I was dying to get some sketching in this week. I’ve been working on a graphite portrait and have been enjoying the tight detail and concentration it requires…but I got to the point where I really just wanted to scribble down something loose and fun. So I drew my lunch. The cafe staff always look at me a little strangely when they see my pull my lunch apart like this, but when they saw me start to draw it too…that was the last straw Giggles all round!
Archives For Visual Journal
After I’d been through the Toulouse-Lautrec exhibition and made sure I got thoroughly lost exiting the gallery, I spent some time sitting in the sculpture garden enjoying the solitude.
There are some truly beautiful pieces in the garden. I was visited by a blue wren and his harem as I sat in the shade and sketched.
Oops! The Carillon has a bit of a lean to it One of the pitfalls of drawing with my sketchbook on my lap. Hope it doesn’t fall into the lake!
My work colleagues spoiled me rotten this Christmas and gave me some gorgeous art supplies. The journal is hand stamped leather with handmade paper inside…and it smells absolutely DIVINE!
I was nervous about doing regular sketches in such a special book, I didn’t want to fill it with nonsense that I couldn’t share with other people…so I came to the decision that I would fill the pages with quotes and notes that I found inspirational or meaningful in various ways.
The paper is delicate and is taking some getting used to…it doesn’t like erasers or sharp pencils. I need to take it easy with water colours too. I’ll no doubt end up with some disasters…but I hope I end up with a book full of food for thought by the end of the new year. If I counted correctly I’ll have 50 or so spreads to fill.
Almost ten years ago an horrendous firestorm decimated several suburbs in my city. At the time I was in a suburb that was getting ember showers and I was home alone trying to stave off an asthma attack and keep our house from catching alight. The boys were very little, so I’d taken them to a friend’s place, but the dog we had at the time kept me company as I watered the house with a garden hose. I have never before seen it pitch black in the middle of the afternoon, nor do I wish to again. I have the greatest admiration for those that lost everything and yet have returned to rebuild and thrive again.
This one was drawn in 5-10 minute blocks between shuttle runs for the downhillers in my family. I used my Noodler’s Bulletproof Polar Brown ink for the first time, and was not happy to discover that it is in fact water soluble…not happy.
I really struggle with perspective when I’m drawing buildings, especially if I’m making a quick sketch on location like this one. More practice hours are required to hone my urban sketching skills!
It was too wet and miserable to get of the office during my lunch hour so I sat by the window and drew what I saw. The building itself is fascinating…lots of interesting bits and pieces to draw, but not a lot of fun to actually work in. The air-conditioning breaks down with monotonous regularity and the grey of the exposed concrete tends to have a depressing quality to it after awhile.
This is the first actual painting I’ve done with my new paints and using only a water brush, which I find gives a far looser feel than working with regular paintbrushes.
This week I put together my new water colour kit to slip into my pencil case. I figured I’d better do a colour chart since I haven’t used these colours or paints before. Some of the colours are a little gritty, which I’m not very happy with, but they’ll do for my everyday knock about kit.
Here’s a picture of my pencil case. The paints are in the little pencil tin at the top (the water brush actually fits inside the tin).
I had thought that I might sit and do some sketching at the fete while I waited for my son to do his performance, but I chickened out. I took a bunch of photos and filled up a spread while I relaxed this afternoon. I need to work a little bit more on having pictures cross the binding line to give the spread a little more coherence, but on the whole I’m happy with this piece.
1979 was a good, good year (thanks Good Charlotte) … Dad took his long service leave and the four of us piled into the front of the F100 ute and took off up into the middle of Queensland for three months. My little brother and I were young and slight, but it was still a squeeze to get us all on the bench seat…legs were strategically placed to avoid being kneecapped with gear changes, and we were a captive audience for hours of Slim Dusty, Johnny Cash and Tammy Wynette. By the time we stopped for any length of time I remember loading up my pockets and dashing into the bush to explore and to write and draw. Solitude.
From memory I did more writing than drawing in those days. I was going to be a novelist. The romance of the artistic life had me firmly in it’s grip.
It’s funny what comes back to you in those delicious moments when you’re not quite awake and not quite asleep. Curious how the passion of my youth was buried for years and years and all of a sudden pops back up, and that now I start to remember.
My garden has typically been a respite centre for green-life…this is where plants come to die. I have had a black thumb for as long as I can remember, but that doesn’t stop me trying. My latest experiment is having a couple of plants on the end of my desk where I can see them and be reminded that they need to be watered once in a blue moon. As well as this little chilli plant, I have a basil plant…I am looking forward to having tomatoes and mozzarella with my lovely fresh basil…if I can keep it alive for a little longer.