Botanical Riches – Gouache

lorainecallowdesignsGouache paintings on my desk – Loraine Callow March 2017

Explorer Frank Kingdon Ward on his first sighting of the blue poppy in Tibet, 1924:
‘Suddenly I looked and there, like a blue panel dropped from heaven – a stream of blue poppies dazzling as sapphires in the pale light.’

Botanical riches on my desk this morning from the previous evening. The book “Botanical Riches – Stories of Botanical Exploration” by Richard Aitken is really an exceptional work. I’ve had the great pleasure of meeting Richard on a couple of occasions and his work influences my day job. Thank heavens for The Miegunyah Press and their superb book production that captures some of Richard’s encyclopaedic knowledge. I’ve had this for book for 10 years and constantly find something fascinating and inspiring in it. This time it was a poppy and Strelitizia reginae. I painted them in gouache in my sketchbook.

More on Richard and how this lovely book came to be.

Strelitzia Lorainecallowdesigns

Strelitzia in gouache – Loraine Callow March 2017.

My Window Garden – Autumn in Melbourne

lorainecallow window 2 lorainecallow window 3 lorainecallow window 1lorainecallow window 4

Autumn has arrived here in my little corner of Australia and with it comes the morning sun at a slightly different angle – an angle that brings the distinct feeling of seasonal change and registers both the ending of something and the starting of something. It’s a bittersweet combination of melancholy and anticipation for the season ahead. In the meantime I’m full of gladness and deep appreciation that I’m blessed with flowers and a garden. I hope you are enjoying the season wherever you are!

Kereru – In New Zealand Even the Pigeons are Spectacular

NZ 2013

nz 2013 2

I recently spent a wonderful week on the south island of New Zealand at the 5th Global Botanic Gardens Congress. On the very last day of our visit we made it to the gorgeous Dunedin Botanic Gardens for a morning spent oohing and ahhing over the gracious lawns, gardens and magnificent trees. Just as we were leaving we found this beautiful creature pecking away at leaves in trees just near the entrance gates. It was kind enough to pose. You can click to make bigger. More on the lovely native wood pigeon here.