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Welcome to my art blog from Tasmania, Australia. I post a little on my various art projects while also working in plant genetics. For more, please try the links to my various art pages or email me at silvergumstudio@yahoo.com.au. Thank you for visiting!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Tasmanian landscapes and time travel

I've had a funny old week.  It started last Wednesday when someone from the gallery I've joined, Off Centre, rang to ask if I could put together an exhibition for the gallery window within a week.  After a small panic I realised it was possible ... there are plenty of life drawings, landscape sketches, reference photos, and  frames in the studio - and there's nothing like a deadline to make me productive.  First I sent round an email called 'Nude People' to see if anyone objected to having some nudes in the window.  This got an unprecedented and witty response... I can exhibit as many nudes as I like, as long as they are not better-looking than us!  While working up drawings I remembered that I went walking in the Tasmanian highlands back in August 2010 and took a series of photos that I promised to turn into landscapes.  So I painted this one, which is quite large (half a full sheet of watercolour paper).  Everything should be ready to go in the gallery window by this Friday.

At the same time all this was going on, I received a children's book manuscript.  The book is being written by a series of authors (a new author for every chapter) and is set at Franklin House, a National Trust property in Tasmania.  There is no outline, and authors can take the story wherever they like. The first chapter was set in the 1800's and had four boys escaping from a harsh orphanage and travelling to Franklin House.  The second chapter revealed that it was actually 2032 and there had been an apocalypse, returning the world to a pre-technological condition.  Furthermore, the boys discovered a working time machine.  In Chapter 3, they travelled back to 1844 where they had an unnerving adventure.  My job was to write Chapter 4 - very quickly.

What to do?  My friend, author Julie Hunt, made me tea and took me for a walk through some paddocks to throw ideas around.  Time spent with Julie always results in an epiphany.  I sent the boys to 2018 to meet the creator of the time machine, gave them a pizza (they hadn't eaten for a whole chapter!), explained the reasons for the apocalypse, and got them to realise they could save the world with bold action.  I don't know how exactly, but I'm sure the author of Chapter 5 will think of something.

A mysterious little mouse has joined my blog.  O Mouse, who are you?  Your blog is enchanting.


  1. My goodness! Hooray for the window display and I can only imagine what your "nude people" replies might have been. Haha! The painting is lovely, particularly the amount of depth you achieved. I really like that big boulder in the foreground. And the reflection of the sky in the water is fantastic! I hope you'll post a pic of the display. :D

    The book thing with people writing different chapters sounds so neat and fun! I have been spending all my spare time on my art, so no time for writing or even reading. Well, I suppose a bit of blog writing. But I have books piling up because I keep getting new ones.

    Hooray for all the things happening!

  2. (Gay! Come see the wombat! My place!)