This month, I thought it would be nice to take a photographic journey around some of the most interesting parks in Toowoomba. And, believe it or not, Toowoomba has quite a few parks that our trustworthy, talented gardeners tend to every day, so they look just right for our visitors and so they are ready for the opening of the September - Carnival of Flowers.
Now because our gardeners look after over a 100 gardens across the Downs, it is far too big an assignment for me to cover in one foul sweep. So I might do a series. Anyhow, here are some really interesting statues I found hidden in the Scented Gardens.
I have to say, I was totally blown away by the number of statues available at the Scented Garden. I counted over 30 statues, but these were my favourites. The attention to detail is just superb and proportionally, each statue stands about three quarters the actual size of a female figure. Centrally place among the falling autumn leaves, these little ladies are very much worth viewing, on a crisp winter morning. The lighting is just great, then!
Among the ladies however, this one really captured my attention as the statue sort of grows out of the dead of leaves.
I don't know how old or how long these statues have existed at the gardens, but I do know they have been here for many years. I remember as a kid, dad would bring me to the parks on various photo shoots and I'd be in my element tossing the leaves about the winter fog. Those were the days when the rains came in the winter months - not much of that happening lately.
This young fellow stands beneath a huge growth of trees, as you enter the Gardens - not far from the tiered iron sculptures that house beds of hanging flowers in the summer months. Yes, they are pretty empty at the moment, but come summer, he'll be in his element among the blossoms. For the time being, this fellow is rugged up for the winter and I don't see him going anywhere fast. :)
Everyone sets aside a collection of tools they prefer to use for watercolour. I am no different, although I do believe making time to experiment with new mediums and tools that you haven't yet given the time of day, is really necessary. In the creation of art works, one is often inclined to stick with things that work, but without taking a look at what is really out there, your true talent can't be recognised, because you are scared to push the boundaries. It is sort of like scaling a hill. Of course you can go around it, but if you run up it, you become so much stronger and your technique improves.
When I first got back into watercolour, I was inclined to tentatively use my old palette and fine brush, as I did as a kid. I would plod away, working in far too much detail and the quality of painting suffered, as it would always look over worked. So, I literally had to put my old faithful brush and paint palette in a box, so I could learn to use new watercolour mediums such as gouache and watercolour pencils. Yes, I do realise these mediums have been around for quite some years, however if you are a creature of habit because you're scared to make a mistake with your watercolour, you will often stick to what you know.
So, on my last trip to Seoul, I took nothing but my wallet and visited Kyobo underground Bookstore, which has more than just books. It is full of great art supplies and is a creators' paradise for both the creation of art and author works - that is, if you really love snooping through pen, ink and writing sets, too. I have to say, I was very much spoilt for choice as the local ink, watercolour paper as well as the watercolour pencils are of exceptional quality. Shinhan art products and tools have been around for years and I am very much partial to using them. They flow easily across 300 gsm paper and produce that wonderful natural, trademark wash.
So although my task was to use only Derwent pencils to lay down my sketches, I did cheat a bit, using the Pro Artist watercolour paint to complete my tests. Either way, the Derwent pencils are smooth to use, but tend to leave a gritty finish on the paper if you are not careful. They definitely need a good deal of experimenting to master but are great, if you like to be in control of where you place your lines. So, if you love your colour pencils and enjoy the overlay process, watercolour pencils will allow you that freedom.
When it comes to pen an ink, my initial tools are a good Unipin fine liner or micron Pigma, to whizz about the page. However, I do use dip pens into Winsor and Newton Ink for continuity of natural tones across the page. Black is quite harsh and doesn't always deliver a natural feel. However, I do like to use the black micron to quickly sketch my overall scene as it makes me focus in on the subject and I tend not to worry about making mistakes. I don't get stuck on the details and my hand naturally places the marks across the paper.