These pictures are of eucalypt forest in Australia, or bush – a totally underwhelming term for the reality of this plant lovers paradise. I found the colours, shapes, smells and textures unfamiliar and beautiful. Particularly the smell of the eucalyptus oil, I wish my paintings could capture that.

I’m thinking/planning a new painting, which will be large, tall and thin, based on these forests. I painted the watercolour from the balcony of my boyfriends’ uncle and aunts’ house, they live near Woy Woy on the Central Coast, which is basically unbroken forest and gorgeous coast a couple of hours north of Sydney. The second drawing was done recently, from memory and photos; recollecting particular trees and plants. The way that plants in Australia are adapted to fire is amazing. I particularly want to try and capture the feel of the peeling bark. We saw a lot of trees which had been burned, the most impressive were in the Blue Mountains. Enormous trees which are smooth white or silver grey underneath, with ribbons of cinnamon coloured bark hanging down. Even the photos make you want to reach out and touch them.

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