Writing of the Week

Writing of the Week

Writing of the Week goes to Helena Ameisen from OMG – Our Memoir Group –  for a fiction exercise written spontaneously in 10 minutes.

Critique of a landscape painting  

Bottle brush and ghostly gums, fronds and ferns and eucalypts … a scene of haunting stillness, devoid of sound and drained of all the lively colours of the Aussie bush. The sun has paled upon the scene, colours faded like the sepia of forgotten film.

Where is the droning of insect life … cicadas, crickets, percussion thrumming in the heat?

Where is the earth’s pulsating life that breathes and beats beneath one’s feet?

The powdery paperbarks, the talc-like whites and greys compose the palette of this portrait of the bush. The ground is sandy by the banks … no orange soil or sunburnt country here; no lush green vines or signs of insect life; no cockatoos, galahs or lorikeets.

The ashen bush, the stately gums … I hear them crunch beneath my feet and feel forlorn to see this scene as quiet as a silent dream.

The banksia amidst the flora in all its spikey glory are nonetheless … still life.


Copyright: author Helena Ameisen

Artwork: Berry Island Cressida Campbell


  1. 11 January, 2017 at 10:37 pm

    I thought of Margaret Preston's paintings when I read this.

    Reply »
  2. GarryMcDougall
    12 January, 2017 at 10:14 am

    funnily enough I just posted a pom on another Cressida Campbell painting of Flannel Flowers! But yours, Helena, is beautiful, perceptive and as mellow as the painting.

    Reply »
  3. Bernard
    13 January, 2017 at 2:15 pm

    The shapes are there on the painting but you, Helena, wake the 3rd dimension out of that flatness. Reading your piece, colors of the Australian bush awake, sounds so unique from the abundance of birds found here resonate and even smells as soft as fragrances arouse my senses. A picture’s worth 1000 words but a few less of your chosen words make that picture…

    Reply »
  4. Leo Ryan
    25 April, 2017 at 8:17 pm

    This is a masterful piece of writing, capturing the scene in remarkable fashion in such a short time. It had an amazing impact on how I felt.

    Reply »

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