Soon?! Geewillingkingwinkings!

Monday has been an extension of our weekend – cleaning up after Aaron the Arborist who gives the word extension new meaning – and the expression ‘Geewillingkinwinkings’!

Yes, this is the right way up!

Yes, this is the right way up!

He’s trimming the dangerous branches from two of our very old Red Gums.

Timber!!

Timber!!

Aaron was only about 20 metres high!!!

Aaron at 20 metres

Aaron at 20 metres

He carefully dropped tonnes of wood and didn’t damage one grasstree!

Sad to see the trees diminish, but over a few years several branches weighing hundreds of kilos have fallen on our driveway.  Other branches fell into the bush damaging trees and bushes on the way.  Even in death wood has a beauty that lives on.  This is a pen and ink sketch of a beautiful piece of deadwood I came across at Wheatley, WA.  I enjoyed a peaceful, relaxing hour, or so, in the bush sitting on my fishing stool doing this – a lovely memory!

Wheatley Foal

Wheatley Foal

I’m sure there were more ‘Wow’s in the past week but I’m short on time – but I just have to mention discovering Coco J Ginger’s blog and this: Your Little Sister  -powerful writing – discovered by following up a ‘like’!

I hope your week had memorable moments of the best kind too and you’re more than welcome to share them here.

BFN
🙂
Helen

Purple Rain!

I hope this is not a disappointment but this is nothing to do with the movie or the album but the beautiful Native Wisteria of Australia.

The Germans have a lovely name for the deciduous Wisteria that is native to China – ‘ Blue Rain’ (Blaue Regan).  Our evergreen Native Wisteria has long dense sprays of purple pea flowers so it seems appropriate to nickname it ‘Purple Rain’.

Native Wisteria at Balligar

Native Wisteria at Balligar

This one is winding itself around a Jarrah tree trunk.  You can’t tell from my photo but it winds around in a clockwise direction because we are in the southern hemisphere!

I love the little faces of the purple pea flowers that remind me of a cartoon character – maybe one out of Duck Tales?  I wondered how to capture the colourful, entwining nature of the plant on paper.  I felt overwhelmed at the thought of representing  the vine as a whole and decided to keep it simple.  I focused on a few leaves and sprays of flowers.

I started with a pencil sketch from nature – on tracing paper as I find it very forgiving as I change my mind or make mistakes and want to erase – and erase – and…

Design Sketch

Design Sketch

When I was satisfied with the representation of the flora and how it sat within an oval,  I suggested  the tangle of the slender, twisting branches with flowing lead light like lines.  I then photocopied the tracing onto cheap copy paper and played some more – adding colour with pencils. 

Happy to continue I lightly drew the design onto a sheet of Arches smooth watercolour paper – 300gsm.  On the way I changed my mind… and changed the shape to a square and made it bigger – to give myself more options for mounting.  This is the end result – a watercolour painting framed virtually.

If you think you’ve seen it before you may have had a peek at my post Almost Monday… where I celebrated creating a set of greeting cards from this Wildflowers of Balligar series.

Square Framed Native Wisteria 10cm image JPEG

I’m pleased that the design has proven flexible and I’ve used it in the round: Native Wisteria Bookmark v0.1 JPEG
Square Framed Native Wisteria Round Mat 10cm image JPEG

and
long
and
narrow:

 

I don’t have a favourite plant (too many to choose!) but I like this quote from Beth Hoffman’s ‘Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt’:

“Wisteria is my favourite flowering vine.  Do you know why?”.  I shook my head. “No, Ma’am.”
“Because it’s strong – just like me.”

Au Revoir (Hooroo in Aussie)
🙂
Helen

 

Geewillinkinwinkings – Mondayitis Strikes Hard!

G’Day or should that be Arvo?!  I’m so tired due to lack of sleep – too much fun, too much work and overnight rain.  Yes! Rain!! Yay!  It’s been so long – DO got up at 3am to ‘fix that noise’ !!!

These are some of the highlights of my week and I hope they help with any ‘itis’ you may have.

Who Was Top?

Guns N’ Roses topped the bill at Perth Arena on Saturday evening but ZZ Top topped it for us.

ZZ Top in concert

Their official site will give you an idea why but it doesn’t come with a G rating!

Top Share

A friend shared some of Dalai Lama’s thought provoking wisdom:

Dalai Lama

Dalai Lama (Photo credit: Joi)

At the end of the talk someone from the audience asked the Dalai Lama, “Why didn’t you fight back against the Chinese?” The Dalai Lama looked down, swung his feet just a bit, then looked back up at us and said with a gentle smile, “Well, war is obsolete, you know ” Then, after a few moments,his face grave, he said, “Of course the mind can rationalize fighting back…but the heart, the heart would never understand. Then you would be divided in yourself, the heart and the mind,and the war would be inside you.” 

If you’d like more such wisdom go here.

Top Like

Rose

A Rose at Balligar

I like Likes and I’m intent on viewing the blogs of those who have been kind enough to Like one of my posts.  This intent leads me to interesting places where I may never have been otherwise.

This is one such place where I found a beautiful poem by Leo Rex called ‘The Rose’.

Top Out

My art didn’t get much of a look in during the past week (except for designing cards, bookmarks and postcards – watch this space!) so I’d better get going.  Did the person who said “‘When the going get’s tough, the tough get going.” say which direction?

BFN
🙂