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-- 10 October, 2007 --

A birthday gift

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-- 08 October, 2007 --

Journal Jazz-up

The inside of art journals aren't the only place where it is possible to express yourself. Moleskines are very austere and formal, and just cry out to be jazzed up. In this little video presentation, I show how I have used some more of Suzi Blu's ideas to make my new art journal an interesting place that invites me back to add more art making.

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-- 07 October, 2007 --

Art Journal Self Portrait


Art Journal Self Portrait
Originally uploaded by ** Robyn **.

"This week is about making a self portrait", says SuziBluTube. "It doesn't have to look like you. If it doesn't look like you, it doesn't matter."

Hey, babe! You certainly got it right there. Lots of excuses ... brushes are crappy - they are too big for the Moleskine size page - I don't paint too well with people (or video cameras) watching. Anyway, this is it, for what it's worth. The video of the process is down there and if you are really quick you might catch a glimpse of my little mate.


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-- 01 October, 2007 --

Same page, new layer


Same page, new layer
Originally uploaded by ** Robyn **.

I love lavender.

At the cottage where The Poet and I have stayed in Berrima, the path from the front gate to the front door has lavender growing down each side. The bushes are so big that they almost touch in the middle so when you walk to the door you carry the fragrance of the lavender into the house on the legs of yours jeans. It has been a long time since we were there and the last time we went we found out that the cottages was up for sale. I really want to go there again.

Being the world's worst gardener, I never thought that I would be able to have my own little patch of lavender. What we laughingly call soil in our yard is really tough clay and very hard to dig into. I did dig into it earlier in the year, though, and committed 3 plants to the soil. They are still alive and, better yet, they are blooming!

I love lavender!


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-- 29 September, 2007 --

Molie pastel ala SuziBluTube


Molie pastel ala SuziBluTube
Originally uploaded by ** Robyn **.

Inspired by SuziBluTube, I have opend a brand new Moleskine to celebrate the beginning of 2 weeks holiday from work. Maybe if I really try, I will draw something in it every day of the holidays.


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-- 04 May, 2007 --

EDM Challenge 117


EDM Challenge 117
Originally uploaded by ** Robyn **.

Before going into the Decoding the Renaissance lecture at the AGNSW this week, I had a bit of time to spare. I went into the Eastern Art gallery because it is softly lit and very quiet and the exhibits are calming.

The procelain pieces are beautiful. They are not necessarily very old but I admire the skill that it takes to achieve such perfection of form. My special favourite are the lovely green Celadonware. We have seen lots of it on our visits to Thailand and I have a coffee set on a procelain platter. It was a gift from our friend, Peo, in Chiangmai.

I saw 3 or 4 of these stem cups in the gallery and thought that a sketch of one of them would suit the EDM Challenge for something round. The potters are very good at making things round. I'm not.

BTW - the stippling in this image is a result of the scanner sulking over the Progresso graphite shading, not the drawing process but I have left it because it looks kind of nice.

lchou.jpg

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-- 12 September, 2006 --

Sydney Tower

Sydney Tower
Sydney Tower
Originally uploaded by ** Robyn **.

I managed to worm myself onto the staff fo a visual arts excursion to Darling Harbour and then the Art Gallery of NSW today. There are 6 VA classes in Year 8 and only 4 teachers on that faculty so they are always after extras on these outings. I have been on either the Year 7 or Year 8 VA excursions for the last 3 or 4 years and, while tiring, they are a lot of fun. The topic that they are focused on at the moment is the built environment so they had to do some pencil sketches of the structures around the bay and then do a little collage postcard. The girls are so uninhibited and have no fear about drawing in public even with the Asian tourists who love to mill around and take photographs with the kids.

After Darling Harbour we got back on the bus and went across the city to the Gallery. We were broken up into two groups. The first group went in to wander around the permanent collection with a couple of the education officers. The rest of us sat outside the gallery making more sketches. I took the opportunity to do a sketch of the Sydney Tower in my Moleskine sketchbook. The girls in my group were not phased at all by their Technology teacher taking to a sketchbook.The education officer who took our little group around was fabulous. I admire these people and envy their job. I think that when I retire I want to volunteer as a guide at the gallery.


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-- 31 July, 2006 --

Wet Canvas Scavenger Hunt #3 - glass item


Wet Canvas Scavenger Hunt #3 - glass item
Originally uploaded by ** Robyn **.
Through an e-pal, I have been led to another drawing challenge on Wet Canvas. I tend to feel more motivated when someone else suggests something to draw.

In this challenge we are given a list of everyday items to find and draw. There is everything from a matchbox to your favourite corner in your house. I stole a 'spare' moment in my day to draw the coffee cup that I am currently using at school. I am not quite sure why I like this cup. My normal is fine bone china but this on is thick glass and can be bought cheaply from Woolies.

It looks as though I got the shape of the bottom of the mug through the thick glass sides all wrong but, really, that is what it looks like from where I am sitting. It doesn't parallel the top elipse in any way. Very odd.

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-- 30 July, 2006 --

Breakfast sketches


Breakfast sketches
Originally uploaded by ** Robyn **.

It's hard to look unobtrusive when sketching the faces of the patrons in a cafe. Eventually something tells them that you are observing them and they look at you looking at them. Profiles are less obvious but eventually become boring.

The woman at the bottom was a quite attractive Indian lady but she caught on really quickly and kept fidgetting.

At least the little puppy pencil case that was being used by a student on the next table as she was doing her homework, didn't mind being sketched.

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-- 13 July, 2006 --

Apple Sauce


Apple Sauce
Originally uploaded by ** Robyn **.
Oh, dear! What is happening to me?!?

After years of avoiding the kitchen whenever possible I am now looking for things to cook that have interesting ingredients that I can draw in my newly started recipe journal. I dragged Number 2 Son through the supermarket this afternoon in a quest for a lemon so that I could make some apple sauce to go with the pork chops that I had put out to defrost. I know that you can buy apple sauce in little jars and bottles from the supermarket but I have been spoilt by some that I bought from Tesco when we were in the UK last December/January. It was nice and chuncky. The ready made sauce that we get here in Australia is more like baby food.

I do hope that my sons find this journal to my newly found interest in the culinary arts amusing when they read it in the distant future. Their memories of me will certainly be of the cans and jars queen.

Both pages are done in Faber Castell Artist Pens and Koh-I-Noor Watercolor Wheel that I found in the junk that Number One Son left behind when he moved out of home 3 years ago. I bought it for him for Christmas when he was at high school and doing visual arts. He never used them so I don't think that he will mind if I do.

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-- 06 July, 2006 --

EDM Challenge 74


EDM Challenge 74
Originally uploaded by ** Robyn **.
Our letterbox has seen better days, particularly since at least one of us has either backed into or scraped against it as we have back out of the driveway. The letterbox always gets its own back in the damage that it inflicts on the car.

In the years that we have lived in this house a mountain of mail has come to rest in this box. Everything from the inevitable junk mail from the local supermarket, hardware or pizza shop to the much anticipated postcards from participants in the Purple Ink Yahoo Group postcard exchange aka PIPE. All of us have struggled through one course or more in those years. Depending on the stage that we were at, the most important pieces of mail at the time would have been either an acceptance letter for a desired course or the results at the end of a semester.

The mail that I love the best are the birthday cards. Christmas cards tend to come from everyone from your mum to the local real estate agent, trying to drum up business, but birthday cards always come from someone who really loves you and wants to let you know about it. Over the years they come less and less but that makes those that do come even more important.

Posted by robynls at 7:01 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

-- 03 July, 2006 --

EDM Challenge 71


EDM Challenge 71
Originally uploaded by ** Robyn **.
If this skier really looked like this I think that he would end up on his bum in the snow. He is leaning far too far back.

I did this drawing during the past week at the school ski camp. The skier that I was TRYING to draw was a long way off on the front valley slope at Perisher Valley. I was sitting in the glass covered front bar of Jax in the Valley Inn. It was much warmer were I was sitting but it meant that the skiers were just little ants scurrying back and forth across the slope.

Posted by robynls at 2:09 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

-- 17 June, 2006 --

Pretty pansy


Pretty pansy
Originally uploaded by ** Robyn **.
Winter has well and truely arrived in our part of Australia. The mornings are cold enough to warrent a coat and a pair of gloves make driving comfortable before the car heater kicks in. I find this season so much more comfortable that the Australian summer.

You would not expect to see beautiful blooms now when the winter morning frost is likely to burn them, however the gardeners at school have been very careful with the public gardens. Since late last year we have been struggling to teach classes through the constant sounds of building work on the refurbishment of our Junior School.

Now it has finally finished and the big opening day was upon us. The gardens had to look at their best at the time of the year when it is very difficult to achieve this but our skillful gardeners managed the impossible. Although the day was a month ago, we still have these lovely little flowers poking their cheery little faces up towards the winter sunlight.

I had planned to outline the flower using my new Stabilo Bionic needle-tip black pen but when I finished using the watercolour in my Moleskine watercolour sketchbook I decided that it look fine just the way it is. I love this new sketchbook and I love that it has taken me back to using watercolours.

Posted by robynls at 2:16 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

-- 11 June, 2006 --

Meg ala Janey123


Meg ala Janey123
Pen and wash
on Moleskine sketchbook.
Inspired by the style of Janey123 whose work I have seen on Flickr and EDM. She draws her subjects inside a roughly drawn rectangular black frame.She does her work in pen and wash.

Lately she has been doing a series of cats. Janey's work is slightly more stylized than this one of mine and seems a lot looser and more spontaneous than mine. Janey also uses a more surprising palette which adds to her spontaneity. I am in love with my Meg's ginger fur and yellow eyes.

Posted by robynls at 7:51 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

-- 09 June, 2006 --

EDM Challenge 66


EDM Challenge 66
Pencil and watercolour on
watercolour Moleskine
In this challenge we were asked to draw a fire hydrant and then to write something about fires and firemen. In Australia fire hydrants are holes in the ground, not the elegant structures that appear on the streets in the US. Rather than do a picture of one of these steel covered holes, I have used my watercolour Moleskine to do a sketch of a fire extinguisher in one of our classrooms.

When I was a little kid, my Dad was a fireman. I can remember (vaguely) him being away from home at all sorts of odd times when he worked his shifts. For years when we drove through the suburb where his firestation was located, someone would point out that that was where Dad used to work.

The only bit of his uniform that was left after this stage of his life was his great big leather belt with a very hard brass buckle. It hung over the knob of the diningroom door. When we did something naughty, Mum would tell us that we should be whooped with the belt. Of course, she would never do such a thing but she did have the three of us well and truely bluffed.

Posted by robynls at 3:52 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

-- 04 June, 2006 --

Coffee Smoothie


Coffee Smoothie
Originally uploaded by Robynls.
A week or so ago, I wrote about my breakfast treat. Today I managed to hold off long enough from drinking it so that I could sketch in my new Moleskine watercolour book.

I have fallen into the habit of getting up around 9 on Sunday morning, getting breakfast for The Poet and then rushing off to the shopping centre. My excuse is that I need to go early so that I can score a parking space close to the supermarket, which is true. I do have an ulterior motive, though.

There is a lovely little coffee shop at the centre called The Loft Cafe. When The Poet was in hospital I would take myself there for breakfast before doing the shopping, then going to visit his mum and then going off to spend the afternoon with him. His mum is gone now and he is home but I still love to treat myself before doing the weekly groceries.

My favourite breakfast is a toasted slice of raspberry and pear bread, a large glass of freshly squeezed orange juice and a mug of cafe mocha. The last time I took The Poet to The Loft he had a coffee smoothie. Since then I have replaced the hot coffee with the smoothie and today it became a subject for my Moleskine art. I wonder if it qualifies for Meal Mole.

Posted by robynls at 4:18 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

-- 03 June, 2006 --

It's a cat's life


It's a cat's life
Originally uploaded by Robynls.

As soon as it became June, the weather turned quite cold. It has started to rain ... a blessing in the current drought conditions. It has even rained in the catchment area of the dam that contributes to Sydney's water supply. It is even cold enough for snow in the mountains to the west of the city. Kosciusko National Park is getting snow two or three times a week now, which is great because the school ski trip is only three weeks away and we have about 120 girls signed up to go.

The down side of wintery weather is that I cannot get the washing dry. We have mountains of sheets and towels that won't dry. The undies and teeshirts go through the dryer, adding to the electricity bill.

Finally we found a gas plumber who was prepared to fix the terrible job that the last one did on installing our new gas heater. Using it during last winter put a layer of black dust all over the walls and ceilings, even upstairs. I have only recently found out that it wasn't burning the gas properly and we could have been gased to death! Well, now it is working properly (I hope). Meg, of course, gets prime position, on her new little sheepskin rug, right in front of the heater.

Posted by robynls at 6:36 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

-- 01 June, 2006 --

My new Moleskine cover


My new Moleskine cover
Originally uploaded by Robynls.
I bought a new squared Moleskin to use as a journal. I normally use the sketch book manifestation as I prefer to sketch and draw. I love to use words in poems and short stories but it has been a while since I have been moved to put words on paper. This new Moleskine is to encourage me to use words as a form of expression again.

I am hoping that the butterfly stickers that I have used to decorate its cover will be an inspiration.

Posted by robynls at 11:17 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

-- 27 May, 2006 --

Cafe latte (& EDM Challenge 69)


Cafe latte
Originally uploaded by Robynls.
A tutorial on the Wet Canvas site presented the idea of using a drawing surface with an aspect ratio of 1:4 or 1:5 instead of the usual 3:4 ratio of the human field of vision.

In the tutorial, the student is advised to create a view finder of the new ratio to help with seeing the section of a view that should fit into the frame. Of course, with all of the other junk I have to carry about on an outing with The Poet, the view finder was the last thing that I would remember to bring.

No problems! Draw a frame on the page, mark the centre point and then just line it all up. It results in a different and interesting change from the usual.

I didn't drink cafe latte on this visit to The Loft Cafe. I had a coffee smoothie, which was really quite nice. I think that I might have to go back and have another one - just to make sure.

-- It seems that I inadvertently managed to meet the EDM Challenge #69 with this sketch too --

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-- 24 May, 2006 --

Mothers' Day present


Mothers' Day present
Originally uploaded by Robynls.
With new Moleskines it is best not to think too much about it ... just do it.

The new watercolour version is really nice to use. The paper takes the watercolour very nicely. The paint does not pool on the surface and flows well on a wash. Although it is a cool evening, the paper dried quickly. Some people have been complaining about buckling but it isn't any worse than any other watercolour sketchbook that I have used. I think that the elastic strap will hold the covers together firmly enough to smooth out what buckling there was.

My reference is a sweet bear that Number Two Son bought for me for Mothers' Day this year. She is the newest member of my sleuth of bears and very cute. I am sure that she qualifies for the EDM Challenge #67 'Draw something Mum'.

Posted by robynls at 11:00 PM | Comments (9)

-- 23 May, 2006 --

Watercolour Moleskine


Watercolour Moleskine
Originally uploaded by Robynls.
Moleskine lovers have waited so long for this moment. Promises have been broken again and again until we began to think that they were like vapourware. Excuses ... excuses.

But now they are here! I bought mine from Dick Blick's Art Materials and even having to pay international postage to get them, I am now holding two Moleskine Watercolour books. One is the large reporter style and the other is a pocket version, also reporter style.

I haven't even taken the cellephane off yet. I just had to shout. Now some of my constant readers will think that I have completely lost my mind, getting so excited about yet more notebooks but the converted will understand my excitement

I also treated myself to a small Van Gogh Watercolour Pockey Box so now I have no excuse not to get out there and get back into the watercolour sketching.

Posted by robynls at 5:59 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

-- 21 May, 2006 --

Moleskine No.2


Moleskine No.2
Originally uploaded by Robynls.
I couldn't see the day when I would finish a whole Moleskine ... but I did! Now I have started on book 2 from my little stash of Moleskine sketchbooks. It is a lot easier to stop being precious about these lovely little sketchbooks when you have a pile of them that you got cheap.

So ... having soiled the first few pages of book number 2, how do you tell them apart when they all have plain black covers? Decorate the covers, of course!

The faux leather covers don't really lend themsleves to any of the art materials that I am comfortable with using. I wandered around the stationary department of Big W and eventually came across the scrapbooking supplies. A cheap pack of border stickers seemed just the thing to me.

Call me The Cat Woman!

Posted by robynls at 4:02 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

-- 27 March, 2006 --

7th Heaven - 10 of them, actually!


7th Heaven - 10 of them, actually!
Originally uploaded by Robynls.
Look what the postman bought me today ... 10 beautiful, new Moleskines ... and at almost half the price I can get them in Australia, including postage. I found them on eBay - I'm an addict - and bought them in bulk to get a cheaper price. By having a heap of them, I tend to be a little less precious about them and actually get on with the business of filling them up.

Posted by robynls at 5:05 PM | Comments (9)