Mental Transfusion

A Beautiful Place

Last Sunday, after enjoying a nice afternoon tea at one of our favourite cafe’s in Picton which is about 15 minutes drive South from where we live, we decided to head out to Lake Burragorang which is part of the Sydney Warragamba Dam Catchment, Sydney’s main water source.

We are so fortunate to have such a majestic and beautiful spot that is only 32 minutes drive away.

Lake Burragorang is a man-made reservoir that was created by a Dam. Unfortunately, to create the reservoir, it was necessary to relocate residents who had lived farming towns in the Burragorang Valley since the early 19th Century. The lands actually belonged to Gundungarra Aboriginal tribe.

Construction of the Warragamba Dam commenced in 1948 and was completed in 1960 and is surrounded by a 3km exclusion zone to ensure the integrity of the water supply. It is sad that such a beautiful spot was created in this way, however, the end result is certainly a jewel to the eye.

My first visit there dated back to the 1980’s when I was just getting into Photography. I’ve been back there with social clubs and with my SLR/DSLR on a number of occasions. It has BBQ facilities, seats, amenities and is a great place for a picnic.

My previous visit was back in 2018, a year before those horrendous bushfires ripped through various parts of the state, including the Burragorang Valley. Even the though a lot of the green has returned in the past year, down in the valley, you can still see clear through to the ground where there is still little or no undergrowth. It will take time, but it will eventually recover.

The only camera I took this time was my phone as I wanted to concentrate on sketching and also writing some Poetry (if the mood captured me). My wife, Susan took her Crotchet with her, and after a brief walk we settled down to enjoy the surroundings for the next 2 1/2 hours.

The light was impressive throughout the afternoon as it danced and highlighted different sections of the landscape intermittently. I felt so relaxed.

I went away with the feeling that ‘I had indeed been away’ and not just been on a Sunday drive. The light, the ambience felt almost Spiritual.

We certainly won’t be leaving as much time between visits next time.

Written by David Johnson

16 February 2021

Sources of Historical information:

https://www.theland.com.au/story/5702018/painting-revives-rich-burragorang-history/ ; https://historyofaboriginalsydney.edu.au/south-west/location/burragorang-valley ; https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-03/how-sydneys-water-needs-drowned-burragorang-valley/9390170

Winter Joy

Winter Joy

Shades Of Green Delight!

Years ago, I remember being in my Art room one day and upon looking out the window, in overcast lighting, I began to notice the different shades of green on our property. I noticed that the longer my eyes stayed fixed on the scene, the more ’shades of Green’ I noticed.

To the glancing eye there would have been about 3-4 shades. To the discerning eye there were 11. The shades of Green that you will see obviously depend on the type of light i.e. early morning light, late afternoon light, middle of the day, sunny conditions and overcast and indeed in the rain. They will all render the same Green in a different light.

Even as I look out my window today, at some smaller Gum trees, some leaves are in shade, some are half-backlit and others are totally backlit, giving a stunning array of shades of Green.

How often do we stop and realise just how many shades of the colour Green there are? Not often, I would expect.

As firstly a Photographer, my awareness of light interacting with the world increased and now that I am Painting, my awareness has evolved even more, I believe.

The colour Green means ‘renewal and growth’ and it is one of the most restful colours that we can lay our eyes on and it can also mean ‘balance and harmony.’*

I find it one of the most interesting colours to look at, particularly when I am out on my walks. It is often a colour that provides a great background to (particularly) the brighter flowers of the colour spectrum. The contrast it supplies ensures those flowers stand out even more!

On its own though, for me, is where its real power is. So many more subtle shades. So relaxing to look at.

The next time you go on a walk, take the time to slow down and ’study the Green’ that is before your eyes. It will open up a whole new world to you, as it has done for me.

Written by David Johnson

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