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Perspectives, Issue #020--Mostly About Drawing
June 13, 2011

"Perspectives" - Mostly About Drawing

Drying out in Western Australia

I spent much of March and April in Western Australia, catching up with friends and family and ‘drying out’ after one of the longest Wet Seasons that I can remember in North Queensland.

A procession of beautifully warm and consistently sunny days in Perth and Fremantle were perfect for enjoying walks along the river and beaches or for lunching at outdoor restaurants in charming locations. Mind you, the locals were longing for rain after one of the driest years on record and gardens were looking a little parched as was the ‘wheat belt’ area of the South-West.

I was so pleased to be able to wander around and admire the Sculpture by the Sea exhibition at Cottesloe Beach. My long-suffering sister, Jo, took me there three times – and she had already been twice before!

Over seventy sculptures, from well known International and Australian artists, were on display along the beach, up into the sand dunes and on the grass under the iconic old pine trees which overlook the vast Indian Ocean. I took some photos to show you but, really, you will get a better sense of the exhibition’s scope if you check out this virtual display.

My favourite, made from Japanese fishermen’s floats, sourced from the coastal area which was later obliterated by the recent tsunami in northern Japan, tumbled down from the sand dunes and over scrubby grasses.

Back in North Queensland

After a quick four hour flight I was relieved to find that the weather had greatly improved in my absence with fine days, cool nights and an occasional shower making for a nice balance. Mozzies had vanished along with the mould – thank goodness!

Now it’s June and a visit to the Port Douglas markets yesterday confirmed that the tourist season has begun.

The Port Douglas Artists’ Studio and Gallery at the Marina is a hive of activity with the return of Terry Johnson from South Australia and the addition of Marie Hoglund to the group. So we have paintings, jewellery, textiles and, now, stunning glass – looking good!

The rest of the Beautiful Art Spaces studios offer a variety of art related products - from locally designed and made clothing to jewellery and photography.

Art in Tropical Australia website.

I seem to have been quite busy with this, improving some pages and building new ones. See updates for

Terry Johnson .

The new pages mostly relate to drawing and design principles, which are the basis of any art endeavour, whether two or three dimensional. So there is a general section about drawing, one on how to draw people and links to a couple of e-books that you may find helpful.

I have started an e-book review page and hope to find more books to tell you about in the future, including their good points and maybe some cautions. I shall not bother with any that don’t seem to be good value to you.

I have found two, which I recommend to specific students. The first will be a very good reference for anyone with basic drawing skills wanting to learn how to draw people. Perhaps you have joined a life drawing class and would like to know the science behind what is under the skin (eg muscles, tendons, bones).

This anatomy book was written in the early part of the nineteenth century, when drawing was more of an exacting art than it seems to be at present and has been recently re-published by an artist who was on a quest to improve his drawing skills when he came upon it. The text and the illustrations are magnificent! But if you are not fairly serious about learning to paint or draw people, you may find it a touch too scientific.

The second e-book is written by an Australian artist from the viewpoint of a beginner wanting to learn how to sketch. The author was in that position, years ago, from which she researched and steadily learned the basics of sketching for enjoyment. I am impressed with the thoroughness and patience with which she puts herself into beginners’ shoes and leads them, one small step at a time, until they have become accomplished at sketching – and at having fun at the same time!

Here is another online resource for you (free) if you would like to know what art is happening currently across the world, especially exhibitions. It is a daily newsletter, which might be a bit too frequent for some. Try it out; you can always cancel your membership if it gets too much.

Jill’s Artwork

Before I went on holidays I completed a series of six oil paintings featuring the colourful foliage of croton bushes which grow in my garden. These waxy leaved rainforest plants have adapted very well to cultivation. Flamboyant and hardy, they require little attention and produce striking patterns in intense greens, reds, oranges and yellows – sometimes all together on one leaf!

On my return I arranged for the paintings to be scanned and printed using a high quality giclee printing process. Check them out here . I hope that you like them!

Your Pages - A Reminder

These pages, built especially for you, appear to be very popular, especially amongst artists and galleries wishing to publicise coming exhibitions and shows.

It’s free and you are very welcome to use any of the sections to show off recent artwork, write an article, share your painting tips, photographs or even haikus etc. You may comment on others’ contributions, thus building a strong on-line arts community. International artists welcome!

Art in Tropical Australia home page.

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