Friday, 30 March 2007

what fires bring

We've had a long, hot firey, summer here in Victoria. Bush fires burned for something like 6 weeks (possibly longer?) in many of the national parks and it was a smokey, scary time even for those of us who live in the city. The wonderful thing about fire in the bush is that it generates life and does so remarkably quickly. Banksia seed pods like the ones in this print of mine (seed pod in black) burst open and drop their seeds to the ground due to the intense heat that fire brings, and so the process of life can continue. Two Canadian friends have just been cycling in the Alpine National Park area (northern Victoria) and say it is starting to spring back to life now. The beautiful green of new growth pushing through, almost phosphoresecent in colour, glows against the charred black ground and trees surrounding it.

Saturday, 24 March 2007

snake bean

This incredible-looking curly flower belongs to a beautiful vine growing across the entrance of our front veranda. I've heard someone say it's a snake bean vine but I don't know if that's true or even the botanical name for it. At this time of year it's heavy with flowers like these, so curly and smooth and very sweet smelling. I've been asked many many times about this vine and the flowers by people passing on our street. One woman even asked me for a cutting so she could try growing it in her garden. I don't know if she ever succeeded. Very soon, as autumn decends on us the vine will drop everything - leaves and flowers - and will look half dead and very scraggy when winter comes. Each year in winter I look at it in its sad state and wonder if it will regrow. And each summer, without fail, it does. This year we've let it grow and grow and there were days when I arrived home and parts of the vine had reached out and extended its arms to the house walls, the front doors and windows. Like "The Day of the Triffids". It hides and protects the front of the house from the world like in the wonderful children's book "The Secret Garden". It rained last night (a rare but wonderful thing) and today the flowers on the vine are damp with droplets of water.

Sunday, 18 March 2007

beauty in all its forms

While I sit here writing this I can hear my neighbour doing her voice exercises (she's an opera singer) and it sounds beautiful as it rises and lilts in the slight breeze blowing today. It travels out of the studio and across the fence to our garden and stops me from the wanting to play any music in our house. Her voice is enough.

I was thinking about the work of a wonderful Melbourne printmaker, Belinda Fox, today as I was reading the Print Council of Australia journal. She has a show coming up soon in Canberra. It's a pity we live nowhere near Canberra but I'm sure she'll have an exhibition sooner or later in Melbourne. I've included some interesting images here: two of her prints - 'Minor Damage' (above), 'Tread Lightly' (below) and one of her at work in her studio (far below). Here is a link to her website

I fully recommend a look at her website. I saw her work at a exhibition 18 months ago in Sydney and was blown away by it. She manages to combine Asian images and political messages, and yet retain beauty in her work.

Saturday, 17 March 2007


This beautiful surface is of large number of shells (mussles?) clinging to a rock on the ocean's edge. The pinks and browns and the rough surface of the rock are what I really like about it. We found lots of rocks like this on another beach at Wilson's Prom National Park (Victoria, Australia). We're going back next month before it gets cold to hike to Sealer's Cove to camp. I can't wait.

Wednesday, 7 March 2007

The ocean is an amazingly beautiful thing. No wonder artists of all kinds are inspired by it and are drawn to it constantly. It's so alive and vital and fresh. These wonderful rocks (the shapes amazed me) sit on the beautiful Whisky Bay at Wilson's Prom National Park in south-western Victoria, Australia. Otherwise known as the most southern point on the east coast of mainland Australia. It's a breathtakingly beautiful place with divine, pristine beaches and gorgeous wildlife (we spotted emus, wombats, gallahs and many kangaroos). I hope I can work out a way to incororate these lovely, smooth shapes into a print of some sort.