Monday, May 7, 2012

Across the World

When I began my blog nine months ago, I'm not sure that I knew what to expect. I was in the midst of resuming my painting career and I felt it was a way of making a public commitment to that. I knew I liked to write. I was an English major in university (not a surprise I suppose that I like to write). What I didn't expect was the friends I have made. Lovely friends in all parts of the world.

Last week, I receive some mail. Good mail. Really good mail.

One of my blogging friends sent me a collection of shells, sea glass and feathers from Australia. Thank you, Cindy. I hope you understand the thrill and joy I felt in receiving and opening your beautiful package. Aside from being a blogger, Cindy Lane is a wonderful artist, amazing photographer and an art teacher. She lives in Perth, Australia.

I visited Australia many years ago.  What an absolutely beautiful country.  Sadly, I didn't get to Perth. We did visit Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Alice Springs, Cairns and Brisbane though. It was an amazing trip.

When I received my wonderful package from Australia, it felt good in so many ways. It was a beautiful gesture from a blogging friend and fellow artist. It was a collection of gorgeous natural objects from a country I love, not to mention that someone took the time to walk on a beach thinking about me. Pretty special.

This past week, I visited an art supply store--one of my happy places. I bought some new watercolour paper.  I have almost always painted on 140 lb. cold press Arches paper. I have painted occasionally on Arches 300 lb. cold press paper, Saunders 140 lb. cold press and, most recently, on Saint-Armand handmade paper. Having Cindy's beautiful shells as inspiration allowed me to test out some of my new papers. Here are three quick little shell studies (ACEO size) on Arches 300 lb. hot pressed paper, Arches 140 lb. hot pressed paper and BFK Rives 280 gsm paper.

Most every happy story has a tragic underside (English major bias I guess). Well, here is the one that belongs to this one. When I was photographing Cindy's shells for my blog, I was juggling more than one thing.  I had the camera around my neck. I had a blank stretched canvas propped at the side (and steadied with my knee) to reflect the light, as it was a dim day. I was using a tripod that was not quite at the right angle for my photo, so I was tipping it forward. As I was manipulating all of these things, the canvas slipped and fell. Do you ever have something happen in front of you and you feel that it is occurring in slow motion? This was. As it happened, I yelled 'Nooooooooooo' and it just might have been heard in Perth.  When I lifted the fallen canvas, everything was fine except for the two beautiful sea urchins that were smashed into many pieces. I am not a gazelle but I have a pretty good track record for looking after delicate things. These lovely objects had made it across the world intact and within 24 hours I had broken some of them. I cannot tell you how terribly sorry I was. Tears may have been involved.
My sea collection with two pieces from the smashed sea urchins at the top
Thanks again, Cindy, for sending me these gorgeous treasures from the other side of the world. What a beautiful place we live in.

14 comments:

  1. Oh what an amazing collection your friend sent you ! Everything is so colorful, so exotic (to me, anyway), no wonder why oy can inspire artitsts like both of you !
    Ouch at the sad end of the story, I'm sorry. At least it's just one, and not everything. But I know how you must have felt.
    Big hugs oxox

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    1. So many beautiful colours and textures. They are true treasures. Believe me, when I lifted that fallen canvas I expected to see more broken shells than I did. xx

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  2. I´m sorry - I´d feel the same, BUT it´s a beautiful treasure you´ve received! I´ve never seen feathers like that, so pretty!

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    1. Aren't the colours of the feathers amazing! So bright.

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  3. i know this is out of context but the feathers remind me of angry birds --- such a victim of mass media.

    anyway, excited on your next paintings :))

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    1. Check this fellow out:

      http://www.flickr.com/photos/42136435@N05/6290642841/in/photostream

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  4. see urchins are very delicate shells and I have had this mishap way too many times
    the fact that we see them intact on the seashore is a miracle in itself.
    The pieces are gorgeous too.

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    1. You're right. The pieces are still beautiful. I've actually only ever found pieces on beaches. The intact one I painted before was bought. Still sad about these ones though, especially after the trouble that Cindy went to.

      (I was calling them sea anemones before, but I think they are sea urchins.)

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  5. I am green with envy here! LOL!
    What a beautiful, thoughtful gift! You are going to get such pleasure and "use" out of those little treasures. Just wonderful!
    Don't feel too terribly about the urchins. "All good things come to an end".
    I got rid of all of my old bird nests and butterfly wings I had been holding onto for years. Time to let them go back into nature...and time to look for some new ones!
    xoxo
    Jody

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    1. I thought of you Jody when I opened the package and saw all of those beautiful feathers. :) xx

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  6. They are such wonderful treasures, I wouldn't find anything like that here, you need something like a typesetters(those wooden things) tray to store them in, then you can marvel at them without fear of breaking, hopefully? your paintings look delightful. My bestest friend, now living on the tiny island of Sark (near Guernsey) is off to live in Sydney later this year, I may have a supply source coming up? But I will miss her!

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    1. Thanks Julie. That's a very good idea to use a tray. I have one somewhere here--not a real typesetters tray but one modeled after one. That's a long way for your friend to move but now you have an excuse to visit her and Australia at the same time?

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  7. Oh oh oh! They do look so at home at your place!

    Don't worry at all about the urchins - I'll happily send you replacements.

    Your shell studies look great - a closer look would be lovely!

    Feathers, I shouldv'e labelled them, pinks are Galahs, blues are the 28 parrot, the white & lemon yellow is the sulphur crested cockie, the rainbow ones are from the rainbow lorikeet, naturally!

    Glad you like them.

    PS I used to live in Sydney and Cairns....

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    1. You have lived in a lot of beautiful places! I LOVE everything you sent me. Thanks for the ID of the feathers. I will try to take another photo of the shell studies in the days ahead. The light this week has been terrible.

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Thanks so much for taking the time to visit my blog and to leave me a comment. I love reading them. -- Kathleen

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