Come and wander around with me.
In my studio, my place for reading, writing, thinking, listening, being on my own. The act of lighting a candle and a fragrant essence brings calm. I glance around at collections gathered across my years of wandering, finding, retrieving, studying, painting . . . this is my homeland.
Come and wander around with me.
Listening to Trees
Aura of great cathedrals. Misty secrets and sharp statements.
The advantage of solitude, in which we can walk or talk, or be silent naturally
"Prince of Tuarts" - Ancestor Tree"
We need the tonic of Nature to smell the whispering leaves.
To learn all things mysterious and unexplorable.
Trees give us calm trust.
We are this Earth
Silence will carry your voice like the nest that holds the sleeping birds.
Be still my heart, these great trees are prayers.
Rabindranath Tagore B.1861.
Indian poet and mystic.
SKETCHING ... Begins with the simple sketch where the life of the work begins. Though now unseen, it was once the life, and carries traces of its beginnings.
PAINTING ... Calls for imagination, and skill of hand, in order to discover things not seen, hiding themselves under the shadow of natural objects, and to fix them with the hand, presenting to plain sight.
Cennini d'Andrea Cennini B.1360. "Il Libra dell'Arte"
THOUGHTS BEHIND THIS PAINTING ... "A Song for Trees and Rain"
A tiny nest of a yellow robin found in deep forest. Bejewelled with moss and lichen, and strips of paper-bark from the melaleuca in which it sat, this found the earth colours in my paintbox, and I painted it many times larger than lifesize to emphasize the worth of biodiversity, ancient forests and native trees. That is, without the canopy of these great trees there would be no yellow robins. The painting is a call, a song, for Nature. So these great trees are my prayers and my song for trees and rain.
www.suekalab.com / www. facebook.com/suekalabartist
Say hello, leave me a word
Hours spent quietly sitting with my binoculars and a telescope, with my dog for company, at an isolated spot on Leschenault Estuary waiting for rare glimpses of migrating Arctic Circle shorebirds in the whispering reed beds. This particular afternoon, Black Swans, native to Australia, were idling, scarcely moving, only their long necks arching. I took a series of photographs to catch the poetry and the light, and the magic I can't quite explain. "The Swan-ness of a Swan - it just is"
A finalist for the coming 2020 show. 19th Feb- 18th April. , Bunbury Regional Art Galleries.
Hi Sky and Sue, I have attached a photo of our two remaining paintings that we purchased at the exhibition. I can recall the evening so clearly, must be around 13 years ago now.
The paintings have been under wraps for the past two years and I'm now beginning to doubt that we had a third! Maybe Sue can let me know but I thought we bought two swan paintings and one of the rowing boat. I have the receipts somewhere but like a lot of things, can't find them.
Maybe we only bought two paintings and it's just my imagination that one is missing. Either way, the paintings look fabulous and will soon be hanging in pride of place in our kitchen living area of our new house. The colours also work very well and provide a warm reminder of Australia.
Very best wishes to all. Will and Rachel, Northern Ireland
"Into the Sunlight"
"Journey Before After"
SEA URCHINS & NESTS
In the beginning, a nest with sea urchins caught my eye. I'd found these little treasures on my bush and beach wanders in Mallacoota, and left them on a windowsill.
One day this unintentioned arrangement called to be painted - the messy concoction of the woven nest and perfect architecture of the urchins. That first painting was snapped up by a TV writer friend.
IS IT A CALLING?
I still love to paint nests and sea urchins, it is as if a little bird stirs in my heart each time.
They give me the greatest possible pleasure and I do not intend this to be my last visit with them! I hold these in great affection.
THOUGHTS ON THIS PAINTING
So, this is the most recent. It has been shortlisted in an adjudicated exhibition, and is titled "A Little Bird Stirred in My Heart".
It greets the thoughts and the stories behind the many nest and sea urchin paintings across the years.
A commission for a friend this winter. She is Chinese and so, loving the act of writing, I wrote a short verse echoing her country's cultural appreciation for the natural world to accompany these two quintessentially Australian Willie Wagtail fledglings.
"An enchanted innocence - and a new light is flashed upon the morning".
And in this he showed me a little thing, the quantity of a hazel nut, lying in the palm of my hand, as it seemed. And it was as round as any ball. I looked upon it with the eye of my understanding, and thought, ‘What is this?’ And it was answered generally thus, ‘It is all that is made.’ I marvelled how it might last, for I thought it might suddenly have fallen to nothing for littleness. And I was answered in my understanding: It lasts and ever shall, for God loves it. And so have all things their beginning by the love of God.
In this little thing I saw three properties. The first is that God made it. The second that God loves it. And the third, that God keeps it.
Julian of Norwich, 1342 - 1416
"What is this? It exists now and forever"
Mother Julian was an English anchorite of the Middle Ages. She is remembered for her writings in “Revelations of Divine Love”, the earliest surviving book in the English language to be written by a woman. She is enshrined in the Church of St Julian, in Norwich.
Johanna is an actress with a beautiful speaking voice - mellifluous and redolent with enunciation and purpose. She had in the 1980s made a talk for the BBC’s religious programme about Julian of Norwich.
At the time, Johanna sent me a cassette of this programme (remember cassettes?) which I played often. It kept me company in the long hours of working towards an exhibition. So, when she commissioned a painting it came straightaway that this was to involve Julian of Norwich, as the reading was a high point in Johanna’s career, and my Australian Nature Finds series.
This little painting is now available as a framed,
artist-signed print. (23 x 18 cm HxW)
$45 + packaging / post
Clinker boats having "conversations" with the gentle calm of watery ripples. Something soothing, touching to the soul. Water gently lapping. I thought you'd enjoy these three from my Mallacoota Reflections series. May your day be kind, Sue
"Floating In and Out of Memory"
"Betwixt and Between"
"Blue Boat Waiting"
Musings ..... Hoping to return to the Land of Art soon. I seem to have been up to my eyebrows in conservation work. Not that I've accomplished great things, but as the Main Everything for BirdLife Bunbury it takes up time. This bird of a mind of mine leaps from branch to branch with things I'd like to do. Nest paintings waiting.
A commission of wagtails for a friend's birthday in July.
A commission of thirty calligraphed bookmarks for a priest friend who is conducting a women's retreat end of June.
Calligraphic scripts: I'd like to do those lovely old-fashioned verses like "Monday's child ....." and "Thirty days hath November ....... ". Why? Because I'd just like to, no other reason. why not?, instead of why?
Perhaps someone might like to frame these, and put them on their kitchen wall.
I am to give a bird talk to ladies at St Boniface Cathedral this Thursday I never know what I am going to do. It should fall into place.
An article to write for the local newspaper on sea-birds and plastics.
There is mending to be done, and cushions to sew. Dishes to wash.