Changing Seasons : November 2021

The highlight of November was when we


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.tasmania 002_5184x3888

Two and half hours later we arrived in Launceston, Tasmania and were booked in to the Red Feather Inn 

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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. tasmania 111_5184x3888

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.

It had been booked through “Artable” organised by Gillian Grove. I have now been to a number of workshops arranged by Gillian and hope to go to many more. They are always so enjoyable.

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. 20211119_095122

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 dinner20211119_202250_4128x3096

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.tasmania 141_5184x3888

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.”

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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.november garden 004_5184x3888

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


  1. What a marvellous trip you had,Pauline! The place you stayed at sounds wonderful. And you got to see some great scenery, create art with like minded people and learn new skills I guess

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What beautiful photos of your trip! I feel as though I have traveled when in fact I have not like so many people. Just to have such fine weather would be a treat, indeed. Bay of Fires was awesome and you and Jack are such fine artists…you really are!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Renee. Yes armchair travel is now the norm in these days of closed borders. It was touch and go whether we would get out, as local delta infection almost caused the Premier to close the border a week before we left.☹️😷

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What a wonderful trip away! I can imagine how excited you both were. I’d love to visit Tassie, it looks amazing. Hope you will post more about your time there and more of your great paintings. And I also hope the floods stay away from you! The garden is looking beautiful, as always. Love to you and Jack xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • You would love Tassie Jude. So easy to get around, not long distances to drive. It reminded me so much of NZ and in places the narrow, hedge lined roads were reminiscent of Devon. I will be posting about our second week, but have to sort more photos out first. Not been visiting blogs while away, but will catch up again soon. Hope all is well with you, and your family. Sun is back out again now, but only for a few days. Rain forecast again later in the week


  4. Pauline you amaze me how you achieve all the things you do.
    it is no wonder you have such a lot of good friends.
    I want to take this opportunity of saying how lucky I am sharing your friends.
    Nothing better than having friends even if they are other peoples.
    I wish them all a wonderful Christmas and great new year.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. It sounds like a wonderful as well as creative time and both of you are quite talented. The place itself was beautiful and good food, wine, and company make for an unbeatable combination. I chuckle to myself every time I see this challenge come up each month because here in Arizona it looks quite a lot the same year-round. I’m looking forward to more photos and narration about the time away. Isn’t it wonderful to get out?! Hi, Jack.


    Liked by 1 person

  6. Australia is fascinating enough. Tasmania adds another dimension. I suppose it is not too far from the main continent. I think of it as quite far from the rest of Australia. That antique plum is impressive. I grew up with stone fruit orchards, so I know that most stone fruit trees get replaced too regularly to get old. Peach trees do not even last forty years!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Delighted you two could travel again, and to Tasmania for an art course – exciting! The YouTube about the cottages was delightful and provided even more scenic views. All best wishes to you & Jack! xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I do believe you are living in Paradise. The days looked so relaxing and the photos of the Red Feather made we want to hope on a plane. You paint of the urn was a great souvenir of your trip and a reminder of the grounds, the retreat, the workshop, and the people. It looked wonderful. A nice November indeed. Donna

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’ve been so looking forward to your post and I am very very very happy to read about your TRIP!!!!!
    It sounds like you had a blissful retreat week (and I can’t wait to hear about your week in Launceston – a supplementary post, perhaps?).

    And the weather behaved for you as well – your plein air sessions look such fun! It must have been challenging to create outdoors though, with all the beautiful distractions around you.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. So glad you had a good trip to Tassie. Red Feather Inn looks lovely, an ideal place for your retreat. The East Coast has stunning scenery, so nice that you got out and about to compliment your creative efforts. Thanks for sharing your trip. I thoroughly enjoyed your words and photos.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. That workshop looked like a dream. To be in those surroundings–the gardens, the old stone buildings, the food–with nothing to do but paint … a bit of bliss. And your painting really captured that feeling. I really love the effect of the flowers in the foreground. Lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

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