Tempting Hints of Spring

August 13, 2017 - 9 Responses

It is August and it is still winter. We have had some bitterly cold weather this past week – bitterly cold by our standards that is! However, August has also been tempting us with some early spring days when it is warm enough to shed a layer or two.

Today was one such day. Katie and I went for a long walk this morning in the bush where we were able to admire the bright yellow wattle in full bloom.

This afternoon when I was doing some house cleaning – eeekkk!, I was attracted by the sight of sunshine streaming in through the north facing window of my bedroom and the pattern of light and shadow created on objects and the wall.

 

Today was a good day.

In Among The Wool

August 9, 2017 - 4 Responses

This collage is inspired by the Australian Sheep and Wool Show which is held annually in Bendigo in July.

The Sheep Show has been running since 1877 to showcase Australia’s top wool growers and prime lamb producers.

The promoters of the three day event in its modern form, bill the show as ‘the largest event of its type in the world.’ Whatever the truth of that claim is, it is undeniable that at the show, wool is king and merino rams are lords.

In addition to sheep bred for wool, there was a large area devoted to prime lamb breeds. Dorper lambs are so appealing especially when they are wearing small coats to keep warm.

It is possible to attend the Australian Sheep and Wool Show and not look at a sheep. The many wool craft sheds are thronged with people who have a passion for fashion and the fibre crafts – spinning, weaving, dying, knitting, crocheting and felting.

This year’s show had the added bonus of being the venue for the National Yard Dog Championships so it was kelpie heaven. I found it exciting to watch the kelpies herding sheep through a course of enclosures, gates and ramps under the direction of their handlers.

I spent most of my time in the sheep sheds where I was easily entertained. I was amused watching the rams being taken to their appointed spots for judging as some had no intention of going quietly. Some roared as their owners held them firmly under their chins as they awaited the judges. Young owners lining up roughly 20 lambs for judging was a hoot. It was heartening to see so many young people training to be farmers.

I especially admired the coloured sheep with their long ringlets. Some were tame and were happy to accept pats from admirers.

 

By the River

July 27, 2017 - 10 Responses

I am working on a new collage which is still to be finished, so I trawled through photographs of former holidays. I thought you might like these shots of river scenes taken in 2009 when I journeyed to Cobram and Numurkah in northern Victoria.

 

This is the Murray River near Cobram.

River Red Gums are typical of the adjoining flood plain.

Broken Creek wanders through Numurkah.

 

 

 

More River Red Gums. They can grow to enormous spreading trees. They need a good, flooding soaking from time to time to thrive.

 

 

Dog in Still Life

July 16, 2017 - 10 Responses

I recently visited an art exhibition held as part of the Maldon in winter 2017 festival held from the 1st to the 16th of  July.

I found myself contemplating still life paintings of objects with shiny surfaces, fruit and drapery.

The paintings inspired me to create my own collaged still life. I couldn’t resist including the image of the cheeky dog sitting up to its breakfast tray.

Quick Hide, Kitty!

July 7, 2017 - 6 Responses

It is mid winter and Castlemaine has been frosty, foggy, misty and rainy – a good time to be indoors playing around with collage.

The inspiration for this collage was the picture of the young girl holding the leaves to cover her face. It prompted the idea of wanting to hide. What would the girl and her cat need to hide from?

Roaring White Rollers

June 28, 2017 - 8 Responses

Again, I have dug deep into my archives with this charcoal drawing made in August 2008.

The roaring, white rollers crash onto the beach,

We are content in our beach pursuits.

16th August 2008

On a beach just south of Sydney, my sister, Kathryn, and 3 year old, Gemma, paddled in the shallows. Max who was looking forward to starting school in 2009, was engrossed with creating a new landscape out of sand. I was busy drawing the paddlers.

Cork Oak, Castlemaine Botanical Gardens

June 15, 2017 - 9 Responses

An April day with a wafting warm breeze as I sat under this cork oak, Quercus suber, drawing and just enjoying the Castlemaine Botanical Gardens.

Katie snuffled around nearby, vigorously digging a small scrape in the grass from time to time.

Katie and I weren’t the only ones taking in the delights of the gardens during the school holidays at the end of first term. The gardens were well populated with cyclists, dog walkers and adults strolling with children. There was plenty of activity in the playground and Barbeque area as well.

It was a good day to relax and just be.

St. John’s Anglican Church, Chewton

June 2, 2017 - 4 Responses

St. John’s is the only remaining church in Chewton still used as a place of worship. It is part of the Anglican Parish of Castlemaine. It is typical of a small country church.

Nothing fancy, as the stone slab for a back step demonstrates.

The church is set on a hill among gum trees and overlooks the township.

I like the coloured glass windows which give me the feeling of being inside a jewel box.

I like watching the play of light as the sun streams through the windows when…..

 

 

…………I attend the concerts held in the church in the afternoon of the last Sunday of the month during autumn and winter.

The concerts are informal affairs with local singers, poets and musicians donating their talents to help raise funds for the maintenance of the church.

The Castlemaine district is home to a wealth of makers of stringed and wind instruments. Here Michael Sweeney is about to play his lute. People with a keen eye will note that Michael who is left handed, has made a left handed lute.

Dave De Hugard is a well known folklorist and musician who has been collecting and researching Australian bush dance tunes for years. He is playing Australian old time dance tunes on his piano accordion and concertina.

Solway Nutting is playing Bach with her husband on violin and friend on keyboards in harpsichord mode.

With afternoon tea provided, the concerts are a very pleasant way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Chewton Sculptures

May 28, 2017 - 2 Responses

Richard Yates, sculptor, has been busy carving and whittling away since my previous post on this subject, as two more life size sculptures have been added to the Chewton streetscape.

Robert Penney, ‘Bread and Biscuit Baker, Confectioner and General Grocer’, stands ready to serve customers in his shop.

Robert who was born in Bath, England in 1848, accompanied his father to the Chewton goldfields in 1854. He established his bakery in the 1870s and operated the business until 1923. Robert and his wife, Ann Maria, had 10 children.

The yellow tins of Barnes Castlemaine Rock are still sold today.

The building with the peeling white paint housed Robert Penney’s bakery.

Outside the Chewton Senior Citizens Centre, Alice Dennis waves cheerily to passers-by.

Alice, 1923 – 2004, was one of those community stalwarts who help to make small communities function.

She started early, raising funds for the war effort during World War 2. Together with her 4 sisters, they formed a dance troupe, The McLennan Sisters, who performed through out local communities.

The sculpture honours Alice as a Life Time Member of the Chewton Senior Citizens. She served on many local committees including the Chewton Primary School’s Mothers Club.

The containers Alice is holding are a reminder of her famous baked treats.

The Senior Citizens Centre is a former Sunday School.

I was interested to read in the local press that the sculptures created by Richard Yates have attracted some controversy. There are local regulations relating to preserving Chewton’s historic streetscape. These sculptures of Chewton identities are seen by some as being at odds with those bylaws.

Fresh As A Daisy

May 22, 2017 - 8 Responses

When it comes to posting, I have not been very well organised lately…….so I dug deep into my archives to find this crayon drawing of a sprig of daisies.

The drawing was made in August 2008. I remember sitting in the car holding the daisies in one hand whilst I drew them.

I like the freshness of the drawing.