Winter Beauty

July 27, 2014 - 4 Responses



Sprays of wattle and eucalyptus were used to decorate the tables at the Newstead  community lunch recently.

The lunch which is prepared by volunteers, is open to all members of the community.

Once a week people from Newstead and the surrounding district come together to eat a two course vegetarian meal, socialise and exchange news.

As a volunteer, I find it very satisfying to stand in the kitchen and look across the contented diners out through the large windows of the community centre to the elm trees in the street.

If you are in Newstead on a Wednesday at 12.30pm and you can smell the aromas of cooking wafting out of the community centre, come on in!


Charcoal Drawing: Treacherous Seas

July 19, 2014 - Leave a Response



After another hostile encounter with my neighbour, I felt all at sea in danger of  crashing onto jagged rocks. I needed guidance to bring me safely through the ordeal.

It has been a very stressful time both physically and emotionally. I have appreciated the wisdom and support of family and friends.

Print Making – The fourth design

July 4, 2014 - Leave a Response


Unfortunately, I missed one of the sessions of the ‘rough cuts’ print making course and have only recently been able to attend a catch up session.

This gave me the opportunity to print the first proof of the fourth and final design of the set of four.

I look forward to doing some more printing at home when I have acquired all the materials.

Eventually, I would like to have the set of four prints framed.

Newstead Community Garden

June 25, 2014 - 6 Responses


Newstead Community Garden is situated behind the All Saints Anglican Church which donated the land for the garden.

People began to dig the garden in 2009 and its development has been guided by a garden plan based on a mandala. There are plots for individuals to till as well as communal beds.

Biodynamic and permaculture principles are used in the growing of fruit and vegetables.

The garden is a resource for the local community.

I attended an open air cooking class there last November.


There are quiet places to sit under the old peppercorn tree.




Beekeeping, a worm farm and a sheltered, warm space for plant propagation and seedling raising are some of the garden related activities.





All that love and attention have created a productive and colourful garden.


Charcoal Drawing: State School No: 1124, Muckleford South

June 16, 2014 - Leave a Response


I have been wanting to draw this gem of a building for some time.

I decided yesterday, Sunday, was an ideal opportunity to fulfil this ambition.

It was a bitterly cold day so I was glad I could park the car directly in front of the old school and use it as my cosy studio whilst Katie snoozed on the back seat.

The school was built in 1871 of local sandstone rubble and red brick with a corrugated iron roof. The school had a single classroom and was typical of its era. It was built to serve the needs of a more densely populated rural district due to the gold rushes and people taking up small holdings.

The building ceased being used as a school in 1941 when it became a public hall. The school room had a single fireplace to provide heating and the blackboards have been retained.

I wonder when the corrugated iron annex with its own chimney was added (not shown in the drawing). Who on earth decided that was a good idea?


Rose Hill – Harcourt

June 6, 2014 - 2 Responses


Rose Hill is the last of the four gardens I visited on the 4th of November 2013.

As with the other gardens in this series, the garden surrounds a house built from local granite quarried at Mt. Alexander.

Rose Hill was built in 1906 and is testimony to the prosperity of the apple industry at the time.

In 1999, community opposition plus an historic tree in its grounds saved Rose Hill from demolition to make way for the new Calder Freeway.



Around the lake


By the wood pile art installation


Looking over the back gate



Ending by the granite garden wall

The Shield

May 29, 2014 - 6 Responses


Relations with one of my neighours continues to be difficult.

Once again I have used art to express my emotions about a recent incident.

This time I feel a strong need to defend myself and my home.


Frogmore – An Autumn Garden

April 18, 2014 - 6 Responses


I visited this garden on the 6th of April.

Frogmore is a nursery specialising in plants and perennials suited to cool, temperate climates. It is situated in the Great Dividing Range at Newbury between Trentham and Blackwood. Frogmore backs onto the lushness of the Wombat State Forest.

Many of the plants grown at Frogmore would die in the rigours of  Castlemaine’s climate so I wasn’t tempted to do any purchasing.

The show garden is open for 6 weeks in autumn.

The garden which is formally arranged into rooms edged by clipped hedges, is a feast for the eyes.

The photos give a taste only of the pleasures of Frogmore.




I had the thrill of observing an Eastern Spinebill feasting on the nectar of these flowers.








The neighbours have been visiting.


Print making – the first proofs

April 7, 2014 - 4 Responses



At the last session of my print making course, I made the first proofs from the plates I had made.

It was interesting to see my work ‘in the flesh‘. However, it was clear I need to practise my inking skills.


Not enough ink.


Too much ink.


I will remove the texture lines from the background of this one to provide more contrast with the lines in the central flower.

Next session, I will be practising my inking technique some more and experimenting with printing on different papers.

Mica Grange – Sutton Grange

March 30, 2014 - 2 Responses



I visited Mica Grange on Sunday, the 23rd of March.

The garden is situated on the slopes of Mt. Alexander giving panoramic views of  the Sutton Grange valley.

Mica Grange was the venue for a sculpture exhibition showcasing the talents of local sculptors.

The garden covers a rocky site littered with granite boulders.  It provides the setting for the garden art and sculptures which the owners have acquired over recent years.

The jams, chutneys and cordial for sale demonstrated the productiveness of the fruit trees and vegetables grown in raised beds and wine barrels.

The garden is thriving despite the dryness of the countryside after a long period without rain.

The horse’s head was one of the works on exhibit. Here are some more sculptures which were part of the exhibition:DSCN2785




Here are other views in and around the garden:










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