What Fun! Big Draw Lobethal

What a day, what a weekend! The opening of our Big Draw Lobethal drawing festival was today. Here is Veronica Osborn-Jefferis’s beautiful hands as she draws on fabric with a sewing machine.

And some of her display pieces:

Meanwhile everyone got into wall drawing, charcoal in this case:

Here are some of Joshua Lamborn’s drawings in metal:

And Barbara Millward’s drawing of a hand in wire:

What wonderful line.

Melinda Rankin, who is the new director of the art and heritage space, was our opening speaker. She talked (among other things) of how we draw naturally when we are children, and often lose our confidence somehow. But that it is an innate urge, that kids will do it with whatever is at hand: textas, ‘flour-covered hands’. Here in Melinda in full swing, urging us all to, ‘ Go play!’

There will be four more weekends, different Artists in Residence each week. Demonstrations of blacksmithing next weekend (22nd and 23rd Sept) and again two weekends later. And various workshops. Yesterday I did Tammy Pahl’s workshop that combines drawing with yoga. So much fun, I can’t stop smiling when I think about it. We got seriously and hilariously grubby.

She will have a workshop for kids and their adults later. Next week Anne Griffiths will run one for kids where they can all dance and draw to music. I want to do that one but apparently I am not a kid!

The workshops are not all for kids though, Julia Wakefield will hold two for adults, a life drawing class and one that she calls, ‘Drawing for the Terrified’. And Zinia King will enable participants to draw their ‘Anthropomorphic Australian Animal’. She is holding a class for adults and one for children.

And there is lots to see and do, everyday of each weekend.

Links to workshops here

And other info here

whether or not the sun is yellow

IMG_E4516aThere once was a little girl whose teacher told her that the sun has yellow rays. She had drawn it with rays of every colour. She knew the teacher was wrong because had seen the sun that very morning through the refractors of her eyelashes. Every colour was there. She thought it was worthy of awe. The teacher, however, said, ‘The sun has yellow rays’, so the little girl drew it with yellow rays from then on.

But one day, years later, when her body was getting old, she drew a shape and coloured it yellow. Before she knew it, it became a bundle of energy that had something to do with the sun, and she realised she was that bundle of energy. She had drawn a self-portrait: a vibrating sparking electrical thing. Also a sun appeared in her sky and, although it had yellow rays, she was also yellow, so everything was ok.


Drawing in a dust storm


My first little work for a series; 30 Days of Drawing. Our local art space is part of the international festival called The Big Draw. It happens annually with all sorts of things. And the theme, this year, is Play. Couldn’t be a better theme for me.

Throughout the process, I hope to share some of my work and my thoughts about drawing.

Among other things, I am interested in the intersection between chaos and order, between manmade and accidental. I have a number of strains of interest in my work in general and hope to play with them all through this time.


This one was done the same day as the ink work, just as the wind was getting up. Later it was a full blown dust storm with howling gales. And we were waiting for the truck which would lift our new van out of there. We had run into a kangaroo just before we arrived and it had put a little bit of plastic through the radiator. Ho hum. That was the end of camping. The kangaroo hopped away, poor silly thing.

This is what it looked like in the dust storm. Amazing colours. I haven’t manipulated them. This is how it looked.


Fellow Journal Keepers

On Sunday we had a group of students from the Centre for Creative Photography for a studio visit. It’s always fun showing people your work and getting to carry on about it a little. And if you happen to inspire someone… that is the best feeling.

I met a fellow journaler. Much more tidy and controlled than mine. Mine are all over the show, ‘like stork shit in mid air’ as my cute husband would say. (He has the best turn of phrase.)

We were mutually excited because we both cut them up to use for further art. She has pages all over their hallway at home and they used it to create a spoken word party, participants drawing words and phrases (if they wanted) to create stuff from.

Reminds me of this:

a zine made from pages from a much larger book called The Phrase Book, though not cut out like the work in Etcetera.

We shared how it feels sacrilegious cutting them up. But is worth it for the engagement of other people.

I find that journaling helps me to order my thoughts. It allows me to get them out of my head where, otherwise, they sort of rattle around collecting dust. It helps me focus on what is important to me or to nurture things that are still embryonic. Or I use it for things I don’t want to forget like these two stories from my grandkids the other day:

and just to have fun!

There is so much written about journaling these days, from psychologists’ treatises through the self-help industry, to the average Joe (me) raving on. But really, it saves my life and enlivens me.

How about you? I’d love to hear from any other avid journal keepers out there.

And if you don’t keep them your self, why don’t you give it a go? You don’t even have to keep a book. Woody Allen has a drawer where he throws bits of paper with thoughts and ideas. Apparently it’s where he goes when he feels stuck.