The highlight of November was when we
TRAVELED OUT OF QUEENSLAND.
With all our visas and documentation to show where we have been. (actually nowhere this past year!!!) Our vaccination certificates to declare we are fully vaccinated. We finally boarded a plane for Tasmania. What a thrill to feel the plane lift off. After months of anticipation and uncertainty. Constant cancellations of previous art retreats, this one was becoming a reality.
Two and half hours later we arrived in Launceston, Tasmania and were booked in to the Red Feather Inn
We arrived 3 days before the workshop started so had time to settle in to Murphetts Cottage a delightful colonial style cottage that had been fully renovated. One of a clutch of buildings surrounded by cottage style gardens.
This building, on the left, had originally been the stables, but was now converted to a roomy studio.
I had been expecting cold wet weather, we had packed thermals and winter woollies. But it could not be any more perfect than it was. After one day of rain and the first night the temperature falling to one degree, the coldest on record for almost 70 years, the sun came out and the temperatures rose to a day time high of 22 degrees and only falling to 10 degrees at night. It stayed that way for the rest of our stay. The thermals were put away. The garden glowed in the clear, pristine light.
Behind the main garden was a well stocked veggie garden and this 100+ year old plum tree. The produce was used in the restaurant. The retreat was fully catered and the meals were delicious.
When the other 6 “retreaters” arrived we spent the next 3 days from 9am to 4pm with Colley Whisson guiding us through the creative process of producing our own works of art. First he would do a demonstration, then we would spread out to set up our easels and, with his help, be engrossed in the creative process.
The third day we did a “plein aire” painting I chose this corner of the garden I loved that huge urn. I struggled a bit with the acrylics drying so quickly, even using a slow drying medium in them. I still have to add some finishing touches to the painting.
Each afternoon, after the painting session, we would all gather in our “Murphets Cottage” for happy hour. Wine and nibbles and swapping stories before going for our evening meal.
Jack had come along as my “non painting” partner so, while we were engrossed in our painting, he would take the bus into Launceston to explore, sketch, meet and talk to people and have his own adventures.
The last night at Red Feather we all went to one of the local vineyards for dinner
We were given the menu to read. It was an interesting, set menu and even after reading it we had no idea what to expect. Share plates were placed along the table. We all agreed it tasted delicious. But still had no idea what the ingredients were…
After 3 days at Red Feather we were now taken on a 2 hour drive over to the east coast. The scenery reminded me of New Zealand.
Now we were in the stunning and unique area of the Bay of Fires.
“The Bay of Fires is known all over the world for its extraordinary clear blue seas, brilliant white beaches and striking orange lichen-cloaked boulders. It inspires a string of superlatives from every person lucky enough to come here, and it’s one of the most idyllic holiday destinations imaginable.”
Colley inspired us for one more day of painting. Then, all too soon, the week was over.
Now it was back to Launceston for another week on our own. But more of that in another post…
How had the garden coped for 2 weeks on its own?
While we were enjoying glorious, sunny weather in Tasmania, it had rained almost every day in Queensland. There was 178mm in the rain gauge and it was still raining. Many areas out west are flooded with whole towns being evacuated as rivers break their banks.
The garden was like a jungle.
My beautiful young dwarf gum tree had burst into flower while we were away. But now was looking rather bedraggled.
So November is gone and Christmas is bearing down on us at the end of a very tumultuous year.
Thanks to Ju-Lyn for hosting the “Changing Seasons” monthly