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 Acrylic on ply cradled panel, original painting by Helen Evans. 60x45x2cm.Framed in natural pine float/tray frame, d rings and wire attached ready to hang.

"Shelter" is a series of paintings exploring my garden. Our garden has been a labour of love for over a decade. This series was developed from observational drawings made from life in the garden. We were experiencing a La Nina weather event and had to shelter on the verandas or under a beach umbrella to make drawings to avoid the frequent heavy downpours. I love limitations in my practice and the weather provided.

We moved our house onto a rugged cow paddock in Cedar Creek northwest of Brisbane in 2010. I had wanted a large garden for years and finally had almost 10 acres to work with. At first, our house felt perched on the land, it felt separate, and it was stuck in the middle of a hilly lot with a rough driveway as access. We started by mulching around the house and planting and planting. Over the years we slowly pushed back the garden boundaries, beating back the long grass and weeds. I mourned the plants which were lost to sun, rain, clay soil and bush turkeys, and celebrated those that flourished. Our shrubs and trees grew exponentially with the La Nina rains of the past two years and now cocoon our house in cool abundant green. The garden provides shelter for our home. Keeping it shaded and hidden from the road. It provides shelter for birds and wildlife.

When we extended our old and small worker's cottage I wanted wide steps at the back of the house ( which is confusingly where the front door is) so that I could display my plants in pots on them. I spent much of my summer drawing project on the back veranda looking down on the steps, sheltering from yet another downpour and I drew the plants and pots many times.

Shelter I

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