Tag Archives: MCA

Olafur Eliasson’s tunnel

We went back to the MCA again to draw the One Way Colour Tunnel. I decided to use watercolour pencils, and I decided to sit on the floor so that I could reach the colours easily. I felt like a bag lady with my two bags and my portable stool around me, as well as my pencils etc.

The MCA staff made us feel very welcome and comfortable though and we stayed for some time. The interesting thing was that the tunnel constantly changed, not only according to the light coming in from the window, but also according to who was moving in and around the tunnel. If you look at the floor in these photographs, you will see that the patterns change there also, and could give rise to a whole body of drawings. I am REALLY glad I paid a second visit.


Filed under drawing, MCA, sketching, watercolour pencils

Yinka Shonibare at the MCA

opera_house_26After the Dr Sketchy’s evening at the MCA, we thought we’d better get to the Yinka Shonibare exhibition before it closed.

We’re having hot weather, bad for blogging. We decided to meet at the MCA at 9am to get in an hour’s sketching before the gallery opened and before it got too hot. We found a patch of shade under a big tree, and I drew the Opera House again, from the side this time.

The Yinka Shonibare exhibition was marvellous. I guess you’d call him an installation artist. That’s not normally an art form I’m very fond of, but I love this work. I guess it’s the colour. He’s an amazing colourist. The photographs on his website certainly don’t do justice to the colours. mcaHe dresses headless mannequins in period clothing made from the African fabrics that are actully Dutch – batiks rejected by the Indonesians.  You can see a video about it here. One whole room of the exhibition was very naughty indeed. But you’re not forced to follow the link. I thought they were really humorous.  I particularly liked the lady with the parasol. There are also photographs – the Dorian Gray series, paintings and there were two wonderful films. One was a mirror image ballerina – one white dancer, one coloured. The other was a masked ball with clothing in wonderful reds & greens, oranges & blues.

After that exhibition my two friends went to see another exhibition on the ground floor, but I wanted to retain the colours of Shonibare in my mind, so I sat in the lobby of the MCA and drew the reception desk.

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Filed under drawing, MCA, pen and wash, sketching

Dr Sketchy’s at the MCA


Dr Sketchy’s came to the MCA again a couple of weeks ago. Fabulous again!  The link above will take you to an image where you can see the setup  – we’re all in a big u-shape with three models to draw. That image is from last year, and you can see my drawings from last year here.

This year was related to the current exhibition of Yinka Shonibare so the models wore some interesting outfits. That exhibition finishes very soon, but if it comes to a place near you – 2_min_215_min_1don’t miss it!

Again, there were three models, so it was easy to see well, but I must say we were awfully close and that’s a challenge in itself.

These first two drawings were only two-minute ones, which were a lot better than the ones I did a year ago.

The next two drawings are 5-minute ones.  That’s not a nipple – it’s a flower stuck there.  I was happy enough with these two, but the ten-minute ones were not great.

After that,  I decided to be very daring for the 15-minute ones & just go for it with a pen!

I just scribbled & scribbled as fast as I could go, then dabbed on some watercolour- though my waterbrush wasn’t co-operating so well.

I was working in an old A4 sketchbook – leftover from college. Last year I did a myriad of ghastly one and two minute drawings in a ‘good ‘ sketchbook, so I decided not to make 5_min_2

that mistake again.




Filed under drawing, life drawing, MCA, pen and wash, sketching, watercolour

Dr Sketchy’s at the MCA – fast & furious fun.

Last night was the first ever Dr Sketchy’s Anti-Art School at the Museum of Contemporary Art. It was also my first Dr Sketchy’s. Such fun. We started with 2 minutes poses. My sketches from those were very dekooning-esqe, as were most other people’s. There were a lot of them (but they help to fill up my sketchbook) and then we had a burlesque performance, a break, and on to the five minute poses. My results from the 5-minute poses were a great improvement. That was when I saw that the practice with the Fast Sketching Techniques has all been worthwhile. We had two ten-minute poses and it was easy to get the drawings done in the time using this technique. These are from those poses.
The models were great, with fabulous costumes. There were three of them, and we were very close to them and had a great view. In the beginning that was a challenge itself, particularly as I was working in A5 size.
There were three models for three hours, two burlesque performances in all, a free drink (and the bar was open all evening), plus they kept one of the exhibitions open in case we wanted a break. There were competitions with terrific prizes as welll. The best thing was that it was very friendly. All for $20.
MCA rocks!


Filed under books, sketching

Stencilling with MiniGraff at the Museum of Contemporary Art

Last Thursday it was just soooo hot. But I spent the afternoon with some friends in the air-con of the Museum of Contemporary Art. We were doing a stencil class with a stencil artist known as MiniGraff, who you can see here, talking about stencils of chooks. The class was in response to the current exhibition of the work of Shahzia Sikander which I’ve mentioned in previous posts. All I can say is – if you get a chance to do a class at the MCA – do it! If you get a chance to do a class with MiniGraff – do it! We first did a quick tour of the exhibition, taken around by a stencil artist working for the MCA who had helped with setting up the exhibition, and we were particularly looking for the way stencils had been used in the work.

We then went upstairs to this beautiful huge light-filled room with large round tables. There was quite a large class, but there were three people helping us at all times, and they were all so helpful, knowledgeable, and just plain nice, that the whole afternoon was just such a pleasure. MiniGraff (here’s a link to her website) was just charming. She doesn’t look at lot like she does in the video I’ve linked to above, but it is her. I think that must be her MiniGraff persona. We got a quite different persona. She told us about her art practice, and the process for stencilling. Then we started. All materials were supplied and there was source material to look at. We were even allowed to trace and cut our own stencils from MiniGraff’s stencils. There were hairdryers and an iron – everything you needed.
Afternoon tea came. The BEST cookies I have EVER had. Beautiful unusual fruit juices and icy cold sparkling mineral water ( perfect for the temperature on the day.) Even better – it was all left out there till the end of the class and more than one person was snacking.
I fiffled and faffled about for a while, and then I looked at the time & just thought ‘do something!’. I sometimes start decorating papers with figure-eight-like swooping movements with an inky brush. This picture is what I mean. So I did some swoopings, and cut out the spaces between the swoopings and the stencil at the top is what I got. MiniGraff helped me get organised and I put on the burnt sienna layer, then dried it with a hairdryer and put on the dark blue layer. The lighter blue layer I put on at home with acrylics. My little foam roller wasn’t as good as theirs so I need some new ones.
I’m INTO stencils now! I just wished I’d done a bit more preparation & taken my own source material.I can’t say my work that I did on the day is anything fabulous, but the afternoon opened many possibilities for me. I already cut a stencil that I’ve used in my artist’s book “10Thai Restaurants,” but I can’t scan right now as glue is drying.
We were given notes with great links (how to make a photo into a stencil with Photoshop, for example). We’ve even been invited to MiniGraff’s studio, which is local, lucky us.




Filed under stencils

Response to Shahzia Sikander

When I went to the Shahzia Sikander exhibition at the MCA with Alison a couple of weeks ago, I said I was going to do a ‘response’ to the work. There were a lot of images with the pink backgrounds, so I started there. Then I did some stencilling in white, then some Prismacolour trailing fronds (for want of a better word). Then I used some acrylic and marbing gel transparent bits, then back with the Prismacolours. I think it might be finished now.
This effort will come in handy, because I have booked with two friends to go to a stencilling workshop at the MCA inspired by the work of Shahzia Sikander. Follow the link and you can read about it. We’ve also booked in for Dr Sketchy’s Anti-art school, where art meets cabaret, also at the MCA. Sounds like fun!


Filed under acrylics, drawing, MCA, Prismacolour pencils, stencils

Another scorcher

On Friday I met up with Alison from Canberra, who I knew only online from the everydaymatters sketching group. We met up at the Art Gallery of New South Wales at 10am on another scorcher of a day. I was more prepared for the sun this time with suncreen and a hat (that I didn’t wear.) First, we went to the Sidney Nolan exhibition. A large show, with mostly great work. A few works left me a little cold, probably because I don’t have the affinity with the Ned Kelly legend that Australian-born people do. I loved Nolan’s use of colour – just fantastic.
After the gallery we went to sit in the park, down near the harbour. Alison looked at the Fast Sketching Techniques book that I’d brought along, while I looked at two books that Alison had brought. One in particular was just fantastic, Taking a Line for a Walk: 1100 Miles on Foot, Le Havre to Rome. We’d also brought along a few of our own sketchbooks, so we sat under a tree, in a stiff breeze, by the harbour, and looked at each other’s sketchbooks. Finding the breeze a bit strong and even cold, (though the temperature was 84F) we moved on towards the Opera House, and sat under another huge tree where I did this drawing . I must say it took me far too long. It’s supposed to be the fast technique, and I can’t say that it was in this case. It was not long after midday, so the tones of the sails of the Opera House were very subtle indeed. I was working right across my sketchbook, so the finished drawing was about 8 inches by 11 inches. Too big.
From there we went on to the Museum of Contemporary Art to see the Shahzia Sikander exhibition. Just loved it. Amazing detail from this Pakistani-born artist who has studied Persian miniatures. Also a wonderful small video (about 15 inches across, maybe) – all painted, in the way that William Kentridge draws each frame in his videos. If you’re in Sydney, don’t miss this one. Alison and I are both going to create our ‘response’ to this one, so watch our blogs (though don’t hold your breath.)
The next stop was Parker’s Art Supplies, in The Rocks – the historic area of Sydney by the harbour. Parker’s are known to have art supplies that are hard to track down. I did a little damage to the credit card there. Bought some Schminke watercolours, hoping that I will be able to get those beautiful clear colours as Laurelines does. Last stop was Basement Books, where we each found art books to buy, although as of Friday the stock had not been replenished much after the stocktake earlier in the week.
Said goodbye to Alison, and staggered home with all my books. Thank heaven for the Matisse artist’s travelpack with wheels that I won at the consultants’ day last October. I was exhausted, but I had a great day.


Filed under AGNSW, books, Matisse Derivan, MCA, sketching