The wattle is in bloom around Brisbane at the moment. National Wattle Day is officially the first of September, however in our sunny state the flower blooms much earlier than in those cold, sunless, states below Queensland. Wattle Day has been celebrated in Australia since early last century. And the flower has been on the Australian Coat of Arms since 1912. At the Olympics, the green and gold of the wattle is on show for all the world to see all week!
As a still life subject
When a large bunch is set up in the studio for painting, the nectar fills the whole house. The odour is strong enough for visitors to the house to strike up enough courage to ask what that smell is! The flowers don’t drip sticky nectar like other flowers are sometimes prone to do. However they must be painted promptly before the flowers lose their bright fluffiness. A few days later and the yellow pollen etc. starts to fall, making a fine dust on the floor of the studio.
Some types of wattle branches have a distinctive zigzag shape and the resulting patterns look interesting in a painting. Silver wattle (native to Central Queensland) also makes an interesting subject. I seem to have never painted the Lambs Tail only the Ball flowers. At least I can’t see any Lambs Tail paintings when looking back through my archives of earlier work. Must leave a note to do so.
I will hold my next exhibition of paintings at the Metcalfe Gallery, Brisbane Institute of Art, Windsor. Open from 27th August to the 8th September, 2021, 10am – 4pm. Please send me a note and I’ll email you a reminder two weeks before the start.