Sketches From Stradbroke Island – Whalewatching & aTurtle!

Last weekend we went to Stradbroke Island – absolutely beautiful!  Not only did we see a koala and a kangaroo, but also a whole bunch of ocean wildlife to marvel over without even having to get wet!!  We saw humpback whales, turtles, bottlenose dolphins and manta rays!!
So, as always, the sketchbook came with me and I just added some digital colour back at home to a couple of sketches:
Whale watching

Ptchhhh – the first thing you see and hear from a whale is the water being expelled from it’s blow hole, then it’s dorsal fin breaking the surface, and finally it’s caudal fin disappearing back into the water.

Turtle under the surface

Hazel took some absolutely beautiful photos

Norwich City FC Brisbane Supporters Meet #2

Norwich City FC Brisbane Supporters

This was 90 minutes of brilliance.  Our Brizzie supporters group increased by a few more members and at this rate we will be the best supported club downunder!  Our constant chanting almost raised the roof as the Arsenal crowd remained silent.

Norwich City FC Brisbane Supporters

For the brilliant Canaries Downunder website click here

Norwich City FC Brisbane Supporters

NCFC Brisbane Koala

Last Saturday I watched the Norwich City Vs Man City game live in Brisbane.  Although a disappointing result it was great to meet other supporters within Brisbane.  This has been achieved through connecting within Canaries Downunder, the extremely fast growing Australasian based supporters group.  Even better is that I am able to supply my Canary Fan cartoons to the website for more supporters to see!

Looking forward to seeing the Brisbane supporters again at the next match!

NCFC Brisbane

Koala mother with joey on Mt Gravatt, Brisbane

Now we feel very privileged!  On Sunday we decided to walk back up to where we previously saw the family of koalas.  Within the same area that we saw them before, Hazel spotted the mother and joey!  The male wasn’t to be seen this time.  Some people have never seen the koalas up there and we have now spotted these beautiful creatures twice!  Surely, encounters like this is what makes living in Australia special!

The mother was sat with the joey slumped over her lap.  On one side of the tree we saw the joey’s back legs  draped over the mother lap.  When we walked to the other side, we saw the joey’s head resting on the mother’s lap.  Awww.
I thought I would show both these views on the one image above!

Please also head over to Hazel’s blog for her photos of these cuties!
Further info:

Koalas on Mount Gravatt

A few months ago we heard that there were some koalas on Mount Gravatt (link) which is pretty cool to think that they are that near to us!  We always look up in the trees when we walk the mountain to spot them, and a few weeks ago I saw a little bundle of blue high up in a tree!  EXCITING!

But best of all, there wasn’t only one!  In the next tree along was another koala, and this one had more of a grey coat to it.  I returned my gaze back to the first one as I was a bit puzzled by it’s shape – it looked like it had an extra arm or leg, but sure enough it was a little joey tucked away asleep!  After a few minutes it realised it’s mum was perplexed as to why we were staring at them, and so it woke up to take a look at us too!

Beautiful creatures.  Great to think they are just about on our doorstep!!

Photo below taken by Hazel:

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!

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!