Hello! Lovely to see you! Here you will find random posts about living a creative life in country Australia. I am an illustrator. I create, take photos, faff, collect, teach. Watercolour, collage, colour, cheese, travel and dreaming are my faves. And Turkish delight. And cushions. And gardening. And op-shops...

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

green

GREEN

                                  detail of collage GREEN, 2014

Green...so many connotations.

My parents have been GREENIES, i.e:environmentalists,forever.We were taken to almost every National Park in NSW camping and exploring I think.Dad always had his binoculars and his birdspotting books,and took lots of slides of all the wildlife.(I have not strayed to far from this influence suppose!

We had(and they still have)a garden full of natives,not a rose in sight.Dad even had a notebook that he used to jot down all the different types of birds he spotted in our yard.The notebook may be gone,but now they subscribe to all kinds of nature magazines,are members of every Zoo on earth,sponsor animals,and are staunch conservationists.  

So a love of nature was instilled from birth...my siblings too.Kind of a prequisite!For instance...my sister worked for the Wilderness Society for many years, and as a Filmmaker,and with her own production company, Dark Lake Productions environmental films have always been a passion of hers. My brother, a writer, has a blog called The Catchalot, all about the ocean, the sea and salt.So I would say we all most definately have that green gene in us.


Green too...apart from the whole environmental cause thing, is simply the colour of nature and life to many of us. I know I feel soothed when I sit in my green garden, with or without a cuppa...or just wandering around in it. And listening to the birds twitter, is a lovely addition to the morning cuppa.Sigh.



So...this collage...was done using books found at the op-shop,particularly one of the bird books I remember as always being in our hiking rucksack as a kid, old papers,bits and bobs...and was done quietly and over an evening,as I sat at my in-laws table,the telly on,everyone else either asleep or absorbed in their TV show.I was very anti-social, but I needed that quiet headspace time,a bit like meditation. Feelings of inner complete contentment.To help get balance.

I had been thinking about the idea of green as lush, and tropical, of life and nature...and my mind meandered back to the idea of that love of nature, those bird books, of Dad's, those ideas about being surrounded by nature as something remarkable and special.I was thinking of how being surrounded by green gives me those same feelings of peace and contentment as when I am creating.

So this collage I guess, is a bit of an ode to my Mum and Dad, to instilling that love of GREEN, in more ways than one.


GREEN , mixed paper collage 2014

GREEN - HOW GREEN IS MY VALLEY collage club, August 2014

GREEN - HOW GREEN IS MY VALLEY 

Collage Club, August 2014

GREEN,GRUN,VERDE
fresh,fertile,lush
grow..

I live in country NSW,surrounded by farming land.I live in the Lachlan Valley,by the waters of the Lachlan River.We have 4 very distinct seasons.We have 4 very different types of landscapes around us,depending on these seasons.From golden dry and blue skies,yellow canola,brown and ploughed,stubble and weed,to green and heavy with the promise of a good year.

I am not on a farm.We are not farmers.We live in town,'townies'. Mind you,the edge of town is not far - paddocks and endless land, is just down the road, up the road,over there,and over there too. 

But I have learned to love the beauty of each season. 

Initially I was in denial about my place here.After years in Europe, and growing up on the coast...and even though I had travelled plenty in Australia...when we landed out here(as explained in my post"why I write, and why I blog"),it felt so alien, so overwhelming.

I was still drawing and painting from the memories of Europe. I was shuddering at the thought of doing Australian landscapes...which felt so cliche and done to death.I was in a little way, sticking my finger up at the idea that of course,living in the country meant I would do landscapes

NO BLOODY WAY.

But then...I began to play.And Europe faded.I began to shock those fogies in my art group (on purpose,and enjoying it of course).I began to embrace the light.I began to remember that this is what I had missed in grey dreary England,when the sky felt like it was sitting just above my head.I learned to keep my delight about the drought and the gorgeous gold and parched paddocks to myself (lest I be lynched by farmers and their wives and children).I began to appreciate the hope and the joy and the visual abundance of the nitrogen infused green fecund pastures and rows of growth.

I learnt about how growth cycles dictate the lives of everyone in town...how a good harvest means prosperity and lots of happy customers and shop owners.How dry, hard times means it is tough for lots of people and businesses.
I learnt that during harvest time, half the high school population goes AWOL, as they help on the farm. And that the lights,so bright and blinding that you see in the middle of nowhere,.and make you think a UFO has landed..are just farmers in their headers working through the night, cropping.And that wives and children go for weeks without seeing their husbands and fathers, and this is just an accepted part of life.No weddings, no parties, no big events during harvest time. And then a collective sigh of either sheer relief (or devastation) in the community when it finishes.

Living here has allowed me to breathe again when we leave the coast on our many visits, cross the Blue Mountains, and inwardly sigh and grieve a little as I say goodbye to family (and retail therapy) but outwardly sigh as the sky and land unfolds before us, and the feeling of almost being HOME begins to grow. Because that is what it is now.Home.And how lucky I am...and how green is my valley.

So here are some pictures of some of the artworks I have played around with, when I do get the urge to do a landscape thing...which admittedly, is sporadic.But these things are what led me to doing the collage.

And the collage? So...the collage here is a combination of different papers,some I handmade,some hand coloured with watercolour,some scraps of paintings cut up.It is a memory of the paddocks and greens of fields and crops and rolling rises. 

Nothing too fancy, nothing too deep, nothing too conceptualised. Just green.


Green Hills, Watercolour 2013

Trio of works, playing with papers, and a hand painted tile brooch

Fertile Land, watercolour 2013

Patchwork Land, watercolour and gouache 2002

Over the Hill, quick crayon sketch with edicol dyes, for a school art lesson, 2011

Green lines, song lines watercolour warm up, watercolour

Fertile Hills, watercolour, 2014

GREEN, collage-mixed paper:handmade,hand painted watercolour,gouache,acrylic, 
edicol dye,scrapbook papers. 2014