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!
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.
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.