Bennetts beach is about 2-3 hrs north of Sydney depending on the traffic. The beach gets busy on school holidays. With a 4WD permit beach fishermen take advantage of these beautiful waters. It is an area of natural beauty…with limited mobile phone reception. You really feel like you are away.
This is how I went about getting published on a charity Christmas Card.
I love how kids play dress ups. We used to have stage shows on the back patio when I was a kid. That was the impetus. With dad being a classical pianist I thought a Christmas Conductor was a nice touch.
Christmas in Australia is just a little different from the northern hemisphere. It’s hot! I wanted something that had an Australian feel. Thats why my Christmas Conductor in the final illustration is wearing shorts.
Another artefact from the beach shack up the coast.
I like to sketch big most of the time. You can come undone if you don’t plan your space properly. This is one area that you can see with this sketch on the top left. Plan before you produce. Leave 2-3 cm around the edge so if you do decide to frame it there is some breathing space for your eye.
Another bit of nostalgia from the beach shack.
Back in the day tea was more popular than coffee in Australia. I remember these teapots. They used to have a tea cosy on them so that the tea stayed hot. A tea cosy is like a beanie that you put on your head. A beanie for your teapot.
This is one of my first few train sketches. I know because I was scared to draw people in real time. Instead I focused on things that were on the train. I had made a little bag with coloured pencils, an eraser, pencil sharpener and a few markers.
I used to doodle on the free newspaper that was handed out at North Sydney station after I finished the Sudoku on it. Then they stopped making the paper. That’s when I bought my first sketch book for this series. It was from a newsagent on the underground walkway.
Found old appliances on holidays up the coast at the in-laws beach shack. I remember this style of toaster. It wasnt automatic. You opened each side holding the black handle to put your bread in. It toasted one side. You then opened it again to turn the bread around to toast the other side. So old school. It made the best crumpets.
That cord was removable. Look at the size of it. It was good though cause you could pull it out and then shake out the bread crumbs in the garden.
Appliance – A thing that helps with household tasks. Some examples: toaster, electric jug, blender.
Beach shack – A type of small house. Usually people speak of a beach shack with fondness in Australia. It would be very small, would have old furniture, and be easy to clean out the sand.
Toast – Cook bread so it looks brown and crunchy
Crumpet – Similar to toast but much thicker. People eat crumpets much like toast with butter and jam or honey.
Trains are a community of strangers making regular urban journeys. There is the to and thro as the train lurches back and forth. People hang on, people lean against walls. The lucky ones get a seat. This sketch is looking at the main entry to the carriage facing toward the front of the train. It was sketched from upstairs. You can tell as I am looking down on some peoples heads. It was in March 2015 in the afternoon peak. You can tell that it is neither hot nor cold. We are making our way south on an express train to suburbs like Wolli Creek, Hurstville, Jannali, and Sutherland. I will arrive at Sutherland station about 6.45pm for the final commute by bus to my final destination.
With my train sketches I use movement lines and words. The excerpt to the left below is a mans hand holding a newspaper and hanging onto one of the handles that are attached to the ceiling. As the train goes around the corner the handle moves. The two separate lines to the right of that handle show that movement.
With words I describe what I see. There are several on this train sketch including “short white denim”, “man talking to lady”, “senior”
Below are some artworks of my Australian Waratahs. I love their intricacies. They are so beautiful. Over the years, and through the various styles they have been created in, I still go wow.
My first Waratah was drawn in colour pencil over 25 years ago when I was studying fine arts at college. It is a small A3 size piece. (image 1)
Another signature piece was a large acrylic painting on stretched canvas. Sydney Waratah was first presented at a joint exhibition in Rose Bay in the early 2000’s as part of my botanicals series (image 2).
2017 saw a change in focus as I began exploring the use of smaller canvases. I shifted from stretched canvas to creating smaller pieces on board. The style of Waratah Sky (image 3) is different to the previous two works with bold edgy lines and colour. Surprisingly I found this more challenging than my larger pieces.
The final piece here is a bit less intricate. Almost a sketch where I have just pulled out a few colours in pen and coloured pencil. I like it’s simplicity. (image 4)
Hope you enjoy a few of these as much as I have enjoyed creating them.