More trees

I have really appreciated the feedback you give me for my oil pastel trees. You have left me so many positive comments, as well some sales.

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Image and photograph copyright: Anne Lawson 2017

Oil pastels as a medium still excites me. In fact tomorrow I am going to a workshop where watercolour and oil pastels as mixed. You can imagine how my eyes lit up when I saw that one advertised!

I still have a lot to learn about colour, but I know that putting some colours side by side will make each one sing. To create with oil pastels I layer marks over other marks, as well as sometimes smudging the marks together. My usual method is to just pick up the colour that seems right; usually this works, but sometimes it doesn’t. I have decided to try  more rigour.

So I started my experimenting with a colour wheel.

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Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2017

The triangle in the middle of the wheel shows the hues that make up a split complementary. Those three were my my dark, middle and light tones. What would I get if I limited myself to these six pastel sticks?

First layer were the blue and purple, to create the dark park underneath the canopy. Some smudging to merge the marks.

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copyright: Anne Lawson, 2017

The browns add some vibrancy.

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Copyright: Anne Lawson, 2017

Adding the light pastels creates the magic because they also smudge the other marks. Can you see how the yellow over the blue has created a blue-green? And how it changes the colour of the browns? So the six original colours have mixed to create more, and unexpected ones too.

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Image and photograph copyright: Anne Lawson, 2017

The next stage is to draw the ink branches and trunk. In black ink or brown? Probably brown, but maybe not…..

And after that I might have a play with another split complementary.

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Autumn

Autumn may be my favourite season but it’s like picking a favourite book. However, I do love Autumn. I love how it encourages us to wind down from the heat of summer, to enjoy the rain and the chilly nights, to see the world changing.

It is also a good time to garden. The weather is neither too hot nor too cold, and there is enough rain to encourage you to believe that the plants will settle in okay. The soil still has some Summer warmth, and our Winters are mild enough to let plants burble along until the burst of Spring.

I cleaned out the summer vegetables, and prepared the soil for a winter crop. This was mainly compost and warm castings.

 

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Cabbages and brussel sprouts, with onions in the background. Over by the fence is the currant bush.

Now the cabbages are starting to look like cabbages. I spent time yesterday rubbing the eggs of the cabbage moth from the back of the leaves.

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We chopped back the rosemary bush and offered sprigs to the neighbourhood.

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The spring onions, pak choi and spinach are all holding their own.

The seeds for the pak choi and spinach were a gift from Hanna and Al, to thank us for coming to their wedding. If you know Hanna you will not be surprised to hear that these little tags were all hand-created by her, with some input from Al, I am sure!

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The silver beet (chard) is begining to flourish now that it has come out from under the beans. (Who knew there was any way to slow down the growth of silver beet?!)

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Work has gone on in the very neglected back yard. For a few years now it has been left to its own devices, it is time to wrench back a bit of control. I have been planting beside the fence…..a grevillia (Robyn Gordon) and a little eremophilia vernicosa. This is described as a delightful small shrub with pink flowers in spring, drought tolerant and good for heavy soils. What more could I ask for?

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The tiny leaves of the eremophila

Also planted is a ground cover, Helichrysum argyrophyllum. It has lovely everlasting daisies from early Summer to Autumn. Behind it is a small tea tree, Leptospermum scoparium. It sounds quite spectacular with pink flowers that cascade from Spring to Autumn, with narrow leaves that provide a dramatic backdrop. (Well, that’s what the label says!)

 

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Next to them are two roses, ‘Red intuition’ and a white Iceberg. The Iceberg is very special as it was grown from a cutting for me by my sister

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There is more work to do in the back. I have a big bush to remove and more plants to plant. They won’t get in the ground now, so will have to wait until the soil warms up in Spring.

I want to leave my Autumn theme with a little poem, or a blessing. It is by one of Australia’s unique treasures, Michael Leunig, from his little book “When I talk to you”:

Autumn

We give thanks for the harvest of the heart’s work;

Seeds of faith planted with faith;

Love nurtured by love;

Courage strengthened by courage;

We give thanks for the fruits of the struggling soul,

The bitter and the sweet;

For that which has grown in adversity

And for that which has flourished in warmth and grace;

For the radiance of the spirit in autumn

And for that which must now fade and die’

We are blessed and give thanks.

Amen

Posted in How does my garden grow?, Plants | Tagged , , , , | 29 Comments

ANZAC Day

This gallery contains 6 photos.

Originally posted on Anne Lawson:
Last Saturday was ANZAC Day, the day in which we remember the men and women who have fought for Australia, and New Zealand, in many overseas wars; remembering too the many who are still serving. This…

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Travel theme: Earth

Thanks to Ailsa at Where’s my backpack? for this theme, which is in celebration of Earth Day. Hopefully we will be able to encourage our politicians to have policies that support our Earth too.

It is tempting to publish beautiful photos of sunsets or mountains or glorious landscapes. I want to show you one of my favourite parts of the Earth, the area around Menindee. It is an arid area of Western New South Wales, an hour away from Broken Hill. It is flat and looks uninspiring. However, the more you look, the more beauty you see in this unique landscape.

Big skies…..

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red dirt…..

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and amazing colours.

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What part of our Earth do you cherish?

Posted in Beckler's Botanical Bounty, Odds and Ends, Plants, Texture, Travels | Tagged , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Thanks John, you will be missed

John Clarke died suddenly last weekend, and I want to add my tribute to the many that have flowed. Australian readers will immediately know John’s humour; it may be the first time overseas readers have come across him.

John Clarke came to Australia from New Zealand, where he had developed a character, Fred Dagg. There are many examples on Youtube, but I couldn’t resist this gem on real estate.

Clarke was a brilliant satirist and these are just some of the creations he has been involved with, some of the joy he has given us

  • The Games, a mockumentary of the Sydney Olympic Games, described on Clarke’s website as: “a series in which the problems of organising an event of this magnitude were identified, re-labelled and buried at sea in a lead-lined container.” This snippet from the show is a classic. The Prime Minister of the time, John Howard, refused to apologise to the Indigenous People for the many injuries inflicted on them over the time of European colonisation. This is how the problem was solved on “The Games”.

  • Farnarkling Never heard of the sport of Farnarkling? Let Clarke himself fill you in (taken from his website):Farnarkeling is a sport which began in Mesopotamia, which literally means ‘between the rivers’. This would put it somewhere in Victoria or New South Wales between the Murray and the Darling. The word Farnarkeling is Icelandic in structure, Urdu in metre and Celtic in the intimacy of its relationship between meaning and tone.

    Farnarkeling is engaged in by two teams whose purpose is to arkle, and to prevent the other team from arkeling, using a flukem to propel a gonad through sets of posts situated at random around the periphery of a grommet. Arkeling is not permissible, however, from any position adjacent to the phlange (or leiderkrantz) or from within 15 yards of the wiffenwacker at the point where the shifting tube abuts the centre-line on either side of the 34 metre mark, measured from the valve at the back of the defending side’s transom-housing.

    Clarke gave farnarkling reports on the famous satire TV show, The Giles Report.

  • ‘Death in Brunswick’, a film he acted in with Sam Neil

However, I most remember him for his interviews with Brian Dawe, another brilliant satirist. Together they created short segments of interviews, where Clarke would be anybody, from a politician to a financial advisor to a quiz contestant, and interviewed by Dawe on political topics of the moment.

Ahhh, I could go on for ages. If you want to see more, just search for Clarke and Dawe. But I can’t leave without showing you my very favourite one. To me it summed up Jeff Kennett!

The word will be a poorer place without John Clarke stripping away politicians’ cant with humour and a sharp scalpel. He will be very missed.

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Email to the PM re #Adani

The Adani mine is planned for Queensland and is generating a lot of opposition, for a range of reasons. One of the most compelling for me is the damage it is likely to do to the Great Barrier Reef, both directly and indirectly through CO2 emissions from burning the coal. Meeks from Meeka’s Mind has written a great letter to our Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, giving him reasons why Australia should not loan Adani almost $1 billion to build a rail line from the mine to the coast.

Meeka's Mind

I just sent this email to the Prime Minister of Australia, Malcolm Turnbull:

Just for the record, I do not know the PM, but I did ‘chat’ with him by email after he lost to Tony Abbott, way back when. At the time, I wanted to congratulation him on being a man of integrity, even if he was a Liberal. I still receive updates from his staff.

And that brings me to the second point I want to clarify: I know the PM won’t read this email of mine. It is quite possible that his staffers won’t read it either. In all likelihood, the subject line of ‘Adani’ will be more than enough to get it binned sight unseen.

But…

I know Climate Change is real.

I know its caused by us, and

I know that our long-term survival requires that we do something about it.

Digging up more coal…

View original post 130 more words

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It’s been a while…..

It’s been a while since I have posted any thing. March was such a busy month. I loved everything I did, but I am glad to look at the April calendar and see some free days!

Let me tell you about March….

It is birthday time in my life ~ my birthday, the Fella’s, other relations and my 95 year old friend. She wasn’t going to have a party, but her sons talked her into it. She loved every minute. I have also taken her to a few medical appointments this month too. Other celebrations included an engagement party and my niece’s wedding.

I did cultural things. There was a talk about colonial art at the Incinerator Gallery, the first ballet for the year (The Australian Ballet’s performance of Faster, three modern ballets. It was brilliant.) and the film Hidden Figures. I saw a fabulous exhibition at the NGV, Who’s afraid of colour? The exhibition notes say

This exhibition brings together presentations of work by a broad range of Indigenous women artists, whose practice is unbounded by convention. It includes bold statements that explore colour and assert the politics of identity. Customary woven objects and modern works will jostle in the same space, with digital, synthetic and organic materials alternating unexpectedly. The poetics of mourning will oscillate with paintings of wondrous joy and photographs that expose Indigenous disadvantage and repugnant instances of institutionalised racism.

Go see it if you are in Melbourne!

I caught up with friends: Liz, Tess, friends from school, Mary, Denise was back from overseas and Melanie. Mary, Denise and I went for a drive up to Warburton. It’s a special place for me, because my Mum spent the first few years of her life around there and later moved to Lilydale. Mum and I are going back for a weekend jaunt soon, so I will have lots of stories to tell. This time we went for a walk amongst the sequoia trees that were planted in the 1930s. That was amazing, a little taste of what it must be like to walk among the giants in California.

In amongst all of this I did the usual things ~ the hairdresser, my weekly visit to a friend suffering from dementia, my volunteer work at the Herbarium and then to the painting session, and four Sunday mornings of paid work. Needless to say housework kept falling off the list of things to do. But I did get out into the garden, especially to harvest the tomatoes, beans and strawberries, which have either gone into the the freezer or onto our morning muesli!

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Unfortunately blogging and creating kept falling off the list too. I have been trying to keep up with your blogs, but forgive me if I have missed things. I have done two commissions lately, which have been almost all my creative work. One was for a wedding invitation and the other a blessing. I loved working on both of them. So if you have something that you would like me to create, just let me know and we can talk it through.

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Image and photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2017

I have have a couple of plays with Kate’s nest, but nothing satisfactory yet.

So, I am looking forward to an invigorating April, one with open days, time to create and routine. But I will grab anything that comes my way. Life is too good not to enjoy it all!

What have you been up to?

Posted in My art work, Odds and Ends | 24 Comments

A delight from Queensland

Recently Kate emailed me to ask if I wanted a nest. Well, who can resist a nest? Probably plenty of people, but not me!

The story behind the nest is that an olive backed sunbird created this nest by suspending it from the fairy lights right by Kate’s backdoor. Kate had the delightful task of keeping the nest, bird and eggs safe. You may remember her blog posts about it, where you can also see a photo. It is an amazing creation, especially to be made by such a tiny thing.

Yesterday the nest arrived, safe and sound, because Kate had packed it so well.

 

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And this is my new treasure

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Not everybody’s cup of tea, but I love it. The muted colours, its fragility, its construction (how does one little bird create such a thing, especially as only some parts look like they have been woven) and the little additions, like the feathers and paperbark (must be from a melaleuca!)

My mind is buzzing with creative ideas. Maybe even oil pastel?? In October there is an exhibition of natural history subjects, and this little sunbird nest could be just the subject for me! I will keep you posted.

So many thinks to Kate for thinking of me. She is such a generous soul, and my world is richer for knowing her.

Posted in AnneLawsonArt, Birds, Kindness, My art work, Texture | Tagged , , , , | 23 Comments

And the winner is…….

Drum roll please…….because the winner of my tree painting giveaway is……..but first let’s watch the draw…..All the names are in the hat, which is taken by Special Courier to the Fella, enjoying the Autumn sunshine down the back of the house…..

…..where he draws out the winning name…..

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which is ……..

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MARINA who blogs at Letters from Athens!!  🎉🎊🎉 Congratulations!

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So the painting will be winging its way to Greece. (No Warren Beatty opening the wrong envelope at this celebration!)

A BIG THANK YOU to everyone who commented. I loved all your ~up towns, and was glad that I hadn’t made the competition about the best name. There is no way I could have chosen a winner! Thank you too if you didn’t enter, but still enjoy reading my blog. It is one of my pleasures to know that in this crazy old world there are people like you who delight in the simple things and enjoy the humanity of others.

If you are really shattered that you didn’t win the painting, you have the chance to buy one! They are in my Etsy shop, AnneLawsonArt. (You can also click on the feather drawing on the side bar at the right.) It is easy to buy through Etsy, but if you don’t want to, email me and we can work things out.

My email: annebags@optusnet.com.au

Just to let you know, I am working on larger versions of the trees that are not in the shop. They are 23 x 16 inches (59 x 41 cm). Again, email me if you would like to know more.

And lastly, Happy International Women’s Day to you all! Let’s celebrate the great gains women have made, and work towards eradicating sexism and the barriers that still exist.

 

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Sometimes, while wandering through the internet, I come across artists who make me go WOW! Kate Kato is one. She creates the most amazing fungi and floral sculptures. This is some of her work

Fungi and Floral Sculptures Produced From Recycled Paper.

[Don’t forget to leave a comment on my post Time for a tree giveaway to be in the draw for my oil pastel tree painting. Entries close on Sunday March 5th and the Fella will pull out the name of the winner on Monday March 6th.]

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