29 March 2011

Day 2: no 87... Food

Oh the challenge of still life.

I used to hate drawing apples and pears and bowls of fruit in high school art classes. Nothing bored me more than thinking about perspective and shading. But No 87 on the list said food, and these are the first things that came to mind. In retrospect, I could have drawn some more interesting looking food, but these were bought at the local Kowanyama shop this morning, and hence they came to hand. And anyway, I kind of enjoyed it...

I'm reading a book at the moment called 'Your Artist's Brain' by Carl Purcell. Mr Purcell has helped big time. Instead of drawing what I think an object should look like (because intellectually I have learnt that exhibit A looks a certain way), I am learning to draw what I see. So I am paying attention to highlights and shadows, angles and curves and looking for finer detail, something I've never done before. Its quite exhilarating!

I'd put these drawings in the 'Not Too Shit' category, (as my friend Winnie Ho would say). Not bad for my early return to drawing!

28 March 2011

Creative Challenge - Day 1

Today the mail plane flew in from Cairns, carrying with it my new watercolour brush (No. 2 Winsor and Newton Series 7, thanks for asking). I ordered it online about a week ago, and have been waiting impatiently for it to arrive. I came to remote Kowanyama with a few art materials, including watercolour pencils, but I forgot to pack any brushes. Hence my lovely watercolour pencils were destined to remain plain old colour pencils until today.

So with this trusty little brush now firmly in my grasp, I decided I best start this challenge. And now that I am blogging about it, I suppose I'm accountable. No pressure!

First item on my list: number 31 - Flowers. I know, an easy one, but one has to start somewhere... these lilies are outside my front door of our little donga. I found the lilies to be most interesting after they had shed their vibrant petals and all that was left were the heads. Kind of like rosehips. So here it is: Kowanyama Lilies - mixed media: ink and watercolour pencil. Drawing is not my strength, but with any luck I will get better...

I think these shapes may be destined to become a screen printed wrapping paper or stationery later on too!

25 March 2011

Creative Challenge Anyone?

This week, whilst getting my inspiration fix online, I came across the concept of a 100 day creative challenge. Essentially, the challenge comprised of making 100 illustrations over 100 days based on the supplied list of 100 themes. Its aim, I believe, is to push your creative boundaries and give you some framework for daily creative action. This particular one was obviously aimed at those into drawing, but I think it would adapt quite easily to other mediums, craft included.

So now I am considering undertaking it, but I know I cannot commit to one art form. I'm too flighty for that! I will have enough on my plate doing something creative every day. So I thought, I might attack the very same list, but use whatever art form or craft medium I am into that day. So somedays I might draw or paint (and people, this is not my strength, so maybe I should do more of that to improve!), other days I might take a photo. When I'm home in the studio I might print or sew something. As long as I use the same themes to inspire the project.

And you know what? I am not going to beat myself up if I miss a day here and there. There is no point setting yourself up for failure. I will be realistic. Work commitments, travel and day to day living will sometimes have to take priority. This list could very well take me a year instead of just over 3 months. But I am going to try. Having a creative balance in my life is paramount to my happiness. Maybe I'll put a few success pieces up on the blog for you to see. Anyone who wants to join in is welcome, the more the merrier!

The only question remaining... which theme should I start with?

10 March 2011

I'm singing in the rain/ I'm singing in the rain/ What a glorious feeling/ I'm happy again!

Its the wet season here, but apparently, this is mega wet! Instead of the usual fifteen minute afternoon monsoonal showers, Kowanyama has experienced torrential downpours for days on end. Our boss was forced to buy us all gumboots just so we could get to work in the morning!

My good friend Gemma suggested a rendition of the old favourite tune after lamenting the amount of puddles here, and really... are there any better words to describe it? Or any better way to deal with it? So here I am, ankle deep in water, rehearsing for Broadway.

All I'm missing is an umbrella for theatrical effect!

06 March 2011

Sunday Afternoon Ride

We took advantage of the break in the weather to hop on the clinic bikes and see a bit more of the area. The birds are amazing, flocks of them, everywhere!

What a lovely way to end off the weekend.

03 March 2011

Hello Cape York

Time has flown by! We finished our contract in Laj on January 31 and flew home for almost 4 weeks where we had lovely times wining and dining, camping on the beach, and catching up with our amazing friends and family.

But the dollars were starting to dwindle, so we thought we better put down the pinot and brie and haul arse to our new home for the next 7 weeks: Kowanyama. For all you peeps out there who find Google maps all too much, its on west Cape York, around the same latitude as Cooktown.

After Laj, we had no expectations about what we would find here. Lajamanu was pretty challenging, a baptism of fire! Lovely community members individually, but the community as a whole did not function very effectively. The town, clinic and houses were run down, services were limited, the clinic was understaffed and under equipped, the town has lots of litter, camp dogs etc.

Well people, it could not be more different here. Kowanyama is super tidy by comparison, people here take pride in their appearance and homes, flowers are grown and tended in the front yards, lawns are mowed. Outrageous! It almost looks like a caravan park! The clinic is new and flash, it has its own X-Ray room which a couple of the senior nurses operate, the support staff are there every day, ON TIME!!! and we have 4 Aboriginal Health Worker trainees who are enthusiastic and wanting to learn from us all. There are proper commercial planes that fly in and out, a well stocked shop, post office, takeaways. English is fluently spoken here and the people treat us with respect and friendliness.

We haven't been put on call as yet, but that starts next week. But it seems that only a couple of calls after hours are the norm, which is amazing when 8 was about the average in Laj. The only problem with such a high functioning community is that we won't be raking in the overtime dollars nearly as much! Oh how demanding we are!

We will post some photos of the community soon, maybe over the weekend we will be able to get out and grab some picturess xxx