Acrylic on ply cradled panel, original painting by Helen Evans. 90x60x2cm, this painting is painted on 4 panels, each is 30x45x2cm. It is framed as one complete piece in a light natural float/tray frame
Part of my "Shelter" series of paintings exploring my garden. Our garden has been a labour of love for over a decade. We moved our house onto a rugged cow paddock in Cedar Creek northwest of Brisbane in 2010. I had wanted a large garden for years and finally had almost 10 acres to work with. At first, our house felt perched on the land, it felt separate, it was stuck in the middle of a hilly lot with a rough driveway as access. We started by mulching around the house and planting and planting. Over the years we slowly pushed back the garden boundaries, beating back the long grass and weeds. I mourned the plants which were lost to sun, rain, clay soil and bush turkeys, and celebrated those that flourished. Our shrubs and trees grew exponentially with the La Nina rains of the past two years and now cocoon our house in cool abundant green.
During the late summer of 2022, I drew my garden from life every day for 100 days. These drawings have provided an invaluable resource for my painting. I produced the series "Round and Round" and now a second series in " Shelter'.
The garden provides shelter for our home. Keeping it shaded and hidden from the road. It provides shelter for birds and wildlife.
While I was making the 100 drawings I more often than not had to shelter on the verandas to make drawings as it was a very wet summer. I had to find new compositions every day as I sheltered from yet another heavy downpour.
I have loved this plant for many years. It grew in Bermuda and was known as Pigeon Berry ( Geisha Girl suits it much better). When we started our garden in Queensland it was one of the first shrubs we planted. It has proved to be tenacious and hardy. It self-seeds and pops up in spots where others have failed. It doesn't mind a good prune and the bobbing lilac and purple flowers are a delight. Birds love them and the bright berries and lime green new leaves provide a vivacious pallet.