A blog pause

Do you ever think you like drawing and the doing but don’t really have all that much to say in words? Well, that’s kind of where I am at the moment. And hence, a pause from blogging. 

Over the two years or so of blogging, I have very much enjoyed your posts and the many beautiful ideas visually expressed and the little blog-chats. Thank you.

For the time being, I am posting at https://www.instagram.com/drawingconnections/



Book of little treasures

Came across a little concertina book tucked away in my bookshelf. From memory, I enjoyed doing these and especially where I get to the part of the drawing when the structure has been worked out and the tones just start to ‘pop out’ through darkening and also erasing.

It has been a while since I have done this kind of drawing – slow, intense looking and direct copying from nature.      

To make and to review (2)

Still making more little stationary sets. Not perfect nor extravagant as gifts. Just handmade.

In looking for ideas I am going through sketchbooks. But I find that it is somehow easier to make designs up by looking out onto the balcony for ideas. Do you find that too – that observation gives so much more variety or scope for inspiration?

What to draw is one exercise. The other is choosing which colours to use. As I am enjoying the convenience of this kids palette with its range of 36 sorbet-like colours, working out colour combinations is another exercise.

All good fun.

To make and to review (1)

Not much blogging, but still drawing – little drawings to make a few simple stationary sets as little gifts.

When rummaging around for ideas, I’m going through sketchbooks – quite a few by now. 

It’s kind of a way of reviewing what I have been doing. Needless to say, there are a lot of balcony plant sketches. Some plants have since drooped, gone and new ones added – an inadvertant record of balcony life!

Yes? No? Dunno.

A bit aimless at the outset. Some days, when I am pfaffing about starting a drawing, I go for a default reference. Default? I look at the balcony.

See plant 1, draw that, look at plant 2, draw that, and so on. 

This, as you can imagine, leads to a what’s-next cross road.  It all looks a bit disparate (or rather, desparate!). It needs ‘hanging together’. And so, I try this, a bit of that and a bit more of that. A kind of an unplanned process, one might say.

At some point, the drawing says’enough’. No more.

You look at it. Does it work? Maybe yes, maybe no. More likely, it’s a dunno. Does it matter? When process oriented, it doesn’t matter. It’s better to keep looking, drawing, learning. I guess.

Anyhoooo. On to the next.

Gingko leaves

I found these gingko leaves pressed flat between two art books – a belated gift from last Autumn. Their fan shapes are distinctive. And when put together, the spaces they make among them are just as interesting.

This piece has been inspired by the work of printmaker Jorg Schmeister. If you don’t know his work, do a pinterest or google search. It is worth your while. His images take you beyond the physical appearances.

Oil pastel and pencil, 19cm x 21cm

Botanica exotica workshop – lessons learned: Ubud (8)

 This 2+ metre wide unfinished drawing is made up up of 2 large sheets and 4 small remnant sheets held together with masking tape. This was part of a 5 day workshop with Suzanne Archer. I enjoyed the experience of working at this scale. 

The big tropical plant running across this whole drawing was a last minute attempt at ‘bringing the whole piece together’. I don’t think it quite works. But, the beauty of working in pastels and charcoal is that it can be easily rubbed back or drawn over. This is quite freeing when you don’t know what you’re doing (!). It also allows you to  try this and that till an idea evolves. I also learnt these gems from Suzanne:

  • To create depth, ‘draw as if your arm can reach through a space and beyond’.
  • In working from dark to light, ‘pretend you’re in a jungle looking out into the light’.
  • When something’s not working, ask yourself ‘what is it that you don’t like? What isn’t working.’
  • ‘Set up an installation of objects to use as inspiration for drawing. Think in layers and what’s coming through and between.’
  • ‘Vary your marks. Change directions.’
  • ‘Keep to a theme, add text’ in your concertina book.
  • ‘Draw big’

The drawing? It is now dismantled and in Ubud. I may or may not return to it but that’s ok as the lessons are still with me.

A bit about Suzanne Archer: Video (Art Gallery of New South Wales) and the workshop: Art adventures Bali

A little disruption – Ubud (1)

A wonderful three weeks in Lodtunduh, Ubud has disrupted my little blogging routine. 

The first five days was spent in a workshop ‘Balinese botanica exotica with Suzanne Archer’. The drawing, learning and and seeing was wrapped with fantastic company and in a beautiful environment – home of a dear friend.

And yes, above is not my usual A5 sized morning-on-the-balcony-sketch. Lots of charcoal layering, drawing in, removing, drawing over. And yes, after 3 days on it, it is unfinished. But, no matter. The experience of working large (2+ metres) and working with traces left behind by drawings removed was new and interesting to me.

 If I could, I’d have included in the sketch above, the staccato-like sound of the geckos, the sound of carp splashing about in the pond below and the 6am prayers sounding from a distance. Enclosed by glass panels, I loved this little space with its high pitched thatched roof and immersive views of the rice paddy fields.


And here, I am back to my A5…well, at least 2 A5!

Here’s a bit about the workshop: http://artadventuresbali.weebly.com

Persimmon beauty

Every time I see persimmons or fuji fruits, I have to buy some. Not to eat, but to stare at. Oh dear, a little indulgence. But we all have a little one or two, don’t we?

For me, its their squarish roundish shape, the petal like leaves and and the colour – its orange. Not yellow orange, not red orange, not burnt orange but orange, orange.

Ok. Do tell. What’s your little creative indulgence?