Settle in, make yourself comfortable and get ready to see some amazing textile art.
High Country Lupins #3 by Brenda Gael Smith

The big day finally arrived - The opening of Natural Abstractions , a solo exhibition by Brenda Gael Smith.  

Let's start with the opening ceremony:

Here we are getting ready for speeches (and the best photo of my dress for the dress spotters out there ). For those of you who haven't read my previous posts I had the huge honour of being invited to do the opening speech. 

It was a great turn out. People had travelled far and wide to come to the opening. It was wonderful to see so many lovely people and friendly faces there. 

Yes I know it looks as though no one is paying attention to me in this photo but that's because they were looking at one of the art works I referred to in my speech. 

I think my speech went well. People were kind enough to say they enjoyed it and Mr Daisy said it was excellent but then I guess he's a little biased. Everyone clapped and nobody threw tomatoes at me, so that's always a good sign :)

Then it was over to Brenda to say a few words about her work and many thank yous. 

Brenda will be going more in depth about her art works in a lecture on the 23rd January. I'll be there for that one. If you're interested RSVP to the Gosford Regional Gallery Ph 02 4304 7550 

And now for the art!!

 Abundance, the large Native Fuschia textile painting is such a wonderful welcome to the exhibition, positioned perfectly to catch your eye as you walk into the art gallery. It positively glows.

Then just around the corner the Copa Abstraction sketches draw you in and delight with their details. 

I love the way the frames give the appearance of a sculptural wall installation. 

Copa Abstractions are the product of a year long art project in which Brenda created a sketch each week based on inspiration sourced on her daily walks in the area of Copacabana.

It's fun looking at the sketches and guessing what they represent. There is a handy guide to cross check. 

There is also a catalogue...

...that shows all 52 sketches and a photo of the inspiration subject.

Catalogues are available from Brenda's website here, or from the Gosford Regional Gallery Ph.4304 7550 

Brenda took ideas from her sketches to create larger works. These textile paintings filled the other walls.

I'll use some excerpts from my opening speech, in no particular order, just parts that suit the photos.

"...Brenda has been developing and working with these shapes and lines for many years, growing with them, perfecting and refining them. In effect Brenda has created her own language to convey the beauty of the natural world.
That is a special gift. And one that we are lucky she shares with us through her art.".
Clockwise from top left: Karkalla,  Flourish, Bloom! (bottlebrush), Persist (Banksia) 

"...I can attest to the way Brenda understands and conveys, not just the shape and colour of her subject but also the essence of its character.

A brilliant example of this is the textile painting of the Blue Mallee Ringneck. Rather than create a pictorial quilt of a bird, Brenda has gathered the colours and produced just the right mix and pattern to conjure up the feeling of the bird flying by, that flash of colour that swoops past and you know a blue ringneck has just visited."
Blue Mallee Ringneck

Flying Colours - Budgies Uncaged

"... Brenda creates technical magic with fabric. From dying her own material, which is an impressive feat and area of expertise in itself, to her masterful use of colours and seemingly simple but sophisticated and innovative designs. "
Kelp pods, Kelp Forest, Neptunes Necklace #2

"So it’s my hope that, in turn, you all take inspiration from this exhibition with you as you go into the outside world. When you next go for a walk and or stop to admire a flower or a beautiful scene, think for a moment 'how would Brenda see it?' "
Thrive! Bromeliads

Colour, colour every where!! Brenda out did herself with these wonderful colourful 
gingerbread cookies and rainbow jellies! There were almost too pretty to eat... almost... yes, they were as delicious as they looked!

Quilt husbands chatting. 

I haven't shown all the art works, It's nice to save a few surprises for those who will be able to see the exhibition in person. I can always post more photos at a later date.

Natural Abstractions is on until 14th February ( easy to remember because it's Valentines Day, I'm such a romantic) at the Gosford Regional Gallery, Gosford, NSW. 

The Gallery is the perfect venue for a day trip with it's popular cafe and the beautiful Edogawa Commemorative Garden.

Let's finish with a colourful photo, and my favourite of the day. Brenda and I with our big smiles, our colourful patterned dresses and crazy creative curly hair. 

And a quote that I found on Brendas website when I was admiring her gallery of artworks.

"To dare to dream is to dare to live."

Visit Brenda's Blog here to see more photos and read her version of a fun filled day.