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Monday, May 26, 2008


Another one from the sketchbook. I was drawing down by the Yarra South Bank this afternoon and even though it is the city centre there is an abundance of birds from pied cormorants, a little grey heron, coots, ducks, seagulls of course! and black swans, I even saw a cockatoo flying past here a few weeks ago. Birds everywhere in Australia!

I was especially happy when the swans ventured out of the water. They are so serene and graceful in the water and then they waddle and flop on land, that's when I like to draw them!
I once saw a swan stand on his own foot and fall flat on his chest, very funny.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

This Week's Birds

This week, at the museum's discovery centre, Anna and I were given a Kookaburra, another Red Wattlebird (I like this bird and request it every week), a Spangled Drongo (have you heard of a better named bird?!) an Australian Raven and an ugly Eagle, (not the scientific name.)

After three weeks of drawing birds I'm getting very excited about starting some new plates for etching. I feel a bit daunted because I think I'm going to make my new series much bigger, (up until now the majority of my plates have been 6 x 6cm and from the scrap bin!) but I'm feeling ready for the challenge and raring to go. I'm booked in next friday and I can't wait.

To view the rest of this weeks drawings go to my Flickr page.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Square Old Souls Blog

I have been featured in a blog called Square Old Soul. The post is looking at etsy finds of white peacocks and black swans. It's lovely to look through other peoples finds on etsy. There is so much to look at on there that it is nice to have someone else show you!!

Ok, I think I need a picture to show, I think all blog posts should have at least one picture. What shall I post?........
This is a photo of a table in our living room, I just took it now. On the table is a jar of Australian native flowers, they have all dried now, but I think they still look nice. The old radio I picked up at Camberwell market quite cheap, it still works too. The block of wood is a piece of teak from an old tall ship, I bought it (the wood, not the ship) in New Zealand. There was a museum for the old ship because it was the 9th oldest surviving ship left in the world. It was called the Edwin Fox and had taken soldiers to the Crimean War, convicts to Australia and immigrants to New Zealand. The smell of the hull was increadible, such an old wood smell, it was beautiful. I also have a cat etching by Kay McDonagh. I love it!

Monday, May 19, 2008

This Time It's the Wattlebird

Last Thursday Anna and I were back at the museum drawing a new set of birds, this time it was the brush wattlebird that caught my eye. To see Anna's drawings go to her blog, or see her flickr page. The rest of my drawings are on my flickr.

I also enjoyed this little bird (below), she is a Star Finch. I find the smaller stuffed birds often look bit bedraggled and worse for ware so I don't draw them so much, but I loved the grey with the red on this little one. Also it started me using a bit of colour. I haven't used colour for ages in my drawings, but there is a big bucket of colouring pencils at the museum (probably for the kids) that Anna and I utilise on every visit.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Sketchbook Extract - New Mexico 06

Here are some more drawings from my USA trip in 06. These are from the window of the train. Drawing from the window of a moving vehicle is a great way to improve your drawing, you have to draw fast! Also as the scenery changes the idea of your drawing has to change. If you went out to New Mexico and traced every last inch of it's amazing landscape you will not find where these sketches were drawn because these landscapes are made up of a number of different views seen as we travelled through on a fast train. Yet, to me, they are still very New Mexico.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

San Francisco Sketching

In November 2006 a friend of mine and I travelled round USA by train. I can't say enough how great it is to travel by train, we must have sat and looked out those windows at the incredible scenery for most of the trip and still wanted more! Even after a 36 hour journey from Spokane, Washington to Chicago we were already looking forward to the next train trip onwards to New York.

One of our first stops, and possibly our favourite city (apart from Chicago) was San Francisco. Here are a few pages from my sketchbook while in this great city...

San Francisco from the top of Coit Tower on Telegraph Hill, you can tell it was done left handed because my handwriting is illegible!

Alcatraz Island

An evening watching jazz at the Condor

Monday, May 12, 2008

All new Bridbird

I've decided to re-vamp my bridbird etsy shop. New banner, new avatar and a new range of brooches!

These brooches are made using my print gocco kit. The bird bodies are screen printed from one screen and then the bird wings are screenprinted from a second screen registered over the first. This enables me to get the different colours close by each other. I then fix the printed images onto thick artist's mounting board card, Cut out the shapes with a scalpel and then paint a number of coats of varnish on both sides. A brooch back is then affixed and they are ready to wear! I like the colours of these birds and I enjoyed making the different patterns in the wings. I am also listing the full 8 birds as a gocco screenprinted picture, to frame up and put on your wall!

Friday, May 9, 2008

More Choughs, I'm seeing a new theme on the horizon!

So I've been outside this morning taking photos of my drawings. More sucessful in daylight that in the bathroon at 10 o'clock last night.

I found yesterday that the bird I drew most was the chough, followed closely by red wattlebird. I've requested both these birds again for next week drawing in the museum. Anna has also requested a duck and an owl, so I'm looking forward to it.

I have the rest of my drawings posted on Flickr. Click on the link or the photos to see them.

Added later- I have just returned from drawing in a nearby park. My drawing session was cut short by a bad dog who ran up to me and my bike, peed into my cycle helmet, then tried to leg it with my sketchbook! Bad dog.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Drawing at the Museum

Today I went to the Melbourne Museum in Carlton Gardens where I had arranged to draw some of their collection of birds. I rang up last week and gave them a short list of birds I'd like to draw and today myself and Anna found ourselves being greeted by a Magpie, a Butcher Bird, a Red Wattlebird, a Chough and a rather worse for wear Honeyeater.

My photos of my drawings aren't particularly good so I think I will take some more tomorrow in the daylight, but for now here is a left hand drawing of the Chough (pronounced 'chuff.') I draw with my left hand to keep my lines lose ( I am normally right handed.)

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Mongolian Horse

This is my final sketchbook extract from my old website. It is from the sketchbook I had with me while on a horse ride trek in Mongolia , which was the most amazing place I have ever been to.

This horse was one of the mongolian horsemen's horses. They rode in very uncomfortable looking saddles, although they were also very beautiful looking with embedded silver attached and ornate stirrups. Their horses, to our standards, were ponies, but never say this to a mongolian!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Old Edinburgh Sketches

Here are some more sketches from a few years ago.

This is my old flatmate and good friend Adele doing the dishes on our old flat.

Edinburgh drawn on a paper bag. I had gone drawing with Adele up to Calton Hill, I'd forgotten my paper, so I tore up the paper sandwich bag I had used for my lunch and used that.

Sometimes I really do believe I can fly, I'm so sure of it. Instead of actually trying it on this occasion, I drew it. It says 'Me flying over Edinburgh, because I can.'

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Two Sketches From Art College Days

Since I have replaced my old website a few of my old sketches are no longer viewable, but I still like them, so I thought I'd show a few on here.

I used to travel between London and Edinburgh every so often. On this train journey we'd travel through the North of England, through York and through Darlington. I saw this trolly at Darlington Station and reading the notice on it made me chuckle. Poor lost trolly!

This is Francis, he was one of our life models at art college and probably one of the best. He was a former ballet dancer but must have injured himself because he used to walk with a limp. I used to only bring a pencil or a graphite stick with me to life drawing classes, but this drawing I felt needed a bit of shading and maybe a bit of alternative colour. I had nothing to use though...... until I thought to colour him in with a piece of chocolate I was eating. Chocolate is even more important to bring to life drawing classes now!