Thursday, 27 June 2013

Mom's Garden

View looking toward the back of the house

Front door
This is the house that I grew up in and that my parents still reside. 
 The garden is a big part of the property and Mom has spent 47 years making what it is today. The garden is on all 4 sides of the house as well as most of the back yard.  She also has a substantial part of the neighbour's yard where she grows Day Lilies.  It is not uncommon to see people videoing and taking photos of the garden and it is nearly always included in garden tours.
Pen and Ink of Ivy Geranium from front steps

Pen and Ink of a bit of the back garden

Street side of back garden


Monday, 24 June 2013

Strawberry Rhubarb Coffee Cake

Mom making coffee cake although this doesn't look much like her!

Mom found this recipe for Strawberry-Rhubarb coffee cake and made it for the first time today.  It is very good so here is the recipe.

2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup corn starch
2 cups chopped rhubarb
10 oz froz sliced strawberries
2 tbsp lemon juice
Cook until thickened (2 min), remove from heat, add lemon juice and let cool

3 cups plain flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup cold butter
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla

Topping-optional.  Rather than this topping you might try some chopped nuts
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup butter

Spoon 2/3 of the batter into a 9 x 13 inch pan, then put in the filling and then remaining batter.  Sprinkle over the topping.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 to 50 min.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Capilano Bridge

Totem poles at Capilano Bridge, pen and ink

I have just spent four days in Vancouver and while there visited the Capilano Suspension Bridge.   It is a foot bridge first built in 1889 and originally made of hemp ropes and cedar planks. It has been replaced a number of times since then and remains a steel and wooden walking bridge that is 140 meters long and is 70 meters above the river.  It was first built as a tourist attraction for a tea house built on the site.  In 1935 the local aboriginals were invited to place their totem poles in the park and there is a number of these present today.
I visited Capilano 30 years ago and it is even better today as now there are board walks that take you around the trees and down toward the river.  There is also a foot bridge that takes you from tree to tree in a big circuit.
I took a lot of photos here but am having difficulties downloading them on Mom's computer.  Maybe it is best for you to click on this link for pics and info about Capilano,
Vancouver is such a beautiful city and Capilano is a great place to enjoy the beautiful scenery.  If you can get there, please do as it is well worth the visit.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Off to Canada today

I'm off to Canada today.  I plan on posting the blogs from there and am looking forward to do some drawings from my travels and from hanging around Powassan, my home town.  First stop is Vancouver.   Whooo hooo!

Friday, 14 June 2013

Maggie Stein Exhibition


Maggie Stein is having an exhibition, entitled 2 + 2 = Art, at Sheffer Gallery, 38 Lander St, Darlington from 25th of June until 29th of June. She uses cuisenaire rods to continue her theme of the urban landscape.

Art is the only way to run away without leaving home.
 Twyla Tharp

2+2 = ART
Maggie writes: I first used Cuisenaire rods in my childhood at school in Goulurn in the early 70's.  I came upon them again in 2001 whilst helping at a working bee at an inner city primary school, a mass of them were being thrown into a skip.  I salvaged a few sets, one complete in it's box with 60's style paper patterning.  The rods had the patina of many years of being handled by inquisitive young fingers but still retained their attractive original colours.

A box was stored under my bed for ten years and then in 2012 I got them out and made a series of 10 cm square "pocket works" which I exhibited as part of a group show Inside Out at Chrissie Cotter Gallery, Camperdown.

The rods were originally created by a Belgium Primary School Teacher and former violin player, Georges Cuisenaire (1891-1976).  He cut pieces of wood into 1 cm to 10 cm blocks and then painted each length of rod a different colour and began to use these in his teaching of mathematical concept.  The Cuisenaire rods were a popular teaching aid in Australia and worldwide in the 1960s and 70s.

Have a look at Maggie's exhibition of her recent works.

Maggie's website is

Monday, 10 June 2013


Ink drawing
I went to Rozelle Market on the weekend and bought the iguzzini lamp you can see at the end of the couch in this drawing.  It was made in Italy in about 1970.  The shade is white plastic and glows when it's on.  I used the same metal round lamp shade as earlier this week to make this drawing and that's why some of the items are distorted.
It's fairly cool in Sydney right now, thus the artist being rugged up.

iguzzini lamp-Italy

Friday, 7 June 2013

Sokquon Tran

Sokquon Tran

Sokquon Tran is a Sydney artist who is showing at the Barry Stern Gallery in Paddington. I saw this exhibition through the week but you may have seen one of his works at the Art Gallery of NSW as he was a finalist in the Wynne Prize.  His works are mainly large in this exhibition although there are some small works on paper.  Monochromatic, these works are subtle yet grandiose.

Tran writes By interpreting the peaceful and spiritual elements of nature and introducing a sense of refuge into my paintings, I have created a sanctuary for the mind.

The exhibition runs from June 2 to 30.


Tuesday, 4 June 2013

More drawings

OOOoo, when you go into a small space with my mirrored round lampshade and draw what you see the angles really get pulled around.  I sat on the end of the bathtub in the bathroom for this drawing.
Below is another drawing using the round mirror in a larger space and although the curves are there they aren't as dramatic. You can see the backyard behind the figure (me).

Saturday, 1 June 2013


Studio drawing by me 2013
 Trying to draw a 3-D space in a 2-D format can be a tricky thing because your eye sees all around but the paper seems inadequate to capture it all. The last few days I have used a reflective round lamp shade to draw a couple of studio pictures.  It nicely distorts all the angles and I am able to see 3 walls at once. 

The top of the studio table is captured here in the usual way but then I used to lamp shade again and got much more in view as you can see below.
Studio drawing my me