Wednesday 21 October 2015

A Wonderful Week

Ink pen on sketch paper
 Ellenbrook, an old pioneer homestead near Margaret River/Yallingup.
What a thoroughly fabulous time I had last week! The sketch above was done while I was holidaying in the South West for a couple of days with a friend.
But the day before embarking on our trip to Yallingup, this same friend and I drove to our friend Sally's property near the town of Gingin. Sally is an expert when it comes to our native flora, both in knowledge and the ability to propagate from cuttings and seed (no mean feat let me tell you!). I have yet to point to a flower that she doesn't know the name of in Latin. We were gobsmacked at the extent and variety of wildflowers that she has growing in the beautiful gardens she has created from bare sand and gravel. She also grows them to sell and specialises in Verticordias, so if anyone is interested in knowing more details, please send me an email.
Sally in her garden.
We are still in the prime of our spring wildflower season  - as you can see!

We had such a nice morning with Sally!
A couple of days later near Yallingup, my friend and I were walking a very small section of the 135km Cape to Cape Track. Our little snippet of the track was a six kilometre round trip along the cliff tops on a very sandy and, at times, rocky path.
We had two close encounters with snakes, one a large dugite (My friend saw it first and I just saw the tail as it slithered into the bush) and the other a baby "something" (I was the only one that saw this one and I'm not very good at identifying snakes, because, thankfully, I rarely see them!).
The photos below don't do justice to the colours of the wildflowers growing in the coastal vegetation - lots of pimelia, scaevola and smatterings of hibbertia - or to the depth and perspective of the ocean scenes. We had the most perfect weather for it - a tad chilly so we didn't overheat from all the walking in the crisp sunshine.


 The ocean in the photo above is actually a long way down. unfortunately my camera didn't seem to capture any depth in the landscape. It probably would if I actually learnt how to use it and didn't just rely on the auto option!
Oh yes, my book had accompanied us on the trip and it looked rather fetching I thought with the ocean as a back-drop!
And now back to Perth - from today, Dymocks in Karrinyup have stocks of my book! Yay!
And to my own garden. I took this photo today of my violas - they continue to flower prolifically. I have never had such a prolific and extended flowering period with these favourites. It's been months of solid flowering. 

Below is my beloved purple melaleuca also flowering prolifically. The pompom flowers remind me of my childhood growing up in the bush. We didn't have that exact variety but something very similar. 

I hope you are all having a great week!

Sunday 4 October 2015

Dusting off the Acrylics

Acrylic on board 15cm x 12cm (6" x 4.5")
Photo reference on the computer
This is a painting of my youngest daughter. The photo reference was taken last year around her 18th birthday, and doing a portrait from it was supposed to be part of her present. I'm only ten months late!!
 We had various people coming and going today and when I showed them the painting I made sure they got a very fleeting glimpse. Oh it looks just like her they all said, but with a longer glance one can see that it's not a very exact likeness at all. However, it is my first attempt at a portrait in acrylics and considering I've barely used my acrylics for the last 18 months I was pretty pleased with the outcome.
I had originally intended to paint a still life of some china and had taken these photos for art reference while having afternoon tea at a friend's house recently .

Another week passed and the beautiful spring weather made the balcony the perfect place to enjoy a spot of tea with a friend last weekend. So I took more photos with the idea of painting from one of them, but the portrait won out in the end.

Mmmm, mulberries my friend had picked off her own tree and brought along to have with our cuppa.

A beautiful specimen of the native Eremophila nivea is happily flowering in my garden for the third year running.

Please excuse the blurriness of the above photo.

My peach tree in blossom

I spotted this cute bobtail goanna while walking through local bushland last week.
One of my friends recently travelled to the south of Italy and took my book along for reading material. Here she is below in action! What great shots!

For a bit of fun, I would love to receive any photos to post here on my blog of people reading my book in exotic locations - whether it be while on holiday or even with an outlook distinctive to the area you live in. If you are too shy to feature in the photo, just my book and the scene would be fun too! I hope everyone is having a great weekend!