-- 18 April, 2009 --


Originally uploaded by ** Robyn **.
I recently bought some brush pens from the Jetpen site without much idea why I wanted them ... it's that old stationary addiction thing. Yesterday I bought a book on Chinese brush painting from a market stall in the local shopping centre.

This is my first attempt using the pens with an example from the book. It was fun.

Posted by robynls at 8:47 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

-- 11 February, 2007 --

Happy birthday to you

Happy birthday to you
Originally uploaded by ** Robyn **.
Today is very special because it is my firstborn's birthday. This watercolour I did of him was a very typical pose. The colours are a bit off because I have had to scan it through the glass of it's frame.

Of course, at 26, he doesn't really look much like this any more but a mother usually envisages her children as they were when she first fell irrevokably in love with them.

Happy birthday my darling boy! I wish you many, many more.

Posted by robynls at 4:14 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

-- 11 July, 2006 --

EDM 75 - SpagBog ala Rob

SpagBog ala Rob
Originally uploaded by ** Robyn **.
I haven't cooked much for years. The Poet and I traded jobs when we got married. I ironed his Navy uniforms and he did the cooking. He left the Navy a long time ago but I didn't take over the kitchen until the Parkinsons made him too unsteady to cook anymore. Now I am in charge the meals a pretty basic. I have started a new Moleskine to record my illustrated recipes for my sons' amusement in years to come.

Here is the recipe -

SpagBog ala Robyn

250gms good mince per person
a large onion
tin of diced tomatoes
jar crushed garlic
tomato paste
red wine
herbs, salt, pepper

Heat some oil in a deep frying pan. Peel and dice the onion as small as nerve and knife skills allow - the smaller the better in my opinion. Add the mince and brown it as you squish up all the lumps. When it looks like you would like to eat it, toss in the diced tomatoes, a teaspoon full of the crushed garlic and a sachet of tomato paste. Stir it all in and turn down the heat. Add some ground pepper, salt - you don't have to tell the kid who doesn't take salt, he'll never know -whatever herbs you fancy - oregano or Italian herb mix is good for the theme and a healthy glug of good red wine. Never use wine that you wouldn't drink 'cause you are going to have the rest of the bottle with the meal. Keep on a low heat for about half an hour, stirring occasionally, to let the flavours mix through. You don't need me to tell you how to cook the spaghetti. Read the side of the packet.

Put some spaghetti on the plate and spoon lots of the meat over the top. Grate some parmesan cheese - you did remember the parmesan, didn't you? - over the meat. Pour a big glass of the red and enjoy!

Posted by robynls at 11:09 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

-- 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.

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-- 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

-- 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

-- 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

-- 20 March, 2006 --

Visual haiku - sunlight

Visual haiku - sunlight
Originally uploaded by Robynls.
morning sunlight cool
on tropical leaves -
season turns

Posted by robynls at 7:20 AM | Comments (2)

-- 07 March, 2006 --

EDM Challenge #57 - Draw a picture frame and its contents

My Beautiful Boy
Sepia ink & watercolour
on Aquabee Super Delux

A cheap and nasty, tarnished old frame but the photograph it contains is very precious to me. I can clearly remember when it was taken, even though it was about twenty four years ago. I was (and still am) the very proud Mum of my first child - my beautiful boy. Shopping in the local mall, we were approached by a photographer who was taking photos for a beautiful baby competition, or at least that is what she said. What mum could resist the temptation?

'We will be here next week with the results.' she said.

My smiling lad didn't win the competition, but ...

'Have a look at these lovely photographs,' said another smiling woman. 'Wouldn't they make a wonderful gift for his grandparents? The whole pack is only $40.'

Of course, I was hooked! All of the rellies received a copy of the photograph. My father had his on display on his sideboard long after my little boy became a big boy. My mother has a watercolour I did, using the photo as a reference - which I have used Photoshop to paste into the frame here.

Tweny four years on, I don't see much of my beautiful boy any more but I still have this photograph in it's tarnished frame to help me to remember the wonderful times I had with him when he was my little boy.

I wonder if anyone ever wins those competitions ...

Posted by robynls at 8:04 PM | Comments (9)

-- 20 February, 2006 --


As a sometimes poet, I am facinated by the concept of Visual Haiku, as practiced by my friend Blue. This is my very first effort.

I used one of my new Art Kure watercolour brushes on acrylic paper to draw my dear little Meg. Very soon she will grow into her ears :-)

Posted by robynls at 8:58 AM | Comments (5)

-- 22 April, 2005 --

Lemon tart philosphy

'Lemon tart'
Watercolour on Mont Marte 15gsm sketch paper

The Poet and I found a delightful little patisserie in the village where we have spent the last 4 days on a mini-break. The coffee they serve is full flavoured and hot, which is something we don't always seem to get. Their pasteries are various and sweet but the most intersting thing about the Gumnut Cafe is their motto.

Life's short. Eat dessert now.

For more stories and photographs of Berrima, go to my Postcards blog.

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

-- 08 March, 2005 --

EM Teacup Challenge

Teacup challenge
This was last week's challenge to the subscribers to the Everyday Matters Yahoo group - I'm a little bit behind. We were to sketch our favourite teacup.

Since I spend so much of my life at school, my favourite cup lives there. A very observant viewer will recognise which well known London department store was the source of this cup. It is a long walk down to the staffroom at school so my cup rarely gets washed, hence the brown tea stain on it's inner surface, which I think contributes to the flavour of the tea.

It has been a long while since I last broke out my watercolours and I am a little bit rusty with the technique. My weapon of choice recently has been either pastels or Aquarelle pencils. I think that I got the perspective a bit twisted, too, as the upper elipse doesn't quite match the bottom one, but in my defence, it only took me about 10 minutes, between classes to complete the sketch.

Posted by robynls at 2:17 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

-- 04 January, 2005 --

Robin by Robyn

I get really excited every time I see a robin since it is my name bird and we don't have them in Australia. I tried to draw this one from memory, having seen it on a shed at the farm in Beck Hole where we stayed in Yorkshire. I sketched it in pencil first and then used my watercolour pencils to colour the bird. I am not sure that I got the shape quite right and I know that the beak is not exactly what it should be but it's a start.

Posted by robynls at 11:21 PM | Comments (2)

-- 25 July, 2004 --

New challenge from Wet Canvas

Good grief - it's been almost a week since I posted anything. Working certainly does get in the way of play!wde24-7.JPG

This week's Weekend Drawing Event on Wet Canvas was to use some cityscape photographs as inspiration for a reponse. I am absolutely amazed at the variety of ways that the people on that site respond to such a challenge. Because these WDEs draw participants from all of the forums, the responses appear in an amazing variety of media from watercolour to photographs and everything in between.

The first thing that I sent up was a photograph that I took some time ago where I tried to reproduce the view in Grace Cossington Smith's "The Curve of the Bridge". This was in answer to what I saw as a challenge to show views of my home place.

My second effort was a pen and wash reproduction of one of the reference photographs provided by the host. I am not unhappy with the perspective that I managed, although it's not really too hard transcribing perspective from one rectangular space to another. The watercolour is another matter. It makes me painfully aware of how long it has been since I used my watercolours in earnest.

Posted by robynls at 2:00 PM | Comments (4)