The dam a few days ago. I walked down closer to the water to get different views.
And then this morning.
And that shadow right before I left to do errands.
I did get a new bird stories page finished…sparrow and wren.
And so much fun trying out ideas for illustrating a story about Burke and Wills. Fun because owls have very limited movement for expressing themselves. Here is a page of Burke drawings.
Here he is falling out of the nest onto Wills’ back.
And a close up of him telling his mother he wants to stay with Wills.
Then I found a tree photograph I took of a possible doorway and drew the door in.
Burke and Wills will live in here for some time…maybe their whole lives together.
While working out drawings to go with a constantly evolving story I have noticed that graphite, though forgiving, has a limited range of contrast. Too many of my marks are too dark. And the choice of paper for the final drawings will have to be pure white. If not, then the scans will pick up the off white of the drawing paper and be hard to get subtle details copied. I learned this trying to copy my Stoat Story drawings for that book.
So I need a lighter touch than some of these drawings have. A new mechanical pencil will arrive this week to hold the delicate .2 mm leads that I have purchased. All drawings will likely be done with mechanical pencils to get the fine lines needed for such small illustrations.
The story is an intimate one of two beings meeting quite by accident and spending their lives together. I intend for these boys to have adventures as they grow old together. At one point they will get into a boat together. If one owl can sail off with a pussycat, surely Burke can ferry Wills across the river. Just thinking about what they pack in their food hamper makes me smile. Which reminds me, drawing the specifics of the interior of their house beyond that door is going to be a fun challenge.
So more to come as I keep up with the drawings around my thinking.
Friends in Australia are planning on finally getting to the conference put off by Covid for two years now. I shall miss being with them. Here is what I told a former student who told me he was attending the conference and thinking of making my savoury scones to take with him.
“Hi there. I am so happy to read that you are attending Grampians Textures. It is wonderful that it is happening again. Enjoy yourself and while there, please breathe it all in very slowly. Step into the bush, hold your arms at your sides and take this magic place deep into your lungs and hold it as long as you can. Listen to the birds, smell the trees, watch for a kangaroo and love it all. Have the spinach crepes at the Kookaburra, maybe with a beer. Drink a flat white in town. But most of all, listen to the laughter and chatter of all those around you who will be ever so happy to be there. Later, when you are far away, it will still be there inside a small bag of best memories.”
I hope he does this. I hope we all do this for special times that may not get repeated.
My realtor came today with her estimated asking price for my house. It is beyond my imaginings. Funny how we live in a place, love it, and never think of its value beyond being a great place to live. Lee would have been so thrilled.
I met with the builder this morning. Due to the freezing cold days, the concrete slab has not been poured. It is on the schedule for tomorrow morning. Yesterday I went to a property owners’ meeting and took notes of what all is on my soon to be new neighbors’ minds. It was enlightening. But what struck me the most was that I was the only woman there without earrings. Funny, the things I notice. I mentioned it to the builder who was also there and he laughed. Said it might have something to do with it being Sunday.
I also found out that my immediate neighbor to the right is a single man a bit younger than I am. Good, I might need a hand hauling my new garbage bin to the curb. His house will be finished sooner than mine so maybe I can drop in sometime.
Not much else new. It is Valentines Day and I stopped by the drug store to buy myself some new makeup and a small heart shaped box of chocolates. There were only seven pieces inside. I ate four for lunch. They are not as good as when someone else buys them for you and fewer in a box that size nowadays. But you know, it is seven more pieces of chocolate than I had yesterday!