“I painted this in December 2022 reflecting on the previous challenging two years since 2020. My Gallery had quietened down from 200 people a day to only one or two a day as the heat and flies had well and truly kicked in over the summer holidays and I was excited to have some time and space to get back into painting. The Gallery was brightly decorated with Christmas ornaments and I decided I wanted to paint a celebratory Christmas coloured piece so decided to go with the gorgeous red and pink coral gum flowers and almost fluorescent green Mulga Parrot. This piece was finished on Christmas Eve and was posted online with the words “Joy to the World” as my Christmas wish to others.” Helen Ansell
The Mulga Parrot (Psephotellus varius) is endemic to the arid scrublands and lightly timbered grasslands in the southern interior of Australia, is about 27 – 32 cm long, the male being multi coloured while the female is duller overall, and is found in the drier regions of Western Australia then west to the Wheatbelt and north to the Pilbara.
Coral Gum (Eucalyptus torquate) is a small stout and spreading tree, which reaches between 4 to 11 metres, producing clusters of orange barrel shaped buds with horned cups, followed in August to December by prolific red or pink flowers. It is endemic to Western Australia, being found on hillsides around Kalgoorlie and Coolgardie, growing in stony loam or clay and red sandy soil, and has been widely cultivated as an ornamental tree.