Following on from my September "Nature Hunt" sheet, here is one for October 2021. I have found these flowers (and insect) in Jerrabomberra, but they will be all over the Canberra/Queanbeyan region. It might help your kids (and you?) to engage with nature a bit more when you are taking them on walks. Again, it includes the common names and also the botanical names. You can print it off or keep it on your phone. The idea is just to spot them, perhaps photograph - not pick them. Have fun spotting them!
This one is for locals - in the Jerrabomberra/Queanbeyan area. I've created a "Nature Hunt" sheet featuring a few local plants which are flowering now (September) in the Jerrabomberra nature reserve. I thought it might make it a bit more interesting, and help your kids to engage when you take them for a walk through the reserve. It includes the common names and also the botanical names. You can print it off or keep it on your phone. The idea is just to spot them, perhaps photograph - not pick them. I hope it's useful and a bit of fun. I will create a new nature hunt for the late September/October period as there are new plants flowering all the time.
Recently I’ve decided to learn more about the species in the area where I live. I’ve been doing some researching using guide books and websites, observing the plants, taking photographs, and asking friends and experts in order to identify the local species. It occurred to me that perhaps other people might like to do the same thing.
So I’ve put together this video (hopefully there will be more) where I take a closer look at a particular plant, and then paint it. I’m painting in a sketchbook style, so this is suitable for complete beginners. It is about observing the details of the plant, and drawing them, and I will be painting them. The paintings are not intended to be framed works of art, I’m painting them in a sketchbook that I can refer to later if I wish, but it is all about the process and educating ourselves. So in this first video I’m looking at the Eucalyptus polyanthemos, or Redbox, an Australian native tree. If you have some of these near you, then great. But if you don’t, hopefully you can still learn something which you can apply to other species. This should be a low pressure, fun experience.
So grab a pencil and paper, some paints if you have them, and have a go. And if you’re out walking this weekend, see how many Redbox trees you can find. Link to the video is here
Recently (6 April 2021) I had 'a little rant' on social media, just because I was getting tired of finding a few of my images copied without my permission in a lot of places. I was not expecting the response it got. There was a high level of engagement, especially from other artists and writers who have experienced copyright infringement on their material. I was subsequently interviewed for ABC TV Canberra, and they posted an online article: www.abc.net.au/news/2021-04-09/cheryl-hodges-artist-theft-online-copyright/100056714
I also spoke with James Valentine on ABC Radio Sydney (link to interview is below).
I have to stress that I really don't like doing interviews, but I felt that as I'm saying we need to spread the word, I should put my money where my mouth is.
It is a big problem which isn't going to go away, all we can do is try to educate people (as well as learning how to protect our work as best we can). So I am copying the post here.
"This is not a happy post. I am in a very distressed and angry state right now. I cannot tell you how many times this Acacia pycnantha, which I painted in 2005, has been used without my permission. I have come across these accidentally, but now I am starting to deliberately search for them because it is happening so much I need to stop the culprits.
Artists own the copyright to every image we create - unless we choose to sign it over, which is very rare. Just because you find this image on the internet does not mean you have any right to copy it for any purpose whatsoever. I do licence my work, so feel free to contact me for a licensing agreement, in which case a fee is paid for use of the image. Any other use is outright stealing. You are breaching copyright, and breaking the law.
Many of the people who have used my images have done so not realising they were breaching copyright. Some have innocently used them in environmental brochures, or on a website where they are discussing our national floral emblem. This is still breaching copyright. Others have copied the image for their own gain, selling it as their own on their websites or Etsy stores. This is even worse. Some are extremely apologetic and immediately choose to rectify the situation. Others are happy to compromise their artistic integrity by not admitting wrong or rectifying the situation.
I’m sorry this is so long and angry but I have had enough. We artists need to spread the word that it is not OK to use other people’s art. Always obtain permission. Always.
I’m also trying to decide whether to name and shame the few who are not doing the right thing after being discovered. It feels very negative but I wonder will they learn otherwise?
I guess this is a downside of the internet, but I suppose the pros outweigh the cons in terms of getting exposure. It’s just so disappointing and exhausting!
I also know I’m not the only one going through this, would love to hear your thoughts."
Here is the interview with James Valentine from Afternoons on ABC Radio Sydney.
In April 2019 Cheryl held her second solo exhibition at the 'Q' - Queanbeyan Performing Arts Centre. If you missed the exhibition, you can see an overview of the paintings and photographs/videos from her travels below.
Cheryl won the QPRC Regional Art Awards Exhibition Award in 2017 with her chestnut painting (from Hoskinstown’s Tweenhill Chestnuts). Since then she has been travelling around our Shire, visiting her regular haunts but always keen to explore new places. She has discovered nature reserves and conservation areas. Passionate locals have welcomed her to their properties, showing her the ‘fruits’ of their labours – from pepper berries to cider apples to honey, and beautiful local wildflowers. Along the way she has also found fascinating insects, which are often overlooked.
Cheryl painted many of the natural treasures that she discovered across the Shire in her signature delicate watercolour style. Her aim was to ignite curiosity in others with her paintings and accompanying stories. For example, the beautiful Monga Waratah near the Clyde Mountain is very accessible via the “Waratah Walk”. Nearby is a boardwalk at Penance Grove, with its ancient plumwoods and Gondwanian landscape. In and near Queanbeyan are nature reserves with flowers you may have never seen before. Cheryl wants to impart the thoughts she carries with her every day: wherever you are you can find something interesting and unexpected, if you take the time to look.
Cheryl also wrote about her visits, and researched some of the species she painted. Click here for the 'stories behind the paintings'.
Exciting times - I have a YouTube channel! Only a couple of videos so far, but we’re working on it. Please follow this link and let me know what you think. Massive thank you to my gorgeous son Jack for his technical expertise and enthusiasm. Plenty more ideas in the pipeline, let me know if you have any suggestions. Enjoy!
I am thrilled to announce that I have won the Council Exhibition Award with my watercolour on vellum "Chestnuts - Castanea sativa". This is a new award introduced this year, it's an exhibition package to the value of $1,000 at the "Q" exhibition space in Queanbeyan. I am so pleased to have my work recognised in what is a diverse, beautiful exhibition. Thank you to John and Heather Kane from Tweenhill Chestnuts for introducing me to this intriguing, spikey, wintry treat. I haven't quite decided on a theme for my exhibition but I suspect it will be of a 'local' flavour.
I have had a lot of positive feedback from my solo exhibition "Botanical Capital" in March this year. It was such a learning experience for me as there was a lot of research involved, both on the history side and travelling around Canberra, sometimes to places I hadn't been before. I decided to make a video which includes not only photographs of the paintings from the exhibition, but also some of my reference photographs, and some pics I took along the way. I thought this might be a good way for people who couldn't get to the exhibition to have a bit more insight into my work. Apologies for the reflections in the glass. Thanks to my family for their support during the lengthy (approx 2 years) exhibition preparation, and to my son Jack for helping me put this video together.
My Eucalyptus tereticornis Forest Redgum has been accepted into the Florilegium of the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney. The Florilegium paintings will be exhibited at the Sydney Living Museum in 2016 and at Kew Gardens, London in 2018. There is also a beautiful publication featuring all of the paintings in the Florilegium. More information on the Florilegium is available here.
Image copyright Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust.
I have been awarded the 'Botanical Art Award' at the Wildlife and Botanical Artists members' exhibition awards night for my Australian Native Collection, watercolour on calfskin vellum. This is a beautiful exhibition held this year at Floriade and I'm honoured to be the recipient of this award. Exhibition is in the Inspiration Hub at Floriade till 11 October.
This year my little Jewel Beetle specimens won Best Miniature in Show at the Artists' Society of Canberra members' exhibition. These were painted from specimens at the Australian National Insect Collection in Canberra, and the specimens were actually glued to the card. There are so many beautiful beetles, I will be painting them for a long time to come!
My Dianella revoluta painting won 'Best in Show' at the recent Botanical Art Society of Australia exhibition at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney. I did put a lot of planning and work into this painting and I'm thrilled to receive recognition for my efforts. It is a scientific take on a beautiful Australian native plant that I have growing in my garden. The original painting has sold but I have limited edition prints available from the Store page.
My painting of the Golden Green Stag Beetle has won 'Best Still Life' at this year's Artists' Society of Canberra members' exhibition. I am so thrilled to win with this painting - I have only just started painting insects thanks to an opportunity to view specimens at the Australian National Insect Collection at the CSIRO. My beetle was also sold to a lovely couple who seem to be getting a bit of a collection of my work!
This month I exhibited in the Artists' Society of Canberra members' exhibition at the Albert Hall. I was thrilled to win 1st place in the watercolour section with my painting 'Buttles Creek Collection'. I also won 3rd place in the Mixed Media section with my Red Onions.
Well it's been a great month for exhibitions, and I've won a couple of prizes. I won the Dr Helen Hewson Traditional Botanical Art Award at the Wildlife and Botanical Artists exhibition and Best Flora or Fauna award at the Artists' Society of Canberra exhibition. Also found out that I won the People's Choice Award at the WABA exhibition, so thanks to everyone who voted!