Monday, August 31, 2009

Hibiscus painted in the meticulous style of Chinese painting

Having had a fit about going to my Chinese painting class I had a lovely day and felt that actually I had done a reasonable painting.
Our teacher was Xue-Liang Fang from Nanching in China. A very nice man with very little English but a wonderful teacher and a very patient man.
I actually came home feeling I knew more about it than half the artists who were there and was really pleased with the way my leaves turned out.
A totally different way of painting, we were given a pre done sketch which we traced lightly onto some "cooked" paper, I presume rice paper and then shown how to draw the outline in with a pen and ink, different way of holding things and then shading with the ink and pen and then finally the color.
His stuff is absolutely lovely and very very meticulous but the ten of us who were there had a lovely day.
I asked afterwards was he going to go home and do some Australian stuff and was shown his sketchbook with very detailed drawings and notes.
He also showed us how he does birds but I only have a scan of the one he did for us.
Tonight's Haiku is by Ransetsu

Pine tree silhouette
painted by the
harvest moon
on a shining sky.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Melbourne street

John doesnt like standing around for too long while I sketch so this was a bit wonky but I rather like the feel of it.
I just love these bits and bobs on top of the buildings, and I must say I like buildings, old ones.
Hope for lots of them while I am away.
Tomorrow I go for a lesson by a very precise Chinese painter, why oh why did I decide to do this class!! Mostly because it is local, but I dont paint like that and I am having very cold feet about doing it.
I went to suss out where the class is being held and to see what his stuff was like, as I thought not me at all.
I called in to see a local orchid show and resisted buying anything, and I called in to see my grand daughter ride at the riding club. The house is clean and I feel better (except about tomorrow.)
Perhaps this Haiku by Basho will help.

Red chilli pods:
Add wings -
and they are dragonflies.

Saturday, August 29, 2009


I have to say that doodling has been fun and takes my mind off other things. I did this to show Evie how she could doodle too.
I have had a busy day getting very little done! Well normal day to day tasks and a small walk this morning and a visit to the farmers market, where we met friends and left saying see you in Paris. I have never been able to say that before!
I am trying very unsuccessfully to complete a lino cutting course and I am finding it hard going. I have put it all away so that I can do it when I am a little more relaxed.
the house is an absolute tip and I am cleaning.
I got quite wet while I fed the dogs a few minutes ago, we had about 8 mm this morning and a bit more through the day, definitely back to winter at the moment.

Forgot my Haiku last night, this one is by Basho

A crow clings silent
to a bare bough,
watching the sunset.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Watching netball

It was freezing cold when we watched Evie play netball and my knee didnt want to stand for too long so I found a seat, and froze some more and sketched what was in front of me, it was quite fun.
I have not had a good day but if you want to know why go here.
I did do one thing I am really pleased about, on a throw out table at a newsagent I found for $20 this paperback called The Great Italian Painters From the Gothic to the Renaissance, published by Scala and there are about 700 pages and the reproductions are really lovely. I am not religious but I love faces and especially the Madonna Child paintings and this is full of them, as well as some other wonderful faces and I am in heaven.
I suppose my face thing stems from my cloth doll faces and my painting but this has such lovely bright colors as well.
The textiles are wonderfully done as well, all in all a great find.
We have our tickets for Europe and most places are booked, I just have to tidy up the last week or so when we go to Yourkshire and the Border country and whether we get to North Wales or not.
Its getting exciting!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Back from Melbourne

We had a lovely time but I didnt have any time to paint and only did a few sketches. We seemed to be on the go most of the time and then I lost my pen and wasnt any where near a shop to get the 'right' one. I like the uni pin waterproof ones.
So here I was surrounded by the shopping in a huge shopping mall waiting for John to buy jeans and a shirt. Next door was this shop with hats and shoes and bits and bobs. I decided that I am hopeless at drawing shoes, especially tall strappy ones.
I am afraid my shopping was for a skirt, and boy do I have to lose some weight before I go away, and a couple of shirts.
It was very wet and wild while we were away, the same here and we had some lovely rain, but not exactly conducive to sitting outside and sketching, there are a couple of other sketches but I will do them later as I can see I will not have much time to draw in the next few days.
Home means getting a lot done that didnt get done before we left, and my back is not liking me as the physio had a rather solid go at it.
Gorgeous catching up with the family, the grand children have grown, it seems only the other day they were small and now they are almost teenagers.

To days Haiku is by Shiki and is because I walked near the sea most days.

We rowed into fog,
and out through fog...
O how blue
How bright the wide sea!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Heart design

A bit more doodling, I love hearts and I have been using them in my work quite a lot and I was trying with the doodling method to do something that I could stitch later. We will see if that happens but I am finding great satisfaction in playing at the moment.
Adelaide today, I had to be in the city center by 9.30, so an early start, poor Mary spent most of the day at the clinic there and the final prognosis was that she has to have an operation and pins inserted in her spine and a hospital stay of 10 days and at nearly 80 I would imagine a long recovery.
Tabby and Millie and I saw my mother and Millie was very good and terribly sweet but about an hour and a half was enough for Mummy.
Went to see Paddy who gave us lunch and we sat outside in her garden and talked and Millie was a hoot, throwing balls and generally having a good time. Then the long slow haul of collecting Mary and then John from the airport and home.
My first big drive for ages and boy am I tired.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Playing with pattern

I had the idea for this rather large lady at the back of my head when I sat down for a few minutes and then I started to add patterns. I believe there is something called zentangle out there that has been talked about a bit on various blogs and this came from some of the doodling that I have seen.
I was actually looking for a rather exotic sort of person and the more I fiddled the more some of the African patterns came to mind.
Any way it was fun to do and perhaps it is something to use when nothing else is coming to mind. I think really it is a design tool.
Busy day trying to sort a few things out. We have to go to a dinner tonight, some sort of anniversary for the local branch of the Agricultural Bureau I think, I had better see what the invitation says so I know what I might be talking about!
Tonight's Haiku is by Shiki

What a splendid day!
No one in all
the village
doing anything!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The billabong

I didnt have long today as I am still tidying up (why does it take longer to tidy than to make a mess.)
After yesterdays heat today we have been cold and wet and windy and some spectacular falls of rain with thunderstorms. A good day to stay indoors.
I had a play with trying to get ripples and water effects and this is taken from a photo of the billabong near the Inman River. It didnt show up terribly well on the scan but I have played with it a bit.
I have been having fun trying to sort out which class I will take at next years Fibres Ballarat, the teacher list has just come through and there are some great classes. Cant wait.
Tonight's Haiku is by Shiki, I dont think I have posted this one before.

Beyond a dark wood
lightning revealed
still water,
bright, like a vision.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Peacock feather

John brought this peacock feather in today, said it would make a good quill, I have been working hard all day and finding something to sketch was the last thing on my mind, but now that I have worked out how to scan pencil sketches so you can see them this is what I did. A nice quick sketch.
I spent most of the day moving work rooms around as I am doing an on-line lino cutting course and I really didnt have any where suitable to cut so I have now moved things around, of course my sewing room now needs to be tidied up too as the newest machine was in that room. I can hardly move but some how things get done!
For photos see my other blog here.
An absolutely awful day hot, far too hot for this time of the year, nearly 25 degrees and high northerly (hot) winds. It has dried stuff out terribly and the pots have had to be watered.
Tonight's Haiku is by Buson

A red moon goes down
late in the west...
Shadows flow eastward
and vanish.

Friday, August 14, 2009

The fire place

I have not been home much lately but I did this pencil sketch earlier this evening while I waited for the dinner to cook.
I couldnt believe how hard it was to get this right from the angle I was sitting.
Late afternoon saw us on our way to McLaren Vale to collect some oysters and have a late afternoon tea with the friends who had organised it.
Shopping this morning and some where in the middle I think I have organised what I will do for the book marks I have to make.
Lots of internet looking as well trying to sort out the European and UK parts of our trip, which starts next month! Scary and I still have to sort out our accommodation in some places.
Exciting as well.
To nights Haiku is by Geharu

All the falling snow...
Imagine dancing
Butterflies flitting
Through the flakes!

A lovely image.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The dead tree

I had a bit of time to play not a lot but I fiddled around with wet washes and then this dead tree which is down the paddock, killed by the galah's ring barking it up high which is a bit unusual, I think it must have had an infestation of some sort of borer or bug. A shame as it was a lovely old pink gum.
I saw my small great grand son today, his mother was rather surprised when he took my finger and walked around holding it, he wont be 1 until the end of next month but then one of mine walked at just over 9 months and he was a terror.
They have moved into a nicer rental house, more expensive of course but not damp and mouldy like the other flat was. Just not such a nice area for walking.
I made several pieces of silk paper today in preparation for the bookmark swap I am in, I think I now know what I want to do.
Here is my yummy cake recipe that I made last week end, it is more of a dessert I think and it came from a Garden magazine I now cant find.
Here it is
Diana's Autumn Cake
120 gm butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup flour
1 cup chopped dates
1 cup chopped walnuts
2-3 cups peeled and sliced , chopped apples
1 tspn cinnamon
1 tspn nutmeg
1 tspn baking soda
pinch salt
Cream butter and sugar until fluffy and add egg. Beat.
Followed by dry ingredients.
Mix well
Spoon batter into a greased (it said sugar but I didnt)
(I greased the sides and put baking paper on the bottom)
in a 8 inch (20 cm round or square tin
I used a spring form round tin.
Bake 25 - 30 mins at 175 C
( I baked a bit longer as still very uncooked, about 15 mins longer)
Cool before turning out
Serve warm with cream or yoghurt or cold,
I re warmed ours in the microwave and served with ice cream and cream.
I will put the Frittata recipe on my other blog here.
to nights Haiku is by Kyoroku

Around the glowing coals
of a Brazier,
Old men tell tales
of earthquakes

There have been a few lately and a terrible typhoon in Japan and nieghbouring regions.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Gum leaves and seed pods

Yesterday we walked in the Aldinga scrub and although we didnt actually see this particular gum as it is a Western Australian, I have had so little time to sketch, draw or paint that I did these from some that are in a dried arrangement in the house.
I had one of those days today when looking for the registration of a pony who we had sold,I couldnt find it and went into panic mode and searched all the places I might have put it, although knowing full well that I always put them into the folder. I stopped panicing quite so much when I found we had 3 others that I didnt have and they had all gone at the same time so obviously some where there has been a mishap and I have now arranged for them to be replaced. Whew!!
So I have been on my feet for too long for 2 days and hope that things have not gone too far backwards with my knee.
The lunch yesterday was lovely but the paintings we went to see were not so good, I really dont know how people think they can get away with dark dark splodges.
Perhaps I am getting old and cranky.
It was for what they call the South Australian Living Artists week and a lot of things like this one are in peoples glorified sheds so no weeding of the good from the bad.
My Haiku for today is by Shiki

From watching the moon
I turned
and my friendly old
shadow led me home.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Jug of Arum Lillies

Pencil never seems to come out terribly well even when I scan on black and white which is very annoying.
I have this jug of both the white and the green goddess arum lilies that I picked yesterday and as I think I need to practice drawing in pencil this is what I did. John says now for goodness sake add colour and maybe I will do another one and paint it.
My give away on my other blog has been won by Robyn of the wonderful Art Propelled blog, I am so glad something is going to South Africa, I have never sent anything there before. Of course the Arum lilies are native to South Africa as well, another import that grows wild here if we are not careful.
We have been busy today trying to sort out the plans for our trip to Europe and the UK, it is all sounding as if it is possible!
October here we come.
A frost this morning but luckily not a very heavy one, I dont like August frosts as stuff in the garden has started to grow.
My Haiku for tonight is by Sodo and is jut because I like it.

"Who cares to notice
carrot flowers,
when the plum trees
explode into bloom!

Friday, August 07, 2009

I had an early morning walk in Victor this morning as John had a short meeting so I wandered with my camera and some of those photos will be on my other blog here and my sketchbook. I didnt have long to sketch but I did manage this date palm by the railway crossing. Victor Harbor is full of date palms and Norfolk Island pines.
The other funny sketch is of the slate tiles on a roof at Willunga which I did a quick sketch of while we had lunch the other day. I liked the rather odd design that had been used.
Dont forget there is a give away on my other blog as well, finishes at midnight tonight our time and I will draw it in the morning.
I am allowed to walk, I dont have a brace on my knee but I am not allowed to go too mad with power and at this stage no more physio appointments. Now I have to do exercises for my tight hamstring!
My Haiku for to day is by Buson, it is not quite spring here but a warm and sunny day walking by the sea was a little like this.

The sea in springtime -
all day rising, falling,
rising, falling.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Owls and castles

I go from doing reasonable stuff to not so good. I think it is partly how I am feeling and sometimes the pressure of doing daily sketches or paintings gets too much.
My knee really ached yesterday which has upset me a bit as it should be a lot better this week and it doesnt seem to be.
Any way I have to get this done early as there is a problem with the modem and the little notebook computer so I will be without the internet for I hope not too long but I know these things usually take a while.
Not a good morning, the entire herd of milkers, over 300 got into the orchard and garden and as it has rained all morning, very heavy rain they made an awful mess and I was not at all happy.
So I sketched one of the Japanese castles we went o, only a small one but very typical.
The owls, well if you go here you will see what they really look like.
Today's Haiku is by Kyoroku

Even in castles
I have felt
The searching breath
Of the wintry wind.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Japanese lantern

I was going to Adelaide to meet with friends but it was suddenly canceled last night so I was a bit disorganised today.
John was going fishing so I went in to the farmers market and bought some vegetables, saw some friends, got the papers and came home.
It was damp and drizzly for almost all the day but I had walked a bit in Victor and my knee was rather sore so I gave up all idea of a walk.
Wandered around the garden in the one bit of sunshine and was pleased to see some goldfinches on the nettles in the vegetable garden, although not native they only come here at certain times of the year and they are so pretty.
I am still into the Japanese book so went through more photos and decided to paint this lantern that was in a garden.
I had to paint something as all that I am doing is sewing, and nothing is finished.

Todays Haiku is again by Basho

The silence of the temple.
The cry of a cicada
penetrates the rocks.