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Refreshing the Muse

Sometimes, we need to get away from the studio, take a drive, and see what other artists are doing!

Today, a friend and I drove up to Grafton in the Northern Rivers (New South Wales) to see the final day of the Jacaranda Festival. These magnificent trees line a several streets and are central to a vibrant celebration of colour, featuring many different events over a period of 10 days.

When we arrived, the trees were still beautiful, but foliage had begun to displace the vivid blooms, and the paths were carpeted with fallen petals.

Even the locals were dressed appropriately, no matter how they tried to hide!

Having had our fill of photographing the trees and trying to coax the sun out from behind the gathering clouds, we repaired to the Grafton Regional Gallery to see the latest exhibition. The work was varied and of very high quality, ranging from indigenous pieces to confronting graphic imagery and large installations. You can catch a glimpse on their website:

Australia is blessed with excellent regional galleries, and Grafton is no exception. I would definitely recommend it to visitors of the area ... as I would our next stop, The Vines at 139. This little cafe is set in delightful gardens and the food is sublime!

Fortified with a superb brunch, we drove through the township, admiring the eclectic rural atmosphere...

... before heading for home, having enjoyed a most agreeable morning.

I feel refreshed and inspired by this little sojourn in a town some 60 kilometres from my home, and plan to return whenever the Muse needs a prod. The added bonus of great food at the nearby cafe does, of course, influence this decision somewhat, but who would blame me?

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