Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Don't you love me any more, or something?

This was John's remark when I did these drawings of him.

If I didn't tell you it was meant to be him you might not think they were so awful, and I think there is a little bit of Burl in there.

The pics of Philip are really sad!! Cath I need some tips!!
The one with the cat in it is a much older one (younger John and Pkrp, though his face was never that full)

Friday, February 22, 2008


A couple of nights ago friends very kindly invited us to a picnic supper event in the University of WA Sunken Gardens: part of the Perth International Arts Festival . Peter Godwin, international journalist, teacher at Columbia U (I think), and author of memoirs,"Mukiwa" and "A Crocodile Eats the Sun", was interviewed by PIAF artistic director, Shelagh Magadza.Both came from Zimbabwe originally, as did a very large part of the audience, so there was a great deal of rapport, and some considerable sadness ... even as we all enjoyed the magnificent soft evening outdoors. A bright light shone on the faces of interviewer and interviewee. I was struck by the way Shelagh's beautiful ochre skin, pink scarf, and part of her red chair appeared as patches of light, while all other light was swallowed up by her black clothing, magnificent hair extensions, and the dark gardens behind. I could not sketch, so tried this at home this morning.Her face was serious through the interview, but I snapped a quick photo afterwards as she chatted with an elderly couple who seemed to know her, from the 'good old' days, perhaps.I think I might try this again with black ink, paint and no smile.

Monday, February 18, 2008

some life drawing

I did these last year in a workshop with Ian de Souza. All poses were incredibly quick .. a couple of minutes mostly, and we were encouraged to work loosely and instinctively, thinking of yin and yang, the 'essence' of the pose, light and shadow.
It was all very hard work. I had these pinned on my drawing board, so I think they were the ones I felt happiest with. I must go back and look at the rest.
I have posted them to remind myself that in my earnest desire to draw acceptable images for the blog, I am producing really laboured, tight little drawings, and I really find loose, free work so much more satisfying.
Having said that, I'd love to get the anatomy spot-on, first time, no labouring!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

drawings of Harrison

Harrison the gsp is quite a good subject for drawing in the evenings after his dinner.
He stays fairly still.
I was trying out drawing media.
In the first one which I prefer, I used a water soluble pencil, and in the second a 6B 'mars lumograph' I found in my drawer. What is the difference between a lumograph and normal pencil?
Poor Harry's anatomy has suffered a bit. I mixed up his front and back leg in the first one, and he seems to have had his head slightly detached in the pencil drawing. Must keep trying.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

A celebration of figs

I put in a black Smyrna fig tree about 4 years ago, I think. It wants to be enormous, and needs to be cut down to size each year, but has borne only a few dryish but flavoursome figs each year so far. Until this year! There are lots and lots of them, and they are an elegant size and shape, beautiful colours, and have a wonderful flavour. I picked these this morning, and painted them on a green glass plate, on one of my Mum's very special table mats. We have a big flock of white cockatoos visiting, and I think they have had the occasional taste, hence the pink flesh revealed. Or perhaps it was the pink and grey galahs, though they seem to prefer the prickly balls on the liquidamber tree.

I love figs. I love the shapes the trees grow into. I love their curvaceous leaves, and the fruit that somehow brings to my mind Adam and Eve; far more than the more puritan seeming apple does. I love their complicated pollination story, the colours of the fruit, inside and out... and the taste.

I've tried this in watercolour, with a bit of ink for definition. It may need a little pale blue pastel to make the light bloom on the skins that I have not captured.