a group of lucky women congregated at Avril Hallow's
spacious and lovely flower studio, Viva The Flower Store in Angaston to celebrate the Peony season.
Avril demonstrated how to make a florist's 'ball' from copper beech,
camellia and Malacca leaves into which we inserted our choice of exquisite peony blooms.
A divine low cut glass vase was included and the trick was to get your bunch to look full and comfortable in the vase.
I was a late arrival to the workshop as came dashing in after the Blooms Painting workshop had finished at my gallery, Salon Rouge Gallery in Kapunda. My own students had done a great job of their paintings but I didn't want to leave until their paintings had been completed to our satisfaction. So it was a thrill that it turned out I could make it to the peony workshop as student myself.
I hadn't missed too much and thankfully Avril gave me a helping hand to get my leaf ball started. There was still an enviable selection of peonies to choose from. I think I ended up with about ten peonies in my generous bunch.
I chose the classic pale pink with crimson stripes and a couple of dark pink blooms.
Once we had all learned to make our own peony bunches, fit for any wedding table or simply the perfect touch for home, we were then treated to a delicious and most elegant high tea, accompanied by Sorby Adams bubbles.
It really is a tough life for some, isn't it? For myself it was a wonderful treat after a painting intensive at the gallery for the week. I was delighted to take daughter Lily along too to learn some old fashioned floral arts though I noticed her attention was on the vanilla cupcakes more than the flowers!
After sampling a selection that included
white bean and tomato tarts, the best chicken sandwich fingers I have ever tasted, strawberry sponge cake, vanilla and chocolate cupcakes, citron tartlettes, it was time to plan a new day to start the Dukan diet! And take in a spot of shopping from the wonderful array of gifts including rich and fragrant hand creams and Christmas decorations that Avril stocks.
I found so much inspiration in the arrangements that I was madly snapping pictures with the iphone ready for my Sydney and Melbourne painting workshops. Some divine blooms that were just begging to be painted.
And then it was all over, and we drove back to Kapunda with our flowers, some cakes and a Christmas wreath for the gallery door, with the fresh aroma of peonies accompanying us all the way.
Here are some peonies that I have painted recently.
Peony Bunch with delphiniums and Belly Button daisies 91cm square oil on
canvas $4880 (destined for Sydney exhibition at Master Framers Bondi in December Contact Jacqueline Coates 0412 587 438
Peonies and roses
76cm square oil on canvas
$3650 Currently at Viva The Flower Store 08 8564 3393
Peony workshop exquisite peony bloom
Kim Mathieson arranges a peony bunch
Peony workshop choosing from Copperbeech, malacca and camellia leaves