Thursday 5 May was the first of many sketching trips to Mt Coot-tha Botanical Gardens organised by Madelaine Ekeblad, new MIAC president. This was old stomping ground for Maddie who once ran regular art group classes in the gardens. As for me, I felt a bit like I a truant having cancelled my regular Thursday Yoga class to attend. I just knew I needed to do this for myself and surprisingly so did the others in the group.

We arrived at the Gardens on a picture perfect morning and felt an immediate serenity that a garden when carefully tended, may provide.  Our senses, heightened within moments of walking along the paths that lead to a giant sized lily pond where ducks and water hens entertained us like children. Someone spotted a large unperturbed lizard nearby while we sketched, photographed, laughed, ate sandwiches and drank tea in the vicinity of two old cedars.

In the afternoon we walked through a mass of pink camellias to arrive at a grove of Golden Bamboo. The music from the bamboo made me feel as if we’d entered a temple or some other sacred site. Then following on, we came to the Japanese Garden. It was manicured to perfection, a place for solitude or meditation perhaps. A gentle flow of water undulated a rocky escarpment, lending itself to a future MIAC excursion.

We drove to a lake area, still part of the botanical gardens which includes fifty two hectares of land. Here we discovered the beauty of white barked trees, reflected perfectly in the still waters; hence the name, Totem Lake.

One more stop before heading back to the island. A magic viewing platform provided a breathtaking view over treetops to Brisbane’s city skyscrapers. What an amazing day for any artist! And there’s more. Macleay Island Arts Complex is up and firing again.

Anna Heggie, Artist and Yoga Teacher