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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.

Friday, 2 February 2018

Child's Play

I was given set of 12 Prismacolours that I have been playing around with. Waxed colour pencils are not my favourite pencil medium, as I tend to find them too soft and blurry for the fine work I prefer doing. However, Paul Malouf from The Art Scene recommended I try the Prismacolour Verithin pencils which have a 'harder' wax pigment core and can be sharpened to a wicked point.  This work is a test drawing done with both of these types of pencils and while I can see the appeal of the Prismacolor, I have yet to be fully won over. The Verithins certainly give me the control and finer point I need and the colours blend well, but I may take more convincing to throw over my beloved Staedler Mars Karat Aquarelles!

The Young Prince

The Young Prince: Lion cub in Graphite Pencils
This work was started as a demonstration piece during my two January workshops; Camp Creative in Bellingin and the Mitchell School of art in Bathurst, 2018. Finalised in the studio.  Graphite pencils (2H, HB, F, 2B, 4B) on Fabriano Artistico 300gsm Hot Press.
This cub is one of the first litter born at Werribee zoo in 2018 and he was created using photograpic reference collected after spending several days observing, sketching and taking photos of him and his siblings. This work will be exhibited at the Logan Gallery in Queensland from March 16 at the QWASI International Wildlife art show.