After arriving in Bali for a few days I the made a short visit to Australia. While in Perth I visited King's Park and Botanic Garden, which was wonderful. It was great to see so many plants in real life that I've only ever seen in other artists' work or in photographs.
|Sturt's pea can be found growing amongst the colourful wildflowers at the garden, here Brunonia australis, the native cornflower grows in the dry sandy soil.|
King's Botanic garden was quite a climb in the heat but I was met the incredible view across Perth.
|The beautiful blue skies of Perth from Kings Park Botanic Garden|
|Baob tree Andnsonia gregorii, overlooking the coast. The enlarged trunk is an adaptation to drought and enables the storage of large amounts of water.|
Plant life in Australia is very diverse, with over 20,000 vascular plants but the flora really is very different, with unique adaptations to drought and fire shaped by continental drift and climate change since the Cretaceous period. A favourite was Eucalyptus rhodantha, which I managed to draw.
|Eucalyptus rhodantha, ' Rose Mallee' an endangerd plant from Westen Australia, has beautiful silver leathery leaves. Flowers are usually red but the form illustrated is a paler form.|
|When time is short - skip trying to paint the flower and make colour notes for reference instead. I love the little 'hats' which pop off this flower to reveal the multiple stamens.|
|The more usual red form Eucalyptus rhodantha|
|Gusti Leder Journal|
I packed my normal watercolour box of W & N pans and a pencil roll with just a couple of brushes, Winsor & Newton series 7 miniatures, size 1 and 4, and Faber Castell 9000 pencils, grades 2H - 6B. Although with the Gusti sketchbook, found I couldn't use anything harder than a HB.
There were so many wonderful plants to illustrate: Banksia, Kangaroo paws, Bottlebrush and many more but sadly not enough time for all and after just 3 days in Perth I moved onto a new adventure in Indonesia.
I was sorry not to have more time to meet up with other artists and of course to paint and draw more, next year I shall return and hopefully stay longer to see more of this beautiful country when I shall run some botanical art classes, visiting New Zealand too.
|Goodnight Australia until next time|