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‘Colour is like food for the spirit—plus it’s not addictive or fattening.’ Isaac Mizrahi.

Stories from my Sketchbook . . . 

I think I fed my spirit pretty well with this sketchand not a calorie ingested . . .

 
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Posted by on November 28, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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‘Colours are the smiles of nature.’ Leigh Hunt.

Stories from my Sketchbook . . . 

If that statement is true this tree is as happy as they come . . .

The rainbow eucalyptus or Mindanao gum is one of those trees that you don’t really believe exists until you see it for yourself.  The  bark is the tree’s most distinctive feature. Patches of bark are shed annually showing a bright green inner bark. This then darkens and matures to give blue, purple, orange and then maroon tones. The previous season’s bark peels off in strips to reveal a brightly colored new bark below. The peeling process results in vertical streaks of red, orange, green, blue, and gray.

A very smiley tree . . .

 
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Posted by on October 10, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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‘Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree …’ Emily Bronte.

Stories from my Sketchbook . . .

Before I moved back to the coast about 13 years ago I lived for many years in Armidale, up high on the Northern Tablelands.  Armidale is a beautiful place, and unlike much of the rest of Australia, it also has four distinct seasons.  My favourite season has always been the autumn and I especially loved those Armidale autumns.  The nights would be getting cooler and the early mornings would often be foggy, but when the fog burnt off the days were bright and sunny and still quite warm . . .

. . . and the city itself was gorgeous—everywhere you looked there were corridors of trees all dressed in the most magnificent autumn colours . . .

(I realise I might sound a little nostalgic here but I would like to point out that I am very happy living here in the Camden Haven and I am not remembering Armidale entirely through ‘autumn-coloured’ glasses.  Armidale autumns were gorgeous, that’s true—but the winters were downright vicious.  It was those long . . . long . . .  long . . . icy winters that eventually drove me away and back to more temperate climes . . . )

 
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Posted by on March 21, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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‘Colour is like food for the spirit—plus it’s not addictive or fattening.’ Isaac Mizrahi.

Stories from my Sketchbook . . . 

colourpotsI admire people who use colour well in their artwork.  Some people really seem to have the knack for it.  I love colour (especially as it is so non-fattening) but I always seem to use too little—or go to the other extreme and never know when to stop.

Last week, in an effort to force myself out of my comfortable little box (which was hard, because I actually like my comfortable little box) I decided to go back to an exercise I had in one of my Sketchbook Skool classes (also I was desperately trying to think of a way to cover a completely failed sketch, but that’s a whole other story).  So I splashed a couple of coloured washes onto the page (only two colours though—I wasn’t ready to launch myself too far out of my box . . . ) to see what would happen.

frustratedAnd then I sat and looked at it . . . and looked at it. . . and looked at it . . .

Okay.  What the hell am I supposed to do with it now?  Sigh.  Honestly I have so little imagination at times it scares me . . .

So I closed the book and walked away.

After a couple of days of  (unsuccessfully) trying to ignore this page in my sketchbook I decided to crawl back into my box, retreat to what I know best and do a biro sketch over the top of it.  Et voila!

So, trying to look objectively at it, I don’t entirely hate it—but I am not sure I like it very much either.

But that’s okay.  I’m glad I persevered. There was a time (not all that long ago) when I would have just ripped the page out of my sketchbook in disgust at my ineptitude.

Perhaps that means that I am actually a little bit further outside my box that I thought I was?  I’ll take that.

Now I can turn over the page and try something else. Baby steps . . .

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Posted by on November 8, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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‘Sunset is still my favorite color, and rainbow is second.’ Mattie Stepanek.

coloursStories from my Sketchbook . . . 

I love colour—which, I admit, is a bit of a strange thing for me to say considering I am always more comfortable wearing black—but even so—I really do love colour.  I am drawn to it in all it’s many forms, from the subtlest and palest of washes to colours so vivid they make your eyes water.  And, for the most part, I have a pretty good eye.  I know which colours will work with others, and which won’t.

But knowing isn’t always enough.  It doesn’t always translate onto the sketchpad or canvas.  There are so many techniques to be learned (and practised) especially when it comes to mixing colours, and I still have so much to learn.  (So far, when it comes to mixing watercolours at least, the colour ‘mud’ I have down pat . . .)

biroThankfully, mixing colours was not an issue for me this week.  This week’s SBS tutor was Andrea Joseph, well known for her fabulous ball-point pen sketches, and our homework was to produce a ‘one-colour sketch’ of one of our favourite things.  This was a bit of a step back for me, but not in a bad way.  I am very comfortable working in black and white.  I just settled myself on my couch with my sketchbook and my Classic Fine Bic ballpoint pen and drew.  I didn’t have to have pencils, or sharpeners, or erasers, or watercolours, or brushes . . .  just a biro.  I had forgotten how meditative and relaxing it could be (at least until I got cramp in my hand and had to stop for a while . . . )

But something has also shifted within me after all these classes I have been taking.  I am getting a little more adventurous.  Although I was happy enough with the black and white sketch when I had finished, I just felt I needed to add a tiny spot of colour somewhere.  So I did.  My sketchbook . . . my rules . . .

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Mabel is one of my favourite black and white things.  The other is her sister Maude
(although Maudie is like a flea in a bottle and can’t stay still for a moment, even when she is sleeping,
which makes her much harder to draw.)

 
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Posted by on September 6, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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‘Sometimes it’s best to hide in plain sight.’ David Estes.

Stories from my Sketchbook . . .

How cool would be it—to be able to change colour to match your surrounding like the chameleon?  

I could be in the office, getting on with my day, answering the phones, working on the database, dealing with the paperwork . . . but nobody would know I was even there.  

I might even be able to get just one job finished . . . 

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Posted by on August 23, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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