Sunday, October 26, 2014

Sketching Melbourne Uni

Caught up with the Melbourne Urban Sketchers on the weekend at my old stomping ground, Melbourne University.

Had a coffee and pastry at Brunetti on Lygon Street first (duly recorded in the sketchbook) and when I got to the meeting point I did a loose warm-up sketch of the Old Law Quad. I've walked through those arches maybe a thousand times but never sketched them.

After that I settled in to draw the clock tower of Old Arts. I had many lectures in that building in my day so it was nice to record it in my sketchbook. It's been quite a while since I was an Arts undergrad but sitting there, examining the detail of the building, so many memories surfaced.

Old Arts, Melbourne Uni (Jodi Wiley)

You know, one of the main reasons I wanted to go to Melbourne Uni in the first place after I finished school was because I loved the architecture so much. So many breathtaking buildings. Daunting and complicated too (a bit like being a student, really!) but ultimately, a beautiful and inspiring place. I'd love to go back and do more drawings.

Melbourne Urban Sketchers at Melbourne University

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Painting my books: The Catcher in the Rye

'The Catcher in the Rye' (watercolour on paper) - Jodi Wiley

My three precious copies of The Catcher in the Rye. For an explanation about why I own these you can read this post.

This little painting above, along with this one and also this, will be on show at the Linden Postcard Show in Melbourne opening this weekend.

The Linden Postcard show is an annual exhibition where the walls of the gallery are covered with a huge array of art in different media and styles. It's a fun show to visit and also a great opportunity to pick up an affordable piece.

It runs from 25 October - 6 December 2014. Here is the website for more details.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Painting my books: on writing

'The Faith of a Writer' (watercolour on paper) - Jodi Wiley

Years ago, in my early 20s, I did a Professional Writing and Editing course. I loved it. It was a dream. I was so lucky to spend those years thinking about writing, analysing it and doing it.

I have a half-finished novel stashed in a bottom drawer like everyone else who's ever done a writing course. I shudder to think about its contents now (painfully autobiographical I'm sure) and I have no desire to be a novelist anymore.

But during those years I devoured every writing book I could. I still love reading about writing. I wouldn't give these books up for anything.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Painting my books: signed by the author

'True History' (watercolour on paper) - Jodi Wiley

I love attending author talks and getting my book signed afterwards. It's probably my favourite thing to do. I'm a geek like that.

The only thing is, I can never think of something clever or witty or even remotely intelligent to say when I get to the front of the queue. It's very embarrassing. I console myself with the thought that they will never remember me anyway.

One of these books - The Good Daughter - by my friend Amra Pajalic, is not only signed by her, but my own name appears on the acknowledgements page.

It doesn't get much better than that.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Incidental sketching: it can be done!

The school holidays have just come to an end which means, with both kids at home every day for the last two weeks, I've tried to fit sketching into the nooks and crannies of my days.

Many (most?) days I didn't sketch. But occasionally I snuck in a blind contour drawing at the park.

I try to remind myself that it's always worthwhile taking the sketchbook out, even when a cluster of trees has to be abandoned to go push a swing!

One night I was lucky enough to be invited to a show by a friend so I took advantage of this rare grown-up outing and did a speed-sketch in the city before meeting her for our pre-show dinner.

And doing the grocery shop on the weekend (sans kids...the only way to go to the supermarket and have your sanity remain intact if you ask me!) I throw the sketchbook in the bag and grab a sneaky coffee en route.

Then yesterday we took a family drive to drop off my artwork for the upcoming Linden Postcard Show. Because the gallery is over the other side of town we took some time to have an ice-cream and visit the beach. I did a quick sketch while a big sandcastle was being built, then added colour at home.

None of these sketches are going to set the world alight but they're evidence that I can still fit sketching in, even when there seems to be no time at all. There's always an opportunity, however small, to put something down on the page. And I often need reminding of that.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Painting my books: language love

'How Language Works' (watercolour on paper) - Jodi Wiley

That's my well-loved pocket dictionary at the top of the stack. I don't know where I got it from and I also don't remember a time I didn't have it.

My name is inside the cover, written in my best primary school joining-writing. I kept it by the side of my bed when I was a kid and always packed it with me to take on holidays.

And that probably tells you all you need to know about what kind of kid I was.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Urban Sketching - Bookshop

Drew this cute bookshop with the Melbourne Urban Sketchers last weekend. I intended on drawing the Rivoli - an iconic art deco movie theatre - but directly opposite was this irresistible subject.

I sketched the same scene with Alissa Duke and Angela Williams and it was really cool to see our different interpretations of the same building.

L-R Jodi Wiley, Alissa Duke, Angela Williams

The shop is closing down after 25 years in business. What are we going to do when all the bookshops like this disappear?