Sophie Blackall Illustration

Drawings and Snippets and Breaking News, (but more snippets than breaking news).

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Drawing Game Part Eight

So if you are just tuning in, this drawing game has been an unfolding visual conversation with the singer-songwriter Mika. We began with his note, which read, How about we start with a drawing of a girl?, and we are now deep in a surreal land of jungle sets and dapper millipedes. (By way of a burning house of words, an irresponsible baby, a smoky elephant and a dubious contraption.)
Put into words, I think we started out with Yes!, then went through Oh? and Hmm... and Whoa! and then we got to the contraption which was me going Mumble, mumble, mumble, blah, blah, blah, and Mika snuck away, tiptoed around behind and jumped out with HA! on the other side. I think my response is !AH; a face-to-face staring match.
Then again, it's just a drawing.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Making Fun

Sometimes, on a day filled with fires and plane crashes and lost jobs and suicide bombs, not to mention loathsome Valentine's motifs, the only recourse is to amuse oneself at the expense of a long dead stranger. Some might argue Forrest Gump would do the trick. To each, his own.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Inky Forests

As Mika was painting his vibrant jungle, I've been fixating on inky rainforests. The initial inspiration was an early 19th century botanist's drawing of the Australian bush. These drawings above were done over the last few weeks, and evoke, for me at least, the damp smell of moss and fungi, the rustle of millipedes in leaf litter, the snuffle of a bandicoot, the call and response of a whipbird. (Some people find rainforests a bit overwhelming and need to sit with a hanky over their head.)
As wildfires rage in Australia I now can't help seeing a correlation between these damp inky drawings and the charcoal swathe of the ravaged bush.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Drawing Game Part Seven

So here is the latest addition from Mika. I'll just give you a moment to collect yourselves.
I'll admit that it was a surprise. I had to sit down for a while. Make a cup of tea and sit with my back to the drawing, turning now and then to see if there really was a menacing, indigenous gentleman making scary hands at our girl. And then of course I remembered that she's just made of paper, as is he. Paper which can be folded and torn, cut and stained and punctured, embellished and decorated.
I told Mika that he'd painted me into a corner, literally and metaphorically, and he very kindly offered to come up with some ideas and I very politely said, "HANDS OFF, this one's mine!" Because, after all, this is where the fun lies...

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Guilty Quilts

Every now and then somebody sends me a calico square and a polite request to draw something on it for a storybook quilt; a quilt of squares illustrated by children's book artists to be auctioned for charity or circulated around regional libraries or thrown over the backs of retired donkeys to keep them warm in winter. Despite my best intentions, (honestly!), the calico squares often get separated from the polite requests in the piles on my desk and before I know it, it's Summer, the donkeys have given up hope, and I'm wracked with guilt. Which is why, when I opened the envelope today with the nicely ironed square of calico, I taped it straight down on my desk and painted an owl on it. Now if I can just track down the letter, and find the envelope, there's a good chance I might even make it to the post office.