Sunday, February 24, 2019

Gardens Week 1 - My new best friends

I can honestly say that I have hit the ground running with my Artist-in-Residency at the Botanic Gardens. I have been there every day and have done a sketch on location in charcoal. Obviously this involves sitting very still and being very quiet. And the wildlife have come up very close to check me out!

I don't know what sort of snake this is. Maybe someone can tell me? I could see about one metre of his body in the open.

This little guy was more persistent. I think he could smell the banana in my bag. He didn't get it though! Nothing would frighten him off, no matter how much I shuffled my feet.

There were dozens of these guys but they didn't come too close. Too busy scratching around.

I was happy to get a photo of four of these busy birds in the same shot.

And this rather well-fed guy was pretty good company in the City Gardens.

So these are all my new best friends! We will have to get used to each other.

I feel I am really being a witness to the Gardens and everything that is going on there.
To quote Mary Oliver (1935-2019)

"To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work"

I am being a witness from a space within my own imagination. I am also pursuing beauty and I am fortunate enough to be surrounded by it.

Robyn Bauer, charcoal drawing

I can chose a subject such as this textured trunk in on the Indigenous Plant Trail and while it is my main focus, everything around it opens up for me while I am sitting there.

Robyn Bauer Fig tree drawing

Most of the week I concentrated on Fig Trees and Australian plants while pondering possibilities of turning my responses into much larger and colourful paintings. Watch this space and these will eventually appear.

Robyn Bauer rainforest drawing

I chose a wider angle in this drawing and my main focus was the moving stream in the foreground. It was an extremely hot and humid day and hopefully that shows through too.

Robyn Bauer, tree drawing

This magnificent specimen is phaleria clerodendron which I spied in the Australian Plant Communities when taken on a guided tour by one of the head gardeners. It has tiny white flowers growing straight out of the trunk as you can see in the photo below.

phaleria clerodendron

I believe that because of the extreme heat we have experienced lately it is putting on a more elaborate show than usual. I used a range of ink dilutions to get the detail I needed in this drawing.

Robyn Bauer, Fig tree drawing

My final drawing for the week was another Fig tree, ficus sycomorus and it also has fruit growing straight out of its massive trunk. Quite thrilling to see and hard to believe unless you witness it.

I said in last week's blog that my reading was getting more scientific , but I haven't let go of poetry either.

Another quote from Mary Oliver -

"Let me keep my distance, always, from
those who think they have the answers.
Let me keep company always with those
who say "Look" and laugh in
astonishment and bow their heads." 

Well I'm pretty astonished at what I am finding and it is only week one! I have 51 to go!

I plan to update this blog weekly.

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