The Ascot Vale Library Exhibition is up

Last Wednesday I carried my art works into the Library and met MJ, the Community Arts Officer. It was her hard work that enabled this to happen in the Library. And her hard work that made my works look great in the space. She was up and down the ladder quite a few times for each piece.

We decided to group the works thematically. Above the children’s shelves are the reeds and water ribbons.

This photo was taken before they were hung. The little blue postitnotes are gone.

The rock pools and dunes have been hung above the higher adult non-fiction shelves.

I was really delighted at the positive comments staff and library users made as we were hanging them. One staff member remarked on how soothing they were, and they all agreed that it was lovely to have art back on their walls.

I would love to show you how they look now they are hung, but unfortunately Victoria has gone into another lockdown and the Library is closed. I have to make do with peeking through the windows!

As I was walking past one of the librarians hastened to the window and mimed how much she loved the works. That cheered my lockdown heart!

So big thanks to MJ and the others at the Incinerator Art Gallery for giving me this opportunity to show my work to my community, and beyond.


I respectfully acknowledge the traditional custodians of this land on which I live – the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung People of the Kulin Nation, their spirits, ancestors, elders and community members past and present.
I also acknowledge that the rock pools and dunes were inspired by places on lands belonging to the Boon Wurrung people.

Reflecting on July

I like to do a reflection at the end of each month, thinking about what I have achieved. Most months there are about 8 to 10 things that I look back on as worth celebrating. In July I had 3:

  • I helped see the Fella through a difficult time in hospital, so that now he is well and getting on with things.
  • I helped my Mum recuperate from her pneumonia. She is now in rehab, and while frail, is much better within herself.
  • I got ready for my first solo exhibition.

So, only three, but what mighty big achievements they were! No wonder there has been little time for anything else. And no wonder I am well over hospitals.

The other day I took my paintings up to the Old Auction House in Kyneton. There are 20 of works, all trees in some form. You know of my fascination, some may say obsession, with trees. This is some of them laid out, ready to be packed up for travel. (The orange labels are my cataloguing process, and are removable.)

Tree paintings

A selection of some of the individual trees.

and the Tangled Trees series ~ watercolour and then embellished with machine sewing.

Then there are some others.

I thought you might like to read my statement that will hang with the paintings.

Trees have always been a part of me. My grandfather worked in the forests of the Dandenong Ranges and Dad took us camping in the bush, off the beaten track. I remember learning the word ‘silhouette’ when Mum pointed out the shapes of the trees outlined against the sunset.

It was during an artist in residence at Mountain Seas Resort on Flinders Island that I first noticed the shapes of the melaleucas and their wonderfully twisted trunks. I was further inspired by a trip across the Nullarbor Plain, where the trees glistened and swayed. A recent artist in residence at Police Point in Portsea, organised by the Mornington Peninsula Shire, opened my eyes to the coastal moonah habitat. 

It is the shapes and rhythms of the canopies and the twisted branches and trunks that inspire me. I have explored them with many different media ~ watercolours, oil pastels, ink, sometimes embellishing the watercolours with machine sewing. I have created tapestries of trees and landscapes. 

In this exhibition there are individual trees and dense, tangled thickets of trees. No matter what the medium with each work I want to capture the feeling of air moving through the branches and then contrast the twisted trunks. There is a joyous freedom in exploring these ideas.

As well, each piece is a reminder of precious, fragile habitats that need us to treasure and protect.

The details of the exhibition:

8th August to 2nd September

The Old Auction House 

Mollison St

Kyneton, Victoria

 

So July has gone and August has many things to look forward too, especially being able to take Mum to Kyneton to see my work hanging. What are you looking forward to?

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Anne Lawson Art

A solo exhibition!

Well, in between getting the Fella home from hospital (he is doing very well; thank you for your positive thoughts) and my Mum going into hospital (she is also doing well, but still in hospital and being looked after so well by the nursing staff) I had an offer of a solo exhibition at the Old Auction House in Kyneton.

If you have been following my blog for a while you will know that a solo exhibition has been a goal for a long time. I researched galleries, googled “ways to approach galleries”, worked on a body of work, but was held back by the fear of rejection. What if the gallery said “No. Not good enough”?

Then, as often happens, my fear was bypassed when Rhain, at the Old Auction House, approached me. Her previous booking had fallen through, and had a gap for August. She had seen my work at the recent group show ‘Not your usual canvas’, and popped the question ~ Would I be interested? Would I? You bet!

So in between hospital visits I sorted through my art works, and surprised myself by finding about 17 pieces that I would be happy to show. All trees, so no surprise there!

About half of the pieces are oil pastel trees.

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I have often shown the smaller, A4 versions of these trees, and some are still available in my Etsy shop. You might remember me telling you about my fascination for trees after my trip over the Nullabor Plain. The ones for the exhibition are larger ~ A3 and one is even bigger. I haven’t shown these before as they are too large to send through the post  successfully. Lucky, because they are perfect for the exhibition.

Another group are the watercolour landscapes embellished with sewing. (I call them landscapes because I don’t know where they fit.) Some you have seen before, but they haven’t had wide exposure.

tree painting

Then a couple of single trees, watercolour canopies and stitched branches and trunks.

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The last group are a couple of works created only in watercolour.

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I think they will hang well together, with a consistency of shape, media and certainly theme.

I won’t have time to create anything large from my Police Point residency. Whatever comes from that might be in my next exhibition!!

However, I would like to find time to create some of the panoramas that I began down there. They should be a nice little addition to the collection. Along with the cards I have already made, they will give people a chance to buy something at a lower price.

So, work to do before the beginning of August, but quite do-able, and yes, I have made a list.

If you are going to be around Victoria in August I would love you to be able to see my work in person.

8th August to 2nd September

The Old Auction House

52 – 56 Mollison St

Kyneton

Beckler’s Botanical Bounty: The flora of Menindee

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This is the very elegant hero image for our exhibition Beckler’s Botanical Bounty: The flora of Menindee.

The Art Gallery of Ballarat

Saturday 24th February to Sunday May 27th

Yes, it opens in just over a week……I am so excited! I can promise you photos galore.

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On a different note, my newsletter goes out today. This time I am writing about making art on commission, as well as links to other things going on around the place. So click here if you would like to read it (if that link doesn’t work you might be a little early, and have clicked before the newsletter goes out) and click here if you would like to subscribe.

And lastly here, Would you like a free drawing? to find out more about the newsletter.

Paintings for the Exhibition

The organisation for our Beckler’s Botanical Bounty Exhibition is underway. There are diverse tasks we have to do, but, as you can imagine, one of the most important is selecting the paintings to hang in the Exhibition. To find out more about the Project on my blog click here, or go to the website for more detailed information.

[A reminder that our exhibition will be held at Ballarat Art Gallery in February 2018.]

It was always understood that that each artist would have at least one painting selected. From there on it is up to the team and the curatorial staff at the Gallery to decide which paintings best tell the story of our Project. I am offering up five for selection. I will add a link if I have blogged about the creating the painting.

Four paintings are all in the same genus, Cullen. There are more plants in the genus, but these four are common to the area, depending on the season, and were collected by Beckler. I have written about the genus here. My ability to paint Cullens developed as I went along. So, if I had time I would repaint the first, Cullen discolor. However, it belongs in the set. You might like to have a closer look at the painting in this post.

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Cullen discolor (Image and photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2016)

The next year I found Cullen pallidum, the bushiest of the four, and with a soft grey leaf. It is probably the most attractive of the genus, but I have a very soft spot for the humble C. discolor. It seems that I only have a post about the finished work, and not about the progress.

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Cullen pallidum (Image and photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2016)

The next to be found was Cullen australasicum, which turned out to be flourishing right on the edge of the Broken Hill Menindee Road. This one’s a real show off! I am sorry, but I have no posts about this painting.

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Cullen australasicum (Image and photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2016)

The last, Cullen cinereum, is still a work in progress, but I hope to finish it in the next week. The spot where I found it last year is under water this year, so how lucky was that? This link will take you to the back story of my painting.

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Cullen cinereum (Image and photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2016)

Lastly there is Senna artemisioides subspecies filifolia that I collected this year. [Read the post about it here.] It is definitely a work in progress. I included it for selection because another artist has painted the other Senna that was on Beckler’s list, and I thought the selection panel might like to have a pair of Sennas in the exhibition.

 

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Senna artemisioides subspecies filifolia (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2016)

So, whether these are selected or not is now in the hands of the selection team. I don’t envy them the job, because all the paintings that have been painted have a connection to the Project, and all of them deserve to be in the Exhibition. Many artists have created superb works, often with beautiful, detailed microscopic drawings alongside the plant portraits.

I will leave you with a few closeups of my Cullens.

Off to the Art of Botanical Illustration Exhibition — a walk through Melbourne

Two years ago, when I was new to the blogging world, I published this post about going to the Art of Botanical Illustration Exhibition. I am going to republish it, because I like it! Also, last week I went along much the same trail, as I visited the 2014 Exhibition, so I have added in some extra photos.

I am going to tell you about the exhibition in my next post. However, for now, have wander through Melbourne.

Yesterday I did my volunteer stint at the Art of Botanical Illustration Exhibition. It is a fabulous exhibition, with many beautiful paintings. If you are in Melbourne, follow my trail to Domain House to see these stunning works. If you can’t make it, enjoy the walk through Melbourne.

I got off the 57 tram and had coffee in Block Place, walked through the beautiful Block Arcade, over the mosaic floors,

The beautiful Block Arcade

Mosaic floor, Block Arcade

 

 

 

and down Melbourne’s lanes that are thronging with people drinking their lattes and eating lunch.

Melbourne Lane

The walk takes us past Flinders Street Station

and Federation Square, to cross the Yarra

 

The Yarra River

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go past the National Gallery of Victoria and further up, ‘Weary’ Dunlop‘s lovely statue.

The National Gallery of Victoria

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We keep walking up St Kilda Road, under the trees with their spring growth to reach the outside of the Botanical Gardens. The Tan track circuits the Gardens and we have to dodge the runners and walkers, their dogs and prams to reach the Shrine.

The Shrine

Only a little further now. Past the Observatory, turn right at the Herbarium,

The Herbarium

past Latrobe’s Cottage, with its spring flowers

to Domain House. And we are here. Enjoy the exhibition!

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The Exhibition in Menindee

We have been in Menindee for nearly a week now.

(If you are not sure what I am talking about, go to my category of Beckler’s Botanical Bounty. I can’t do links at the moment.)

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We set the exhibition up on Sunday and had our Opening on Tuesday. It looks great, just as we hoped it would be. The Opening was a great chance to meet up with locals, including Jane, who I met through blogging! We had Evelyn, who is an elder of the local Aboriginal tribe, give us a Welcome to Country. It wouldn’t have been a country event without tea, coffee and fruit cake too!

Now we are working away on more plants from Beckler’s list. You would be delighted to see all the different plants we are painting. Some have flowers so small you need microscopes to draw them properly. Some are wee little things, others are showy drama queens!

(I must apologise for various things — lack of reading of other blogs, no comments, skimpy posts of my own and not replying to comments you make on my blog. It is not because I don’t want to read what you write, but because internet access out here is poor and slow. I can only do what i can do!)

On to the next thing

Life has been very busy lately.

Not only have I organised my painting for the Exhibition , but I have been organising another exhibition.

You will remember that I am a member of a group of botanical artists who, each year, go up to the small town of Menindee in the arid outback of New South Wales. We go there to collect and paint the plants that Dr Hermann Beckler collected while he was at the supply camp of the Burke and Wills Expedition. You can read more about it here, and you might like to visit our blog becklersbotanicals.blogspot.com

(My Cullen pallidum painting, that I have been raving telling you about in recent posts, was part of that project. But this is a different exhibition.)

The project a fascinating meeting of history, art and science. We have always intended to have an exhibition of our work and this one is a smaller version, a practice run! It is being held up at Menindee. There is a little gallery in the Information Centre and our 30 works should fit in very nicely. We decided to exhibit prints of our originals, which we are donating to the community at the end of the exhibition. They will be there for people to use as they need.

I have had fun doing the work, but it has been a steep learning curve! Fortunately John, the curator up at the gallery, has been holding my hand via emails and phone calls.

For example I had to put together the plant names for the catalogue. Unfortunately it is not enough to just say “daisy” or “saltbush”. The scientific names are needed. Boy, are some of those Latin spellings tricky! Also, botanic convention means that there is a precise way of writing them, italicised in the right way, commas at the right place, capitals and non-capitals, etc.

I have also been talking to media people in Broken Hill, the biggest town in the area. I am not good at ringing up people, especially people I don’t know. Emails, texts, even blogs, no worries; phone calls make me quite anxious. But I did it, and found lovely helpful people at the other end, just like I knew I would.

So, just incase you should happen to be passing through Menindee in September and October drop into the exhibition. If you are in Broken Hill or Mildura, make a detour. And if you can’t be there in person check out our Beckler Blog or wait for me to post some photos here. The details, for those of you lucky enough to be up in that marvellous part of the world, are

BECKLER’S BOTANICAL BOUNTY EXHIBITION
 
Monday 22nd September to Sunday 12th October 2014 (inclusive)
 
Darling River Art Gallery
Menindee Visitor Information Centre
49 Yartla St Menindee
 
Open daily, 10 am to 2 pm

I will leave you with some photos of us collecting and painting over the last few years.

 

My painting was accepted!

I was so chuffed to pick the painting up and see that little blue dot on it, showing that it had been accepted for the exhibition, “The Art of Botanical Illustration, 2014”. Big hugs to everyone who wrote messages of support, or even just thought them. I think they made the difference!

So now my painting of the plant Cullen pallidum is at the framers, being dressed in all its finery!

So, if you are in Melbourne or happen to be passing through, make sure you get to the exhibition. If you are a fan of botanical art, you will be in seventh heaven, because the standard of works is always very high.

Twelfth Biennial Exhibition of Botanical Art

Presented by The Friends of the Royal Botanical Gardens Melbourne

When:  25 October to 9 November 2014 
week days 10 am – 4 pm weekends 10 am – 6 pm (9 Nov 10 am – 4 pm)
Where: Domain House Gallery, Dallas Brooks Drive, Melbourne 3004

Cost:    Gold Coin donation

Now I can focus on getting ready for my next adventure…..

 

Tomorrow is the big day, but Wednesday will be even bigger!

Tomorrow is the day that I have to drop my painting of Cullen pallidum off to be part of the selection process for the Art of Botanical Illustration, hosted by the Friends of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne. Their standard, both botanical and artistic is very high, so selection is not guaranteed.

Some of the criteria are:

  • accurately represent the form and the botanical characteristics of the chosen subject
  • adequately convey the characteristics of the species or variety and ensure that the subject is representative of the species
  • the painting should be well composed, well executed and artistically effective.

Now it is all done. The painting is finished, I have had a professional scan done of it and have organised a mount and foam core backing. It is protected by plastic…..and ready.

So think of me tomorrow morning, taking that big deep breath when I drop off the painting. And an even bigger, deeper breath on Wednesday when I go to pick the painting up!