Just now I have been enjoying practicing sketching portraits with my eldest. Sketching is something I did a lot when I was growing up. It is good to practice measuring proportions and looking at tones without being concerned about colour (though I do love colour). It was difficult to resisting putting in lines where the shapes are actually defined by subtle changes in tone instead.
This year our local primary School turns 100.We thought it was fitting that it’s hand draw logo should have a makeover. The school colours are maroon and blue. The elements of the original hand drawn logo were the river, mountains and dolphin. All important elements to keep because they are not only part of our landscape but also because these were the elements the kids loved in the original logo. The children have a magnificent view of the Dorrigo Mountain Range from the playground. They also see the Bellingen River winding past their school and from time to time the dolphins that travel up the tidal part of the river. Many of the children belong to the Surf Lifesaving Club and the beach is very much a part of the local culture. The abstract mountain shape is meant to symbolise not just the mountains but the dolphin fin and the fin of the surf boards & rescue boards the kids use at the beach each Summer. It also resembles the landmark Picket Hill we can see at the South end of North Beach. After many different versions we settled on this one because it was the most versatile. The logo needed to be able to be reduced in size so that it would fit on a small badge and still be readable. It also needed to be used on banners, hats & shirts. It also needed to be able to work on both maroon & blue backgrounds as well as black and white.
Last year I had some fun putting together this map for our local Urunga-Mylestom Chamber of Commerce for their annual food fair called TOAST. It happens every year on Father’s Day at Morgo Park, Urunga. It’s a beautiful spot where the Bellinger & Kalang Rivers meet before they reach the sea. The idea was for the map to be functional but attractive enough to be used as a poster or an advertisement. The background is created in Illustrator and then dropped into Indesign so that year to year changes are easy to make.
Thought I’d post this fun project my daughter & I worked on together. She is a devoted collector of Schleich figurines. They are very realistic and are made mostly in proportion with other animals in the series.
At the moment horses are her favourites. I scouted around the local shops looking for a stable for her to play with, intending to buy it for her birthday. Unfortunately it was out of our price range, so I set about making one myself. With lots of guidance and suggestions from my daughter this is what we ended up with.
We tried to use what we already had. The only things we bought for the project were the chains, hooks and hinges. Fruit and vegetables were modelled out of salt and cornflour dough. The stable itself was made from a piece of compressed board from the hardware (bought for another project I didn’t get around to doing). These are just some of the things we used: paddle pop sticks for shelves, an old toothbrush cut & glued for a broom, wire covered in florist tape for the pitchforks and shovel, chaff bags from old jeans, buckets from medicine cups, feed boxes from balsa wood off cuts. We even made some horse manure out of salt dough to make it extra realistic.
It was a real challenge and great fun trying to find different ways of creating the things she wanted in her stable.
Recently my sister sent me a video of a lady called Sonia Singh from Treechange Dolls. Sonia removes the faces of second hand dolls, mostly Monster High and Bratz dolls, and gives them new friendlier faces. Her mum then finishes them with beautiful hand sewn & knitted outfits. When I showed my youngest daughter she got very excited and asked if I could change the faces of her dolls too. Although she loves the jointed flexibility of her Monster High dolls she explained to me that, “my other dolls didn’t like to play with them because they don’t look friendly”. Willing to give anything a go I stripped off their faces using acetone & eucalyptus oil & repainted them using my acrylic paints. My littlest loves their new look and they can now be friends with her other dolls.
The original dolls looked like this
With their makeover…
Last Christmas we snorkelled in amazingly clear water at Cunjurong Point on the South Coast of NSW. The patterns created by the light filtering through the water onto the white sand below was just beautiful. I found it incredibly difficult to paint these patterns in the random way they appear. The waves above informing the pattern beneath but looking so different. I also struggled with whether to put other things in the painting. In the end I decided that they would just detract from the feeling of infinity that I loved so much.
Clear water at Cunjurong Point NSW
Last weekend we took a drive up the mountain to Dorrigo plateau. We came across these tiny Blue Wrens using the barbed wire as a perch for spying out lunch. They were so tiny and very quick. Getting a decent photo with my new zoom lens was a quite challenging. Just love the colours in this one. The blue haze of the eucalypts makes for a very pretty picture I think.