Tag Archives: Australian wildflowers

Spring Wildflowers

Fairy Wax Flower, Water colour and ink

Fairy Wax Flower, Water colour and ink

Spring has finally arrived and surprisingly enough it is blessing us with the most glorious weather for our long weekend here in Victoria.  It is 26 C today, 28 tomorrow and 31 on Sunday.  I have been out drawing in the bush this morning and mean to continue to soak up this sun all weekend.  The first time I have had the french doors open all day this year.

Gold dust Wattle water colour and ink

Gold dust Wattle water-colour and ink

Pink Bells watercolour and ink

Pink Bells water-colour and ink

This is my second season of painting the wild flowers and I am enjoying it  as much as last year.  I now know more of the names and I have looked back in my sketch book and can see when the different flowers bloomed.  I am not much into latin plant names but I do like to know the names of the plants I am drawing, though sometimes it takes me longer to research the plant then to draw it.  Still haven’t found the name of the one below.

Unknown flower as yet, watercolour and ink

Unknown flower as yet, watercolour and ink

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I have done a bit of research in taking photos with my iPhone and have found an app, Camera+, that takes the best macro photos, I was amazed at how close I can get and how well they turned out.  This will make taking photos for reference so much easier.  I keep thinking that I will buy a good camera, but for my needs the iPhone is doing all I want at the moment and it is so convenient.

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Button everlasting daisy

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Grevillea

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Paper Everlasting Daisy

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Waxlip Orchid

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Hannah helping me draw

I hope you get to go out and enjoy some sun this weekend too.

The start of Spring

Golden wattle Ink and water colour

Golden wattle Ink and water colour

Winter is finally losing its grip and the first hint of spring is in the air.  I have been walking on the Goldfield track where I found the best wildflowers last year and was rewarded with the first flowers of this year.

The wattle has been out for the last couple of weeks, it is the first to bloom and it heralds the end of winter in blazing golden glory.  That bright yellow just makes you glad.

Golden Wattle Goldfield track Castlemaine.

Golden Wattle Goldfield track Castlemaine.

I also found a new wattle that I hadn’t seen before.  I had seen the bush, as it has very long, sharp, spiny leaves that scratch if you brush past it, but I hadn’t noticed its flowers before.  They were little cream balls of fluff with just a hint of yellow.

Juniper Wattle or Prickly Moses Ink and water colour

Juniper Wattle or Prickly Moses Ink and water-colour

I also found a sundew, a little carnivorous plant that sends up the most beautiful and large white flower.  It was supposed to be scented but I couldn’t detect any, it was probably over powered by the wattle above it.  I have never known that we had these locally or that it had such a lovely flower, it has been a very wet winter so maybe the conditions have not been damp enough before.  You can just see the sticky little hairs on the margins of the leaves that catch insects.

Scented Sundew Goldfields track Castlemaine.

Scented Sundew Goldfields track Castlemaine.

Scented Sundew Ink and watercolour

Scented Sundew Ink and water-colour

There were also these lovely, little, bright, native buttercups, these are the most vibrant yellow flowers with a waxy coating so that they just shine in the sun.

Native buttercups

Native buttercups

Native buttercups Ink and watercolour

Native buttercups Ink and water-colour

I have tried a new technique with my water-colour pencils.  I have rubbed the water brush over the pencil and painted this onto the paper, instead of using the pencils to colour on the drawing and mix them with water.  This gives a much more of a water-colour look and a delicacy to the painting which suits these gorgeous little flowers.

Hannah and the Echidna

Hannah and the Echidna

Just to add a little interest to our walk we spied a rather big, fat Echidna just off the trail.  He heard us coming and hunkered down in the earth, not to pleased about being disturbed.  Hannah was not sure what this strange being was, but manage to give it a right good barking at before hiding behind me.  The Echinda wasn’t much bothered and ambled off once we backed off to an appropriate distance.

I must apologies for my lack of posts for the last couple of months, but my niece has been very ill over that time and other dramas have sapped my energy, there has been very little drawing and no blogging.  But my niece is much better and I now have the energy to draw and post again.  Yippee.  The sunshine helps as well.

To further my recovery and my sister’s, we are going to treat ourselves to a quick trip to Bali for more sun and warmth, in 10 more sleeps (I am so counting the days).   So I am busy making a new journal to take with me and of course I will share my travels with you.

Karen

Sketchy Walks on the Goldfield Track

The Monk Journal Page Ink

The Monk Journal Page Ink

I have had a couple of weeks off after a very stressful time at work, so haven’t been posting much this month.  I have been up at Castlemaine and re-energising myself with lovely walks in the bush, sketchy walks of course.

I have been catching the last of the main spring flowering and getting the confidence to do some larger drawings of the surroundings.  There is a stark beauty to the dry scrubby bush around here, but one that is difficult to translate into an interesting drawing.  The picture of ‘The Monk’ above is my best effort to date and it gives me encouragement that I might be able to translate this beauty to the paper so others can see it.

41 Bluebells and Shimmy Grass Oct 14

Tall Bluebells and Quaking Grass Journal Page ink and watercolour

I am gradually going through and identifying the names of the flowers I am drawing, not as easy as it sounds, I think it takes me as long to identify them as to draw them, but found some really helpful blogs and websites in the process.  The grasses are starting to flower and set seed now, not great for my hay-fever but pretty to see.  My favourite grass is what I have always called shimmy grass but is actually quaking grass.  I think shimmy is a much better name as it conjures up dancing while quacking links to fear.  This grass is definitely dancing in the slightest breeze.

45 Spring Gully Oct 14

Spring Gully Journal Page Watercolour and ink

A few different types of everlasting are out, the one with the many branching florets is the grey everlasting while the other is a little button plant called Scaly Buttons.  There is also a seed head of the Spiny Rush, which lives up to its name as the points of the leaves are really sharp.

Twinning Glycine  Journal Page Watercolour and ink

Twinning Glycine Journal Page Watercolour and ink

My best find was these tiny, little pea like flowers which were hiding in the grass called Twining Glycine.

I haven’t been just drawing flowers in my sketchbook, I have started on some new works for an exhibition that I have been asked to join at the end of January.  More news about this in the next blog.

Karen

Spring Wildflowers

Wild Flowers Sketchy Walk Oct 14 Journal Page

Wild Flowers Sketchy Walk Oct 2014 Journal Page

I was worried while I was away in Bali that I would miss the best of brief wildflower season at home.  But I shouldn’t have worried as there were still plenty to be found and best of all the little bush orchids and lilies were out.

Blue Pimpernal, Waxlip Orchid and hairy caterpiller

Blue Pimpernal, Waxlip Orchid and hairy caterpillar

These sketches were done over the last couple of weekends on some lovely sketchy walks in the sun.  I was first caught by the most amazingly vivid blue flowers  in the grass, lucky they were so bright as they were tiny, little things. Most of these wild flowers are tiny, but just so beautiful when you get up close and personnel with them.  You have to go walking so you are slow enough to be able to see them, shyly hiding in the grasses.  There were plenty of the little waxliped orchids out, they come up singly on a long thin stem, and just nod in the breeze.  For the first time ever,  I saw a whole group of them together, it took my breath away and I was sure there would be fairies about.

Waxlip Orchids

Waxlip Orchids

There were loads of paper everlasting daises and I found some other funny little flowers with long grass like stems, I was told they were weeds, just haven’t found out what type yet.  Never mind they are pretty to me.  Because the sun was shining so brightly I also made little drawings of the shadows the flowers cast on my page.

Golden Paper Everlastings and cute little pink flower

Golden Paper Everlastings and cute little pink flower

The following weekend I saw even more orchids and had the luck to run into a knowledgeable wildflower enthusiast beside the dirt track and he was kind enough to help me with my identification.  I was really pleased that my sketches were good enough to identify the flowers from!  Here is the Twinning Fringe Lily, only about 7-10mm big and it twines up on other things and also the Chocolate Lily, with its nodding flowers on tall thin spikes.

Twinning Orchid

Twinning Orchid

Chocolate Lilly Journal Page

Chocolate Lilly Journal Page

I also saw this little yellow flower which my new friend kindly identifies as a Bent Goodenia, what a great name and a cute little flower.

Bent Goodenia

Bent Goodenia

The yellow buttons that I drew in an earlier walk were going to seed, just like a dandelion so I just had to stop and draw these as well.

Yellow Buttons going to seed

Yellow Buttons going to seed

 

Here finally is a very quick sketch of one of the mines that still dot the landscape and remind us that this was once one of the busiest and richest minefields in the world.

Old Gold Mine Journal Page

Old Gold Mine Journal Page

I will leave you with this last photo of all the yellow everlasting that were carpeting the bush, spring is so magical.

Karen

Paper Everlastings

Paper Everlastings