Doesn’t this sound idyllic?
Mountain Seas is contiguous to 40,000 acres of national park. We have private trails accessing tall trees, fresh water streams, waterfalls and sculptural granite boulders. The walk to the highest peak of Strzelecki Mountain begins one km from the property.
The beaches, two kilometers from Mountain Seas, are among the best in the world. The white sandy beaches of Fotheringate and Trousers Point are featured in magazines such as Australian Geographic.
I really don’t know a lot more about what to expect. Conversations with my Mum have gone something like….
Mum: Will there be other artists there too?
Mum: Will you have to give classes?
Me: Ohh, I think I will have a workshop, but it’s not really clear yet.
Mum: Do you have a studio?
Me: Ahhhhh, ummmm….
Mum: What will you be doing?
Me: Ask me these questions when I get back and I will have all the answers!
Mum: I am so excited for you. Just enjoy every minute!
I have been thinking about what to take. We are flying on a small plane, so weight is an issue, 21 kg, including hand luggage.
Not much thought has gone into the clothes — warm, waterproof, comfortable — although the Fella has organised me into getting a pair of new boots. A little more thought has gone into books and technical things, like checking up on internet connections [pretty basic].
No surprises to know that more thought and preparation has gone into my art supplies. Part of my problem, as you can see from the conversation with Mum, is that I don’t know what I will be doing. Well, I sort of do, but only very broadly. So I am not sure what materials I will need. Paper has been the biggest thing to nut out. Paints, brushes, pencils etc are light weight — an extra brush will not make a difference.
This is what I have decided on for paper supplies. I think that mostly I will be collecting visual information. For that I need sketchbooks I can take out walking. I also think I will be playing around with washes and effects. For that I need slightly larger paper, but only of moderate quality. So I have made a range of sketchbooks of different sizes and papers.
Three sketchbooks are made of Art Spectrum’s “Draw and Wash” paper. It is not watercolour paper, but is designed for dry and wet media. It is lovely to work with in a sketchbook. I have made a couple of small ones because I fancy creating small botanical stories.
The next sketchbook is made of the same paper, but I have bound four signatures together, 24 pages. It doesn’t have a front cover, only the back that you can see in the photo. The cover is made from an old painting on 600gsm paper. It is quite rigid and will give me a firm drawing surface when I am sketching outside.
The final sketchbook is made of better quality watercolour paper, Arches, 300 gsm. It has five signatures and I have alternated signatures made from smooth and medium/rough paper. It has a front and back cover, again the 600gsm watercolour paper. The painting is of tree bark. I quite like the way I have spaced the stitching on this one. In fact, this sketchbook looks and feels really good!
Lastly, a couple of other odds and ends. I found this interesting tracing paper in the art shop. I use tracing paper quite a bit, and am interested in overlaying this paper onto other work. Creating little maps? X-ray vision?
And a viewer to help me with composition. I am finding it difficult to get the proportions of things right at the moment. I think my view finder will help, especially with landscapes.
Also, I have been doing research into plants on the Island. I have found a list of the flora, and I have investigated some that may be found in the area where I will be. I may not find them, and they probably won’t be in flower, but I feel that I have some idea of what I will be looking at.
More things need to be organised, but I am on track. And who knows, I may be able to squeeze in an extra woolly jumper!