by Elizabeth on August 5, 2017 · 2 comments

in Art

From nejma: an intimate and powerful collection by Nayyirah Waheed.

How are you?



101 Things in 1001 Days:

Task #89 – Draw or paint 25 figures
Task #90 – Draw or paint 25 faces
Task #91 – Draw or paint 25 hands
Task #92 – Draw or paint 25 still life scenes
Task #93 – Draw or paint 25 trees

Let me begin by saying that yes, this is one of those occasional image-heavy posts.  Now would probably be a good time for a cup of tea.


Back when I wrote my list of 101 Things in 1001 Days almost 3 years ago I was taking weekly classes at the Melbourne Studio of Art… and I was rapidly running out of cash!  Those classes were excellent for a complete beginner like me, and I knew that in order to keep getting better without a teacher I would need to draw constantly.  I set myself a pretty conservative goal to draw 25 figures, faces, hands, still life scenes and trees and resolved to chip away at it gradually.

Only that’s not what happened.  At least 60 of the drawings on the wall above were created in the past 3 weeks under a cloud of fear and sleep deprivation.

(I know, I know.  Believe me.)


The good news is it worked.  Even in the past 3 weeks I’ve seen my drawing improve, and the sense of urgency created by my deadline made me push through some of the mental blocks that I otherwise would have caved into.  Each evening as I sat at my dining table I resolved to pump out a certain number of drawings before bed, and that raw determination helped me to set an excellent pace.

There are very few finished pieces in the picture above – maybe only ten or so out of the whole bunch.  This in itself is a bit of a win for me because I’m far too likely to dwell in the details if left to my own devices.  Pure necessity drove me to draw, and then throw it to the side and draw again.  It felt good to have permission to move on, and to see the value and lessons contained in the ‘duds’.  And there were plenty of those!


I’ve spent an awful lot of time inside my own head in the past three weeks, thanks to this challenge, and I can’t adequately explain how this time ‘alone’ has changed things for me.  With a pencil in my hand I was constantly making decisions and solving problems on the paper in front of me, and before long I noticed my thought patterns shifting when I was away from my desk too.  Perhaps this is why people love meditation so much, the act of silencing the white noise and thinking more deliberately, more consciously.  That’s what I felt happening to me as I threw myself into these drawings.  Clarity, and lots of it.

It might sound cheesy, but I really did resolve a bunch of my own internal worries thanks to all these trees and boobs and bottles.

You guys, drawing doesn’t come naturally to me – not at all.  I don’t have a great deal of natural talent, I wasn’t born with an ‘eye’ for scale and perspective, and I will never have to stop working hard to create a beautiful drawing or painting.  I have accepted it, and even embrace it because I understand the personal value in sitting down and quietly solving a hundred little problems.  If the end result is good that’s fantastic, and if it’s not?  Well, there’s almost certainly a lesson in it for the next drawing.  Every little sketch strengthens a muscle.

I’ve put my best drawings below, and you can click the thumbnails to see a larger version.  Give yourself a round of applause if you make it to the end!



Portrait from Scarlet Words on Vimeo.

Item #98 on my list of 101 Things in 1001 Days: make a time lapse video of a drawing or painting.

I spent Saturday at my dining table, surrounded by brushes and watercolours and paper.

With just 21 days to go until my deadline (eek!) I have a stack of drawing to get done, and by the end of today I started to feel like the lady in this drawing looks.  Over it.

Serves me right for procrastinating, I guess.

This facepalming lady was fun to make.  I’m starting to learn how to use water soluble graphite which, when paired with canvas paper, is magic.  You can pick the colour up and push it around the page until it looks just right, which is harder to do with traditional watercolour paper.  It’s nice to be able to hit it with the eraser to pull out the highlights too.

So, on with the rest of my drawings.  My main hurdle right now isn’t the number of drawings I need to complete, it’s that drawing is no fun at all when you have to quickly move on to the next thing without making it perfect.

If you’re interested in seeing my progress you can check out my hands, figures, faces, still life scenes and trees.  Whose dumb idea was it to draw so many trees?


Marina Abramovic and Ulay

by Elizabeth on May 24, 2014 · 1 comment

in Art, Cool stuff

Marina Abramovic and Ulay started an intense love story in the 70s, performing art out of the van they lived in.  When they felt the relationship had run its course, they decided to walk the Great Wall of China, each from one end, meeting for one last big hug in the middle and never seeing each other again.

At her 2010 MoMA retrospective Marina performed ‘The Artist Is Present’ as part of the show, a minute of silence with each stranger who sat in front of her.  Ulay arrived without her knowing it, and after 22 years of separation this is what happened.

Marina Abramovic7
Marina Abramovic6
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Marina Abramovic4
Marina Abramovic3
Marina Abramovic2
Marina Abramovic1

These gifs are from Tumblr so the original source is probably lost forever, but you can read a more detailed account of the story here.

Here’s the full video:

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Hey Aussies, if you’re casting a vote on September 7 this is something you should read!  A very big thank you to Patrick Alexander of Chicken Nation for creating this comic and allowing the rest of us to share it so freely.

Here’s what he has to say about his comic:


Dennis the Election Koala gives Ken the Voting Dingo an important lesson in civics!

Any time there’s a federal election approaching, you’ll see and hear Australians saying things like, “I’d like to vote for [Minor Party/Independent] but the most important thing is to keep [Major Party A] out, so I’d better vote for [Major Party B].” But this concern doesn’t apply in Australia; we have a more elegant voting system than that. We seem to have picked up ideas about “wasting your vote” from American TV shows or something.

So here’s a comic designed to clear up this common misconception and explain how preferential voting works! It’s four pages long — just the right size for a pamphlet. I’ve tried to make it non-partisan and future-proof, and you are encouraged to share it online and in print. Letterbox your street or apartment building, or hand out copies at a polling booth!



Makes sense, right?

This comic is available in various web and print formats, and the author is encouraging people to share the message.  So head over to Chicken Nation, print a few copies and stick them up in your staff room at work.  More people need to know how this stuff works – preferably before September!


“Two Chips” / An Animated Short from Adam Patch on Vimeo.

In March this year Adam Patch’s wife drank a bottle of wine and then told him a joke.  I wonder if she knew he was recording it?

I think Adam Patch’s wife and I should be friends.


Can you top this?  Please leave me a dad joke in the comments, but remember that you will lose points if it’s actually hilarious!



Figure studies by Geoff Dupree: Sitting Figure Turning (charcoal) / Swimmer Drying Herself (charcoal)

My last class at Melbourne Studio of Art was more than six months ago and I’ll be honest, I’ve been missing it like crazy.  I hadn’t intended to take such a big break from classes, and painting in general, but for some reason time and money have been in shorter supply this year.  I can’t wait to finish the dumb non-art-related study that I’m doing right now so that I can devote more time to the stuff I really care about!

Every so often I get a newsletter from MSA that makes me want to dive back in, and one of their upcoming workshops looks so great that I thought I’d spread the word here.


Figure studies by Geoff Dupree: Rising Figure (charcoal) / Top (watercolour)

Geoff Dupree is one of the senior teacher at Melbourne Studio of Art, teaching classes in the Pathway to Fine Arts course (specifically the Drawing and Painting Studio and Painting in Oils and Water Media).  His students’ work is often displayed on the studio walls, and it’s always really inspiring to arrive for the evening class to see what great stuff has been taught during the day.  Geoff’s students are extremely talented and I’m looking forward to one day winning a million bucks so that I can quit my job and take his daytime classes too.

Geoff is leading a five-day figure drawing workshop in Castlemaine next month – June 25-29, 2013.  Here’s a bit of information about the workshop from the MSA newsletter:


The Melbourne Studio of Art is delighted to invite you to experience 5 full days of figure drawing in the beautiful environment of Castlemaine, one of Victoria’s most artistic country towns. This drawing workshop offers you the opportunity to fully absorb yourself in drawing processes away from the normal demands of daily life. You will be drawing from the nude figure over extended periods where your perception and understanding of how to complete well observed and executed drawings will improve rapidly.

Geoff Dupree is renowned as one of the best drawing teachers in Melbourne. Formerly the Head of the Monash University Fine Arts Drawing Department, Geoff has taught thousands of artists and students.

“As a representational artist concentrating on ‘everyday’ subject matter, my work has always centred upon the perceptual – the figure, the portrait, the still-life and the landscape.”


Geoff Dupree: Phonecall III (watercolour)

The workshop will be assisted by Michael Gray (this is the guy who convinced me that I could paint!) and Dena Lester, Founder and Director of Melbourne Studio of Art.  The fee for the workshop is $795 and accommodation packages are available too.  There’s lots more detail to be found on the workshop brochure.

I’m sad that I can’t be there myself, but if you’re reading this perhaps you’ll let me experience it vicariously through you?


PS: Melbourne Studio of Art has not paid me to write this post, just as nobody pays me to write anything ever.


This funny little film popped up on my Facebook feed today and it was too awesome to keep to myself.  Anyone who is familiar with Melbourne’s pretty cityscape is going to love this naughty lizard!

Bless You is what happens when an architect in the skies tires of his creation and decides to spice things up a bit.  (The artist hasn’t actually come out and said this, but maybe the lizard is supposed to symbolise Myki?  You know I’m right about this.)

The man behind this short film is Philip Watts, a Melbourne-based editor with, you know, a handful(!) of TV episodes under his belt. His other passions include cartooning and animation, and lately he’s been putting them all together to make his own little films.  Let’s hope he keeps going!


Meanwhile, ever wondered what might happen when a hungry alien with anger management issues meets a faulty vending machine?  Vend Your Anger is a rough approximation of my most recent vending machine tantrum.  Only I’m pretty sure I didn’t look this adorable at the time.

Go and show Philip Watts a little love on Vimeo.  He’s rad.


Insomnia by Brian DeYoung

by Elizabeth on April 13, 2013 · 2 comments

in Art, Cool stuff


This powerful image is “Insomnia” by Brian DeYoung, who said:  “I think it was only fitting to stay up until 4:05am to finish this…”

I first discovered this incredible illustration on Tumblr, and as much as I wanted to share it here I promised myself that I would track down the artist first.  It took a couple of days to work it out – even TinEye was no help!  Eventually I used Google’s image search and clicked on each result until I found somebody who was crediting the source.  Thanks be to Reddit.

Tumblr is such an incredible source of inspiration, but why don’t the people there understand the value of attribution?

Anyway.  Brian’s portfolio is full of pop surrealism like this, and some beautifully executed conceptual ideas.  Check out his blog and society6 store for more of his clever ideas.


Filmmaker Bianca Giaever was just a few weeks away from graduation when she began her final class project.  She took creative direction from six year old Asa Baker-Rouse, who gave her some pretty specific advice about her film and about life in general.

The end result is sweet and imaginative, and life-affirming too.  Clear your schedule for the next eight minutes and be prepared to be punched right in the feels.

Bianca Giaever: Facebook | Twitter


Ink Calendar by Oscar Diaz

by Elizabeth on November 20, 2012 · 0 comments

in Art, Cool stuff


A calendar that marks the passage of time with ink, and the magic of capillary action.

DESIGNER: Oscar Diaz (
DIMENSIONS: 420 X 595 mm
MATERIALS: Paper and ink.


“Ink Calendar” make use the timed pace of the ink spreading on the paper to indicate time.

The ink is absorbed slowly, and the numbers in the calendar are “printed” daily. One a day, they are filled with ink until the end of the month. A calendar self-updated, which enhances the perception of time passing and not only signaling it.

The ink colors are based on a spectrum, which relate to a “color temperature scale”, each month having a color related to our perception of the weather on that month. The colors range from dark blue in December to, three shades of green in spring or oranges, red in the summer.

The scale for measuring the “color temperature” that I have used is a standard called ‘D65’ and corresponds roughly to a midday sun in Western / Northern Europe.

The “Ink Calendar” was developed for “Gradual”, an exhibition featuring works, which were evolving during the exhibition time at the London Design Festival 2007.


Science and design are such a good team.


The Old Man and the Sea – Marcel Schindler

by Elizabeth on November 19, 2012 · 1 comment

in Art, Cool stuff, Videos


This incredible stop-motion film by German artist Marcel Schindler makes me want to draw and draw and draw… and then read a bunch of Hemingway.

Discovered via Leslie at Pink Collar, who actually read the book in Cuba and earned a stack of bonus street cred for doing so!

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The Basics of Herbs – by Illustrated Bites

by Elizabeth on November 16, 2012 · 1 comment

in Art, Food


Basics of Herbs infographic by Heather Diane of Illustrated Bites.

(Allow plenty of time to drool all over her blog – every post is an illustration!)

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LN-CC FILM: Copula | Making Bracelets

by Elizabeth on November 12, 2012 · 0 comments

in Art, Cool stuff, Videos

LN-CC FILM: Copula | Making Bracelets from LN-CC on Vimeo.


Every piece of Copula jewellery is handcrafted by a single artisan working with only the finest materials. In this exclusive video, LN-CC follows the intensive processes and skills that go into creating one of the Aztlan bracelets: a 925 sterling silver interpretation of a traditional friendship bracelet.

Shop Copula | AW12 >


New York City Timelapse from Eddie Peter Hobson on Vimeo.


In three weeks we’re leaving for an action-packed trip overseas to see Tim’s family.  We’ll only be away for 3 weeks, but in that short time we will be covering a lot of ground.  We’ll be taking Tim’s parents to Disney World (and meeting my brother there too!), watching the Red Sox play at Fenway Park, cooking fresh lobster in Maine and watching as the leaves change colour in a remote part of Vermont.  We’ll be spending time in 7 different states while we’re away!

The thing I’m most excited about is seeing the people that we miss so much.  I’m also really excited about seeing more of the places where Tim spent his childhood.

Last weekend we booked a couple of nights accommodation in NYC.  I’d been worried that we wouldn’t be able to fit it in to this trip, and I’m so glad we found a way to do it!  It’s been six years since I’ve been back in the city and I’m going to treasure every minute we spend there.  I know that we’ll only scrape the surface.

Just when I thought my excitement had peaked, I came across the timelapse above.  How good is that?


It looks like Eddie Peter Hobson is trying to capture lots of different cities via timelapse photography.  He’s even done Melbourne!  My city is so beautiful, especially at night.

Timelapse the World – Melbourne from Eddie Peter Hobson on Vimeo.


I have SO MUCH TO DO before we leave.  Send help!