Maria’s Garden, Back of House

Finalist, Lyn McCrae Memorial Drawing Prize, Noosa Regional Gallery 2018

maria's garden, back of house a4 copy

Maria and her husband constructed rooms under the house, the chook shed, an outside oven and climbing frames for the beans and other vegetables. Water was diverted from the roof into garbage bins and Maria uses a saucepan tied to a broom handle to distribute water to the plants. Surrounded by new development, Maria’s house and garden are unlikely  to survive the increasing pressure for higher density living.

Charcoal, pastel on Arches paper, 67 x 108cm

Back from Black

Winner

Andrew Fisher Portrait Prize, Gympie Regional Gallery, 2018

back from black a4 copy

Several years ago a series of very difficult events unfolded culminating in my getting a serious health issue which meant that I couldn’t work, lost my business, my clients. Long story short, new drug, health restored. I started drawing gardens rather than buildings. I’m “Back from Black” and in Maria’s Garden !

Oil on linen, 60 x 100cm

Maria’s Garden, Clothes Line

Finalist, Adelaide Perry Prize for Drawing 2018

maria's garden - clothes line final a4sm

It is at the clothesline that Maria’s garden combines practicality and decoration in an uniquely Australian way. The Hill’s Hoist is ringed by geraniums and mown grass, with an outer ring of pot plants and flowers, all grown from ‘cuts’.

Pastel, charcoal on Arches paper, 75 x 109 cm

Maria’s Garden, Summer Harvest

Kedumba Drawing Award, 2017

Orange Regional Gallery (acquired)

maria's garden - summer harvest - a4

This is the sixth drawing of Maria’s garden. The beans cover every frame and trellis. The space is closed in, a vigorous green wonderland, that left unchecked, could take over the house.

Pastel, charcoal on Arches paper, 56 x 90cm

Maria’s Garden, Shed

Winner,  Drawing from Nature

ArchiGraphicsArts Competition of Architectural Drawings, Moscow, 2017

maria's garden, shed-a4

I felt it was very important to show the detail, because much of Maria’s philosophy “waste not, want not” is in those details.  Maria has worked hard all her life since she arrived here at 14 years of age from a war torn Italy where she and her family often did not have enough to eat. Through her hard work and thrift, her garden has supplied her family with food.  Nothing is ever wasted. The structural materials that make up her climbing frames, sheds and tools have been recycled from elsewhere. Plants come from cuttings and seeds she has saved. Water is collected from the roof, directed into rubbish bins and ladled out with a saucepan tied to a broomstick.

Charcoal, pastel on Arches paper, 45 x 72cm

Maria’s Garden, Harvest Moon

Finalist,  Adelaide Perry Prize for Drawing 2017

maria's garden, harvest moon - a4

It had been several months since I had first sketched in my neighbour Maria’s garden and I found it overtaken by the beans that now covered every frame and trellis. The space was more closed in, rooms of green with a central corridor, and it feels like those beans could take over the house, even the world. We had a harvest moon at this time, and again the garden was transformed by the intensity of the light of a super-moon, drained of colour but with a sharp clarity of detail and shadow.

Charcoal, pastel on Arches paper, 68 x 108cm

Maria’s Garden, From the Back

Winner People’s Choice Award

JADA ( Jacaranda  Acquisitive Drawing Award)

Grafton Regional Gallery, NSW

“Maria’s Garden, From The Back” recently won the Art Spectrum People’s  Choice Award and was acquired by the Grafton Regional Gallery. “This detailed drawing won the popularity stakes hands down. Any time you were in the gallery when the 2016 JADA was on display there are visitors standing in front of this drawing of the artist’s neighbour’s garden” Jude McBean, Grafton Regional Gallery Director.

2_j_grealy_marias-garden-from-the-backThe fourth in this series, “Maria’s Garden, From the Back” is of my neighbour’s garden, with its history of Maria’s long marriage, her love of gardening and Italian post war migration in our inner city suburb of New Farm in Brisbane.

The 2016 Jacaranda Acquisitive Drawing Award has gone to Caboolture Regional Gallery for the first of its eight venue tour. The winner and four acquisitions along with the 41 finalists are set to tour until August 2018. After Caboolture Regional Art Gallery the 2016 JADA goes to University of the Sunshine Coast Gallery followed by Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery, Gympie Regional Gallery, Redland Art Gallery, Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery, Warwick Art Gallery and the New England Regional Art Museum, Armidale.