spring treasures

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only when you have been without it, do you appreciate rain.  In Oz, we have been experiencing severe drought for the past three years or so, but it has been moderately dry for about the last ten.   Our drinking water storage facilities have been gradually depleting, water tanks in suburban yards have become a more common sight and even public and commercial buildings have had water tanks installed to capture every drop of this precious commodity.  We have an old english cottage garden at our 90 yo home & I decided early in the drought that I wasn’t going to ‘bucket’ feed the garden (except for my pots) as I figured that in it’s long lifetime, it must have had dry periods before.  We have lost alot of ‘lush foliage’ type of plants, & (very sadly) a large Japanese Maple – but most of the trees have survived & the ivy trails over & fills the gaps! LOL!

I think it is fair to say, that the drought has broken.  Green is brightening up our barren landscapes & the sleepy decidious trees are filled with buds just waiting to burst at the first hint of sunshine & warmth.  The strict water restrictions that we have been under have been eased as our water storage is up and still filling.  We are expecting FOUR inches (100mm) rain in the next couple of days and the earth is OOOZZZing ‘wetness’ !  It’s a great time for all the gorgeous spring blossoms & of course the birds are lovin’ it.  I happened across this delicate looking moss recently and was facinated by it’s tonality.  The mossy yellowy/green is my MOST favourite colour, so of course I would be drawn to it, but it’s form was so delicate, I could imagine it would have inspired lace makers of the past.  Speaking of inspiration – I have been inspired by the very special Jenn White (a fellow Paper Trader) on a recent visit to regional Victoria.  Although Jenn does lovely mixed media and altered book work, her first love is wood cuts.  I have been considering creating some small etchings to turn into a little book, impacted by the film ‘Bright Star’ and some recent ad hoc life drawing sessions I have been doing.  Jenn VERY graciously let me have a play with some of her plates & do some ‘hand burnished’ prints.  It was fun to work so simply.  Mixed media at times can be so complex and layered, with so many different materials that it is a big set up and big clean up.  Jenn just had primary coloured inks (plus black and white), a small piece of glass, some burnishing tools & old book pages.  Dispite using a block,(ie replicating the same image) they were almost monoprints because each ink mix was a little different and colour combinations and varied text background gave quite different effects.

Simple – but interesting result.  I stuck mine between phone book pages to take them home, and some of the pages stuck a little, but I don’t even mind how that looks – adds another dimension………ok – so there I go ‘layering’ again!LOL!!  I started work on a lino cut, a process I REALLY did think that I had left behind at art school, but I have been more than a little inspired by the fineness & detail of Jenn’s work.  More soon.

Post Script
only a week after this posting, Victoria experienced extreme flooding & it is OFFICIAL, the drought HAS broken.  Thankfully, our dams are filling, and our water restrictions have been eased.  The era of dirty cars is over ………which some may consider a problem – particularly, if dirty cars have been your art canvas! 

2 responses »

  1. Beautiful photos! I can so identify with you on the drought. We had the same situation here in the southeastern US until about a year ago, it finally broke. Of course, when it did, it rained so much that there was flooding and many people had a lot of flood damage. Fortunately, we didn’t. Still when it doesn’t rain for a while, I get worried. I did not like the drought.

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