When I arrived at Tracy Verdugo's the first thing she asked me was if I wanted to see some kangaroos.
The answer was a resounding "yes!"
So she drove down to some nearby houses and there they were. Lots of them.
On people's lawns.
They were curious about us too.
Look how powerful their back legs are. They are locomotion machines.
Check this off my bucket list. Kangaroos. Yes, thank you.
We take pictures.
Set up the room together for the class tomorrow.
Tables, chairs, lots of prep and Tracy helped me make a big job easy.
Then we had a little beach walk.
Past these pastel cottages.
To the pellucid sea.
After a short walk on the white sand beach we retrace our steps past this wonky tree back to Tracy's.
(Seriously - isn't this something?)
Share food, wine, conversation and then turn in early to rest up for the class in the morning.
On Saturday and Sunday we meet together for the Cold Wax Class. Thirteen of us exploring and discovering together. Making work in cold wax is like solving a fascinating puzzle. You interact with the materials in a dance of control / no-control. You keep dancing until the piece tells you it's done. It's addictive.
This was my lunch on one of the days. The best bacon, lettuce, tomato and avocado sandwich I've ever eaten. It's called a BLAT. And a sanga. Sandwich = sanga. Aussie talk.
We took a class photo as well as photos of more of the work but this is all I have to post right now. Tracy posted images of the cold wax paintings she did in class here. It's worth hopping over there to see them. She's a fast learner and her paintings turned out very well.
The image above is one of my sample pieces that I did in class.
The next day we went to see birds, water, trees and a de-commissioned lighthouse. Nature.
First the birds.
This is the bark of the "Scribbly Gum" tree. Little insects chew these beautiful marks into the bark.
This is a turpentine tree.
And this rubble used to be a lighthouse. Check it out.
It puts our lesser errors in perspective.
After a full day of exploration, eating, and talking ourselves out it was time for another sleep.
And early the next morning after hugs all around I was on the road back to Sydney. That will be the next and last post on my Australian adventure.
Addendum: As I write this report I'm aware that I'm only telling you the story in pictures. What I'm leaving out is enormous. Like how kind the women in the class were to me and the strong connection I felt to more than a few of them. The lovely presentation of a card and gift that Tracy gave me at the end of the class. The fact that when I plugged my voice amplifier into the wall without a converter attached I fried it so that I had to start the class off in a wobbly manner. I was so worried that my voice wouldn't hold out in such a large room with so many students that I really lost my footing for the first hour. But everyone was gracious and I found out that I could survive without the amplifier in a pinch. So thank you dear women. And forgive me for not conducting introductions and the sharing that I usually try to initiate.
There were so many instances of kindness on the part of strangers. When I got lost in Albion Park how the young postal delivery fellow (handsome too) stopped and gave me unerring directions. There will be several Sydney stories of kindness (boy is that city easy to get lost in). Every U. S. citizen I know who's travelled to Australia remarks on the kindness and open heartedness of the Australians. I read this week that Australia is rated #1 in terms of happiness in the world. And maybe that explains it in part. When you are fulfilled in your life you can reach out more graciously to others. Also I think it has to do with being a "we" country instead of a "me" country.
I'll sign off now. xo