River of Inspiration

Just after Christmas, I spent a lovely few days camping by the river in the Buckland Valley in northeast Victoria, Australia.  I love coming back to these rivers that I grew up swimming in.

I have found, over the years, that as much as I love a trip to the beach, it is the river landscape that has my heart. I love the softly trickling water over stones, the beautiful ferns and mosses that can be found up on the banks.  And my kids loved the adventure too.  There is so much to respond to at a river.

I took along a small case of art supplies on this trip but found that I didn’t need most of them, as the river supplied most of what I needed.  It was full of the most beautiful coloured stones and so I started to grind them up into pigments.  This is an age-old practice in Australia, something that our indigenous Australians have been doing for thousands of years.  And when I dived  into exploring the colours available, I could understand why. Here were the most stunning, soft and rich tones.

I had such a lovely time exploring these colours, and while I didn’t produce anything really great in terms of work up there, it was such wonderful creative play and my daughters found it magical.  It was so nice to explore a medium outside my usual tool-kit and remember that nature truly does supply the very best of inspiration…and materials too!

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