A variety of approaches to beloved subject matter

Nothing is more exciting to my creativity than unspoilt nature.  Walking barefoot in swirling eddies, climbing resilient cliffs that have defied wild weather for millions of years to see distant vistas, close up textures, lichen, flora and fauna.  This fuels the artist in me to work passionately, long hours, until I have finished creating to my satisfaction.

Encouragement has come via art grants from Arts Access Tasmania, the artistic community of the Launceston Art Society and its workshops and exhibitions, mentors such as the gifted pastelist Jonathan Bowden, world famous print maker Raymond Arnold, world celebrated artist Graeme Whittle and Ken Duncan, our world famous photographer.

In visiting Ireland for two months in 2014, Sandra fed her newly experienced print making passion, studying extensively Irish Print Makers.  Of special mention is Lady Mabel Annesley whose woodcuts and linocuts were full of movement, vigor and vibrant compositions.  All over Ireland she visited many art galleries, studied practising artists and kept communicating with the Royal Ulster art Academy.  Of special mention was the art exhibition of "the Troubles" at Belfast Museum and the  sculptures of historical interest of legendary Finvola, St. Bernard in his boat, and the sea god, Manannán Mac Lir, who in Irish mythology, is said to have been the first ruler of the Isle of Man.  Manand is the old Irish name for the Isle of Man. His surname suggests he was the son of Lir, meaning the sea.

The presence of this sea god in Lough Foyle folklore tells of how Manannan Mac Lir's sons were turned into swans by a witch, until released by the wearing of their sister's knitted coats.  He was sculptured at the top of the mountain, overlooking the sea.  Rain was pelting down on me and on him, bare chested with a flowing cape, standing in his boat, arms outstretched, thanking God the Creator for returning his sons to him.  

Amazing sundials, garden designs new and ancient, sculptures new and ancient,  prints new and ancient, and the presentation of the Titanic in an amazinly complex computerised diorama, explored only in seats dangling from overhead rail systems, made the trip well worthwhile.  Unforgettable!!

Turner, and the places at which he stood and painted at Scarborough, capturing the pre dawn skies back lit by orange and gold, were another pilgrimage.  Skies, movement of winds and colours in light were another multi-sensory delight.   I was staying over the road form the very place where he painted, so I was up before dawn to imagine being Turner, taking lots of photos and sketching befre visiting art galleries during business hours.  Ancient forts hidden in cliff faces of stony outcrops, still exist there.   Birds swoooped down to their fish breakfasts, then rising gracefully with the wriggling catches to d eposit them in nests on the cliffs.  Even these cliffs where birds made homes, were designed like Danish pastries with diamond shapes at their entries.  Cattle grazed to the edges of cliffs not needing fences.

I came back to Australia with many pen and ink sketches of my travels and fond memories of Irelend's natural rugged beauty, its music, its people and their warm hosppitality.

Since coming back, Dallas Richardson has taken over extending my artistic development with the traditional print making techniques used by Rembrandt, Goya, Hogarth, Escher.  So intricate, so precise are the stages of production, that I feel it will take decades to master each type.

Now I have a dedicated cottage as my art studio and workroom at my Newnham home, making storage and working there a delight. 

A planned visit soon from my grandsons, Mort, Farley and Ruebin with their Mother Cerissa, is much looked forward to as I see what artwork they are currently producing. Animation is a craft passed to them by their father Brett.  Mort creates fantasy computerised characters in wonderful colours that "sing" and lines that are full of movement.  God's gift of creating lives on in yet another generation's genetics.