Fuchsia Flowers

I saw these flowers and for a moment my heart stopped...

Easter Experiments

This time last week I had a good excuse to be eating chocolate in any form or type, be it white, dark, honeycomb or champagne filled and strawberry dusted. And following true Easter tradition we spent it down in Farnham, safe from the wet and windy weather outside. Being confined indoors I needed something to distract my hand from reaching into the bowl of chocolates on the table in front. My iPad proved the perfect distraction and I decided to experiment a little with the an animation app I had bought a few months back. The result was two short animations, one Easter based and the other loosely based on a miniature tree that I observed in the garden.

Blossom Burst

Spring has sprung in London, and as the cold bite loosens it’s grip, pink and white blossoms emerge from their dormancy. After months of cold, dark and wet weather, there is nothing more pleasurable than walking through streets and parks lined with blossoms.

Following a recent move to a new studio, we are very lucky to have a window that fronts onto the picturesque Thornhill Square, which glimmers with shades of pink as spring progresses. Prompted by new surroundings and a desire to capture part of this visual moment, I plucked a small amount from a tree and began to draw it from different angles, the drawings later forming together to become a complete circle.

Blossoms inside and out

Blossoms inside and out

Completed Drawing

Completed Drawing

The Grant Museum of Zoology

One of the first places I visited when I first came to London, was the Grant Museum of Zoology, back when it was located beneath the Darwin building off Gower street. It’s unique collection of around 67,000 always seemed to deserve a grander location. And, thankfully a few years on it found one, above the ground and a little further up Gower street. I made my third visit to the new building this week, to join the Ortelius Drew drawing group in visually documenting the space and its specimens. Below are some of the drawings I made:

Rabbit's Head

Rabbit's Head

Porcupine Fish

Porcupine Fish

Orangutan Bones

Orangutan Bones

Whale Foetus

Whale Foetus

Hermit Crab

Hermit Crab

Animation for a Cause

Animation For a Cause

Animation for a Cause has just launched on a mission with Rocket Hub. Their objective, to raise $60,000 to fund future one-minute animation projects to support non-profit organisations in promoting their causes.

When I first came across Animation for a Cause, the idea of using animation to help make the world a better place was reason enough for me to want to get involved and help in any way that I could. And, after some correspondence with the AFC team, they asked me if I would be interested in designing a product for their crowd funding campaign. I was thrilled to help out and got started on a few concepts inspired by the AFC.

I set out to design something unique that not only captured AFC’s passion for animation, but would also get the audience themselves involved in the process of creating. I thought back to the Thaumatrope, an antecedent of animation and popular toy in Victorian times, which used the persistence of vision to entertain its subjects. I have vague memories of making the classic ‘bird in a birdcage’ version sometime during my pre-school years. Having not made one since, I needed to revisit the production process! Whilst searching the net I came across a virtual Wunderkabinette that was littered with Peep Shows, Magic Lanterns and Optical Toys. Dick Balzer’s website includes curiosities that he has been collecting for over thirty years. The Thaumatropes were all beautifully illustrated objects, designed to amuse and delight.   

I decided to create a set of four, using the AFC colours and illustrated them with some animation-inspired scenes. I then printed them out, gave them a test run, and they worked! They are now for sale, along with lots of other incredible products on the AFC Rocket Hub campaign website. 

The finished designs

The finished designs

South London Botanical Institute

Did you know there was a botanical garden in South London? Well neither did I, until it became one of the locations for the Ortelius Drew drawing group. We arrived and were welcomed by Roy Vikery, who gave us an introduction to the Institute and its history. The founder Allan Octavian Hume, watched over us from behind his portrait, taking pride of place above the fireplace. Hume had become an amateur ornithologist and horiticulturalist, whilst living in British India as a civil servant for the British Raj.  And, although he arrived in India as part of the colonial authority, he later became one of the founders of the Indian National Congress that eventually led to the Indian independence movement. India celebrated him by putting his portrait onto postage stamps in 1973. Hume started South London Botanical Institute in 1990, and since then the Institute has become a place to enjoy and study plants as well as contribute to an important part of English heritage. We were all overwhelmed by how many incredible things there were to draw. I took my pick from the herbarium and green house. Here are some of the drawings I made.

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Cape Town Sketches

After 5 years of spending Christmas away from my family, we finally decided to meet, not in Australia or in the UK, but almost exactly halfway in Cape Town, South Africa. It was a place full of contrast, epic beauty permeated by ugly remnants left from the apartheid regime. On our visit we aimed to explore as much as we could historically, culturally and visually about Cape Town and the surrounds. I took my sketchbook. Here are a few things I saw:

Bougainvillea

Bougainvillea

An American Girl Sunbathing

An American Girl Sunbathing

Thinking People

Thinking People

Cacti

Cacti

View from the House

View from the House