A Happy New Year, everyone. Hope you have had a happy and safe festive season.
Getting back to drawing… It’s not just about organic subjects. In contrast, the built environment is a different beast.
All those straight lines may appear restrictive.
But there is always a way to break loose, as these scenes from Cockatoo Island attest.
Determination Cap segues very nicely into the work the other work I’ve been doing in my art studies.
A large part of it was the very essential skill of drawing. No hiding behind colour here – it’s all about form. Thse organic subjects may be difficult to draw but since there were no straight lines I felt free to mark-make and add my own interpretations of light and dark.
Despite the fun I had at the museum, my favourite locations in the field are inevitably scenic ones. This time it’s a seascape.
Malabar Headland has recently been made into a national park. It makes the walk between South Maroubra and Malabar accessible whenever the rifle range on the same location isn’t in use.
My friends and I visited on a very sunny and still day – though the seas were still a bit rough due to Cyclone Gita all the way in New Zealand.
The sandstone cliffs are similar to what you might find in Royal National Park, but more accessible, especially if you live in or are visiting the Eastern Suburbs. I made the most of the intricate folds and honeycomb erosion by sketching in ink.
Art in the field doesn’t always have to be out of doors – it can also take place in indoor locations.
A few weeks ago, a few friends and I went sketching in the Australian Museum. Although I had visited a few times, I had never sketched there before. It’s actually a great place to draw in, being full of different objects – natural and man-made.
An intricate wood carving from the Congo, in the Long Gallery.
A very elaborate head-dress from New Guinea, in the Long Gallery.
Crocoite from the Albert Chapman mineral gallery.
Tourmaline from the Albert Chapman mineral gallery.
Creativity doesn’t need to be confined to just the home, school or studio. Photographing and sketching in the field provides stimulus and is great practice. It’s really true that the more you do it, the easier it becomes.
One place that’s inspired is my old haunt of Oatley Park, by the Georges River. I might not have been a frequent visitor in recent years, but I made up for it in the last few months: shooting photographs at the castle.
And sketching by the baths.
Mornings are my usual time there. It’s when the light is golden as the baths are illuminated. If you wake up early enough, you might even see the sun rise.
I ended up with quite a compilation of Finnish sketches from our three weeks there. I tried hard to capture the landscapes around our cabin at Nallikari, because they were inspiring.
I had also compiled a collection of sketches from England.
But my best painting was one I did when I got home, of that snowy day at Chatsworth.
Before we had off to pastures new, a view of Greece from my sketchbook. Can you tell where I sketched each of these scenes?
I must take my hat off to the geologists. As you’ve noticed by now, the terrain in the Rodophes wasn’t easy.
It’s rocky and steep, and the weather for most of the week was around 10C or colder on the hilltops. The only tracks to be had were ones made by goats, which on a precipice, made for a hair-raising walk.
Since my balance isn’t very good at the best of times, I didn’t really fancy being out all day in such conditions, so for most of the week I watched Hubby and P walk into the hills.
Meanwhile, I watched the scenery and the goats go by. Being in the mountains, the light changes constantly, providing many photo opportunities.
I also did some painting. Having bought a small set of watercolours and a pocket sketchbook in London, they came to good use.
At the end of the day, the satisfied geologists returned with several kilos of rock specimens. I was quite happy with a full page.
I saw a few canoeists along this stretch of water. Some of them took it very easy indeed.
The pontoon was generally bereft of swimmers, because Queenslanders are chickens when it comes to swimming in cool water.
It was so serene and pretty that I had to get out my sketch book.
The nuns recently built a yurt next to the cottages. Why? No, they’re not taking up a nomadic existence, but to use it as a prayer/meditation/conference room, of course!
During the Taizé prayer day, I spent an hour or so sketching the structure. From afar, it looks a bit like a flying saucer.