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drawing

Mid-morning we took a train and a ferry ride from Hiroshima to Miyajima island where we spent around seven hours before catching the ferry again after sunset.

 

The crowds were out and about again today as this is the last weekend of Golden Week. The queues for Itsukushima Shrine were so long when we arrived at high tide, that we wandered up to the Ropeway for a ride up to the top of the island, and a 1.8 kilometre walk back down.

From the Ropeway there were views of the Inland Sea. On the walk down, there were waterfalls, lots of birds and frogs (mostly unseen) and very keen hikers walking UP to the top. Deer roam freely around the island and aren’t averse to opening doors to rubbish bins or nosing around in handbags where they think food might be found.

 

 

 

 

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The area is famous for its oysters, so what are you to do but taste some of the grilled oysters on offer. During the afternoon, we were also compelled to eat a green ice-cream sandwich. Oh, and there may have been some maple leaf shaped tiny cakes with custard cream centres consumed too.

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The Great Torii near Itsukushima Shrine is one of the most important cultural structures in Japan. The gate (bird abode) marks the transition between earth and the spirit world.

This is the eighth version, rebuilt in 1875. It stands on its own weight of 60 tons or thereabouts if you want to do the conversion to tonnes. It has two large camphor pillars with the four smaller ones being made of cedar.

When the tide is in, the gate appears to float on the water. When the tide is out, people wander out to get a closer look.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I’ve been slowly building up a stock of blank white greeting cards using a mix of linocut prints, cut out drawings, pen and coloured pencil.

By the end of this month, I hope to have a number of card sets (3 per pack) available online for purchase. It will be a test run, and given the amount of time it takes to make them, I’m expecting multiple short runs over time.

In the meantime, we’re off to Malaysia for two weeks, so where there’s wifi there will be daily posts and pics of our travels.

I’ve been wanting to get back to some drawing play and the kindest medium I know is willow charcoal. Why? Because it’s easily erased, is good for finger play and enables you to use an eraser for contrast.

Today’s attempt does bear some resemblance to the photograph. But in a sense, that doesn’t matter. What happens when you’re working with something like this is your brain gets to open up to other possibilities. It’s relaxing. And it’s also fun to get a bit messy.

rain drops 1charcoal - rain drops on lemon tree

A great opportunity presented itself today in the form of a drawing workshop (my first) at the ignite redlands light arts festival in Cleveland.

Artist Leigh Camilleri was our teacher and charcoal was the forgiving and filthy medium.

We began with tentative first drawings of our model.  Then contour drawings (no peeking now!).  Each step of the way, Leigh shared her considerable knowledge and dared us to be brave.

I loved working with the charcoal. The eraser and my hands became part of the play as we worked and reworked the final drawing (see the last two images) as a whole and in segments.

I learned so much in such a short time and will happily head back to the classroom later in the year after our big road trip which is approaching fast.

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Another evening sketching the shoes at the end of crossed legs.  Pencil, then some marker play.  I’m quite happy with the blending effect on the jeans element.

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