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-- 19 September, 2005 --

A lantern for light

Lantern on Darlinghurst Courthouse
White pencil on 135gsm pastel paper

The Poet has been in hospital for almost seven weeks now – except for one week a little while ago when we mistakenly believed that life was back to stumbling along its usual rough and rocky road. How gullible on our part!

From the window of his current room he has the most wonderful view of the skyline of the Sydney CBD. It is a crazy mixture of the absolute ultra-modern and beautiful colonial buildings. Just beyond the St Vincent’s Hospice across the road, is the Greek revival style Darlinghurst Court House, built in 1835 and still used for criminal and other cases by the NSW Supreme Court. This lantern has been drawing my eyes to the courthouse ever since The Poet moved into this room, following his operation on Friday.

One morning last week, I walked past some of our Year 7 students who were having a plein aire art class on the front drive at school. Their teachers had given them some black card and coloured pencils and they were busy drawing the flowers in the garden. Their effort inspired me to try black paper. I have used a white version of those hard graphite sticks that look like an ordinary pencil without any woody case.

As I worked I couldn’t figure out whether I should use the white to represent the lights or the darks in the picture. Out of habit, my lines became the darks in the scene – which is actually the reverse of reality. Interesting … but next time I think I might try the mind twist of doing it the other way around.

Posted by robynls at September 19, 2005 5:59 PM


A lovely drawing and interesting in the use of white on black. And I hope that The Poet has a swift and comfortable recovery from his surgery.

Posted by: Karen Winters at September 19, 2005 6:38 PM

I do love doing colored pencil on black, especially with the prismacolor metallics (which don't look all that metallic on black, by the way). I didn't know The Poet was ill ... hope all gets better with you and yours!

Posted by: Linda at September 19, 2005 8:47 PM

I wondered where you were.....
Do hope the poet has a swift recovery.
Drawing "in reverse" is so difficult and I can see your shading is showing that - I will look forward to seeing your next piece.

Posted by: Jill at September 19, 2005 8:50 PM

Robyn, so sorry to hear about the poet, please give him my best wishes and to the Smith family my hopes for a swift recovery. The reverse drawing makes a nice change of pace now and again. I use it to bring a bit of sharpness to my normal drawing.

Posted by: Detlef at September 19, 2005 9:56 PM

Robyn, I didn't know The Poet was ill, either. You mentioned "Hospice" - not sure I like the sound of that, although I do know they are wonderful facilities when needed. I pray for a good outcome of his very long hospitalization. It's nice that you have your talent to keep your mind occupied in times like these.

Posted by: Bex at September 19, 2005 11:09 PM

Sentiments already expressed above. I'd not thought of colored or black paper but I am not the artist you all are. :-)

Posted by: Bonnie at September 19, 2005 11:34 PM

I'm sorry about the health problems...hope things improve soon. Your drawing from the hospital window is very good...and drawing on black paper is a neat challenge too.

Posted by: joyce at September 20, 2005 1:09 AM

Very nice drawing. I really like the minimalism. Just as Bonnie, I've never tried black paper. Now I am tempted to experiment with that. Thanks for the inspiration!

Posted by: Evy at September 20, 2005 4:04 AM

I've never paid much attention to the roofline of the courthouse before, I'll have remember to raise my eyes more next time I'm in Darlo, there are some wonderful old buildings around there.
Best wishes to the Poet, hope things improve for you both soon,

Posted by: Erica at September 20, 2005 9:02 AM

Thank you so much for linking to my blog! Only found out today.Afraid I havent produced any art work lately due to our move. Hope to be back in the swing of things soon. Now I need to look around here. Your work looks wonderful! Thankyou again!


Posted by: polly at September 21, 2005 3:45 PM

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