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After the Rain

A mood board inspired by my artful garden

We’ve had extreme weather conditions in Australia so far this year. The start of a new decade has brought months of drought resulting in devastating fires, and more recently, torrential rain every day causing floods, closed roads & waterlogged homes.

We’ve been very fortunate only to have a few leaks in our ceiling and pergola but my heart goes out to those who lost their loved ones and homes in the fires or are dealing with the aftermath of severe flood damage. Not forgetting the huge number of native Australian animals who perished in the fires. It’s been a terribly heartbreaking start to 2020.

Fortunately Mother Nature doesn’t quit. She has a strong heart and unshakable determination to fight back so let’s pray that the fires subside and already there are signs of new life and sprouting seeds on the barren forest floors. Australia now has to address the serious issue of preventing our beloved koalas, platypus and other endangered native animals from extinction.

On a more positive note, the rainfall has made our garden flourish which inspired me to go out with my camera. I only used my mobile phone for these photos, sometimes using macro mode, so no fancy camera required, providing me with fresh ideas for my surface pattern designs.

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Mood boards are easy and fun to create and it’s how many surface pattern designers start their creative process.

A Mood Board is “an arrangement of images, materials, pieces of text, etc. intended to evoke or project a particular style or concept”.

There are lots of mood board templates available for free which you can download and use to get started. If you know your way around Adobe Photoshop you can also create your own colour swatches from the photos you use. If you’re not a Photoshop user there are free online design platforms such as Canva.com providing you with beautiful templates just ready for you to insert your own images and text. Try searching for “Mood Boards Photo Collage” when you’re on Canva.com and go from there. I’ll write a blog post all about how to create your very own mood boards soon too.

I ventured out into my garden early in the morning before it got too hot as the temperatures in Queensland at the moment are so uncomfortably humid.

I actually had such a special time doing this and while I was peering, peeking and discovering garden delights everywhere in a myriad of colours, organic shapes and textures I was joined by a cheeky kookaburra and grey butcher bird. They eagerly watched me and started to cackle and sing impatiently, hoping for an early morning snack.

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Laughing Kookaburra
grey butcherbird, mood board, surface patterns, art licensing, australian flora, australian birds, color palettes, lesley smitheringale, lesley smitheringale studio
Grey Butcherbird

We also have cats and Ninx our black cat loves to follow me when I venture outdoors. She’s a Manx cat and I’m convinced she’s a Japanese bobtail. Today was no exception and she was my black shadow everywhere I went. So special.

Ninx, black cat, Japanese bobtail cat, mood board, surface patterns, art licensing, australian flora, australian birds, color palettes, lesley smitheringale, lesley smitheringale studio

As creatives, we tend to sit chained to our desks or computer screens for hours on end, day in day out. I urge you all to get outdoors for a while with your camera and enjoy the delights of nature and some fresh air. It’s good for the soul, not to mention the plethora of new inspiration you will have for surface patterns and Collections!

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Lesley Smitheringale
Surface Pattern Designer, Illustrator and Educator
I'm an Australian artist who emigrated from Scotland where I studied printed textiles. I'm providing a range of surface pattern designs and illustrations which are available for licensing.
Want to work with me or license my art? Please get in touch with me. I'd love to collaborate with you. You can send me an e-mail by clicking the @ sign above.

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