Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Another Favourite - The Grass Tree

There are quite a few species of Xanthorrhoea. These magnificant specimens from the Brisbane Ranges just outside of Melbourne, are probably X. australis. One of my gardening books describes the grass like leaves which crowd together at the top of the dark rough trunk as looking like the skirt of a hula dancer. This very slow growing plant produces creamy flowers on the spike which can be up to 2 metres high. Often the best flower shows are after bushfires have swept through an area. The grass tree is very susceptible to a nasty introduced disease - Cinnamon fungus - which can devastate whole areas of them.

Grass trees make a lovely print - dancing across the fabric. It is worth the hours and hours of stencil cutting.

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Wheel of Fire Tree

The flower featured in the PalumaPrint blog banner is the Wheel of Fire (Stenocarpus sinuatus). Sometimes called Wheel Flower, this is from the rainforests of Queensland and has long been used as an ornamental tree in more southern parks and gardens. I first saw it flowering in a paddock on the Atherton Tablelands back in the eighties - a paddock that was once, sadly, lush tropical rainforest. Since then I have spotted it flowering in a backgarden in suburban Brisbane, in Hyde Park smack in the middle of Sydney and in the grounds of La Trobe University in outer Melbourne, Victoria. This is one tough tree - a bit large for my small backyard though, so I will have to admire it from afar. Eminent artists such as Margaret Preston have also recognised its stunning beauty. See her woodcut print at the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

And this is the real thing

Its solid but graceful form and vibrant colour makes a beautiful textile print.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Beautiful Moreton Bay

This is the very first post for PalumaPrint. As the environment plays such a key role in inspiring the designs for the textile prints here is a picture of the studio's location.

And this is where I am right now (Melbourne)!