Last weekend, I saw the first signs of the coming Spring. The beautiful wattles start to appear in August here in Australia.
I love seeing the wattle… it makes me sneeze, but it’s so fresh and pretty, with it’s vibrant yellow-ness and heady scent.. and it’s taken me on a very pleasant journey back to my childhood.
It reminds me so fondly of the wonderful stories I used to read as a child, by the very talented author and artist ‘May Gibbs’.
As a child growing up in the country, I felt a great affinity to these stories – they were brought to life for me by the real bush and the uniqueness of it – the flowers, the seedpods, the wildlife – everything and more she tells us in her stories and shows in her beautiful illustrations.
I love her stories and her books, still today. They are such treasures.
..and here are the dear Wattle Babies.. only some of the wonderful ‘imaginations’ of May Gibbs (1877 – 1969). Such a clever and talented lady.
‘Frontispiece’ for ‘Wattle Babies’ 1918. Watercolour by May Gibbs.
Here is a wonderful excerpt from the book ‘Mother of the Gumnuts – Her life and work’ by Maureen Walsh.
She says of May Gibbs.
“The artist was May Gibbs, her creation the bush world of the gumnuts Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, their cousins Bib and Bub and a host of other gumnut and other wildflower babies: a world of scribbly writing, koalas, possums, bull ants and beetles, kind old lizards, evil snakes and the horribly wicked, uncouth and cruel Banksia men.
Her unique vision so captured the hearts and imaginations of generations of Australians that today the bush babies – those plump little bare-bottomed figures with their gumnut hats or ragged-blossom skirts and their wild blue eyes – have become national symbols…”
First published in 1985.
It’s hard to tell, hard to say,
I don’t know if the bush babies found me or if I found the little creatures.
To read more about May Gibbs, you can visit the State Library of NSW in Australia – they have more information on her story and many of her wonderful illustrations. See here May Gibbs: an australian classic
What a very pleasant trip down memory lane 😀 I hope these are rediscovered one day.
Enjoy your Friday and have another great week ahead. I’m hoping to visit the Art Gallery NSW today to view the very popular and always surprising Archibald Prize exhibition.