Leanne Barrett: June 2017

Wednesday 28 June 2017

Houses of San Francisco

52-Week Illustration Challenge: Week 26: San Francisco

For me San Francisco is the Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars, information technology companies like Cisco and the iconic houses on the tv shows Full House and Charmed.

See the 52-week Illustration Challenge page for more information about this art work that I have created.

Sunday 25 June 2017

Sunday Morning Painting

I had a delightful Sunday morning @ Cafe 21 with Rhyll Biest painting together and chatting.
I was working on the fine details of my illustration for the week 26 theme of San Francisco.

Saturday 24 June 2017

Canberra 52-Week Illustration Challenge Members

Cate, Grace, Genevieve, Leanne and our little artist
Last night a small group of members from the 52-Week Illustration Challenge meet in Canberra for the first time in 2017.

It was a divine way to spend the evening.

We talked.
We laughed.

We were brave.
We were supportive.

We shared our art.
We shared our stories.
We showed off some art supplies. 
We had a play with these art supplies.

We look forward to meeting again.

Our next meeting?

When: Friday 28 July 2017
Time: 10am to 11.30am 
Where: Cafe Twenty One, 21 Marcus Clarke Street, New Acton.
RSVP: For numbers please leave a message below or contact me. 
What to Bring: Please be brave and bring an illustration to share and your favourite art medium or equipment to show everyone.

Friday 23 June 2017

Building Your Story

Tony Flowers
A evening with SCBWI is time to learn and catch up with like-minded people.

We are a melting pot of people that are interested in children's literature. We have met each other in a variety of ways; though organisations, workshops, book launches and even online. At this SCBWI event some online friends met for the first time. Maybe you met your 'book world' friends at;

This SCBWI event, Building Your Story, was a night where friends could discuss challenges that writers and illustrators face. Being a book creator can be an isolating job, where we spend many hours living inside our own head.

Thursday 22 June 2017

Harmonious Circles

Today I attended my second Sylvia Marris art class.

We painted circles in harmonious colours using acrylic paper and paints plus I added in some watered down ink. We used stencils, pens with stamps, brushes and q-tips to assist in the design creation.

I loved exploring the different ways that circles can be used.

To see more about the creation of this artwork go to my blog Art Explorations page on my Ladybird's Flight.

Wednesday 21 June 2017

Dinosaurs from the Past

52-Week Illustration Challenge: Week 25: Past
This week I had firm idea that I wanted to paint a pair of dinosaurs and when I sat to sketch the idea was already fully formed in my mind.

See the 52-week Illustration Challenge page for more information about this art work that I have created.

Tuesday 20 June 2017

Does the Australian Bush have Fairies?

As a child were you fed an extensive diet of fairies and magic in your bedtime stories?

Maybe it was the Fairy Godmother from Sleeping Beauty or Tinkerbell from the story of Peter Pan or was it the Australian version of fairies, the little gumnut babies featured in the stories by May Gibbs?   
For more than 100 years Australian children have been reading stories by May Gibbs. The love of her stories and illustrations has given many Australian children, and undoubtedly children all over the world, an image of the kind of fairies that you can find in the Australian bush, gumnut babies and blossoms.

Saturday 17 June 2017

Dinosaur Illustration Ready to Paint

Ready to begin painting the PAST theme illustration on a quiet Saturday night at home alone. I like to listen to music while I paint and tonight it is the soundtrack of the Guardians of the Galaxy 2 playing in the background - cranked up the sound a little bit.

To see illustration development see here or the completed painting here.

Friday 16 June 2017

Planning my story: The Lillian Story Plot Develops

Today I read an article,  How to Find and Fill All Your Plot Holes by K.M. Weiland, which gave me additional ideas on how to plan my story. Taking this advice and the information from the Cate Whittle's workshop, Characters That Count, I asked myself a few questions. 

Initial Questions 

Wednesday 14 June 2017

Multiculturalism - Polish National Dress

52 Week Illustration Challenge: Week 24 Multiculturalism

This week I wanted to show my Polish heritage. This illustration shows the national dress that my aunts, my little sister and I have all worn. My Polish grandparents arrived in Australia in 1950.

See the 52-week Illustration Challenge page for more information about this art work that I have created.

Creating Story Characters that Count.

Recently I attended a workshop with Cate Whittle, author of the Trouble series. At the workshop we discovered how to create story characters that count.

Cate guided us though some exercises to give one of our story characters depth, to make them believable. 

We learnt about;
  • Character Calls - a pitch for our character
  • Expanding our character - giving them something to react to
  • Interviewing our character - to get to know them better
  • Getting to know our character close up - getting to know their physical attributes
Cate suggested to do this for our other characters too, as long as they are important to the story. But we probably don't need to develop their backstory to the same extent as the major character. 

Cate reminded us that while this information is quite detailed not all of it will need to be included in the story. But this background work/research helps you, the writer, to understand your character's personality and attributes.

Yesterday I interviewed my new character, Lillian May Stewart, who is in year 5. (Note: Lilly's name might be changed as there are currently a few younger reader books whose main characters are named Lily.)

Now that I have interviewed Lillian May Stewart I have a much better understanding about her personality, likes, dislikes and how she reacts to situations. Lilly is beginning to become a believable character, not just some light weight, flimsy little girl.

To find out more about Cate Whittle see her website here.

Thursday 8 June 2017

Intuitive Painting with Sylvia Marris

Delighted to have taken a jump into an intuitive painting class with Sylvia Marris.

I really enjoyed exploring the process of using colour, shapes, stencils, drawing, acrylic paint, paint pens and liquid paint.

Sylvia is a retired high school art teacher with 25 years experience and now she is sharing her knowledge with small groups.

She doesn't teach how to paint landscapes or portraits. By teaching the process of painting anyone who comes to one of her classes has the opportunity to succeed, no matter what level their art skills are at.

To find out more about Sylvia's classes visit her website and facebook page.

To see more about the development of my painting go to my creative blog Ladybird's Flight.

Wednesday 7 June 2017

Book Launch: Understory by Inga Simpson

Last night Inga Simpson's fourth book, Understory, was launched at the bookshop Muse Canberra. Rather than speeches, the audience listened to a conversation about the book between Inga and author, Kim Mahood. 

Inga spoke in a relaxed manner but showed that she is a passionate and thought provoking woman. 

To date Inga has experienced many journeys. She told the audience about growing up on a farm and how this influenced her beliefs, Inga said, 'failure is not an option, you never give up.'

The audience learned that Inga is a resilient woman. One of these examples was her choice to make a tree change and establish a 'writers retreat shortly before the Global Financial Crisis hit.' Inga said that she 'didn't have any regrets about her move to the forest, to be closer to nature.'

The forest became Inga's creative space. She learned to respect her position in the landscape. Last night she reflected on 'making amends for what farming has done to the country.' Inga, like other tree changers, has planted trees to help correct the mistakes of the past.

Tuesday 6 June 2017

Book Launch: Ten Cities Ten Poets

Cities: Ten Cities Ten Poets anthology was launched at the National Library of Australia Bookshop last night. We gathered in the intimate space between the shelves and when you closed your eyes and listened to the poets read, you were transported to another location, another time and another city.

Cities: Ten Cities Ten Poets is 'not just a collection of poetry is has been produced out of practice or a response to a topic or event' says, Shane Strange. Shane described the book as a creation of poems about 'ten cities, by ten poets, with ten different points of view.'. 

This new anthology from Recent Work Press (other titles from this publisher can also be purchased though the NLA Bookshop) was born from of a discussion between two of the book's poets, Paul Hetherington and Shane Strange, during a car journey to Bungendore, NSW. 

Shane Strange
Paul Hetherington
Melinda Smith

Melinda Smith describes this book as a 'fascinating journey' that allows the readers to 'Capture a glimpse of a city through tiny moments in time.' She explored the idea that when we visit cities we have a view about the city from our own viewpoint and then when we revisit a city many years later the city has changed and so have we, Melinda says, 'cities mark us.' 

Saturday 3 June 2017

Book Launch: Amy Laurens

On a cool, first night of winter, we gathered at Harry Hartog, Woden, to meet Canberra's newest novelist, Amy Laurens. 

Book shelves had been pushed back to accommodate the large crowd that waited for the launch of Amy Laurens's first novel, Where Shadow Rise, the first book in her juvenile fantasy series, Sanctuary

People were eager to speak to Amy and get their books signed, even before it was officially launched. This group included four teenage girls who were so excited they were giggling and jiggling while they were fanning on the side waiting their turn to congratulate Amy and have her sign their book. 

Amy is a bubbly and insightful young woman who has been writing stories and plays since she was in primary school. She even turned her spelling words sentence activity into an opportunity to write stories. 

Amy told the audience that she realised halfway though her sensible university degree studying topics like law and linguistics that she really did prefer writing, 'I feel more sane on the days I write' says Amy. 

She is a deep thinker, 'Story telling is fundamental to human beings. I like to explore humanity though stories.' 

When talking about her writing Amy says, 'Now I can give priority to my words.' The next books in the Sanctuary series are due for release in late 2017 an early 2018.

To see a complete list of Amy's other publications go here. Or to find out more about Amy Laurens see her Website and Facebook page.

New Facebook Page Launch

Along with my new website today I am launching my new Facebook page


Please follow this page.
It will still have many of the things that my personal page had.
It will enable me to connect with more people.
It will highlight my creative explorations in writing and art.
It will also have a new blog.

Website Launch

Welcome to my Website and new Blog.

This one will be different from Ladybird's Flight.
a. it will be easier to find
b. it will be focused on writing and arts