Prompted by a recent exhibition called Sacred Land by Barbel Ulrich, I got thinking about my relationship with where I live. How do I connect with the land? For one thing, I look for a hill or mountain nearby as a point of reference – to know that I am home.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

I have always lived in towns, so contact with the land from day to day is either intimate in the garden, or public in parks. (For a time I also had a secret life along the magic corridor on Beechworth Road, in the evenings, before the drought.)

And then when the drought broke last year I was compelled to paint the sky. The sky is always with me. A free gift every day that requires only my attention.

the sky is always with me #3

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Falls Creek in May

May 8, 2011

Today a cloud was blown around me by a small breeze as I sat on top of Mount McKay. It covered the sun and arched above my head and filled my view in a half dome. A chill came with it and a feeling of expectancy.

For much of the past two days up there in the alps the clouds skipped across a blue sky and threw shadows on yellow ochre plains. Silver skeletons of burnt bleached snow gums looked like fur from a distance and like cast metal close up.

While I sat there painting, my son Tom rang to wish me a happy mothers day. I was very happy, and here is the painting.

Copy of rocky valley 5

I have always loved the sea, but living here near the mountains I’m discovering a different peacefulness that comes from emersing myself in a wild place. It’s the quiet and the coolness.

I know it can be the opposite to that, but not this time.

Copy of pretty valley

Violence

May 3, 2011

A few days ago we heard on the news that a young man and his three children were killed in an air raid. His father, a megalomaniac, was the intended target.

Last night we heard that a man who is responsible for many acts of violence around the world was killed in a surprise attack. ‘He used his wife as a human shield’ they said.

Both reports made me feel sick. It was the smiles on people’s faces that did it. Of course the world can do without such men. And I reckon I would feel like avenging a murdered loved one, and it all makes me feel sick.

I feel compelled to post a quote I saw in my friend’s studio recently.

“I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent.” Mahatma Gandhi.

Copy of Tom babe