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Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Winner! Pencil category

This was a lovely surprise tonight - my 'Spoon collection' drawing (see March 22 entry) won the 'Pencil' section at the AGRA Kenneth Jack 2018! Got to be happy with that!
Thank you Seniors Art Supplies, Studio Craft and AGRA for the wonderful prizes. And thank you to the judges David Jack and Joe Attard for such discerning taste! 😁
If you have the opportunity, head into the AGRA Galleries and see the entire exhibition, there are some wonderful drawings there, and in all honesty I am honoured to have won this prize.

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Celebrating 25 years: Old Post Office Gallery, Seymour

The Old Post Office Gallery in Seymour is celebrating 25 years of excellence in Fine Art and Dining. The beautifully restored old post office delights with multiple rooms displaying Australian Artists and selected International imported arts and crafts. The restuarant menu serves an extinsive yet affordable menu showcasing the best of local produce and Goulburn Valley Wines.
The 25th Celebration Art Show will open Sunday 29 April, 11 to 4 and will be featuring a variety of works from a select range of artists.

The Puzzling Cameleopard
Graphite on Paper

I will be exhibiting for the first time my most recent work, 'The Puzzling Cameleopard'. A little bit of history to explain the name and concept of the work: in 46BC, Julius Ceaser returned to Rome after his conquest of Eygpt with a vast menagerie of animals from the African continent. The star attraction was a giraffe, which had never been seen in Rome previously. The Romans were greatly puzzled by the creature and called it a 'Cameleopard' as it seemed to embody both the characteristics of a camels' head and a leopards' spots. Sadly, as an ostentatious display of his power, Ceaser eventually had the animal ripped to shreds by lions in the Colusseum. The animal puzzled scientists and public alike for several centuries, eventually being renamed some time in 1600c as 'Giraffe'. But harking back to Roman/latin times, the Giraffe's species name is Giraff camelepardalis.

Why not pop into the opening on Sunday, April 29 and say hello? I hope to be there in the early afternoon. Seymour is a great part of the world, maybe  walk the River Walk by the Goulburn River, visit the Vietnam Veterans Commemorative Walk or do a tour of the local wineries.The exhibition will continue through May and into June. Full details and opening hours here.

Thursday, 22 March 2018

The Spoon Collection: Completed

My earlier post in February showed the sketch drawings at the planning stage of this drawing. Here is the completed work: Graphite pencil on Fabriano 300gsm Hot Press Artistico. I have submitted this piece into the Robert Jack's Drawing Prize 2018 at AGRA galleries, 11-29 April.

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

'Line' at Tacit Galleries

'Mech-egg #2'

Tacit Galleries in Collingwood is showcasing 8 artists who specialise is drawing. The title of this showcase exhibition is 'Line' and it will run from 21 March until 22 April, at 123a Gipps Street, Collingwood, Victoria. Opening Night is Wednesday, 21 March 6.30 to 8.30. 
  I and my good friend Lisa O'Keefe are included in this exhibition. As a bit of a 'teaser' I will be showing three small drawings of my steam punk eggs from my upcoming October exhibition at Tacit entitled 'The Mechanical Pencil'. Why not come along this Wednesday March 21 and join me for a glass of wine? Love to see you there!

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Nature Journal Page

Bat Wing

My Wednesday afternoon class did a session of journalling together. Most drew the wonderful old building next to the CCC with its' convoluted rear stair case. Although I thought it was interesting and did a quick sketch myself, what really caught my eye was the remains of a bat wing with the claws fully attached I found on the grass. There were a few 'ewws' muttered, but I found it fascinating to study and draw - being careful not to touch it with bare hands! 
Too large for a micro bat, I thought too small for a flying fox, but research tells me that it probably was a Grey Headed Flying fox , perhaps a small or young one. The claws look appropriate for that species . We have been having very hot weather lately, very warm nights and it may have succumbed to heat stress. Otherwise cats?
Sketch done in my Fabriano Journal using Derwent watersoluble 4b graphite pencil washed, then a Staedler Mars Lumograph Black 4b pencil and finished with a bit of ink from a Copic .7 multiliner.

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Watersoluble Pencils

My Wednesday and Friday classes are working with watersoluble pencils - Derwent 4B Sketch and Wash graphite and Derwent Graphitint. This is my 'demo' work using the Indigo and Chestnut Graphitints as well as the w/s 4B and a 'standard' 4B graphite pencil. This is on a Lana 300gsm Hot Press - although the paper is quite white my shot of it has a brownish cast.
If you would like to see the progress and technique, please watch this video:

Friday, 16 February 2018


My childhood home was surrounded by cherry orchards. When my father bought the subdivision to build our house, he kept 10 cherry trees on our lot. My sister and I would have cherry pit fights all fruiting season. I remember climbing rickety, vertigo inducing, 3 legged ladders to pick buckets and buckets of cherries that my mother spend days canning or making jam from. This meant years and years of eating canned cherries, stewed cherries, cherries in cakes, cherry pie, cherry jam... any way you could eat cherries we did.

I am not fond of cherries.

However, they are beautiful things to draw. Cherry season is just finishing here and I saw some in our excellent local greengrocer and bought a few to draw. This was created using the Prismacolour pencils on a cream toned 250gsm Stonehenge paper. Size is approx 12 x 17cm.

Monday, 12 February 2018

Silver Spoons - Reflections

The 2018 Term 1 theme for my advanced classes is 'Reflections'. The medium is to be graphite on paper. Each artist must interpret the theme in their own individual way - it could have many different meanings from shiny surfaces, a reflective portrait, reflections on water. I have chose to 'reflect' on the antique silver spoons I have collected over the years. Most have been op shop finds, although some are from family. The image here shows my first study sketch of the different features of each of the 7 spoons chosen. Graphite pencils HB/2B/4B on visual diary paper.

Thursday, 8 February 2018

The Thursday Nighters

Nature Journal - Mushroom

Every Thursday night a group of  12 or so artists join me at the Mentone-Mordialloc Art Group for an evening of drawing and conversation. This week we were very lucky to be invited by one of the Thursday Nighters to the Victoria Golf Club to walk around, take photos and do some nature journalling/plein air drawing. The golf course is beautifully designed and features large areas of native eucalypts and teatrees. Lots of lorikeets and ducks seen! Sadly, the frogmouths were well hidden in the trees and could not be spotted. I found a large mushroom and did a quick sketch of it in the fading light, then refined the sketch in the studio this morning. No idea what type of mushroom this is, although I suspect it is very common. One of the Agaric's? If anyone can identify this mushroom let me know please.

Initial sketch drawn on site. About 5 minutes using a yellow ochre water soluble pencil and a 4B water soluble graphite pencil.

Refined sketch back in the studio with notes included.

Photographic reference.

It was a very enjoyable evening - Thank you Chris and the VGC.

Monday, 5 February 2018

Nature Journal Page


I seldom get to my strawberries in my strawberry pot before they are all eaten by the blackbirds  - so I thought I'd better record this one before it was gone! 
This is a page from my on-going artists/nature journal. It is a Fabriano journal and I used some watercolour pencils (mainly Karats), travel-pan water colur set as shown, a 4B carbon Staedler Mars carbon pencil and Aquash brush. The sketch took about 30 minutes. The strawberry was eaten when the drawing was finished and it was lovely.