Friday, January 28, 2011

Sketchbook again

Just a quick hello, and to share a few more of the sketchbook drawings I've been doing over the xmas break. I don't do much drawing from real life - I have a friend who will sit down anywhere and find something in the scene to draw, she's a fabulous sketcher and I'm so jealous of her sketchbooks, it's something I'll try to spend a little time on this year. My drawings are usually from the imagination, but based on things I've seen or done, that stick in my brain!

In early December I wrote this in my notebook-
For some reason I just don't want to draw at the moment, I can't force myself to do it even. I don't seem to have any ideas that I'm desperate to express - it's a really strange place to be.

Thank goodness, slow days hanging out with the kids has relaxed me and let me see moments to draw, like the bird reflected in the puddle! Now the kids are back at school and I'm back at work I hope I'll beable to hang onto some of that slowness and openness. I've done a bit of painting this morning and hope to share photos of those soon.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Do you have a subject that won't go away? Mine seems to be birds, in particular double-barred finches at the moment. Tiny little birds that I see in other people's gardens when I'm out walking. Recently I did see a pair very briefly in my garden and it felt like a gift or a blessing! I did a painting of them a couple of months ago.

By co-incidence I picked up a back copy of the journal Meanjin at a 2nd hand book shop and there's a poem about double-barred finches in it, by Martin Langford. (unfortunately I can't find a link to the poem) I've been working on my own poem in response and some sketchbook pages that I'm using as the design for a lino-cut.

This is my poem in progress so far - I'll be taking it away for reworking in a couple of weeks.


You might only see them as a movement
from the corner of your eye
you have to look in the right way, focus
on something small, like a thimble.

Pale faced with a dark bonnet
common, from the Kimberley's
to Groote Eylandt, from Darwin's suburbs
to Sydney's, an ornithologist might not
look twice.

I've seen them on neglected nature strips
taking off in a wave at my approach.
Today at the backdoor, I looked to
where the palm tree was cut down, now
perfectly overgrown.

There a pair of finches flit and perch
make the long grass bow, peck a seed
and flit again to the chain link fence
and go.

Saturday, January 8, 2011


Lucky me I'm still off work for another week. I've been doing some sketchbook drawing, trying to be playful and open-ended!!I've had time to be exploring other blogs, which is a treat, and via the lovely blog Stitchworks, I discovered the sketchbook challenge, the challenge of one themed sketchbook page per month sounds like something I can manage...we'll see...

I've done some not very successful monoprints - the paint was too thick I think - but I cut up and collaged this journal page.

Here's the story behind it.
Last Sunday we went to the local markets to grab some lunch, the day after New Year's Day, there were not many stalls and not much food left by the time we got there. The kids really wanted a fruit milkshake so I joined the queue. The milkshake lady was on her own, maybe her helpers were on holiday or didn't turn up. It was hot and the queue was slow moving, she was determined, dogged.
By the time we got to the front of the queue there was no ice-cream or milk left, she made a banana mango drink with water and ice and honey, I said 'that will be beautiful' and it was. The kids were as happy with it as they would have been with a shake, it was cool and fruity and refreshing. She could have packed up her stall and gone home, I guess that's why I wanted to make a piece of work about her.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Haiku New Year

At midnight fireworks explode
dogs bark then settle
geese pass honking overhead.

Around the dinner table
kids ride their scooters
outside rain is still falling.

Happy coincidence!! a few days ago I rediscovered Watermark a poetry blog by Sharon Brogan. It used to be on my favourites list, but got lost in one of the computer crashes of 2010! She is welcoming in the new year with haiku and anyone can contribute via comments at watermark blog.

As promised here's a random snapshot from one of my walks. Where rapid creek meets the sea, storm clouds are brewing.