Q: So why this first photo below?
A: Because I live next door to a school tennis court and this morning when I was trying to catch a little more shut eye I had to listen to the very loud, surprisingly competitive conversation of two tennis coaches. Let me tell you ... this was louder than usual...and I heard every word... did I want to? NO! And the sky wasn't blue either like the day I took this photo!
Not to worrry! It was a painting day in my home studio and nothing was going to put me off. I had my porridge with bananas and currants and headed out to my fav Cafe for a delicious coffee and chat and bought some of their amazing organic sourdough rolls to bring home.
Here you can see my shot of a recent visit there... with toasted organic roll, buttered and spread sparingly with much loved australian condiment -vegemite. For me too salty when its lathered on!
Simple... coffee 3/4 full...not too much milk and strong quality Italian style brew! Brewbakers is the best by far in my area for this sort of thing! And conversation abounds here... good people coming by!
Home again and to the back verandah is where I paint when I want good light - this time of year its heaven...cool but never too cold. Even with a bit of rain its still a wonderful place to work. Summer-time it can be ridiculously hot... so one makes the most of this time of year!
I like this quote below... I have posted it before... ages ago... but its never a waste of time to be reminded of this! Today though it was a matter of simply getting on with what I'm working on... with some time given to going back through the wonderful book I have dipped into quite a bit this year -"Rainforest fruits of Queensland" by William and Wendy Cooper. I keep borrowing it from the Botanic Gardens Library - at $300+ its not something you rush off and buy BUT I will say its spectacularly worth it!
One does not just dip into this book ... one kind of climbs into the rainforest layers of it its so dense and magnificent. On reading of a species that may be found in the Clarence valley of NSW where I grew up I go off into a reverie of trying to recall the bush and places where I might have seen this or that.
...work in progress and the Homage to the Seed journal I'm keeping above and below - the Cooper rainforest book I mentioned is also open above. I was very keen to get on with painting but felt the need to go back through the Cooper book, freshly documenting, with very quick sketches and brief notes, some interesting forms in the the capsules and seeds of various species. I'm loving this way of becoming more familiar with the biodiversity of the rainforests and similarly rich habitats... recognising the enormous numbers of species and seeing the variations that can occur just through this simple research is so fascinating to consider. Tonight, noticing an indigenous version of nutmeg and reading that it has little scent led to wondering about the extraordinary discoveries that people made through Millennia, the risks when identifying if something was edible, what properties it had and so on.
I'm finding ethnobotany more and more fascinating and realising that its piecing together some of my own various passions for knowledge that to date didn't seem to link that well.
I also came across a fascinating read Hybrid: the History and Science of Plant Breeding by UK based Noel Kingsbury that was published only last year by University of Chicago Press at the Garden's Library this week.
I'm still hardly scratching the surface of this no doubt timely book - all 492 pages of it. Its contains a series of topics that as they get closer to the present day heat up in terms of potential for controversy. I am noticing the writer's sustained attempt to address these topics with thorough research and due consideration. Still too soon for me to have formed a strong view of his take on current political implications of what is occuring in the complex field of genetics, patents and such. I will say that his coverage is immensely broad but there is some clearly controversial material which I just noticed on his blog Noel's Garden Blog he owns as "unfashionable ideas".
The sense I did get in reading his book is that there is perhaps not a huge amount of material around that seriously attempts to cover this broad spectrum of human history on Plant breeding. So whilst some things made me sit up sharply and want to pick a fight I was having to address how little I knew of what was being raised and I found it a welcome book for bringing to the table a great many enormously relevant topics.
Well...so much for a quick post...still its been a great way to wind down, and reflect a little on this day just passed.
Ciao! S x
You may click on the image below to enlarge.