A baby Koala hitches Ride

A baby Koala hitches a Ride!

I paint in Acrylic on Canvas

I am not only inspired by nature and my aboriginal heritage with painting but also I enjoy art works in the mosaic and collage arena.

You will see this influence in my painting.

I love to create my images through multiple layering of the acrylic paints in various colours. This painting is created with a minimum of 7 paint layers and up to 12 layers in certain sections.

I have a tendency to create a range of depth perceptions in each art work.

I also depict a strong bond between Mother and Baby Koala with this painting and I feature the wonderful colours of gum leaves and the Australian bush.

Koala – means drink no water in Aboriginal language

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Koala Spirit:

Offering compassion and kindness means it is returned to you tenfold in ways that perhaps will not be known to you easily at this time!

 

Kerrie

 

 

 

Whip crack sound effect

Whip Crack Sound Effect:

The whip crack sound effect made by Lyrebirds is actually the call of the Whipbird.

I have painted the Whipbird that you can see here in this photo.

This is a timber lazy susan which I have on our dining room table.

 

 

Birds 2 & Peace
Whipbird by Kerrie Thomsen

I was inspired to paint the Whipbird which is indigenous to Australia because he is a perching bird we have commonly in our area. I hear them lots but rarely see them.

The Whipbird in “my dreaming” sense is around to encourage me to “get cracking” with life and reminds us that if you aren’t prepared to do what it takes to realize dreams and reach your own potential then no one else will!

The Whipbirds forage in pairs. They are easily recognizably by their white neck stripes, black throat and white tipped tail feathers.

We have 3 species of Whipbird:

Eastern Whipbird, Western Whipbird and Mallee Whipbird.

I hope you like my painting

 

Kerrie

 

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Spirit Meaning of the Whipbird:

Whipbird asks that you look at your life and check that you are in control. Whipbird primes us to “just know” what needs to be done and how, without being forced or cajoled.

It ensures we truly comprehend the power of the moment; the power that comes from realizing that, with commitment and effort we are destined for a productive future.

 

By Scott Alexander King

 

 

 

Goo-goor-gaga: The Laughing Kookaburra

Kookaburra call the sky people to light the great fire that illuminates and warms the earth by day….

As the morning star fades Kookaburra laughs his loudest to wake the sleeping for sunrise…..

The Kookaburras call sounds like a laugh – like their native name “Goo Goor Gaga”. For many aboriginal people it is taboo, given the function to start the day, to mimic the Kookaburras call.

The Laughing Kookaburra is found throughout the eastern states and southern Western Australia. There is a similar species called a Blue Winged Kookaburra which as the name suggests has more blue in its plumage.

The Laughing Kookaburra is the largest of the Kingfishers. They are territorial and nest in tree hollow in open woodlands and forest.

Female Laughing Kookabura
Female Laughing Kookabura

You will notice in my photos, that the Kookaburras beak is large the top bill is black and the lower bill is bone coloured.

The head is light coloured with brown marks and a brown stripe from the eye. The wings are brown with a blue mottle. In this image you can see the rufus barring of the tail.

Males often have blue on the rump. So this bird is probably female. Female’s heads are more buff and their rump is brown.

Kookaburras live in family groups. Kookaburra young are not forced to leave their parents territory on maturity. The territorial space is used to meet the needs of young adults (called auxiliaries) and breeding pairs before breeding season. The family group works together to protect offspring, raise offspring and defend territorial boundaries. The auxiliaries do not have a breeding territory or breed while they are in the auxiliary role (usually 4 years). These living circumstances help keep reproduction rates low. Research has shown the auxiliaries provide about 30% of incubation and brooding time, and 60 percent of the food for the hatchlings.

Kookaburras favour a diet of insects and invertibrates. They also eat snakes, lizards, rodents, and occasionally small birds. When a small a snake or lizard is caught the Kookaburra holds its catch in its beak to shake and beat the catch against a tree branch until it is dead.

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This female Kookaburra above was observed catching a 15 cm snake and flying to this branch where she killed and ate the snake. She noticed me observing at a distance but allowed me to advance slowly until I was about 10 meters away. She then flew to another perch at a more comfortable distance. She again allowed me to advance slowly to 10 meters. She surveyed the area regularly and eventually flew to a high perch.

I was amazed to discover Kookaburra may live for 20 years. Because the population turnover is slow the birth rate is very low. Kookaburras form permanent pairs. This pair of Kookaburra were perched very high with quite a few people, bicycles and dogs passing by underneath without disturbing them.

A Breeding Pair
A Breeding Pair

Notice the blue rump on the male in this photo below.

The male has a blue rump
The male has a blue rump

Kookaburras are one of my favorite birds. I hope you enjoy them to.

By Amanda Jackson

The Storm Boy Story Line

The Storm Boy Story Line

Storm Boy is a 1976 classic Australian film. It is a story of communion between a boy and a pelican. The movie was promoted in 2001 DVDs as “His free spirit roams with his pet Pelican, Mr Percival, and his secret Aboriginal friend Fingerbone Bill.”

Fingerbone Bill gives the boy the name Storm Boy. The way of life for Storm Boy and his father is hard and remote. Their survival, like Fingerbone’s survival, is connected to and reliant upon the land. They are living in Coorong a coastal area of South Australia. While his father is fishing for their livlihood Storm Boy has solitary time to paddle his raft and explore the wetlands.

The central characters are storm boy (played by Greg Lowe), his father (Peter Cummings) and Fingerbone. These characters demonstrate living with the land. By this I mean living from what nature offers as opposed to altering nature and trying to force the land to produce. Fingerbone is played by David Gulpilil with his trademark brilliance. David’s work is a credit to the Aborinial people of Australia.

The movie is visually spectacular with lovely water, sky and birdlife images.

The movie has a strong conservation message. At the time hunting and dune buggies was permitted in the Coorong. Shamefully the shooting was indiscriminate. Dune buggies damaged fragile dune ecosystems.

The sound track is beautiful. It is clear and haunting. It accompanies the imagery and use of silence very effectively. Silence is very effectively used in this movie. In Aboriginal communication, and in spiritualism, silence is very important.

Communion

Communion is the sharing or exchanging of intimate thoughts and feelings, especially on a mental or spiritual level. The relationship between Storm Boy and Mr Percival is clearly an extraordinary communion. Fingerbone brings the focus to spiritual matters by sharing the traditional story of Pelican and foretelling a storm will follow the killing of a pelican. After this death Storm boy becomes foster parent for the orphan pelican hatchlings.

The Pelican chicks are raised. Storm Boys relationship with Mr Percival is special. When set free Mr Percival returns. There are beautiful images of them playing and finding comfort with Mr Percival sitting on Storm Boys lap.

With shooters again in the Coorong it seems Mr Percival may have been killed. Storm boy searches everywhere and he cannot find Mr Percival. The scene is sad and lonesome as Storm Boy walks along the beach in the bleak last light of day. His father offers him words of comfort and the hope “if he’d been killed you would have found him”. But the heavy rain, wind and thunder can be heard. Storm Boy is silent. He knows a pelican has been killed.

With the new day Fingerbone comes for Storm Boy. Fingerbone found Mr Percival and he was dead. He has buried him. Fingerbone shows storm boy the grave … and a clutch of new pelican chicks.

This movie in the context of communicating aboriginal spiritualism and in the concept of communion between people and animals contains a glaring inconsistency. Aboriginal spiritualism and communion with regard to Pelican is beautifully done. However the scene with the Red Belly Black Snake is unnecessary, inconsistent with the treatment of Pelican, and an incorrect portrayal of aboriginal spiritualism.

In this scene the snake comes towards Fingerbone Bill and Storm Boy while they sit on a log reading. Storm Boy is frightened and Fingerbone shoots and kills the snake.

Killing the snake was unnecessary as it posed no risk and safe conduct around snakes has been known by Aborigines for many thousand years. Killing the snake is the same as killing pelican in the spiritual context. Aboriginal people respect the snake as much as the bird and a much as the person. Aboriginal spiritualism does not allow them to kill any animal unnecessarily. There is no concept of snakes being bad. Snakes have their essential role in nature.

Communion is subtle and real. Sometimes dramatisation take communion so far the plot requires an animal to comprehend a range of steps and perform a rescue. In Australia there was a long running television series “Skippy” where a kangaroo assists the park rangers to perform rescue and capture crooks. Similar concepts in the televisions shows “Lassie” and “Flipper.” In my view it is unnecessary and inconsistent for the pelican Mr Percival to be essential to a rescue of men stranded at sea during a storm. Storm Boy is the movie adaption of the 1964 novel of Colin Thiele. I have not read the book but am curious to see if this aspect of the plot was included in the book.

Coorong National Park

The novel was published in 1964. In 1966 Coorong Nationa Park was established. The National Park is a 447 square kilometer park south east of Adelaide, South Australia. The wetlands of this area are internationally significant and provide a breeding ground for many water bird species. The species include pelican, ducks terns, swans, grebes, cormorants. Many migratory species visit these wetlands. The geography consists of sweeping sand dunes on the Younghusband Peninsular which shelters a series of saltwater lagoons and wetlands.

The Coorong is the tradition land of the Ngarrindjeri people. The land is the center of every aspect of aboriginal life. Saying that land is culturally significant to aboriginal people does not express the full meaning of the land to aboriginal people.

I look forward to visiting Coorong National Park one day it will be a fantastic place for photography, bush walking and canoeing.

If you have been to the Coorong, or seen Storm Boy, I would love to hear from you.

Amanda Jackson

Reflection of The Persecuted King

Reflection of “The Persecuted King”

 

This painting by Kerrie Thomsen speaks to the majesty of the Wedge Tail Eagle.

Wedgie
Painting – The Persecuted King by Kerrie Thomsen

The eagle is an apex predator. This bird appears aloof and stern. These birds have knowledge, they seem to know all – they have strong eyesight and spend a long time riding thermals watching what is going on below. They spend up to 90 minutes in the air at a time and rise as high as 2000 meters.

Then, when it is time to eat the Wedge Tail Eagle is a killing machine, fast and effective.

The Wedge-tailed Eagle is truly an animal of Australia being found throughout the country. This is Australia’s largest bird of prey with a wingspan of approximately 2.4 meters.

Australian Eagles have found lambs a preferable food source and as a result are not favorites with farmers, perhaps this is why the artist titles this painting “The Persecuted King”

I am aware an injured eagle stayed in the back yard for 2 weeks as well as tree cover very near Kerrie’s home in rural Victoria while it recovered from injuries. The hand feeding that her husband did restored the young birds strength. I believe observation of this eagle during his recovery inspired her works.

The supremacy of the eagle is conveyed by its size and position within the work. I really enjoy the treatment of the landscape. This is a style featured regularly in Kerrie’s works. The colour schemes used are unique. I describe Kerrie’s style as modern aboriginal painting or art. Traditional elements are present in subject matter and technique, for example dot painting techniques are present. However modern elements are also present in style, composition and colour.

If you wish to see more paintings by Kerrie Thomsen go to Indigenous Artist

Please comment and tell me what you think

Amanda

Kangaroo Medicine

Kangaroo Medicine

I painted this Kangaroo Mandala for my husband.

My Mandala painting

Kangaroo Circle

Kangaroo Mandala

Kangaroo to me is an important message about Family and turning to family for help and safety.

Our family can be kin or by connection and be of our own definition. No pre-judged idea of family here.

We call a group of kangaroos a mob and mob is a lovely everyday word used to describe being part of a community or family.

Kangaroo reminds us that when times are hard or difficult then we can draw strength and get protection by sticking together. Real help can be found from our mob.

Let me know your thoughts on this or my painting.

I would love that

Kerrie

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Checking for danger

 

 

Spiritual connections between people and animals

Lets talk about spiritual connections between people and animals!

For some this connection is a bond, an interconnection, an alikeness or affinity, or it is a relationship or a deep communion.

What is spiritual connection?

People often ask me what is meant by communion or connection with animals. Like many spiritual concepts it can be clearly understood at a cellular level when you feel it but very hard to explain or describe in words.

I’d like to suggest that if you think of an unusual communication or interaction between animals of the same species or different species or between people and animals then you will find examples.

Here are two that I have caught on film.

Horse & Kitten
Animal communion

This photo captures a moment in the ongoing communication between my small cat and my horse.  The horse was moving her reins around and you can see the cat playing with them. They are doing more than showing interest in each other or sharing space, they are playing and being playful.

This is what I mean by an unusual interaction between very different animals or animal species.

 

Butchulla woman and dolphin
Communication between a Woman and Dolphins

This photo is of a human animal or person interacting with dolphins and in this case, a mother and her baby dolphin. The mother presented the baby forward for the interaction. The Butchulla woman in the photo and the dolphin are in a totemic relationship.

We love to hear stories of animal communion or spiritual connections between animals or people and animals so if you have one to tell please send us a message.

Amanda

 

Australian Python Species

 

Australian Python Species

Carpet snakes or Carpet Pythons are harmless despite their looks and they are extremely diverse in colour and pattern.  Most adults will be an olive green or brown colour, with pale, dark-edged blotches, stripes or cross-bands.  The juveniles are similarly patterned, but often in shades of brown rather than olive green.

“The Place of the Carpet Snake”

Carpet snakes grow to more than 3 meters. Carpet snakes are named after the distinctive patterned skin of the species. The patterns in the photos show blotches, cross bands, stripes and combinations of these markings.

carpet snake living in Caboolture
Close up of the markings of the Carpet Snake

 

 

This member of the Australian Python species is one of beige or brown colour and has grey, blackish, rust, yellow or gold markings.

The carpet snake is nonvenomous however bites are often followed by infection and tetanus cover is recommended. A number of races or subspecies of carpet snake are recognised in different geographic regions of Australia.

Caboolture is a city North of Brisbane on the way to Sunshine Coast.

Kabultur (Caboolture) is the tradition language word in that area for “Place of the Carpet Snake”

Photo: Carpet snake by Amanda
Camouflaged Australian Carpet Python

 

While we were living in Caboolture we found a very large carpet snake feeding out of our wheelie bin. These snakes are often found around farms where they enjoy easy hunting and eat the mice and rats. They will eat chickens and their eggs if they can get them.

If you have any photos of carpet snakes we would love to see them – just reply in the comment box below

Thanks

Amanda