The Gold Coast Botanic Gardens are full of inspiration and delight for photographers, gardeners, nature lovers, and artists. The care and attention that is felt means that the gardens are maintained in prime condition, and after the rain everything sparkled with raindrops.
During this time of restrictions due to Covid 19, it is great opportunity to refresh our homes, declutter and bring something new and surprising to our rooms. I made a night sky painting for our third bedroom, as visitors staying will mostly be only spending their sleeping time in the room. Now they can sleep under the stars!
Summer holidays are the best time to get down on the floor with our kids or grandchildren and enjoy our playful self. We had great fun with lego, Lion King colouring book and an iPhone app together.
Every time we look up there is the vast dome of sky above, and my body responds with a feeling of expansion and wonder. Sometimes when I have my iPhone with me and remember to look up I capture a magic moment. The clouds reflect the seasons, the time of day, the strength of the wind or the potential for rain. Take a moment to look up at the sky, to watch clouds as you did as a child, they drift and collide and change shape, just like us.
We took sketchbooks and charcoal to Heritage Park in Mullumbimby to record some of the amazing diversity of plants and trees, many of which have been planted by volunteers. Some of the results showcased here show the richness and depth that charcoal brings to a drawing, with strong contrasts and range of tonal values possible. I love the way that each artist will find their own subject and interpretation, exploring the detail, texture, light and shade, to give us a sense of place.
At Tanah Marah, an impromtu workshop for a group of family members and friends, discovering their hidden talents. The results were amazing, all finishing a painting within a couple of hours, and every painting reflecting something that they loved - dogs, farmland, turtle, kookaburra, rocks large and small.....
On a recent walk to Brunswick Heads we enjoyed watching the sculptors installing their works, creating a walk of surprises around the town.
Join a small group to refresh you art practice or enjoy laying some foundations as a beginner in art. This is a six week course, introducing ways of seeing, and introducing foundations in drawing, composition, colour and texture. For those who wish to develop their creative ability or build their art experience further. Work at your own level of experience.
For more info phone Byron Community College: 02 66843374
For our first class we took a walk around the colourful town of Mullumbimby, to take photos and collect found objects for drawing. We had great fun exploring, finding new viewpoints for a subject, and building a base of research material for future paintings.
Today I tidied and cleaned the studio. Taking a moment to appreciate this light-filled space and the inspiring ever-changing views.
From my studio
In the early morning you will find me at my desk with a cup of tea, making notes about a possible new painting, the next workshop, or the next article or blog to write. In the evening you will find me walking the beach, or along the lane from the house, looking closely at pebbles or footprints in sand, or gazing into the distance at clouds and horizons. In between - all manner of adventures, interactions, creative projects being developed.
Bernadette Curtin lives in the Byron Bay hinterland, in Northern New South Wales.
She has a wealth of experience as an artist, art educator and mentor, having worked with young artists at secondary and tertiary levels, at Ruyton Girls School, the NGV and RMIT, Melbourne. She has helped adults prepare folios for tertiary courses, and conducted art workshops from her studio. She has led field trips to the outback and runs on-line tutorials in creative expression. In her words:
"Painting and drawing were natural ways to express as a child. I loved playing with watercolours, coloured pencils and paint. Making art has been a constant practice in my life, and the best way I know to respond to the beauty of nature. I have enjoyed teaching art for many years, and I would love to share the joy and playfulness of your natural expression with you."