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Thursday, January 26, 2012

120126 Five years of sketching

To celebrate my 5th year anniversary of keeping sketchbooks I decided to do a sort and label all of them. Over the last 2 years I have had to stack these books in more efficient ways...but I am afraid I will have to find a new shelf soon...

(three books here are ongoing - the current one No. 46, my Zoo book and my colour book.)

There are about 8 different sketchbooks in there(and most covered with different paper) but when stacked end on they look lovely and uniform!!!!

070127 First Ever Moleskine Page
this is where it all began 5 years ago.... little doodles with notes every where...(what my travel sketches used to be)

There is no doubt that practice and hard work (loving every moment and especially enjoying the process as much as the end results) does lead to development of skills.

Thanks for all the inspiration and encouragement - certainly going online (which I did 16 months after starting) made a huge impact!

120126 Australia Day- Our hills hoist

Happy Australia Day! Due to morning rain I am having a quiet day watching sport... but I did get out this arvo when I saw a patch of blue and sketched our hills hoist (clothes line)
This is a bit of a half hearted page... but I was not going to draw any Aussie food!

BTW it is 5 years today since I started my first ink and watercolour sketchbook.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

120125 Quick sketch Avenue Rd Cafe Mosman

Here is a really rushed sketch I did today while waiting for some new lenses. Fantastic cup of tea and a lovely chat to the woman sitting next to me.
I had to add some of the colour tonight as I needed to get to work (very busy day!)

I worked in Mosman(Sydney) for 9 years. Over the past 5 years there has been a lot of change and a lot more coffee shops. I was told that this place would probably have the best tea...indeed I couldn't fault it! Sensational brand of tea, good portion etxc (of course a fine china tea cup would given it bonus points!)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Sketchcrawl 34 - Plan A and Plan B!

Great sketchcrawl day... nice breakfast, 2 sketches at Plan A before rain hit and we went to Plan B, finished the day with special treatment at T2.
We had a great group of sketchers... maybe around 30 people, great to see the usual suspects and meet some new people. Lots of great work and lovely, although we were scattered to keep bumping into sketchers all day!
120121 Sketchcrawl 34_01 Breakfast
120121 Sketchcrawl 34_02 Anzac Memorial Warmup
120121 Sketchcrawl 34_03 Plan A_Anzac Memorial Wash out
120121 Sketchcrawl 34_04 Plan B_Australian Museum
120121 Sketchcrawl 34_05 Museum Bones
120121 Sketchcrawl 34_06 Museum Search and Discover
And a few photos
Sketchcrawl 34 - Hyde Park when the rain started coming down
Sketchcrawl 34 - Hyde Park ...too wet!
Hyde Park when the rain started coming down
Sketchcrawl 34 - in the museum
Sketching bones
Sketchcrawl 34 - not all the dinosaurs are bones
A sketcher being attacked by a walking dinosaur!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Getting ready for tomorrow's sketchcrawl

Hope the rain stays away for us but thankful that we don't have snow storms to battle against.
Have a great day everyone wherever you are.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

120119 Diversional Therapy

I have just started this evening on a new adventure with food (that is a positive way of describing it) and the feeling that I was hungry this evening must of been just in my mind ... So I indulged! However, in line with my goal of not doing meaningless sketches... This page does record random trivia from today. I tried to fit my standard tea cosy on my my teapot from Cris and with a degree of difficulty and some distortion it did indeed go naturally I had to record the event since I am not sure my cosy will allow me to do it again! The Palladio sketch was the result of my noticing a neglected book in my library – my new cozy corner I created during my break now means that a shelf that contained less referred to books is now very handy.
Just for the record... I did NOT use guidelines for the text down the left hand side... I know I really didn’t need to tell you all that... But hey! I have been thinking all week at work that I SHOULD use guidelines like a good architect always should, when doing free hand sketches to issue to the building team as I have been unhappy with some lettering this week. So it was nice that these came out nice and uniform tonight!

Monday, January 16, 2012

120110_02 A special gift!

I thought I had posted this last year...but obviously only made it to FB

was going to stop drawing cups of tea... Or at least have a break... But how can I when I receive the most delightful present in the mail from Spain!!! I am so excited... Not only a very cool teapot (actually hot pot... Got to be careful not to burn myself on the handle) and some amazing tea – hand rolled gunpowder green. I really love seeing the big leaves in the infuser after my cup.
Thanks Cris!!!!!!! This is so much more exciting than getting pressies on your birthday!!

And just an update for Cris - I am really loving the tea and the pot is working perfectly too!!! Thanks!

Friday, January 13, 2012

A (shocking) confession

A (shocking) confession by borromini bear
A (shocking) confession, a photo by borromini bear on Flickr.

Many of you know this fact but I want everyone to know.... that I have a guideline sheet that I use to help draw my grids and keep my text straight. I have never sought to hide this fact but decided that it was time to come clean. Especially in light of a recent discussion on Inma’s photostream and a reminder that it was a total shock to many people when it fell out of my sketchbook in Lisbon....apparently “I went red and laughed a lot!”

I do not use it ALL the time – this spread I didn’t use for the text or even to draw the grid lines...but I do get VERY distressed when my writing isn’t neat or straight. (I am an architect and am old enough to remember the days when getting a job was dependent on having perfect writing).

I made this template using a CAD programme – making my lines very thick so that I can see them through the 150gsm paper. Also I experimented to find my preferred spacing- so one half of the A4 page is 6mm and the other 8mm. You can also see how I have marked the lines that I used on my opening page for each day in my recent holiday sketchbook. (my text and tea pages) SO it is especially designed my me for my sketchbook. I used to sometimes rule guidelines but this trick is certainly a LOT easier!

I am terribly sorry if I had mislead any of you that thought I could write so perfectly uniform... Perhaps if I really tried hard I might sometimes be able to do it... But of course I am too lazy... This way the gridlines are there if I want to use them. At least you all know now!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Summer 1112 Volume 1 in full

Here it is...

or as a single image on flickr
Summer 11/12 Vol 1 in full

Summer 1112 - Day 16 Paddington Reservoir Gardens

I am very excited that Wendy suggested we go to Paddington and sketch this amazing urban park. Had a great morning with Wendy and Annie.
Summer! J07SA_03 Paddington Reservior Gardens 1
Summer! J07SA_04 Paddington Reservior Gardens 2
Summer! J07SA_05 Paddington Reservior Gardens 3

To find out more- check out this video!

And the rest of the day (mainly food and tea...)
Summer! J07SA_01 Elizabethan Cup and EGT Royale
Summer! J07SA_02 Paddo morning coffee and Map
Summer! J07SA_06 Paddo Meatball Wrap

.... and of course I had to finish my holiday at home with a visit to t2
Summer! J07SA_07 T2 view
Summer! J07SA_08 T2 Blossom Tea Osmathus Burst

Summer 1112 Day 15 - Day with Nick..budding Urban Sketcher at age 6!

A really great day with my best friend and her 6 year old son
Summer! J06FR_04 NMM1 Chopper
This is the chopper that we sketched together in the Maritime museum... for the full set of Nick's work check out my set here

NIck and Liz sketching in Maritime Museum1

NIck and Liz sketching in Maritime Museum2

The rest of the the day...

Summer! J06FR_01 Harrington Lane cup and Rosy Grey tea

Summer! J06FR_03 Yum Chai

Summer! J06FR_05 NMM2 Sketching with Nick

Summer! J06FR_06 NMM2 Periscope and Steam Engine

Summer 1112 Day 14 - Auburn adventure with Chris

I am a little behind posting to my blog... so here are the final few days of my summer holiday.

Summer! J05TH_04 Auburn Gallipoli Mosque

Auburn is home to the turkish community in Sydney - this is the start of my world tour of Sydney... I hope to continue you this throughout the year.

Summer! J05TH_02 Auburn Japanese Gardens with Chris

Great day with Chris another of the Sydney sketchers Chris - (who needs to get a flickr account!!!!)

We started at the Japanese garden...

Summer! J05TH_03 Turkish food and coffee(!?!) at Mado Cafe Auburn

..and then went in search of some turkish food

Summer! J05TH_05 Auburn Map, Turkish Delight and Sewing Books

Summer! J05TH_01 Russian Caravan and Holyrood cup

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Looking back on 2011 and thinking about 2012

My 2011 in sketches110103 Off Again!110104 Camp-01 The Lounge110104 Camp-02 Girls Dorm110105 Camp-03 Stanwell Park Beach110105 Camp-04 Sea Cliff Bridge
110106 Camp-05 Summary110107 Run Yourself Ragged110107 T2 counter view110108 Botanic Gardens choragic monument110108 01 Why I prefer complicated buildings to plain ones110108 02 Final Holiday Sketches
110111 Distracted while trying to do a 'perfect' cup sketch110111 A BIG change (of angle)Earl Greys of Crows Nest 08-Fabrik110114 Daily journal 35 has begun110115 Botanic Gardens 03 Succulent GroupImcomplete Page 1
Imcomplete Page2110115 Composition Liz Style110115 01 Morning Tea110115 02 Lunch110115 03 Afternoon Tea110115 Botanic Gardens 01 Morshead F Gate

2011 in full, a set on Flickr.

My 2011 in sketches

As I spent New Years Eve 2011 looking through my sketchbooks (and sketching them of course!) I thought I should do a little review of the year that is past, in terms of my sketching. But in doing so I can’t help thinking that blogging gives a distorted view of reality... And therefore this post is NOT a review of my life in the past year... But just sketching related events.

Firstly... I am sketching more and more and in particular I have become rather addicted to
1.A desire to record my daily life in my sketchbook
2. A desire to do as much sketching on location as possible.
These two aspects explain why travel sketching gives me such a buzz!

2011 was definitely an interesting year... I am not going to do a review of it but three highlights would have to be the
The Royal Botanic Gardens Autumn of the Arts Sketchabout, having my work published in Cathy Johnson’s “Artists Journal Workshop” - it is such a wonderful book and Borromini is just so chuffed to be part of it! And being able to attend the 2nd International Symposium...(so much written on this elsewhere - sketches, photos)

But for this post I want to focus on a few things that struck me when I did my rapid sketchbook flick-through on NYE. These I am converting into directions for 2011 (I do have other goals and resolutions which I am NOT sharing with the world)

Too Many Cuppas

Cups of Tea

Way too many teacup sketches – this is an important method of relaxation in the evening ...but still....Discovering a new tearoom (The Tea Cosy in the Rocks) has not helped. The pages that I did enjoy re-visiting were the ones where the tea had some significance – the night Cyclone Yasi hit, the cups we chose to watch the Royal Wedding, my black tea detox.

111128 Sketchers diet starting again!

Food food food...

Lots of that too... (I do not post all of them!) Despite the repetitiveness of it, I am convinced of the power of sketching to control the way that I eat and I am sure that in 2012 ‘the sketching diet’ will appear yet again. Also I do think that it is nice when chefs and café owners go to so much trouble to present meals that I am there to record it in a sketch!

110302 Liz style celebration


Too many random evening (often late!) architectural sketches that really don’t have any connection what happened that day. I have stopped reading architectural history and theory books in recent years and I want to start again. So an idea is to sketch relating to what I am it will be more relevant and no more scouring of my library because I am desperate to sketch something... Anything. I also want to broaden my range of architectural periods so thinking of starting with some ancient greek buildings for a change!

110905 Faces from Lisbon

The human element

more people in my sketchbooks than previous years but still need more!!!! I started sketching portraits of people I know from photos that I have taken (ie. they are looking at me) and found that engaging with the person I am sketching is the secret of converting my ‘fear’ of drawing ‘people’ into my delight of sketching a person (with a personality). I need some serious training for the next symposium I get too... One does feel very inadequate not having the courage to do it (but at least one can sketch food instead!)

111007 What is in my bag tonight

Heavy bags

Yes...the search for the perfect bag continues and I just love sketching my art supplies. Somehow I think that the art supplies that I carry around only seem to increase... hence the need for lighter bags.... These are some of my favourite pages to draw!!!

EDiM04 Salt and Pepper shakers {Explored}

Daily objects

I am not a ‘project’ person but the every day in may challenge was great as I made an effort to make the subject meaningful... Or it created moments in my life – such as when Eza and I roamed Crows Nest to find the best salt and pepper shaker. Whilst I get bored very easily of drawing objects day after day it is very nice to have a record of daily objects that one does not normally think to sketch. I am thinking of working through the alphabet of daily objects in the coming year. The discipline of a list is good.

Earl Greys of Crows Nest 08-Fabrik

Lunchtime adventures

My Earl Greys of Crows Nest series that I did earlier in the year was wonderful. Not only was the fun of sketching my food a great break to my day at work but I met some of the local café owners which was great. However I still have a fear of being spotted sketching on the streets by colleagues, other tenants in our building or consultants/clients. I need to get over this because get out sketching is such a great thing to do in the middle of a work day!

110702_05 PreTrip Sketching Day - Opera House

Exploring Sydney

We spent a lot of time in the gardens at the beginning of the year and I think that limited exploration of my beloved hometown during 2011. Also I sketch the Opera House way too often!!!! My stay-cation which is just coming to an end has revealed a lot of possibilities... So another list is going to be written so next time I have free time I will know what to do.

110325 Lightbulb moment - process not product

Process vs Product

Inspired by a thought provoking post by Laura Frankstone I started doing more ‘process’ related pages (not all are posted!!!) and my trip prep journals are a great example of this. I am working quicker and looser all the time and recording thoughts more easily. To continue in 2012 but I might not post them all....

A sketch from 2011 that I forgot to post
Capturing spaces
the pages/ sketches that really jumped out at me were actually interiors and external spaces. This is the sketch that really surprised me as I didn’t post it and forgot that I did it. (The breakfast room in Sir John Soanes Museum in London... That I was desperate to visit in July but didn’t make it!)
110823_AD01_07 Sydney Town Hall from Kinokuniya Window Seat
Also in Lisbon, I sketched spaces, not just building facades. After returning home I found my normal complicated building facades less satisfying and I felt more of a need to be always telling a story.

So my big goal (oops I said that word!) is to sketch more spaces in the coming year. This has a wonderful connection with what I am wanting to do as an architect as well

Too much sketching and too much posting

I think that I have done too much of both in 2011... More timing thinking of what to sketch would be better. The first day in Lisbon is a great example and my current approach and a possible change (sometimes!) ...
Cityscapes sketches
Session 1 – I approached in my usual style...sketching a square non stop and filling 4 spreads.
08_Thurs 08 Unfinished Business1
Session 2 – Jose Louro instructed me to ONLY do one spread... I spent a good half hour walking around and thinking of what I liked most about the square and then composed my page

So maybe...more thoughtful sketching and more thoughtful blogging ...making sure that I always have something worth saying....

I just want to finish this post with perhaps THE single highlight of my year of 2011 – a highlight from my life not just the sketching aspect. I think that it also expresses how blogging often shows a shell of someone’s life and not the core.

The highlight is the very last moment of the church conference that I went to in Cardiff Wales. The little church packed with wonderful Welsh voices and many visiting Englsih and African Caribbean voices (and the odd Australian!) all singing a closing benediction from Psalm 72 below and almost blew the roof off.

my highlight from 2011
Earlier that afternoon I had been let into the church to sketch the interior (ha! One of the sketches that jumped out at me in the sketchbook review as mentioned above). I was quite happy with the sketch at the time but after the evening service, when it had been full of people, I felt that the sketch missed the point totally (an empty building is not really a church)
So teacups and cakes, baroque buildings and a silly wee bear... are really just the outer shell of Liz... These words below express more....

17 His name for ever shall endure;
last like the sun it shall:
Men shall be blessed in him, and blessed
all nations shall him call.

18 Now bless'd be the Lord our God,
the God of Israel,
For he alone doth wondrous works,
in glory that excel.

19 And bless'd be his glorious name
to all eternity:
The whole earth let his glory fill.
Amen, so let it be.

Psalm 72.17-19