Thursday, February 12, 2009

my love affair with australia

Unbelievably, this week is the 10th anniversary of my journey to Australia where I spent a year studying Plant and Wildlife Illustration. How the heck does 10 years fly by so quickly? I remember it all very clearly, and 10 years ago on precisely this week, I left in bone-chilling -40 degree Celsius Toronto temperatures {is that possible?!}, and arrived in Sydney in blistering +40 degree Celsius heat {is that possible?!}. And right about at this time, while trying to get accustomed to the 80 degree temperature difference, I was 'trampolining' off the thickest, sturdiest spiderwebs I have ever seen {don't get me started on the spiders}, reaching for my shampoo bottle only to grasp a leech that was stuck to the side, and watching in awe as a wallaby hopped past me on my university's campus. That year was such a wonderful experience that I'll never forget. There were many lonely times, there's no doubt - I was a 22 hour flight away from my family and they were usually sleeping while I was awake! But my adventure taught me how to depend on myself. I became very strong and independent...I grew up.

Aside from all that I learned outside of the classroom, I was able to concentrate on painting and drawing for a full year, which was a dream! To commemorate my 10th anniversary, above are some of the illustrations I created, in hopes of creating them into a children's book {I still hope to one day!}. They are patterns in nature, painted in watercolor, and the premise was to get children to look closer at nature, to gain an appreciation for it at a young age.

I will be posting a bit more about my Australian adventure, but in the meantime my thoughts are with those suffering from the horrific bush fires that have been roaring near Melbourne. Here is a blog that is selling various donated handmade items to raise money for those affected - such a wonderful idea.


Melanie said...

Oh, I just love these paintings so much. My favourite is the shell and the fishy!

Jessica said...

you're so talented!!! when matty and i finally buy a place im commissionning a piece from you :)