Sometimes one just has to paint something and I had a story to tell about scaling Federation Peak in Tasmania, 40 years ago. 1979 was a year of adventure and besides studying for my Midwifery course I joined a small group of avid bushwalkers to explore the SW wilderness….and that we did! Culminating in reaching the summit of Federation Peak. There were 14 of us, well trained but looking back, quite naive about the risks and exposure that this quartzite monolith represented. We paired up to help each other find foot and hand holds and the view from the top included most of southern Tasmania. So, inspired by the Hadley’s Art Prize and having a deadline to meet, I completed a large oil on linen painting looking down from the Southern Ascent to Geeves Lake 500 m below. Rather a large image below but it is a large painting..also see Instagram.
It seems to take the deadline of ‘the night before…’ for me to add to this blog. Instagram has certainly become a bigger part of getting illustrations and drawings out there. So the night/day before heading off to Sydney I will do a quick recap of life since the Tasmanian Craft Fair. Being the guest artist was a singular privilege, four days of talking, explaining and enjoying the company of an engaged audience was indeed a pleasure. I had more than enough stock and will really need to go again to make any inroads, so applications are now open and I will be putting my hand up for a smaller stall and a neat and compact presence. Some contacts to come out of the Fair, meant that the books will now be distributed by 40 South with Lucinda Sharp on the job. Any trade enquiries can go through her now.
The Cuckoo market was early December and a fabulous experience, a constant stream of people looking for Christmas gifts…thank you Caroline for organising a classy, boutique, artisan market.
By then Christmas was nearly on us, I did try the Cruise ship markets to see how they panned out, hard work if only for long, long hours of waiting around…not really a good use of time, even with doing some work there.
The Cygnet Folk Festival was another treat with people engaged in my artwork (cards, posters and books). Thank you to the committee for giving me the opportunity to be there.
For the last 6 weeks I have been concentrating on my portfolio to present at the Illustrators’ Showcase in Sydney on Monday. Following the formula of Donna Rawlins from Walker Books, I have put together a 10 page collection of art and stories, thanks to Anne Morgan for her unpublished manuscript of ‘Abeline, the pigeon who flew half way to Antarctica - a true story’. So until the meeting has drawn to a close and I come back refreshed after seeing my author and illustrator friends, I will sign off, perhaps get some of the portfolio on Instagram and take my little bag for a journey north.
It is the night before, well the morning of ‘set up’ for the Craft Fair. I have too much on my mind to sleep and have been working for 6 months to have everything ready. I can see Venue 5 from our accommodation and as it is deserted, it is hard to imagine the activity planned for the day. Perhaps I will ponder on some highlights of the last few months. Since Lesley Dare (Director of TCF) visited my studio on Bruny Island in April I started thinking of how I would present my work. So with 7 metres of canvas I started ink drawings of Tasmanian Birds, I needed the 3 metre table dining table on Bruny to roll the canvas out, hope it looks good as really have no idea until it is hung. It took 4 months of a few birds at a time. Also attended the Byron Bay Writers Festival in September and what a great experience that was. Highest quality speakers, wordsmiths, lots of laughter and tears. Peter Greste, Walter Mikac, Richard Fidler, Kitty Flanagan, Amanda Nolan and many more new and young voices. If our world is in the hands of these young authors then there is some hope, as things deteriorate around us. Back to the Fair, I will have a large painting of two masked owls to finish, will have books, thousands of cards and the newest poster which I loved doing and took me 5 weeks to plan and draw…’How a Bird’s Egg is Made’. How can that not be fun! Say hi if you are there, top spot at the Fair.
After a successful application to the Craft Fair in Deloraine I will also be the Emerging Artist for this year's fair. Thank you to the Rotary Club and the Organising Committee for their support. As I put together some thoughts for my stand, the Endemic Birds of Tasmania feature strongly in my work. If someone goes away learning the 12 Endemic birds, then I can't ask for more. There will be photos and a quick little video coming online of my location/work on Bruny Island.
The process of illustrating a children's book will also feature and storyboards, roughs and original paintings will be on show and some for sale as part of the Fair. I had better put my head down!
Perpetual Calendars are available, one with the Endemic Birds of Tasmania and the other having fun with Thoreau's quote, 'I have three chairs in my house' well I have 12 and in both cases 12 is the perfect calendar number!!!! Send me an email if you would like one, or any of the Endangered Species Picture Books, Little Spot or Quentin the Quoll.
Billy's Bruny Island Garden' can be ordered from Billy's book website... www.billysgardenbooks.com.au Amazing contacts made by Deb and Neil with Bruny Island Cheese Company Orders, Stephanie's Kitchen Garden website and Gardening Australia magazine.
Also for Hobart locals, I sell it at the Kingston Beach Handmade Market and on December 1-3rd at the Channel Court Art Expo in Kingston. So much going on!!!
Second in the series of 'On Bruny Island' by Kate Morton, Quentin the Quoll lives on the fabulous sheep farm 'Waterview'. Another glorious setting on North Bruny. it was fun to create his character and life on the farm, it is with Julie Hawkins (book designer) now and should be out January 2018. Billy's Bruny Island Garden out now and going well. Another easy and enjoyable experience. I will be at the HANDMADE MARKET KINGSTON BEACH on Sunday with books, cards, posters and placemats galore!!
Also finding my way around Instagram (years later that everyone else!) Join me there for painting images and updates.
Received Billy's Bruny Island Garden in the post yesterday, so good to see it out and importantly the Wherretts are happy. It is going on Stephanie Alexander's Garden Programme website, Gardening Australia Magazine and will have own website. Hope the children enjoy it!
Kimberley journal and botanical painting images!
A lot happening over the cold months south. Had a trip to the Kimberleys in Western Australia, normally I would do a journal but this time excelled myself with a show of discipline that had me drawing at all stops, a great record of our trip and printed up for other tour participants.
Before going finished up artwork for 'Billy's Bruny Island Garden' published by Billy's dad, Neil Wherrett, starting as a labour of love for his son and ending up being a most enjoyable experience, I think for us all, including Julie Hawkins who did the book design. As of this weekend it has been printed and will be available initially through this website, have included some images from the book.
Working on Kate's 'Quentin Quoll', second in her 'on Bruny Island' series after 'Little Spot'.
Artwork will appear on the blog as Quentin unfolds, he is having adventures in a flood so watercolour will be the medium for this one. In between all this I have been doing general artwork and had fun with a botanical painting, working on the palette of dark, dark green and pink and yellow. Will develop a body of work around botanicals for the summer season on Bruny. Meanwhile, I am attending the Hand made Market at Kingston Beach Hall every month, check it out!
The map of BatteryPoint is large and available as a limited edition archival print, 700 x 700 mm. Today I am adding some images from a pardalote commission and wedding invitation.
Starting to piece together the storyboard for a local story about Billy and his experience setting up a garden on Bruny Island. Billy gets so much pleasure from being outdoors and establishing his vegetable garden amongst the wallabies, bandicoots and quolls. This will be published by Bruny visitor Neil Wherret. A big chance for me to draw realistic characters with Billy being 8 years old. Book designer is Julie Hawkins who loves children's books too!
Following the work of Quentin Blake means I just had to buy 'How Tom Beat Captain Najork and His Hired Sportsmen'. Wonderful! and the Quentin Blake biography, 'In the Theatre of the Imagination - an Artist at Work' is a delight. When he is tackled about the fact he is rather quiet and unassuming he states, 'all the Wow goes into my drawings' How true.
It has taken awhile for lots of reasons but I can now manage my site easily! That may include photos! The release of 'Little Spot on Bruny Island' (the 40 spotted pardalote story on Bruny) in October was a most pleasant experience, self-published with Kate Morton and graphic assistance from Julie Hawkins may mean there will be more self-publishing journeys. So between the Bruny Island Bird Festival, Christmas and the Wooden Boat Festival and art work to exhibit in both festivals I am ready to focus on some illustrating.
First evening session of the 2016 SCBWI Conference in Sydney, catching up with old friends and already meeting new friends. There is a sense of anticipation and excitement in the air and a keeness to get started with the nitty gritty early tomorrow morning.Read More