Monday 6 May 2013

A week in Canberra

I have just returned from a week in Canberra where I taught a workshop on Painting Australian Native Plants at the Canberra Botanical Gardens. It was a wonderful week of sharing my knowledge with an enthusiastic group of students, catching up with friends and enjoying the autumn ambience.
When visiting Canberra I am always concerned about the "cold" as it can be very bitter. This time I stayed with the lovely Helen and Koos and they kept their house beautifully warm. I also took my own electric blanket. The room I taught in had underfloor heating so I was really comfortable.
The weather was the nicest I have every experienced in Canberra. It was mild during the days and up to around 20-23 degrees. Beautiful!
Glorious Canberra sunset
The autumn leaves were just amazing! In Sydney the weather hasn't been cold enough to turn the leaves into the wonderful orange, reds and yellow hues.
While I was there I attended the opening of the exhibition  showcasing the Queanbeyan Craft and Design. There was an array of crafts from blown glass, beautiful hand built sculptures (one in particular I would have loved to have bought, but it was quite large and I just wouldn't have room for it), silver jewellery and much more.
However, I fell in love with an exquisite glass vase about 13 cm high. It has a thick soft green base and when held up to the light, a beautiful rich red just above the base. Its colours remind me of autumn. The surface is very tactile with a brushed finish and a subtle design. It feels to lovely to hold in my hand, and it just glows when held up to the light. This was made by Harriet Schwarzrock from the Curtis Glass Studio in Queanbeyan.
It has pride of place in my studio where the light falls on it, creating a harmonious range of warm colours.
I am very much looking forward to returning to the Gardens in September where I am teaching another workshop on Banksias - and there were some in their full glory while I was there.

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