Monday, 24 October 2016

Home away from Home

For the last few weeks I have been house sitting, looking after a cat (a special cat, a dog (a lovable Boxer who thinks he's a lap dog) and the house too, of course. On Friday I moved back home and it's as though I've been on a long relaxing holiday, even though I've been commuting back to my studio to teach.

The large block next door to my home is in the process of being developed. A number of town houses are to be built. In the process, I am devastated to say, many trees have been felled. The mornings are so much quieter now with the many birds having fled. Fortunately, my garden has grown well in the years that I have been here and with a few new additions, I should be able to screen my new neighbours effectively.

                                                       Proteas - oil on canvas 

I've now been in Australia for almost six years. Today, Monday the 24th October, I will take the final step in my relocation which began in February 2009 when I applied for a visa to move to Australia. I will be taking the pledge to become an Australian citizen.

I will be keeping my South African citizenship as well since both countries allow dual citizenship. My roots and my heart will always remain in the country of my birth. It's been hard to be so far from family and friends, however this has been made easier by the many ways of keeping in touch that we have today. I am so fortunate that I have been made so welcome here in Australia. 

So I truly am, as the title says 'Home away from home' 

Monday, 10 October 2016

Aleksandar's portrait

If you're a regular reader you will know that I have been painting and drawing portraits using the Sktchy app for some time. It's quite addictive and the community of artists is encouraging and supportive. And it's really inspiring because there is so much excellent work so there's always a new technique to learn. 

Recently a sale button has been added where artists were able to make their work for sale. I was invited to add some of my work there as well. And then, yesterday, I opened up the app and discovered that my portrait of Aleksander Prokic had a 'Sold' button. 

Aleksander Prokic - ink 8.25" x 10"

The portrait is in ink - for #Inktober* on 170gsm  Hahnemule paper. I used my Platinum Carbon pen which has the finest nib - essential to create the fine lines for that impressive beard. 

#Inktober* is a drawing initiative started by Jake Parker. 

This is what he says on his website:

"Every October, artists all over the world take on the InkTober drawing challenge by doing one ink drawing a day the entire month.
I created InkTober in 2009 as a challenge to improve my inking skills and         develop positive drawing habits. It has since grown into a worldwide endeavor with thousands of artists taking on the challenge every year."

Please note: The paper is more off-white/cream rather than this slightly pink shade...

Friday, 7 October 2016

Botanique Bazaar

Botanique Bazaar will open tomorrow 8th October at 10.00 am in the Richard Randall Studio, Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens, Brisbane. The exhibition will run for a week, closing Saturday 15th October at 1.00pm. 
I will be there on Monday afternoon from 12.00pm until 3.00pm if you'd like to visit while I am there.

I have a selection of small watercolours, a small oil and some little fridge magnets - Mushrooms and garlic painted in oils.

In addition there will be a selection of cards printed with images of my paintings that have a botanical theme

Garlic - watercolour on paper

Portobello Mushrooms - watercolour on paper

Garlic II - watercolour on paper 

Lavender - watercolour on paper

Artichoke - watercolour on paper

Poppies in a Blue Vase - watercolour on paper

Sweet Peas - watercolour on paper

FRIDGE MAGNETS - oil on canvas board

And of course you will notice that I completely forgot to take any photographs before the paintings were framed....

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Working with False Starts

In my previous post I talked about taking Roz Stendhal's online course By Design. 
Even though I've been trying to be very conscious of the layout of a page, sometimes you just rush in without much thought.

This was the case on Monday when I was meeting a friend for coffee. The cafè had a lovely outdoor garden with colourful umbrellas. I started drawing, in ink, and after a few lines realised that the drawing was just not going to work. With a sigh, I turned the page and started to capture the Cafe's signage - better but not great.

Now I really hate to waste a page and moreover the scratchy lines in my sketchbook would make me want to rip out the page - also something I never do.
So it was gouache to the rescue. Once this paint layer was dry, I drew a portrait using a Sktchy reference in ink - page saved. 

Sebastian Grzywa - Gouache and ink in Canson Ebony sketchbook 

Now I really hate to waste a page and moreover the scratchy lines in my sketchbook would make me want to rip out the page - also something I never do. 
So it was gouache to the rescue. Once this paint layer was dry I drew a portrait using a reference from the Sktchy app in ink - page saved.

Story Bridge form Mowbray Park - Sumi Ink in Canson Ebony Sketchbook

Riverside Tree - Sumi ink in Canson Ebony Sketchbook 

Sketching with Friends

Last weekend I joined the Brisbane Painting and Drawing Meetup at Mowbray Park for some sketching. We had a lovely relaxing time next to the river with views across the river to the Story Bridge and city.

Sumi Ink drawing

I tried Sumi ink for the first time and drew with a wooden skewer - it was fun to be totally out of control of the drawing tool - and there were some unexpected, rather pleasant results.

Spoon Deli Cafe 

We went across the road for some lunch, and as I arrived before the others sat down inside and started to draw the interior. The group vote was rather to sit outside so once again I had an abandoned drawing. While waiting for lunch I added some of the interior shelving but then got chatting and that was much more interesting! 

Later while going through my sketchbook I wondered what to do about the page - the ink drawing of the pendant lights and shelving looked sad. I Googled the Cafè and found a photo of their logo. I was able to add this and a quote from the blackboard to the page - another save. 

Spoon Deli Cafè - watercolour and ink in The Perfect Sketchbook