Hello from Flinders Island

Before I left I had many pleasant daydreams about my time as Artist in Residence on Flinders Island. How often do daydreams come true? Well, in my case they have!

(Apologies for any glitches in my posts from Flinders Island. The Internet connection is reasonable, at best, and I am not used to creating on the WordPress app.)

We flew on a little plane, with about 12 other passengers. It took an hour from Essendon Airport, and, because we weren’t flying at jet level heights, I could see the land and sea we we flying over. Seeing Flinders Island come into view was very exciting!

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We were picked up from the airport by Helen and came to Mountain Seas Resort via the supermarket at the little town of Whitemark. At Mountain Seas we have everything we could possibly need, from a car that is available for us to use to a kitchen and sitting area. All of this nestled at the foot of Mt Strzelecki and its national park and a couple of kms away from glorious beaches. This is the view from our balcony.

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So, the setting is spectacular and the accommodation is easy, enjoyable and relaxing. What about me, the Artist? Well there is so much to engage me, to make me pick up a pencil and draw. I am loving the big things, like the exposed rock on the mountains above me. I am fascinated by the shape of the melaleuca trees and the patterns and rhythms those shapes make. While there are not many plants in flower at the moment, there are some delicate little ones and other plants have interesting seed pods. I am interested in identifying and drawing them.

What artist doesn’t daydream about having the time to create? Today I sat in beautiful sunshine to do three different sketches of melaleuca on the property. Then I went into my ‘studio’, a table in the conservatory. It is about 20 steps from the kitchen and I can easily come and go, and enjoy the company of blue wrens and wallabies. When the evening chill comes down I move into the kitchen/sitting area to do inside things. It has only been three days, but I feel so privileged and fortunate to be here.

This is one of my melaleuca sketches — created in one of my homemade sketchbooks. Melaleuca plants, for those who aren’t familiar with them, are quite twisted, with a canopy structure that looks like broccoli. I realised that the best way to draw them was by using negative spaces. So instead of trying to draw the trunks and branches I drew the spaces around them. That may sound as if I was drawing in the same way, but really it meant that I was able to build up the space between the main trunks and give an illusion of depth. I think this little sketch has a rather Art Deco feel to it.

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About anne54

Botanic artist
This entry was posted in My art work, Travels and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Hello from Flinders Island

  1. acflory says:

    I love the sketch,especially the idea of creating the negative spaces rather than the trees themselves. And your retreat sounds idyllic!

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    • anne54 says:

      It is simply stunning here, Meeks. Photos only tell a little of the place. But it is the remoteness that I am loving. Today I only saw a couple walking on the beach, Louisa, who is staying here, and the Fella. The wallabies have very little conversation! Bliss!!

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  2. carlseapatch says:

    Sounds idyllic, Love the sketch, it looks like watercolour, very moody.

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  3. Denise says:

    Oh Anne so pleased for you. It’s such an interesting island, sending you thoughts from St Pete’s on the other side! Love the photos and sketches. Today for us here looks a lot like your photos clear blue skies but cold. The bright green buds are just forming and no melaleuca’s ! No such quiet isolation here either. You know what it’s like… So we can both think of each place.

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  4. That all looks and sounds amazing! I’m so happy for you! 😀

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  5. C.E.Robinson says:

    Anne, what an incredible artist’s adventure. Love your sketch, it has great depth & emotion! Enjoy! Christine

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    • anne54 says:

      Thank you Christine. I think many of us dream about running away to somewhere beautiful and spending 2 weeks doing something they love. I am just so lucky to be able to do that. I appreciate the feedback on the sketch too.

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  6. katechiconi says:

    It looks like one of those places that you just sit and observe, and the peace and beauty just flood in through your eyes and ears and out the end of your pencil. I think you’ve landed in a little piece of paradise – enjoy your stay!

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  7. Denise says:

    Sounds wonderful Anne 🙂 I’m looking forward to seeing more of your sketches and hearing more about your experience there. Lovely drawing!

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  8. The view from the plane is gorgeous. And thankyou for the art lesson: from photo to drawing using the spaces in between – so difficult to represent a group of trees as in this photo – now I can see how you have done it. I have read about using ‘spaces in between’; I think these are called negative spaces. Here I can understand more how it is done from your instruction. Have a great time. (lots of smileys)

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    • anne54 says:

      I am so glad that you found it useful. Sometimes it helps to draw complex things by drawing the negative spaces, the spaces in between. I think it helps turn off our rational brain as the image isn’t recognisable to it. Then the creative part of the brain can just work through the spaces without being overloaded by angst at the complexity. And these melaleuca trees have wonderful white trunks, which need to be shown by drawing the space behind them dark. Lots of smileys back to you too.

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  9. EllaDee says:

    What a wonderful opportunity and way to spend time in a beautiful place, observing and absorbing, so that your art expresses the experience. Lovely photographs and drawing.

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    • anne54 says:

      It is a beautiful place, and the photos don’t capture it as well as I would like. I am having an amazing time, and am very privileged to be here.

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  10. Pingback: The Nullarbor and trees. | Anne Lawson

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