Art in the Vines, Hanging Rock Winery

February 14, 2019 - 4 Responses

Yesterday, Katie and I traveled to Newham to Hanging Rock Winery which overlooks Hanging Rock, in the middle distance and Mount Macedon, in the far distance.

Whilst Katie surveyed the cattle on the property from the comfort of the car, I had the pleasure of viewing and photographing the sculpture exhibition which ends on the 31st of March. There are 25 works by local, national and international sculptors. The works are diverse in their themes, styles and materials.

There are works of stone………..

……….metal and ………

 

………..and timber.

 

Nature has influenced some artists to produce this dragonfly with the scary eyes………..

………..Jewel de la Mer, a pearl encased by waves……….

………….this gorgeous head of a hare and……..

…………these spinning and floating seed cases which are absolutely bewitching.

 

Sculptors used their art to express their concern for the planet and the survival of the natural world.

Here a gannet is protecting its egg. With its head draped over its back, it has a shield like appearance.

Red Running Tiger depicting the Tasmanian Tiger, (Thylacine) reminds Australians how easily extinctions can happen.

 

Political satire is alive and well. Above, the madness of getting housing and below, the madness of Australian politics.

The Australian Coat of Arms continues to inspire satirists – I’ve got this chicken legs!

 

There are sculptures which are interesting shapes.

 

Threads hanging from the branch of an old eucalypt is still a work in progress as leaves become enmeshed in the fine wire.

 

Then there is the quirky – The Yummy – ‘For good luck rub his tummy.’

 

 

 

Advertisements

Muckleford Roses

February 5, 2019 - 10 Responses

I visited Forest Edge during the 2018 Castlemaine and District Festival of Gardens with my friend, Jenny.

After picking Jenny up from the Castlemaine station, we drove to Muckleford where we picnicked in the garden of Forest Edge.  As we ate, we were thrilled by the blue wrens (Superb Fairywrens) hopping around on the picnic table and nearby.

After lunch, we got down to the serious business of enjoying the pleasures of my favourite garden. We took heaps of photographs as we moved around the garden at a leisurely pace.

On the day, the roses were particularly fine so this post is devoted to them.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Colours of Spring

January 25, 2019 - 6 Responses

I started this pastel drawing in late winter but have only just finished it.

The inspiration for the drawing came during a yoga class in July 2018. July is our greyest, most wintry month – oh, will it never end?

Last winter was particularly trying as my left foot was quite painful making standing and walking more difficult.

During this particular yoga class, I began to visualise the colours I associate with early spring and my spirits lifted.

When I was making the drawing, I decided to add some of those things I like about the transition from winter to spring:

the warming sun and the lengthening days,

the bright green leaves emerging as the oak trees wake up from their winter dormancy,

the early, bright golden wattles  lighting up the bushland,

and the carolling magpies fiercely defending their territories and nests.

 

 

Mica Grange Flowers

January 12, 2019 - 6 Responses

I have made several visits to Mica Grange since I moved to Castlemaine almost 6 years ago.

Mica Grange is a large country garden perched on the slopes of Mt. Alexander overlooking the Sutton Grange Valley.

I have always enjoyed the sculpture exhibitions, the panoramic views, Bede’s productive garden, Mary’s food and the flowers.

Here are some of my favourite photos of the flowers of Mica Grange. Some were taken on my most recent visit in November 2018 and others from earlier visits.

 

It is hard to ignore the proteas when they are in flower. Of the open gardens I have visited, Mica Grange has the most extensive collection.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As with many other open gardens in this district, roses abound. When they are in flower, what’s not to like?

Roses may need pruning, dead heading and protection from pests and diseases, but they are remarkably hardy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are also Australian native flowering shrubs and trees.

There is plenty to delight the eye at Mica Grange.

The Corpse Bride

January 1, 2019 - 6 Responses

It was Halloween and the Dames, Drinks and Drawing class had really embraced the theme of the night.

The Corpse Bride appeared for the longer poses.

I mentioned in my previous post that the classes were both fun and terrifying. How on earth was I to respond to a heavily veiled figure wearing a corset and a cage like skirt? A challenge indeed!

When I was reviewing the initial charcoal sketches, I refined some of the details and added colour using soft pastels.

Dames, Drinks and Drawing, Guildford

December 26, 2018 - 6 Responses

A life drawing class with a difference:

The Dames – members of a local burlesque troupe who posed in the costumes of their characters,

Drinks – the venue for the class was the old music hall situated in the grounds of the Guildford hotel so a few glasses of wine made their way into the hall,

Drawing – we brought along our drawing pads, pens, pencils and charcoal for some serious sketching.

I attended the final two sessions of the series of classes. I am sorry the classes are not going to continue in 2019 as my appetite for more life drawing was well and truly whetted.

I hadn’t done anything like this before and I enjoyed the challenge. The models came from a performance background so attention was paid to the costumes, staging and music which formed much of the appeal for me.

I drew these two sketches in charcoal in the final class.

Mica Grange Spring Sculpture 2018

December 15, 2018 - 8 Responses

A friend who lives in Melbourne came to visit for a couple of days towards the end of the Castlemaine and District Festival of Gardens.

We visited Mica Grange on Saturday, the 10th of November. My friend is a photographer so we had a very leisurely wander around the property stopping for lunch and afternoon tea.

The sculpture and garden art exhibition provided plenty of photographic opportunities. Here are the works which attracted my attention.

 

The flying lady was one of my favourite works.

There was quite a collection of serene women.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Macrame is not dead. Two poles were covered in bright orange, knotted string.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This horse head was my other favourite work. I was particularly impressed by the way the mane was represented by cleverly arranged chains.

Lixouri, Barkers Creek

November 29, 2018 - 4 Responses

 

Lixouri was the third garden I visited during the 2018 Castlemaine and District Festival of Gardens. 

Lixouri is very popular with garden festival enthusiasts.

It consists of terraces leading down to a small lake fringed with iris.

There is an adjoining olive grove.

Roses line the fence which divides the garden from the olive grove.

 

The terraces are edged by dry stone walls.

There are many plants typical of Central Victorian gardens to admire.

The vegetable garden had been given over to poppies which I enjoyed.

Cherbern Park, Metcalfe

November 19, 2018 - 8 Responses

Cherbern Park in Metcalfe is a funny, quirky garden which has been developed around the former headmaster’s residence. Metcalfe school itself was transported to Taradale Primary School where it now serves as an art room. The only substantial public building remaining in Metcalfe is the former town hall.

Cherbern Park was the second garden my friend and I visited on Sunday, the 4th of November.

The garden is adorned with a variety of garden implements, ………

…….. bits of farming equipment…….

…….and discarded domestic items.

The garden ornaments belonged to the gardener’s grandmother. Enevea, the black swan tyre planter is for you. There is also a white swan tyre planter – definitely a throw back to yesteryear.

Don’t throw away your old, broken or cracked terracotta pots, use them creatively as planters for succulents.

At the rear of the property is the old, school pine plantation.

The owners have converted the area into a play ground for their grandchildren. It comes with the suspended, old doors, giant pencils and these two tractors fashioned from tyres, old kindergarten chairs and rubbish bin lids for steering wheels. There is also a small trampoline and tree house.

 

 

On the day, there were plenty of pink flowering plants……..

 

 

 

………as well as other flowering delights…….

……….including this Bridal Veil or Weeping broom…………

 

……….iris which are a staple of many Central Victorian gardens………

………and this interesting looking flower.

We really enjoyed our visit to this garden. The gardener who remained stationed in the plant sales area said she could hear us happily chatting and laughing as we drifted around the garden. And we didn’t go away empty handed…there’s nothing like a good plant stall!

 

Granite Garden, Harcourt North

November 6, 2018 - 2 Responses

Yippee! It is the Castlemaine & District Festival of Gardens this year. The festival is running from 3 to 11 November 2018. With twenty two gardens to choose from, there is something for anyone who is even vaguely interested in gardens.

On Sunday, a friend and I visited two gardens which were new to us.

The first garden we visited was Granite Garden situated in North Harcourt on the lower slopes of Mount Alexander.

 

There are views over a vineyard and orchards.

At the rear of the house, the garden slopes upwards.  The garden is packed with trees and shrubs.

The air was heavy with the perfume of flowering citrus.

I admired the healthy and flourishing lemon trees. They must enjoy the granitic soil and the higher slopes.

It is a pity I won’t be around when the figs are ready for eating.

The property is situated near an old granite quarry. Perhaps the stone for the steps and garden edging came from there.

Shady areas have been created under the canopy of trees.

I used to grow Green Goddess in my garden in Ferntree Gully.

The purple spires of the echium are striking. I would love to grow an echium in my garden but the plant needs more space than I can provide.

Two examples of native plantings are these grevilleas and ……..

……..this leptospermum or teatree.

I was very taken by these red leaves and red seed capsules.

This new garden bed is enhanced by a simple decorative element. Bamboo garden stakes of various lengths have been spray painted and grouped together.

I am pondering whether I can use this idea in my garden.

My friend and I were able to fully absorb the peace of the garden as we sat on a garden bench and enjoyed our picnic lunch.

It is a pity my photographs can’t capture the variety of bird calls or the flash of New Holland honey eaters as they darted among the shrubs.