Leanne Barrett: September 2017

Sunday 10 September 2017

Raining cats and dogs

52 Week Illustration Challenge: Week 30: Printing

For this week's illustration I wanted to create something that could become elements for a stencil. Later I would like to explore reprinting this design in a variety of colours.

See the 52-week Illustration Challenge page for more information about this art work that I have created.

Saturday 9 September 2017

Level Up Conference - Photos

Fabulous day at the SCBWI ACT - Level Up conference.

Inspirational, informative, fun and supportive. 

An overview of the event shortly.

Tuesday 5 September 2017

Listen to Trees: David Haskell author of The Songs of Trees

George Berkeley is quoted to say “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”

I'm sure that they do. Trees are are surrounded by a network of symbiotic lifeforms that would hear and feel if a tree fell in a forest. If we stop and listen to trees, by being open to the moment, we will find that they are "... nature's great connectors, we learn how to inhabit the relationships that give life its source, substance and beauty," says writer and scientist, David George Haskell, a professor of Biology and Environmental Studies.

David George Haskell in conversation with Genevieve Jacobs, at the National Library of Australia (NLA), shared his thoughts about trees and his new book The Songs of Trees, with an audience of more than 50 people.

As a member of the audience I could relate to what David had to say. Trees have sung songs to me for a long time now. 
  • In my childhood there was the favourite wattle tree we would climb in our back garden.
  • I loved eating fruit off my Blood Plum tree.
  • My siblings and friends would play in groves of Snow Gums at the family farm near Bredbo.
  • My grandmother used to take me to a playground near Yarralumla Primary School, where I would visit an old Cork tree.
  • On Thursdays my Mum used to visit the banks on Jardine Street in Kingston, where the Oak trees lined the street. While Mum was in the bank we would collect and play with the leaves and acorns from these magnificent large trees.
  • When husband and I owned a farm (43 acres) on the outskirts of Canberra we planted 4000 plus native trees, 100 poplar trees and 50 plus other deciduous trees. These trees were planted for varies reasons; wildlife corridors, assist in bring back the birds, windbreaks, to add biodiversity, to improve the heath of remnant trees, create memories, for beauty and aesthetics. 
  • As a property owner and landcarer the preservation of our remnant forest was very important it contained Snow Gums, Yellow Box, Broad-leafed Peppermints and Apple Boxes both living and dead. (Oh how I cried when the new property owners cut down all the dead trees and removed all of the dead wood off the ground.)
  • Today I listen to an Oak tree in a courtyard in the CBD of Canberra.
It is therefore no a surprise that I was entranced by what David had to say about trees and their connectivity to the environment, which includes us humans. 

Monday 4 September 2017

Susie Beaver: gallery owner and inspirational role model

On a cold winter's Sunday, in July, an audience of over 50 people came to the National Library of Australia to hear a winter's tale from Susie Beaver, co-owner of Beaver Galleries in Deakin.

Susie Beaver is descended from a long line of  family members that have left their mark on Australian history and culture.

Susie's maternal third great-grandfather, Alfred Barker was a seaman on the ship Rapid that arrived at Nepean Bay, Kangaroo Island in 1836. He later became a cattle and sheep farmer in South Australia. Alfred Barker married Priscilla Chambers in 1842, she arrived in Australia on the John Renwick in 1837 to Holdfast Bay, Adelaide. Priscilla's contribution to the St Andrew's School in Walkerville, SA was recognised with a room being named after her in 1901, for more information see here.

One of the many inspirational women in Susie's family was her second great grandmother, Sophie Jane Brown nee Torr, who married Alfred Edward Barker. Sophie is most notably known in the family, for giving birth to around 16 children and then continuing to grow the family further by fostering and adopting orphans.