Illustrating therapy content

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For the most part of this year, I have had a job as an illustrator for Orygen Mental Health, illustrating their online therapy content. I worked mostly on one of four websites that have recently been launched – Meridian. How it came about it is a lovely story – I wrote on twitter one day “Someone give me a job, where I draw and you pay me to draw” or some such and writer Penni Russo responded with “I have a job for you”. I didn’t believe it at first, but we started talking over email and a couple of months later I had a job and was working closely with Penni and another writer Chris Miles.

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Prior to this position I had not much experience with photoshop, so I learned on the job. I started drawing with an ink and nib but that soon became problematic. It’s pretty messy and when I scanned it in the ink tended to catch the light and I’d spend time correcting this. So I started drawing with fine liner pen onto flat bond paper and that worked a treat.

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I learned how to make the back ground transparent and about different files types, how to clean images up and colour them in if required.

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These are just some of the many, many images I drew over the past year. It was a lot of fun and I am really proud of this work and being part of something important. I also really enjoyed working with the people I got to work with.

Painting with Yvette Coppersmith

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I saw on instagram that there were a couple of places left in a self portrait painting class, taught by Yvette Coppersmith and booked it in right away.

I haven’t had time to unpack from the road trip and I knew I didn’t have the materials but it just felt like one of those things you just have to do. I went to Melbourne a day earlier so I could get the supplies for the class and just packed a separate bag.

Yvette’s work is exceptional. She’s recently been a finalist in a couple of prizes, including the Moran. Which is very much well deserved, she has a huge and fantastic body of work behind her.
http://www.yvettecoppersmith.com

The class challenged, pushed and inspired me. I haven’t had the chance or the space to really paint in such a long time. It’s hard to believe I once had a studio where I produced a huge body of work which was mainly painting! It really proved to me that it is something you must keep up, no matter what. Even if you’re just painting for paintings sake – I shouldn’t have stopped.

So I held back the tears and really kept at it. Yvette painted with me and gave me tips and pointers and spoke with me. I think what I made was a mess but I know that this is the best thing I have done for myself and my practice in a good long while.

If you’re an artist and you’re reading this – go do a class with Yvette. I feel so lucky for the opportunity. I cannot recommend it enough!

Xx

Cramped

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I don’t really have a space set up to work yet, so I feel a bit frustrated. I mean, I know it’s also probably post – road trip blues and then also coming back to a house that isn’t set up for us at all and feeling a little overwhelmed as to what to do.
I also am running out of things or don’t have supplies and it’s going to take a trip to Melbourne to get the things I need so I then feel that too.
We are both also out of work at the same time, so I am also thinking money and future and argh.
I managed to paint a little yesterday. In watercolour. It’s a test for an oil but I am finding it hard to love anything I do at the moment.

Boo.

Road trip – South Australia through Victoria

We came home earlier from our trip than planned, no biggie as it was pretty open ended anyway. We were all so tired by the time we arrived at the Grampians yesterday afternoon, we thought it best to pack it in while it was still good.
So this post is image heavy, I am one typing finger down so I can’t write much!

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We started off in Adelaide. Stayed in the heart of the city and ate so much good food. From there we went to the beach and to Hahndorf and strawberry picking.

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We drove from Adelaide to Coorong national park – we then camped on the beach which was rough but oh so beautiful.

See an ocean picture:
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And another one!
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I’m not done yet:
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Tantanoola cave.

The next night we decided to camp in the designated camp sites but the weather turned rough and we hardly had any sleep, so from there we went to Mount Gambier. We stayed in a magnificent B&B – none of us wanted to leave.

But we did and headed to the Grampians. Which was beautiful and really cold!

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Then we drove to the Bunjil cave before coming home – it was such a beautiful place:

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XX

On the road to South Australia

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I’m writing from my phone, huddled in our 4WD while the rain and wind continues to howl. Like it has been all night.
We made last minute changes to our road trip, instead of working our way through Victoria to South Australia, we went straight to SA. It’s been warm and magical – Adelaide was fun to visit, Hahndorf was a little weird. We picked strawberries in the hills and kicked around at the beach. We’ve spent the last couple of days camping at Coorong National Park. Which has been phenomenal. The first night we were camped on the beach and got to marvel at the beauty which is the Southern Ocean. The next day we drove to an a lake inland and saw an eagle who’s wingspan was longer than the width of a road. Last night was rough but what’s camping without that kind of experience?!

Oh and the fruit, THE FRUIT! It’s so delicious.

Twelve hour drawing session

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It took me hours to get to sleep last night as I had been drawing all day and night. I think it was twelve hours, maybe more.I did eat at one point.
Laying in bed, I thought that it would be handy if say nurofen targeted their healing gel to art practitioners who work for hours and hours and cramp up. I was too tired to get up and do anything about it though – the aches – so maybe that’s why they don’t.

I got a lot done, which is good. We’re going away early tomorrow morning for a bit of a trip and exploration. Something to take our minds off of things and it will be really nice to do some travel.

The above drawing is a smaller version of what I have been drawing, for a group show in the US – more details soon.

Kerrie

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We drove to the mountains to a little place called Kerrie to celebrate the wedding of two very dear friends of ours.

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There were pom poms and flowers and home made lemon cordial to die for.

All the guests set up camp too – Kerrie has a hall and a school which was built in 1891. They are both heritage listed, so it was really lovely to explore.

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This is inside the school, which is now used for community meet ups.

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Storage room of broken and dusty things.

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Play equipment with holly.

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This is the view from near our tent. G and I realised we never have actually gone camping together! So this overnight stay was a nice little tester for a bigger trip we have coming up.

Victoria is pretty amazing!

Little Pioneer

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This was just meant to be a prep. drawing, but I think it is a finished work in it’s own right. So – to the framers it will go!
The next step is a water colour test and then I hope to do one in oil also, I may enter it into something – I may not. I will see if there is a competition that is suited.

This work is quite ‘Australiana’ to me.
I wanted to capture this year in my art. This year has been so huge for all of us, but especially for my four year old. We were also given gifts that will be invaluable to my daughter’s sense of identity and where she comes from. We have two books tracing her family history. There are so many amazing stories and people within those pages. There’s the Burnside family – a very big and important family. There’s an old family story about an indigenous baby, which has also been confirmed.

I have always been interested in social history, but now it is starting to come out in my work. I have collected photos and letters for years and now we have a history that relates to us. Australia’s history is a tricky one – I think that goes for everywhere. But the tricky parts are recent, some ongoing.

Let’s see where this goes.