Thursday, 16 April 2015

Trees in March

Here we are in April and we're still working away on our Tree journals. For some of us, this has been a way to explore what we know about local trees. Living in Australia, most trees you see fall into the general category of Gum Tree. It's sometimes incredibly hard to tell one gum tree from another, but tree identification can be really important if you want to use the bark or leaves for dyeing (for example).

This month, Maz was collecting information about the Raspberry Jam Tree, Acacia acuminata. Acuminata means pointed or elongated in Latin, referring to the long point at the tip of the leaves. The everyday name, Raspberry Jam Tree, refers to the scent of the wood when cut, which is like the smell of the jam.

Cindy is also researching different aspects of trees, but each month she focuses on a particular characteristic. First of all, she was catching up from last month, when she was interested in leaves.

She's built up a great collection of leaf shapes here.

This month she was interested in flowers. Her pages show photos she took in Canberra, and a collection of the ten most popular flowering trees with their characteristics.

She commented on how strange it was that these popular ones all had white or pink flowers!

Nola has been more interested in using the tree shape as a recurring motif and recording the results. In her first pages this month, she finished adding the images she made last month with compressed sponge. The left hand page shows a print using all three sections of sponge and the right was an attempt to use ghost prints to create depth.
She had also made some prints with a commercial tree stamp belonging to Maz, on a page printed with thickened dye.

... and finally some prints made with an incised stamp she carved from Ezy-Carve. Incised stamps have the pattern made from the un-inked part of the stamp, which is cut away. The left hand page shows the stamp inked with a foam brush, which left distinctive lines on the surface. The right hand page shows the stamp used as a rubbing block, first with dry paper and watercolour pencils, washed over with a brush afterwards, and then with water colour pencils used on damp paper.

That's it for trees this month... the others forgot to bring their books!

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