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-- 20 March, 2005 --

IF Bloom Challenge

Protea Bloom
Pastel pencil on Canson Mi-Teintes blue paper
Almost everyone on the Internet is revelling in the fact that spring has arrived - stories of last snowfalls and first buds abound. Simple geography seems to have been lost in the celebration. When it is spring in the northern hemisphere, it is autumn in the southern hemisphere.

Not a problem in most events. I actually enjoy autumn. After a long hot, sticky, humid Sydney summer, the relief of cooler nights finally makes sleeping easier. The idea of curling up on the couch with a good book or my sketchpad is a lot more appealing then hunting for a non-existent breeze. Australia doesn't have deciduous native trees but our European ancestors populated our parks and gardens with oaks and ashes that make a walk a joy.

This bit of simple geography does become a problem when artistic challenges are issued by our northern friends which involve seasons so we southerners need to be especially creative or have lots of fore-thought. This week’s Illustration Friday challenge is “Bloom”. At the moment, most of the blooms in Sydney are laying in a crumpled mess in the mud in the gardens. So, in the words of some advertising bod, ‘here is one I prepared earlier’.

Last year, The Poet and I took off to spend the weekend in Berrima, about an hour and a half south of Sydney, in the area know as the Southern Highlands. From the porch of the coffee shop in Mittagong where we had stopped for afternoon tea, I saw a fabulous protea bush (also an import), absolutely laden with flowers. The lady in the coffee shop generously allowed me to cut a couple of the flower heads to take with me. The resulting drawing has since been framed and hangs in our sunroom – hence the reflections from the glass.

Posted by robynls at March 20, 2005 1:53 PM

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Good effort, Robyn. My parents used to grow proteas and waratahs up at Mt Tamborine on the Gold Coast hinterland. Unfortunately, the old man died before the first crop could be harvested, and then Mum sold up. Nonetheless, they are great flowers and make great drawing subjects. I like the way you captured that furled leaf.

Posted by: Detlef at March 20, 2005 3:08 PM

Your Mittagong Protea is beautiful. I especially like your wonderful furled leaves. Our blooms at the moment mimic 'The Adam's Family' garden blooms. Yes, dead stalks in mud!

Posted by: anonymous at March 20, 2005 3:46 PM

Yes, I loved the flower, and the leaves, but I REALLY liked how you did the glass/vase. Very skillful indeed, speaking from a non-artist of course... very translucent and life like, Robyn.

Posted by: Bex at March 20, 2005 10:18 PM

Nice job!!

Posted by: Hope Wilbanks at March 20, 2005 10:21 PM

Hi Robyn,
I love that you found the flower on a little trip and delighted that the coffee shop owner cut a few of them for you to take. There's nothing quite like drawing from life and you've done a fine job.
You know, ever since seeing that old surfers' movie, "Endless Summer", back in the 1960's, its always been my dream to winter in Australia - that meaning my winter, your summer...hmmmm, it gets confusin' dunnit? Anyway, being over the dateline too, it's tomorrow there already...not terribly exciting until you hit the next day where you can celebrate my birthday (see entry @ March 8th on my blog for details) a whole day before I do! Another good reason for me to come down under!
- Mick

Posted by: Mick Mather at March 21, 2005 8:20 AM

It is interesting living on the "other" side isn't it; that goes for the both of us. I've always thought it must be quite strange to have hot, humid weather in December when up here we are deep in the frigid winter freeze-up. The other thing of course is up here we always wonder how you people down there don't fall off the earth, since you are up-side down. (Just kidding)

That's a nice drawing you've posted. I'm a biologist by trade and don't recognize the "protea," it's beautiful!

Posted by: Jim at March 21, 2005 12:35 PM

Very cool - especially love the faded suggestion of the vase.

Posted by: Pseudo at March 21, 2005 4:30 PM

Robyn, how do you get your blogsite on your signature that shows up in your comments on others' blogs (like mine)? I wanna do that too. Jim

Posted by: Jim at March 21, 2005 5:40 PM

This is just beautiful! I love the detail and the texture -- it makes you want to rub the leaf between your fingers!

Posted by: Linda at March 22, 2005 1:45 PM

I love those exotics. It turned out beautifully!

Posted by: Karen Winters at March 22, 2005 2:14 PM

I like your rendering of the protea bloom very much!

Posted by: Joan Lansberry at March 22, 2005 11:02 PM

Hi Robyn,
you've got some really beautiful pastel works on this blog, I love the beautiful vibrant colors. Thankyou for stopping by at my blog and for the nice comment.

Posted by: Elisa at March 24, 2005 11:47 AM

Your drawing absolutely glows! Great job.

Posted by: Laura F at March 24, 2005 1:17 PM

I love your artistry and a reminder of the two halves of the world.

Posted by: mz. em at March 27, 2005 11:54 AM

I love this site it helps me so much! Keep up the great work!

Posted by: Andrew Spark at March 20, 2006 10:07 PM

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