I am rather wrapped up in returning to Australia and find myself looking at images that have captured the feeling of down under. This is a small egg tempera painting I did when returning home from there a few years ago. I had spent time doing a workshop with Nalda Searles at a sheep shearers quarters out in mid Victoria, Allendale I think was the name of the town. This was from a photo I took of the kitchen stove. It was massive and when I stood in front of it and no one else was around I could feel the presence of those who gathered here before going out to work with the sheep.
I would have sketched the stove as well but every bit of my time there with Nalda I was intent on doing her assignments. For some it was a social gathering as well as workshop and I would find places to be alone and think about my work, this place, its history and how far I travel to have experiences like these. I still have the straw bits I pieced together with threads and cloth. But they seem out of place here in North Carolina. I might dig them out and do something with them or maybe just throw them out and be content with this painting, this memory.
I am also revisiting sketchbooks from other times in Australia. This is a favorite page about Jude’s place near Hobart, Tasmania. I always loved how she told me where the airport was…..”just past the moon.” She has taken me in so many times that I know just where to find the lovely tea bowl to use for rinsing my watercolor brush.
And this old sketchbook where I was trying to capture all the strange little things on the ground at a place near Katherine in the Northern Territory. The most beautiful green ant nest made of carefully placed dead leaves, all the same leaf too. I could not see how they held them in place. Beautiful sculptures. The view from inside must have been magic.
And just a couple more watercolors from sketchbooks and memories.