Are there Faeries?
Arrival & Opening of the very first Australian Wildflower Reading Deck Oracle!

Nature Mentors & Inspirations

I have been inspired since I was a child by the early Botanists. 

My heroes where those on the tall ships and pack horse trails, those who tagged along, had other 'duties', or perhaps even lead the expeditions, who collected, drew and wrote about the natural surrounds of their adventures. 

Hqdefault-13                               talking about and sharing Nature with friends last year

I do remember my first spark of wonderment. It was while as a very young child in a classroom learning about the exploration of a land, a teacher passed around familiar xerox smelling sheets of paper the toner fluid overpowering my senses. This time,  instead of the usual pictures of uniformed men offering trinkets or horses overloaded with saddlebags of shovels, ships sitting in harbours with rowboats heading for beaches in coves, I had before me faded pages from diaries. 

Grasstree                             Arthur Bowes Smyth journal

Looking around the classroom I couldn't work out why the usual babble of my classmates hadn't halted in the same way my world had stopped in this epiphany. Beautiful line drawings of leaves curved around words, delicate flowers overlapping each other to use all available space on a page while nodding to each other over the prose, the very first observations of the person who had sat with them. 
Post3                      though I usually sketch while out in Nature, sometimes the plants I grow or are gifted to me are an inspiration

I became lost in the school library and then the local one as absorbed the world of the early Botanists. 
If you ask if I thought I would be an Artist when I was a child, the answer is not really, I wanted to be an Explorer! It wasn't the travel, it was to have gone on a great expedition with journals and my mind to fill with the world as painted by Nature there. 

  Post1I will scribble, quickly take notes & thoughts as I sketch, sometimes around my subject, sometimes on separate pages and even rubbish I've collected on my way, whatever is handy! My journals are messy, stuck together, joyous collections of my journey. 

As a teenager, Science Fiction became my friend, of course it did, because here WAS an unexplored place and as read the tales of Asimov, Clarke and so on, I put myself on these worlds, capturing the plants, the creatures, the terrain, perhaps just for myself but recorded in sketches and in snippets of thoughts in a cloth-bound book tucked in my spacesuit somehow. 

Star Trek or Star Wars.... COME ON.... what do you think???? 
"Space: the final frontier......... "

M1657751-2Ellis Rowan is my hero... my hikes, my adventures, my walks, are nothing at all compared to the bravery and the dedication of Ellis but she inspires me in so many ways through everything I do in my life. 

BUT I was also very much lost also in a world that, to this day, is the heart of all that I do. The early Botanists. Their names to me are old friends, the pages of their precious journals contain the poetry that warms my soul and lights my imagination. Ellis Rowan, Louisa Anne Meredith, Flora Martin, Jane Colden, ...... theses are just four of the women who's stories, journals, artworks and sketches I still love, adore and admire greatly. None, as much as Ellis Rowan. 

MerLouisa Anne Meredith
My Messages from Nature postcards and books that I create from my sketchbook drawings & notes, featuring my writing and poetry are inspired by her work and my early childhood memories of reading this book in particular. Most Australians know the importance of this 
Some of my Bush Friends in Tasmania" as it is Australia's first published book of poetry 

Post2                                                          one of my early journal entries

On travelling and living overseas I found the worlds of Jane Colden,  Alice Lounsberry, Marianne North and as I read their stories, stood in their worlds and looked out, I thought that though I could never be as they had, there was other work, to connect the old world and the new world together. 
I was more interested in the actual meanings of the Flowers and Plants, of the things that they held unto themselves and recording those elements as best as I could. 
MNdingyswalowtail                               postcard that I created with a sketch & notes I created on my of my hikes ~ more are here: 
                                                         Messages from Nature: Postcards to share

That is the adventure I am on today. 
I am out in the field and I am researching Nature's Blessings in their place and capturing in my journals the energy, the messages and the beauty of Nature as I find them. I know I will never discover a new plant but I hope, through the inspiration of those who I admire so greatly for their bravery in the field, in their defiance of societies expectations and in their love and dedication of Nature that I will attain a greater and deeper understanding of the connection between us all is and how not only it can help us but we can help it. 

I am thankful, I am grateful and I always acknowledge the great works and the inspirations I have found in the work of these my mentors. They have taught me to research, to learn the value of adventure be it in my own backyard or across the world. They have put a fire in my heart to never give up, to respect nature and to really listen to what she is saying to us all. 


May Nature Always Provide You with All that you Need! xx 

Reading List: 

"The Flower Hunter" Ellis Rowan
"The Flower Hunter: The Remarkable Life of Ellis Rowan" Morton-Evans, Christine & Michael
"Good Observers of Nature" Tina Gianquitto
"Ginger for Pluck" Carter & Cross