Grampians Series No.1

January 8, 2018 - 4 Responses

On the 9th and 10th of September 2017, I attended an arts workshop in Halls Gap, the main centre for tourism in the Grampians.

The workshop, ‘Monoprinting with Collage’, was held as part of the Grampians Brushes program organised by GrampianArts.

I was attracted to the workshop because I like making collages and I wanted to learn more about printing techniques as I hadn’t tried monoprinting before.

The tutor was artist and printmaker, Mandy Gunn who presented a stimulating schedule of print making activities.

Printing presses were available and I was excited by the intensity of colour and the fine detail which could be achieved by using them.  However, I stuck with handprinting as I wanted to experiment to see what worked best using this method of printing. I am a kitchen table artist – my ‘studio’ is an old laminex kitchen table which sits at one end of my living room. I like to use inexpensive, low tech processes to make my art.

I came home with a collection of prints which I could use to incorporate into artwork, including collages, at a later date.

With the arrival of January and a break from my regular weekly schedule, I have now adopted my summer routine when I spend the hot afternoons in the cool of the indoors –  a perfect time to get out the prints I made in September and start making new art pieces.

This is the first collage I made.

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View Across Guildford

December 31, 2017 - 4 Responses

It was a lovely spring day when I set up at the gate of the pony club to draw this view across Guildford. I sat in dappled shade as I drank in the view of Guildford dreaming in the bright sunshine.

I was finishing the drawing when members of the pony club started arriving with their horsefloats and began unloading their horses.

When I was photographing the drawing outside in the shade of a tree, the flash went off in the top photograph whilst no flash fired in the bottom photograph. I included both photographs as I was intrigued by how different the drawing looked in the second photograph which has a bluish tinge.

 

 

 

Old Timer, Dunkeld 2017

December 22, 2017 - 7 Responses

My holiday accommodation during my visit to the Southern Grampians in September was the Southern Grampians Cottages.

The log cabin style cottages are set in spacious, attractive gardens.

 The view from the front windows of my cottage was dominated by this magnificent, old river red gum.

 

I thoroughly enjoyed my stay at the Southern Grampians Cottages in Dunkeld. I particularly enjoyed the small flock of chooks which free ranged around the front gardens……..and I got to take home some of their eggs.

New Sculpture Exhibition Spring 2017 – Mica Grange

December 15, 2017 - 2 Responses

In my last post, I shared the delights of the garden at Mica Grange this spring.

This post features some of the sculpture and garden art on display in the 2017 spring exhibition.

 

I enjoy taking photographs of the sculptures from different angles and distances. I like to see how the appearance of the sculptures changes in the different photographs.

 

 

 

 

Sometimes, I like the closeups better than the sculpture itself.

 

These ceramic birds would look very well in the right garden setting.

 

 

The blades of this windmill make an array of interesting patterns as they turn in the breeze.

 

These teapots brought back memories of the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party in the autumn exhibition.

 

 

 

This is the work I would like to have in my garden. The face is beautiful – calm, serene.

Mica Grange Blooms in Spring 2017

December 9, 2017 - 4 Responses

Mica Grange is a garden which keeps on giving. There is always something to intrigue and delight when it is open in autumn and spring. I last visited on Tuesday, the 7th of November, Melbourne Cup Day.

 

In Bede’s productive garden, it is amazing what can be grown in old wine barrels.

 

The blooms of the white waratah were fading, but were still very photogenic.

 

 

The proteas were at their peak.

 

 

 

 

The callistemons were putting on a good show.

 

 

And here are a small sample of the roses which were in bloom.

This garden has been developed on the rocky granite slopes of Mount Alexander where the plants are exposed to the full force of the elements……..yet it thrives.

Noonameena, Creswick

November 29, 2017 - 8 Responses

Noonameena was the second garden I visited on Saturday, 11th of November as part of Creswick’s Garden Lovers Weekend.

Situated on the edge of town, Noonameena  is a much larger garden than Margaret’s Garden.

Around the property is a high pittosporum hedge protecting deep garden beds filled with flowering plants, shrubs, trees and statues.

 

The garden beds were ablaze with colour.

 

 

 

 

 

There is an ornamental pool edged with flowers…………..

 

 

………….and a small lake.

There are cool, green, ………..

…………shady areas.

 

The beehives were competing with the flowers.

 

Here are some other blooms around the house and shed.

 

 

 

I look forward to Creswick’s Garden Lovers Weekend in 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Margaret’s Garden, Creswick

November 19, 2017 - 10 Responses

On Saturday, the 11th of  November, I travelled to Creswick near Ballarat to see two gardens participating in the Creswick Garden Lovers Weekend 2017.

I couldn’t resist seeing Margaret’s Garden in a small backyard.

 

Here is the gardener resting by the garden shed. I pressed the button on the pink box to hear the sound of croaking frogs.

 

Margaret has decorated her garden with a variety of frogs. Here is one of them.

 

 

I was intrigued by this collection of small water gardens – a bathtub within a brick wall topped with stones, a shallow dish and a plastic carry basket commonly seen in hardware shops. One of the things I love about visiting other people’s gardens is learning from their ideas.

 

 

These flowers graced Margaret’s backyard ………

 

 

 

 

 

………. whilst these yellow roses were adorning the front deck.

 

And finally, a splash of hot colour in the front garden.

 

 

 

Six Pines, Castlemaine

November 15, 2017 - 8 Responses

Six Pines was the second garden of the HEDGE, I visited on Sunday, the 5th of November. It is a town garden on a smallish block packed with trees, shrubs and spring flowering plants. I don’t know why it is called Six Pines as I didn’t notice any conifers. There aren’t any in the photographs I took.

The front garden was bright with pink. The gardener said she hadn’t planted the Kiss Me Quick. It had just appeared and spread.

 

 

There was plenty to see along the driveway.

 

Around the back, under the verandah, was a cool, shady area.

The gardener favoured red roses.

Mossbank Cottage, Castlemaine

November 9, 2017 - 6 Responses

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The garden of Mossbank Cottage opens as part of the Gardens of the HEDGE (Horticultural Endeavours Demonstrating Gardening Enthusiasm).

I first visited Mossbank on the 4th of September 2016 and this year on the 5th of November. I was interested to see the differences in the garden between early and late spring.

The view above was taken  in September 2016. The light was very different ………….

 

…………… compared with these views on a bright sunny day.

The garden was also much lusher.

 

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The native hibiscus was at its prime in early spring …….

……… with the flowers in their final stages in late spring.

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The blooms of the winter flowering grevillea had finished……..

…………..whilst this Australian native was gaudy in magenta.

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The fruit trees were busy blossoming in early spring ……….

…………whilst the roses are in full swing two months later.

 

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This is the vegetable patch in 2016.

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What a difference longer and warmer days make!

 

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These poppies which were at their best in early spring were shedding their petals when I saw them last Sunday,

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whilst this one was pretty as a picture.

Mossbank has bee hives. The warm air was filled with their humming as they foraged……..

here and………

here and ………….

…………. here!

I enjoyed wandering by the pond …….

…….. through the grove of sheoaks………….

……….. and up the stairs to admire the view over the garden.

This figure continues to dream no matter what the time of year.

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Mucklefest 2017

October 29, 2017 - 4 Responses

Mucklefest is a joint fundraising project of the Victorian Goldfields Railway, Maldon Vintage Machinery Museum, Mount Alexander Vintage Engine Club and Walmer Fire Brigade.

It is held at the Muckleford Station.

Whilst there was four legged horse power on display, it was mechanical horsepower that was the name of the game on the day.

The aim of the festival is to showcase old engines or machinery particularly those used for farming.

I have to admit that it was the lure of Clydesdales which got me there.

 

 

The atmosphere was relaxed and the exhibitors were pretty relaxed.

If you like machinery which rattles, whirs and pants, then Mucklefest is the place for you.

 

There were machines which had been carefully restored………….

 

………and replicas which had been built to scale.

Grey was the height of fashion in tractors at some point in the past.

 

I think the Victorian Goldfields Railway had sent out their biggest engine to impress.

During the festival, I was introduced to the tractor pull which only goes to show you can make a competition out of anything.

One by one tractors would pull the trailer with the tank up a gentle slope to see which could pull the furthest. There were some which only got part of the way before their tyres started spinning in the gravel.

The tractor with the caterpillar treads easily made it to the top of the slope.

I guess at the end of the day, when everyone had gone and everything had been packed up, Muckleford Station returned to its normal sleepy self.