As you can see, I have been obsessed  fascinated with the melaleucas on Flinders Island. I have even learnt how to spell “melaleuca”. 🙂 You may know them as paperbarks, as their bark peels away like sheets of paper. I think this variety is a swamp paperbark.

I did many sketches when I was there, doing my Artist in Residency at Mountain Seas.


Image copyright: Anne Lawson 2015

It is a move away from my detailed botanic work and I have enjoyed discovering how to capture the form in paint. Easy to do with pencil and graphite, as you can see in the gallery above; not so easy for me to do as soft watercolour washes.

I also loved the tangled undergrowth, using masking fluid to build up the depth. I will tell you my process in a future post.

I don’t think I have finished with the melaleucas yet, but I am conscious that I need to move onto other elements of my time there. At the moment I am playing with paintings of  individual trees, using soluble graphite and negative spaces. My evening project is to work up a tapestry. Thanks to my friend Liz, who has given me lots of inspiration and advice. Again, I am just playing with this, thinking about what works and what doesn’t. I would love to get any feedback on anything you see here.


Copyright: Anne Lawson 2015

Also, I have some other plans, secret plans for the moment, just in case I chicken out. I hope I won’t. My new motto is “Be brave and the rest will follow”, so wish me some courage!


About anne54

Botanic artist
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18 Responses to Melaleucas

  1. I love them! They’re so math-y and mushroom-y! And the colors are wonderful. 😀 You do such beautiful work.

    I hope your secret plans work out perfectly. 😀


    • anne54 says:

      Isn’t it funny how we make connections to things that are familiar… see them as mushroom, but to me they are much like broccoli. Do you have something similar in your part of the World? Many of us know them as paperbarks.
      As for my secret plans, I am going to do some investigation today.


  2. P.S. – I totally realize that they are not mushrooms…the way they’re formed and shaped around one another just reminds me of some mushrooms I’ve seen. 🙂


  3. Hi Anne I just love your melaleuca s which I have not yet learned to spell! I am sitting in Gail and Craig’s kitchen boasting about you, watching them cook dinner and drinking Prosecco. I will write more later what I don’t look so rude! Having a lovely time, and I am so proud of you. Love Judy xx

    Sent from my iPad


  4. katechiconi says:

    Oooh, oooh, tapestry! The drawings are beautiful, delicate and detailed but at the same time very free and soft. But you know me, addicted to stitch, and that snippet grabbed my attention!


    • anne54 says:

      Textiles and yarns……sigh. The tapestry is sort of working out okay. I think I am trying to get too much detail into it, and would love to be able to abstract it out more. However, I am a details person, and find abstraction so difficult. Still, I am on a journey to explore my artistic boundaries.


  5. acflory says:

    Beautiful, Anne. I particularly love the small one on the right, just below the top picture. 🙂


  6. EllaDee says:

    Your depiction of Flinders Island are so evocative that having seen them elsewhere, I believe, I can feel myself just there and have the sense of the coast nearby.


    • anne54 says:

      It is such a familiar landscape — so many parts of Australia are there. I think that is one of the reasons I was able to immerse myself in it and draw. When I am in an unfamiliar environment I take quite a while to be able to create and draw. On Flinders Island I was inspired right from the beginning.


  7. Oh that tapestry looks like it will be stunning! I adore the pencil drawings too: so much detail. Those melaleuca groves really are visually (and ecologically) distinct, and I’ve never seen a landscape as characterised by them as the Bass Straight islands.


    • anne54 says:

      Thank you for that encouragement. There were many groves of melaleucas growing around where I was staying. Fortunately, because of the windy and squally weather, I was able to sit in the sheltered areas and sketch them. I didn’t have to venture too far from the house (read warmth and coffee)!


  8. Pingback: Tapestry | Anne Lawson

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