Sunday, March 11, 2012

Gum Leaves

It seems that spring is slowly creeping its way across North America and yet summer is clinging tight to the land down under.  After years and years of debilitating drought, the 'big wet' is definitely making itself known across many parts of Australia.  Devastating floods are receding in NSW sand QLD and displaced communities are now returning to their homes to start the clean up. A scene that seems to be repeating the world over this decade.  Mother nature can be a cruel and heartless woman, yet her beauty can be unspeakably inspiring.

Australia is a land of subtlety and splendor.  There is little pomp and circumstance surrounding much of her visual offerings, but the beauty in each scene is more deeply stirring to ones blood than any imagining could possibly be.  It is a place that is to be appreciated under the sky rather than through a book.

The humble 'gum tree' is a perfect example of this splendor.  Transplanted from Australia to other parts of the world, it is not unfamiliar in many countries.  But to see it in its natural glory, in its home, laced with wildlife who rely on it for their very existence is truly beautiful.

The sun shines hotter here than a lot of places on this planet, and the ecosystems have had to adapt. The gum tree is one of those brilliant adaptations--able to survive both flood and drought.  The tree itself is amassed with eucalyptus oil which protects and nourishes.  The subtle smell of eucalyptus is everywhere in the air and it's more noticeable, the hotter it gets.

Distant scenes of bush lands and hills shimmer with iridescent colors that are thrown up from these humble trees. Blues, greens, red, oranges, browns.  They even come in a rainbow variety.  My mother's neighborhood, like most areas in Australia, is filled with gum trees. I don't know what variety I have drawn here, I'm no expert, but the nuts and flowers that the tree offers are an artists dream.

This sketchbook page is a small collection I picked up from the ground outside my mothers back door.  I could fill my entire sketchbook with interpretations of this most magnificent of trees.  Each gum nut is a kaleidoscope of color and texture, and no two are the same. Don't you just love nature's beauty?

Thanks for checking in xx