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-- 14 May, 2005 --

Illustration Friday 'Nourishment' Challenge

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'Autumn fruit'
Oil on canvas 15cm by 10.5cm

It is autumn in Australia. In the middle of May but most days are still warm - sometimes even in the mid to high 20s. It is hard to dress for the day at six in the morning when it is dark and cool, knowing that later it will most likely be another hot, blue sky day. We watch as the clouds roll over with their promise of rain only to be disappointed as they pick up their skirts and roll off again. The drought seems to go forever.

Autumn is the time for apples and grapes. They make a luscious picture as they sit in a bowl in the middle of the table. Being a favourite in our household, these were all that were left to paint.

Posted by robynls at 12:49 PM | Comments (24)

-- 14 April, 2005 --

IF 'Alone' challenge

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'Alone'
Van Gogh watercolour pencils on 150gm Mont Matre sketch paper

The Illustration Friday challenge for this week is 'Alone'. That conjures up lots of images to me, mainly of people in various setting like crowds or deserted beaches. Trouble is, I think that this is what will come to the minds of lots of people and I want mine to be different. By the way, I never look at the offerings already on the site before submitting my own as I don't want to be influence - or scared off.

So how else can alone be portrayed? It came to me while we were doing the shopping in the fruit and veg section of our local Woolies. Peas - they always come in groups in pods or crowds on plates, so what could be more alone than one pea in a pod. So here it is. Not one of my finest pieces mind you. I haven't really got the feel of my nice new watercolour pencils yet, but it will do for starters

Posted by robynls at 9:15 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

-- 02 April, 2005 --

IF 'Travel' Challenge

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Wat Jet Lod
Lead pencil on cartridge paper
During a trip to Thailand in January 2001 I took up drawing. I had been going to Thailand for a number of years and become interested in the teachings of the Buddhist belief system, particularly the concept of living in the moment. During this trip I realised that I had seen and done a lot in this country but had never taken the opportunity to sit and contemplate.

The Poet and I went shopping at a stationary shop and purchased some paper and pencils and set out for the temples. This time, instead of rushing around with the rest of the tourists, we stopped and sat. We breathed the hot, dry air and listened to the quiet tinkle of the temple bells. We tried to see the images around us by putting them down on our paper.

This pencil sketch, made in the grounds of Wat Jet Lod - the Temple of Seven Spires - represents the beginning of my journey as an artist. It is a record of my travels to Thailand and my journey to an inner peace, which has a very long way to go.

On the first page of the album in which I have stored photographs, journal entries and drawings from this particular trip I have the following quote. Foolishly, I have forgotten to record where I found it but it most likely from a book of buddhist teachings.

As you walk and eat and travel, be where you are. Otherwise you will miss most of your life.

Posted by robynls at 6:03 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

-- 27 March, 2005 --

IF 'Crowded' Challenge - An Australian Autumn day

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"Crowded"
Olympus C750 AutoZoom
manipulated using Adobe Photoshop Elements

Sydney's other name - the Emerald City - could well have been derived from the colour of the grass of the Sydney Cricket Ground rather than the waters of the harbour, both deep and glowing in the sunlight. The sky looks as though it has been flooded with the pure cyan from a digital artist's palette and smeared with the thinnest white for clouds.

From a couple of rows behind us in the crowd a man is calling out the scores from a cricket match that is being played somewhere in New Zealand which he is listening to on his little radio. In the row in front of us a mother is slathering sun screen lotion on the faces and arms and ears of her little boy and girl as her husband reads the team lists for the game that we were here to watch. Everyone is adjusting their caps against the glare of the bright sunshine.

At precisely 1:10pm, with the players in position, the central umpire takes his place in the middle of the ground. He bounces the ball and the game is underway.

The football season has begun.

Posted by robynls at 5:37 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

-- 20 March, 2005 --

IF Bloom Challenge

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Protea Bloom
Pastel pencil on Canson Mi-Teintes blue paper
Almost everyone on the Internet is revelling in the fact that spring has arrived - stories of last snowfalls and first buds abound. Simple geography seems to have been lost in the celebration. When it is spring in the northern hemisphere, it is autumn in the southern hemisphere.

Not a problem in most events. I actually enjoy autumn. After a long hot, sticky, humid Sydney summer, the relief of cooler nights finally makes sleeping easier. The idea of curling up on the couch with a good book or my sketchpad is a lot more appealing then hunting for a non-existent breeze. Australia doesn't have deciduous native trees but our European ancestors populated our parks and gardens with oaks and ashes that make a walk a joy.

This bit of simple geography does become a problem when artistic challenges are issued by our northern friends which involve seasons so we southerners need to be especially creative or have lots of fore-thought. This week’s Illustration Friday challenge is “Bloom”. At the moment, most of the blooms in Sydney are laying in a crumpled mess in the mud in the gardens. So, in the words of some advertising bod, ‘here is one I prepared earlier’.

Last year, The Poet and I took off to spend the weekend in Berrima, about an hour and a half south of Sydney, in the area know as the Southern Highlands. From the porch of the coffee shop in Mittagong where we had stopped for afternoon tea, I saw a fabulous protea bush (also an import), absolutely laden with flowers. The lady in the coffee shop generously allowed me to cut a couple of the flower heads to take with me. The resulting drawing has since been framed and hangs in our sunroom – hence the reflections from the glass.

Posted by robynls at 1:53 PM | Comments (15) | TrackBack

-- 14 March, 2005 --

EM Toyland Challenge - My Blind Bear

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Old Blind Bear
Stabillo Pastel Pencils on Olive Grey Canson Mi-Teintes paper

This bear is about as old as me - the bear, not the drawing, which I did tonight at our Monday night drawing class. He took me about 2 hours to do. I used Stabillo pastel pencils on Canson Mi-Teintes olive-grey paper - A4 size - smooth side. He is my response to the Everyday Matters toyland challenge.

When I was a little girl, I went with my family to visit some relatives. I must have been asleep when we left because the bear was left behind. When we eventually retrieved him, his eyes had been pulled out and his squeaker didn't work any more. 50 years later I am still having trouble forgiving my cousins for hurting my bear.

These days he live a comfortable life with lots and lots of other bears in my collection.

17/03/05 - PS I have done a little cheat, due to the pressure of life, and submitted this entry to Illustration Friday, too.

Posted by robynls at 8:47 PM | Comments (21) | TrackBack