Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Back to work

I was hoping to be back to work this week but life has managed to keep me out of the shed although I did take work to an exhibition for Rotary in Samford Valley this weekend.

We were in Sydney last week for our Christmas present to the big boys. Walked ourselves into the ground at the zoo and aquarium mostly. We all had a wonderful time together.
The boys had never been to Sydney before so it was a great surprise. Here I am with my 12 and 11 year old grandsons, Chris and Leo. Gorgeous boys.
Geoff with the boys at Taronga Park Zoo. Wonderful day.
The Aquarium is Leo's particular interest, he knew the names of just about every creature.
Chris had a conversation with a Dugong, or maybe they just smiled at each other.
Their irresponsible grandparents let them jump off the Manly Jetty (which was a highlight), as was swimming in the roof top pool of the hotel at the Rocks overlooking the Opera House and Bridge.
The Sydney Festival was still on and we loved this exhibit at Darling Harbour although it was hard to get our heads around it for a while.
Good boys, good friends.

We celebrated Australia Day weekend with more family at Straddie, Edward didn't miss watching the departure of any barge. The sound of the toot had him out on the deck in an instant.

I have been spending a lot of time out in the bush lately looking at the blackened trees and taking lots of photos. Great inspiration, so I have been working haven't I? Researching clays, making underglaze pencils, crayons, watercolours and inks for drawing on the surface. Next step is to make and test all the above. I am wanting to use a porcelain that will throw well so am going to mortgage the house and buy a couple of imported clays.
Such beautiful landscapes out of all that devastation.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Mojo Moment

Hooray! I am having a mojo moment after considerable time of feeling uninspired. Since the start of the year decided to stop pressuring myself to get things done in the shed. So have been digging in the garden, reading, paperwork, cooking, photographing, sleeping, swimming, it's been soooo relaxing, and now the mojo juices are beginning to flow again.

The landscape is the inspiration as usual, how could I help it living here? So I've been taking lots of photos of the fire aftermath, the tide line and even getting down to drawings towards the exhibition late in the year with Susan.
Here is my desk with drawing book, leaves, gum nuts, cup of tea and a home made sticky date and ginger biscuit, I'm all set for an enjoyable afternoon.
Home Beach this morning when we went for a swim.
Beautiful liminal space.
Followed by coffee from the van at Cylinder Beach
Bracken shooting up trough the blackened earth within a week and little to no rain.
Xanthorea don't even stop growing.
Beautiful contrast of dried leaves falling from the burnt trees to the black earth
Approaching high tide.
Sand lines, froth clouds and shadows coming in on the tide.

Here is an exhibition I wish I could attend.
Another one by Tim Rowan who was at Fuping when I was there, even further away.

Back to the drawing board.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

16500 Hectares

16500 hectares of Straddie has been burned, over 60% of the island. You can't help wondering about all those animals out there who didn't escape and those who did now have little food. Six kookaburras were on a branch outside the house today, we occasionally see one or two.
Nothing left.
But life begins again
A Banksia seed pod bursts open with the heat and smoke. A seed locked away in the closed pod pops out (see it unfolding from the pod on the right) and this can only happen after a bush fire, amazing.
Bark paintings 
The odd reminder of man
Singed bracken
Falling from the canopy
Road to the causeway
The causeway, the fire burned off the top of the reeds underneath is the swamp.
Looking across the swamp
A lone wallaby
The hill from the top of our street looking south.
In a few days the grass tree are pushing up green growth.
Hope. Part of this tree was burnt but somehow these blossoms are bursting in the black landscape.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Diary of a Fire

North Stradbroke Island bush fires 2014

All photos by me except for those two on the fourth panel. Stradbroke Island Photography and the other from Facebook page by a firefighter.