Inspiration Point – The Black Forest

Inspiration point

From my journal…2 Jan 2005...

God, this is scary – actually writing it down. Does this mean I actually have to follow up on it? 😀

It is more of a project than a resolution, but it is something that has been floating around in the vast empty space I use for a brain for several years now, and it is something I really should get off my butt and do.

I am giving myself this year to create an exhibition. I am going to attempt to paint, draw, and create enough works, on a particular theme, to hire out exhibition space, and then I’m gonna display and sell them.

Scary thought, huh?

Of course, this will be echoed by an online version as well, so if anyone would like to place orders…. 😀

Though as I am the queen of the unfinished, this will eventually become an uphill battle, but then again, I’ve been fighting with myself all my life, it is about time I won a round 😀

The theme of the exhibition has been decided. In 1836, Europeans landed here (in South Australia, Sydney was colonised about 50 years earlier). When they arrived, the Adelaide Plains supported a variety of flora and fauna, most of which has since been destroyed. On the land where my house sits there was forest. It was called the Black Forest (not the one in Germany). It was a dark wood, the major trees Grey Box (Eucalyptus microcarpa) and South Australian Blue Gum (Eucalyptus leucoxylon) with a spattering of River Red Gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) along the creek beds. The forest is gone. The land it sat on is now smothered by suburbia.

I want to recreate this forest.

I want to see what this forest was like. I want to create it so others can see what it was like. I want it to have mystery, I want it to have interest, I want people to know it existed. I want it remembered.

But it no longer exists, so I’ll have to create it.

I have already begun the research. I have the resources, I have the equipment, I just hope my skills can live up to the task.

(another insane project hatched)

That was over six years ago and I still haven’t done it. Of course, I’ve had two children during that time, so I have been somewhat busy. I did find that this project actually jammed up my creativity circuits for a long while because back then my art was far from free and I embarked on mega projects that took forever and I often ran out of steam before I finished them.

Now things are different. The last eight months have changed the way I create art for the better, and now I feel ready to take on this project once again in earnest…but a touch differently from what I had originally envisioned.

I originally wanted actually recreate the forest, something which I don’t think I have the skill for. I knew I’d have to learn how to do it, but now I realise that I don’t want to paint totally realisitcally. I want freedom, slap dash and a whole lot of colour. I think I’m finally beginning to narrow down exact what I would like to paint.

So I’m going to take the plants from the Adelaide Plains, with some emphasis on the Black Forest (because there were a miriad of environments here before humans came along and trashed it), I have a tonne of information available to me here. I have a library of Australian Native Plants reference books we have been collecting, and, back when I originally started this project, I took a plant listing of the Adelaide Plains, highlighted all the Black Forest Plants, then went through our collection and bookmarked all the references to those plants (yes, the Library Officer in me was at full capacity :D). So, I have stock shots (including a huge pile of my own and a front garden full of the plants should I choose to photograph them some more).

And an extra bonus…I have permission from Hubby to go to the art supplies shore and buy an easel, some decent acrylic paints and some nice brushes (it was my birthday last month and next week is our 10th Wedding Anniversary, so I’m combining the pressies and buying up big :D). So soon, I will have the materials.

I even started a painting this afternoon! Not finished, but here is an in progress shot.

Wreath wattle

And here is an example of what I was attempting six years ago.

Red parrot Pea

The top one is 300 x 300 mm, acrylic on board, painted in about an hour. The bottom one from 2005 is over 1000 mm wide and is in watercolour pencil, this being an in-progress shot of the first layer which took days. This piece is still incomplete, half wetted and sitting in my art drawers waiting for me to return to it. I might one day. The top one I’m aiming to finish tomorrow night.

I’ve kinda come to an epiphany of what type of painting I would like to do and I’m all excited.

(let the challenge begin again)


6 responses to “Inspiration Point – The Black Forest”

  1. Go for it! And you have the support of your family, which makes a huge difference. I mentioned on Twitter how good it can be to return to a project from a different place in life, and I really believe it. You seem to have focused and refined your original idea clearly, so you’re on the path. Glad you are so excited! Best wishes 🙂

  2. Love it! This is such an amazing idea and, I think it’s good when you’re starting to think about selling to have a project and a theme. I know you can do it. It will be great.

  3. […] finished my Wreath Wattle painting today. Hubby was kind enough to take the kids for a while and I splatted paint onto board […]

  4. Go for the project. You have a focus and a goal combined with talent. Good luck.

  5. […] This painting is intended to be part of my Black Forest Project. […]

  6. […] Native Flowers, but flowers native to the very place my house sits on – native to the South Australian Black Forest (a forest that no longer exists). Fortunately I have been collecting images of such flowers for […]