Chewton Post and Telegraph Office

April 27, 2016 - 4 Responses

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A friend and I recently spent a morning drawing in nearby Chewton. My friend who likes to draw ruinous buildings, busied herself with the remains of an old bank whilst I was attracted by the colourful display of artificial flowers hanging in baskets on the verandah of the post office.

The Chewton Post and Telegraph Office was built in 1879. As the population declined in the post gold rush era, the Commonwealth Postmaster General’s Department made the post office redundant but it continued to operate as a local enterprise. The post office has survived various attempts to shut it down. In the 1990s, the local council wanted to sell the land but the good folk of Chewton were having none of that. They formed the Chewton Domain Society and took ownership of the land where the post office, old town hall and a small park are situated.  This independently minded community also formed a local organisation to run the local swimming pool when the council tried to shut it down.

The post office currently provides services to about 400 local residents who collect their mail from post office boxes as there are no home mail deliveries in Chewton.

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This sign hangs on the post office fence. I have not seen its like elsewhere in the district.

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Autumn Sculpture at Mica Grange

April 20, 2016 - 4 Responses

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Birds of all sizes and materials were a particular feature of the sculpture exhibition at Mica Grange this autumn.

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I enjoyed the variety of mosaics.

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I was intrigued by this work with…….

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……….all these screws joined together.

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I admired the elegance of this object.

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The brightly coloured roses set this white sculpture off perfectly.

 

The Colours of Autumn at Mica Grange

April 11, 2016 - 6 Responses

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Hey, Ho! It was a beautiful autumn day, perfect for another visit to Mica Grange on Sunday, the 3rd of April to view the latest sculpture exhibition. However, in this post, I am concentrating on the garden. Whilst I have now made a number of visits to Mica Grange, there are new things to photograph as it is a garden which keeps on giving.

It was very pleasant wandering around the garden unescorted by the flies which were so abundant in spring.

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There are new objects to attract attention as the owners add to their own collection of garden art.

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The peppers created quite a show in the vegetable garden.

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The native bees were loving this flowering eucalypt.

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Maldon’s Easter Parade

March 29, 2016 - 6 Responses

Yesterday, Easter Monday, I weathered a chilly autumn morning to attend Maldon’s Easter Parade, one of the highlights of Maldon’s Easter Fair which claims to be Australia’s oldest continuous easter fair.

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People gazing down the main street waiting to catch a glimpse of the horsewoman holding the Australian flag. She is at the head of the parade.

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And here she comes………

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…… followed by Maldon’s brass band.

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Different modes of transport were a big feature of the parade. Historic, vintage, veteran, classic – something to please everyone……

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…………horse power……….

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………….donkey power…………

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……… pedal power ……..

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………. and vehicles powered by internal combustion engines.

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The stirring sounds of a pipe band tap into some ancestral memory of mine. I find them irresistible.

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Country parades are a perfect showcase for local clubs and organisations. The dogs in the crowd barked their appreciation and support as the local dog walking club passed by.

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The cactus warriors were out in force. They are dedicated to the elimination of the wheel cactus, a serious environmental weed in the district.

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The local primary school and ……….

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…….. the Central Victorian Lion Team provided some multicultural sound and colour.

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Local volunteer emergency services came up in the rear of the parade – The Country Fire Authority and …….

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……. The State Emergency Service.

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This is my longest post to date and I hope readers who have reached this far have enjoyed the experience. If you go to the link, https://www.facebook.com/maldoneasterfair you can watch an interview with Lilian Long whose family have participated in the parade for 139 years. Lilian’s great, great grandfather was the founder of the parade.

 

 

 

 

 

The Malmsbury Viaduct

March 18, 2016 - 6 Responses

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Since moving to Central Victoria, I have come to admire the local railway structures. In the 1850s and 60s, wool and gold were bringing wealth to the colony of Victoria. Fine public buildings were being built in Melbourne and the regional cities.  Attention was being turned to modern means of transport which, in the 1800s, meant railways.  A railway line was constructed from Melbourne to Sandhurst (Bendigo) and the port of Echuca on the Murray River between the late 1850s and early 60s.

The Malmsbury Viaduct was one of the bridges built as part of this enterprise. Construction  began in October 1859 and was completed in October 1860. The brick and stone masonry arch bridge spans the Coliban River. It is over 100 metres long with 5 arches standing about 25 metres high. It was the largest structure of its kind in Victoria at the time.

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The viaduct is a dominant feature of the township of Malmsbury. I took the top photograph from the grounds of the Birthday Villa Winery in September 2014. The other photos were taken from the Malmsbury Botanic Gardens this week, on Wednesday, the 16th of March.

In my eyes, the viaduct is a thing of beauty and there has been great pride taken in its construction.

The bridge is still in active use and I regret I was not organised enough to photograph one of the trains crossing it.

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I like the way the arches frame the countryside beyond.

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It was very pleasant sitting in the shade and making this charcoal drawing of a view through one of the arches.

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The Streets of Port Fairy

March 1, 2016 - 6 Responses

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My visit to Port Fairy in September 2015 has generated a number of posts. There were so many things begging to be photographed.

The centre of town is dominated by the bluestone square tower of the Anglican church. There are other churches in town but this one makes the biggest statement because of its size and location.

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The photograph of the Anglican church was taken from the front of the Methodist church.

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It took a little while before people discovered the advantages of a verandah.

This is the old customs house.

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Susan, you might recognise this knocker from one of your posts. Only this one is on the front door of an old inn on the other side of the world.

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First Attempts at Sumie

February 22, 2016 - 11 Responses

Below are my first attempts at Sumie painting. I attended a workshop conducted by Gerard Menzel on Sunday, the 14th of February. I have messed about with brush and ink in the past so I appreciated the opportunity to receive some formal instruction in the Sumie style of ink painting.

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My first marks

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Then on to the first of the four treasures of Sumie – bamboo. Previously, I used western style brushes so the eastern ink brushes were a revelation – so flexible and expressive. Gerard said it can take two years of practice to paint a bamboo leaf with one stroke of the brush.

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The next treasure was the orchid. The traditional Sumie way is to hold an image of the subject in one’s head and convey the image onto the paper. I found this a challenge as I tend to work from direct observation of the subject. On the day, we were re-interpreting paintings which Gerard made to demonstrate the techniques of creating the subject. Luckily, I had studied and drawn orchids in the past and felt more comfortable with making these paintings.

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Previous paintings were done on butchers paper whilst rice paper was used for these final two paintings.

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Making paintings of two treasures was enough for one day. The chrysanthemum and plum blossom await another day.

Banksia Flowers

February 13, 2016 - 8 Responses

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I have dug deep into my archives for this post.

At the time of making this drawing I wrote,

The subtle beauty of the blossoms of 

my favourite tree in the garden

offer solace

after a bruising visit to my parents.

7th September 2008

The tree was a Silver Banksia (Banksia marginata) and it was my ‘go to tree’ when I needed to think or seek refuge.

This post is part of a series of drawings about my former garden in Ferntree Gully.

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Harmony View, Harcourt

February 2, 2016 - 9 Responses

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Gardens of the Hedge (Horticultural Endeavours Demonstrating Gardening Enthusiasm) originally began as the fringe to the Castlemaine and District Festival of Gardens held every two years. Between the 31st of October and the 8th of November 2015 (Cup Week to Victorians), Gardens of the Hedge opened their gardens in the ‘off’ year for the Garden Festival.

So I was very happy to visit Harmony View on the 7th of November. Harmony View is situated on the edge of the Harcourt township. The top view epitomises two main aspects of the garden – a rural outlook and callistemons.

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The rural outlook

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Callistemons in full bloom –

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Crimson and white.

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There was a small vegetable patch in raised beds.

The strawberries, whilst blurry in the photograph, looked very inviting.

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Gardens of the Hedge will be opening their gardens again in September of this year. The Castlemaine and District Festival of Gardens will be in full swing during Cup Week. Happy Days are ahead!

Port Fairy Angling Club

January 25, 2016 - 8 Responses

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My previous post about Port Fairy featured the Community Water Mural, a project of the Port Fairy Consolidated School.

This post features another mural in Port Fairy. The Port Fairy Angling Club looks out over the Moyne River. Nothing special about the club building, but some one has allowed their artist to run free in the creation of this mural painted on a shed.

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I wonder if anglers can identify the fish depicted?

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