January 2024 Mailbag No 1

Letter Box Surprises. (Photos: Anne Newman)

And I have one other amazing discovery to add to our first 2024 mailbag - I have found a tree with a zip! And I find myself wondering and imagining what might be found inside the tree if we dared undo the zip!!!

The Zip Tree (Photo: Anne Newman)

I think we might find Ola Cohn's fairies ...

(Credit: The Bookplates of Ola Cohn by Mark j Ferson and Shelley Cohn, The New Australian Bookplate Society 2023)

Ola Cohn was a Bendigo (Central Victoria, Australia) artist who produced many wonderful scuptures and other artistic works.

(Credit: Ola Cohn ARCA MBE prepared by Shelley Cohn, Ola Cohn’s great-niece, on behalf of Helen Bruinier, Ola Cohn’s niece, for the East Melbourne Historical Society, 2014)

Ola's Fairy Tree was created in the Fitzroy Gardens, Melbourne which she sculpted between 1931 and 1934 and donated to the children of Melbourne. It is still there today being enjoyed by all who pass by.

I think she must have continued to do repair work on the tree as below is a photo of her working on the tree in 1957.

Ola Cohn 67 years at work circa 1957 (Credit: Ola Cohn ARCA MBE prepared by Shelley Cohn, Ola Cohn’s great-niece, on behalf of Helen Bruinier, Ola Cohn’s niece, for the East Melbourne Historical Society, 2014)

To see a much clearer image of the tree and learn more about Ola click here.

Ola also created a statue, carved in limestone in 1940–1941, for the Pioneer Women's Memorial Garden in Adelaide, South Australia which you can learn about by clicking here and here.

And follow the Bookmark link below to read our past post on Ola Cohn - a remarkable woman and artist.

Ola Cohn
Sometimes I am alerted to an image from the past which is worth its weight in marble or bronze, or whatever medium the artist was working in. Read on…

The next mailbag item comes from H Steve Cook from Victor Harbor in south Australia who sent in images of his latest watercolour sketches of buildings that catch his eye! As Steve says: I continue to 'work' on whatever interests me as often as I can.

Watercolour Sketches of buildings by H Steve Cook 

Thank you Steve for sharing your works with us. I always think that hobby artists such as yourself are the spokes in the wheels of creativity!!

How often do you spend hours looking for the perfect card to send to someone? The commercial world now abounds with a brilliant selection on offer. But some very creative people are able to make their own cards and Sue Symons in the UK is one such artist.

Examples of quilling by Sue Symons

Please take a moment to study the intricate work involved in quilling - an art form I haven't seen in a while and which constantly amazes me that anyone could do this.

Sue is very versatile in her creative output and soon we will see some of her paintings which are delightful and inspirational.

Examples of quilling by Sue Symons

The last item in this mailbag is a present I received from Santa, in the body of a very good friend who just happens to also be a nursery man. Can you guess what it is?

A baby Wollemi Pine (Photo: Anne Newman)

I have wanted a Wollemi Pine for years as the story of the discovery of this species, thought to be extinct, is just amazing. Read all about it in the post below which comes from the Inverewe Garden in Scotland where I saw my first Wollemi Pine, thousands of kilometres from home and very happy.

I do hope my own little Wollemi will be as happy living in my care but veryn much under the watchful eye of Rus the nurseryman!

Inverewe Garden, Scotland: Part One
Have you been following my posts on Scotland? Today we return to the mainland on the west coast of the Scottish Highlands to visit the amazing and most beautiful Inverewe Garden.

I'll be back tomorrow with some more mailbag items which represent the enormous breadth of creativity we see in the world around us.