Saturday, June 01, 2013

Australia Pt. 4 - Jervis Bay

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.

Hello kangaroos.

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


jane louise said...

utterly gorgeous and that scribble bark tree could be one of your artworks Judy!

Liz in Washington state said...

I loved all the photos, but the tree and water images especially because they looked like they were part of your design for a cold wax painting. Fun read

Tracy Verdugo said...

Come back!! I miss you!!♥

Lynn Cohen said...

Oh Judy, the beauty you captured with your camera is art and I thank you for sharing so much of it. The colorful birds took my breath away! The kangaroos are fairy tale wonders to me. The trees and beaches beautiful to behold. I even loved your friends tights and boots! ;-))) glad when lost you were sweetly put in the right direction again and again! I'm glad the locals were so good to you! I am positive your students loved you dearly and appreciated all you brought to share with them! I'm so happy that you made this journey, got there and back safely and had such a good time with it all! Bravo!!!

Connie said...

Tracy Verdugo, kangaroos & cold wax art making--my jealousy just went off the charts!

Clare Wassermann said...

Wonderful and inspiring. I adore that scribble gum tree X

patti said...

Your observations about Australia and Australians make me teary Judy! Your class was wonderful and I didn't notice any lack on your part. I learned so much in such a short time. Cold Wax is a wonderful challenge!

Your pics of Jervis Bay reflect the beautiful place that it is. It was so great to have you share your knowledge with us and to see both you and Tracy in action! Thank you again! x

Bren Graham Thebeau said...

What a treat it's been to see/hear about such an amazing trip. How could you not be inspired surrounded by so much goodness. Love your take on things

Susan said...

Thank you so much for "carrying" us along with you on this journey. If I never make the trip, this is the next best thing. Thanks again!

somepinkflowers said...

{{ i have loved
this sharing
of your journey
so much
the people
the birds
the wild*life
the food
the art
aaahhhhh ...

the travel*slut in me
just loooongs
to inspect Ever Single Photo
i must say this one--->
~~the bark
of the "Scribbly Gum" tree~~
that one,
at first i thought that was one
of your cold wax pieces ...

the beauty of the bug tracks !!

i know you will say:
the wabi sabi
of it...


all so satisfying
how when your Are There
you Are There
& write about it
when you get home...

totally agree }}

Jane S. said...

Am enjoying the Australian photo tour & think I'll try that BLAT sandwich. Looks yummy. And, Judy, I'm glad we had you as our "ambassador" to Australia. It's so important for us women to try to make the world a better place & you are certainly doing your part :)
Jane xxoo

Ruth Armitage said...

You tell the story magnificently! Thank you for taking us along :) The beach, the birds, the scribbly gum: are YUM! Everything but the spider - ack! I'm so glad you had this wonderful trip....

Caterina Giglio said...

you must have been on sensory overload! I loved all of it...

jinxxxygirl said...

'We'country instead of a 'Me' country. We have lost that here in this country haven't we ? Thank you so much for sharing with us. By the way i found your blog thru Seth's Art Blog directory! Just wanted to stop and say hi and let you know how much i enjoyed going on your trip to Australia with you! Hope you'll pop over and say hi! Hugs! deb

Jacky said...

Oh Judy I must have missed this post earlier! How wonderful your photos from Jervis Bay with Tracy and Co.
The scribbly gum was gorgeous...would translate beautifully to cold wax!!! Some beautiful art by the girls in the workshop. Must have been amazing to work with them all.
Jervis Bay and Tracy's home look so welcoming.
Thank you for your kind words about Australia and we Aussies..... you promote your countrymen well Judy... as kind and lovely as we imagined.

Jacky xox

Michele R. Unger said...

A "we country instead of a me country." Boy, does that make we want to rush off and buy a ticket to Australia! How beautifully you write and how gorgeous all the photos.

Seth said...

Wow. I do not know where to even begin. What an experience!