Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Afternoon at the museum

Eros - Alfred Gilbert

This afternoon I went to the Art Gallery of SA to attend a lunchtime talk that's part of the OzAsia festival. It was a 30-minute session from the curator of the 'Paradise on Earth' gallery regarding the use of flowers in Islamic Art. The floral imagery largely represents the notion of Paradise as being a beautiful garden, which naturally would imply the role of flowers in conveying that idea.

I hadn't been to the Art Gallery before today so it was nice to experience something a bit new around town. I didn't take any photos from this particular gallery nor did I think I'd end up drawing anything until I convinced myself to give it a go before I left. I managed to come away with the sketch above. For awhile, a mother and her two young daughters watched me while I drew. I get nervous doing these types of things in public because it can draw (ha ha) attention, particularly if I'm not convinced that it will turn out in the end. The two girls thanked me for letting them watch me - at the mother's prompting but they still were genuinely impressed. Either way, it was good that I forced myself to sit down and do something, regardless of how it turned out.

my sketching perspective

Monday, August 5, 2013

White on Brown

I've been hiding away somewhere in the midst of activity and emerge briefly in the form of white flowers. Hopefully more to come.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Art of Science

Today's Google Doodle pays homage to Maria Sibylla Merian on her 366th birthday. She was a German naturalist and scientific illustrator. I thought it fitting since this afternoon I visited the South Australian Museum's special exhibition The Art of Science. The scientific illustrations on display were borrowed from Museum Victoria. There were some fascinating depictions from household names like John Audubon and John Gould, as well as some Australian artists.

I appreciate detail in artistic works, be it the precision of scientific illustrations or the patterns in an abstract geometric piece but I don't think I have the patience to do them. Perhaps one day I'll discover the satisfaction of completing something like that. In the meantime, I can admire those who have already fulfilled their vision.

Trogon reinwardtii (Reinwardt's Trogon)
Reinwardt's Trogon by John Gould

Eastern Wirra by Arthur Bartholomew

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Victor Harbor

Scenic view from Willunga Hill

View from Granite Island

From the causeway to Granite Island
This weekend, Chad and I headed to Victor Harbor. It was a bonus trip of sorts, which we tacked onto the end of a rather mundane task that required a long commute. If you drive about an hour and a half south from our residence you'll find yourself in Aldinga, a little town with not much to its name but a good view and at least one all purpose diner with with more choice than the fancy bistro down the street. The mundane task? Watering the lawn. There's no tenants in a property my in-laws own so someone needed to keep the grass from going all dead and straw like. It seemed natural that on one of those trips we'd go the rest of the way to Victor Harbor.

Victor Harbor is the main tourist destination in the Fleurieu Peninsula. Despite the dryness of the summer, there is a lot of greenery. The Peninsula is known for its agricultural flare, particularly when it comes to wine production, not to mention a number of other things like almonds, olives, and cheeses. We stayed the night with some family friends and then went into the hub of Victor Harbor to explore the next day.

Granite Island was the only place we managed to visit while we were there. A causeway connects the town with the island where you can either walk across or go on the horse drawn tram. Aside from the novelty, it didn't seem necessary to take the tram but we regretted that we didn't do so on the way back. The sun in Australia can be pretty strong, and sometimes the heat feels much closer than it should be. Nonetheless, there was a bit of a reprieve on occasion when a breeze came off Encounter Bay. By the time we made a full loop around the island, we were more than ready to head back to the car and grab a late lunch.

For the past few weeks I haven't been able to find my camera charger for the life of me so I wasn't able to take photos. At least I could go back to basics and do a few sketches. There's still more to see. Victor Harbor, I'm coming back for you one day.

Monday, January 28, 2013

An Afternoon in the City

Today many people were off and businesses closed because of the observance of Australia Day. The actual date was this past Saturday, but of course when something falls on a weekend it would be a shame to deprive yourself of a day off. Although I'm not working yet, I was momentarily relieved of my volunteer duties at Lyell McEwin. Chad and I went into the city to visit the Botanic Gardens and grab some lunch. 

Initially it seemed that we didn't pick the best day to go out as it was windy and rainy when we arrived in town. As a compromise, instead of going straight to the Gardens we headed to Piatto for lunch in lieu of Kishi Sushi, which seemed to be waiting for a later time to open. I'm never inspired to order much more than pizza at an Italian restaurant so we shared a Little Italy pizza. Since we had to wait quite awhile for our order (due to mishap with someone not putting it in the system), I had time to sketch, something which I haven't been doing recently. 

Diners at Piatto

The sun came out by the time we were finished. The Botanic Gardens were nice. I brought my colored pencils with me as well but there wasn't a color that represented the pink of these lotus flowers, the first and favorite of the species displayed. There were quite a few dusky moorhens in the area as well taking advantage of the marshy conditions. 

With this blog I try to post things that I've drawn on location but this past Saturday I also had the chance to march in the Australia Day parade they had in the city. I took some less than quality photos with my phone but they may do with some artistic rendering, if so I'll post them here. 

I hope all is well with everyone's 2013 so far. One month is practically gone! 

Monday, December 31, 2012

Hyacinths of Knowledge

I dug this one up from the archives. Not that it's particularly old, but its been out of sight for awhile. I sent this watercolor home in a document box when I said my goodbyes to Israel for the first time. I had it hanging in my cubicle there, and it would receive compliments from time to time when people stopped by to ask questions or have a chat. To me it was never quite right visually, the greens particularly, but still people liked it. My interest was more in the quote "... Sow the seeds of divine wisdom in the pure soil of the heart, and water them with the waters of certitude, that the hyacinths of knowledge and wisdom may spring up fresh and green from the holy city of the heart." I like the imagery of the heart being composed of pure soil from which things such as wisdom can grow like beautiful flowers. However, it takes a certain attitude to cultivate it.

I think we can all do with a little tending. May our hearts spring up with good things in 2013 (and forever and beyond).

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Perth in the Periphery

Whoa, nelly. A month ago I took my first extended trip out of Adelaide to go to a family wedding in Perth. I finally got to meet and spend more time with the family I married into -- my husband's cousins, aunts, uncles and slightly more distant relations. I was a bit intimidated by the prospect but excited I would take the flight I dreamt of taking almost since I arrived in Australia. Well, not quite, but at least it was one step in the direction of exploring other places, an impulse perhaps nurtured by a tendency to move around.

In the end my apprehensions were allayed by enjoyable company and a welcome change of scenery. However, when I came back to Adelaide I was mildly comforted as well. Leaving and then returning to what I've recently called home helped me to realize the degree to which I've grown accustomed to life in this town. I guess I do like it here.

I was a bit negligent of my sketching practices but below are a few doodles.

Perth skyline from the south side of the city

Sleepy koala at the Perth Zoo

Monday, October 22, 2012

Classic Cars

Chad and I got up early Sunday to go into the city for Soul Food, a monthly devotional held by the Adelaide Baha'is. For a Sunday morning it didn't seem like it would be a big deal to find parking but little did we know that there was another event happening simultaneously. While we were driving I spotted a lot of old, shiny cars at one of the parade grounds. I'm not really a car person, and normally this isn't something that would draw my attention but there's something about old car models that I love.

Apparently the Sporting Car Club of SA was having a 101 years of motoring display, where a bunch of people got to show off their sporty rides. Needless to say, we headed over after the devotional was over. I didn't have my camera, unfortunately, but I did have some of my art supplies and managed to get a few sketches in. Colour was added after I got home.

Silver Jaguar MK2 3.8

Cadillac Coupe de Ville

Jaguar XK150S

Sunday, September 30, 2012

It's obviously been awhile since I've posted last. Over a month in fact. If anyone is still out there I don't know. But here I am, out of the abyss for the time being. I've reached a point in my stay in Australia where time is going by much quicker than it has previously. I've had a birthday, been steadily volunteering at two different places a few days a week, been looking for work, being of service to others, running errands around town, among other things. Unfortunately, that means that I haven't been doing too much drawing. Hopefully that'll change and I can be a bit more regular than I have been. Otherwise, maybe I'll just count it as a shift in priorities.

It's spring now here in Australia and the weather continues to fluctuate, however this past weekend was a fairly nice day so my husband and I decided to take a walk around Parra Wirra, one of the local recreational parks that has different hikes you can go on. The sun wasn't very bright but at least it was warm. It's nice to get back to nature a bit in order to decompress. Sometimes you just need a break.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Woman in Black

Did another drawing this afternoon using my Staedtler glasochrom pencil. While I dream about different types of inks and nibs and their various uses, traditional dry media still holds my attention. What I like about doing sketches with that pencil is the moody feel they have to them in the end. Working with toned paper might make things more dramatic. Strathmore just started making them in sketchbook form, though I'm sure other companies do as well. Now all I need is a representative from there to send me a sample to test it out ;) Hey, it's worth a shot but I know I'll probably just go out and get my own.