Clean Up Australia – Mount Gravatt

Today was Clean Up Australia day at our local beautiful mountain, Mount Gravatt.  So we helped and volunteered to clean up rubbish there.  In the two hours we filled 2 sacks of recycling and 1 sack of general rubbish.  And then with the several people within the group there was a large amount of rubbish collected at the end – shockingly amazing!  I can’t believe how some people can feel it’s ok to throw rubbish away, especially in a fine piece of nature, it’s very dis-heartening.  On the other hand, it’s encouraging to know there are other people who also feel passionately about maintaining Australia’s beauty.  Thanks to Mount Gravatt Environment Group for organising this.
I thought it would be nice to illustrate the day using an Aussie themed sign post, showing a koala (as they are present at Mount Gravatt!!) thanking us for the work we did, and all the bags full of rubbish at the bottom of the tree!

Incubus live in Brisbane

A couple of weeks ago I saw one of my favourite bands, Incubus, live in Brisbane!  I was almost very tempted to take my sketch book with me but it would have been difficult to dance with!!  Instead, as vocalist Brandon made a quick cheeky smile whilst shouting ‘Brisbane’ I closed my eyes and mentally drew him!
A couple of days later I created this image!

Aw, The Sleeping Golden Possum!

Could the world of possums get any cuter?  Yes, when we came across The Golden Possum!

Last weekend Hazel and I went to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary.  I always like to find new creatures that I never knew existed before, and when we read ‘Golden Possum’ on the enclosure I knew I’d be in for a treat!

Being daylight he would be sleeping, so I looked in all the logs that were provided for him and sure enough there he was…

Matisse and Picture Books exhibitions

On Wednesday I went to a couple of exhibitions in Brisbane; ‘Look! the art of Australian picture books today’ at the State Library, and ‘Matisse, Drawing Life’ at the Gallery of Modern Art.  Both brilliant; I love to see imagination in children’s books and especially cartoony characters that I can relate too, but it is also great to see such realism portrayed too – it amazes me how much variety there is in children’s picture books; and of course the brilliant Matisse whose line work is definitely one to aspire to as I take my sketch book everywhere I go trying to master the lines of life that I see all around me.  It was also great to view sketch books from the picture book artists to see insights into their developing ideas – I sometimes find these more exciting then the final pieces of artwork!
Being a French artist, Matisse’s artwork had French names, which I thought added to the artwork in itself, which gave it almost a cute personal touch, for example portraits of his loved ones may simply be called ‘Mademoiselle Matisse’
I wanted to give my picture book reading picture a French title, but I do not think my French teachers from school would be very happy with that translation!!  Haha 
 As always when visiting exhibitions, I always leave them with inspiration at my side..

Inspiration at my side

Home sweet home

House hunting in a big new city isn’t easy.  We needed maps – maps of the train lines, maps of the bus routes, maps of the ferry routes, and maps of the roads.  I eventually tracked down a nice compact road map.  Being a small city boy of York and Canberra I was used to maps fitting on one A3 size piece of paper – but not Brisbane – you needed to collect about 8 A3 seperate maps in order to piece together the entire area!  Where do you start looking first for a house to move into?
We eventually did find a nice townhouse.  It was all spacious and sparse as we had yet to have any of our shipping or furniture deliveries.  So as I was sat in the corner with nothing but my sketchbook I envisaged a few little local helpers helping me to move in! 

Welcome to Queensland..

Being an Australian nature lover I was keenly looking everywhere for anything.  I’d obviously been Canberra-ised thinking that all city’s must have kangaroos hopping across the roads, and flocks of galahs and cockatoos on street corners, but not Queensland, you have to search just a little bit harder through the sprawling city life…
As we were spending the first few weeks house hunting, we were looking at different suburbs to live in, and what I did start to notice were bush turkeys!  And I still believe there is a bush turkey in every suburb.

Where galahs were so readily seen everyday in Canberra it took me almost 2 weeks to see my very first Brisbane galah!