Leanne Barrett: July 2018

Tuesday 31 July 2018

May Gibbs Touring Display Launch

The May Gibbs Touring Display from the State Library of NSW is currently showing at the Queanbyean Library until  9 August 2018 when it then move to other libraries in NSW.

The display celebrates a 100 years since May Gibbs' gum-nut babies were published and became part of our Australian literature culture that is still shared with children today. The display features many of her popular characters, books and costumes.

At last night's the launch, librarian Lynette Sebbens read the first chapter of Snuggle Pot and Cuddle Pie, giving the audience a taste of the fear and curiosity that these two characters felt about the creatures know as 'humans'.

The special guest at the launch was author and illustrator, Tania McCartney who has written and illustrated a book about a little girl called Mamie (HarperCollins, November 2018) whose story echoes the childhood of May Gibbs.

Monday 30 July 2018

Inspirational Art at Handmade Canberra

I totted off to Handmade Canberra to be inspired. I was wanting to see what other artists were doing and also learn from and other stall holders about market stands.

It was delightful to feel the energy and joy from artists and designers that I talked to. To see how they created and what themes they created. I soaked in colours and lines and images. Looked at how themes can be the same but how people approach creating art about them differently.

The market helped me understand what styles draw in me and which styles just do not do it for me. It made me think about what I can envision my illustrations on and things I just would not be interested in.

These are some of the artists and images that called to my own creative spirit.

I met the shining personality of Amy Ranck from Outer Island whose ladybugs and mushrooms drew me in.

The animals of Red Parka created by Jennifer Cossins called to me, so I got some magnets. Her book A - Z of Endangered Animals was awarded a CBCA 2017 Honour Book for The Eve Pownall Award for Information Books.

Being an artist of black and white illustrations I had a fabulous chat with Paula Zetlein about her beautiful native plant illustrations and what materials and paper that she likes to use.

Friday 27 July 2018

Chickens and Block Printing

I have been thinking about turning parts of my Adventurous Chicken series into prints, using screen printing
or block printing. This medium of creating art has been an interest of mine since lino-cut printing in high school but it is something that I have not pursued.

I have been planning to create using this method for more than six months, in fact back in  December 2017 I bought a few pieces of rubber called Carve/Print Block.

During this thinking and planning time I knew that I would need to relearn and remember the techniques needed for this printing process. So while in a Brisbane bookshop I bought two books about printing. Now all I needed to do was reclaim or borrow the tools I gave to my sister-in-law when we moved into our apartment (I gave her my lino carving tools and small silk screen).

Thursday 26 July 2018

Romancing the Stars

CBCA ACT Branch hosted a wonderful night of Romancing the Stars - Jacqueline de Rose-Ahern, Craig Cormick, Jack Heath, Kerry Malone, Pauline Deeves and Maura Pierlot

What wonderful range of books that these authors have written: picture books, junior fiction, stories based on non-fiction, YA to adult books. 

They have all taken different journeys to publishing: traditional publishers, partnership publishing and indie. They are an inspiring group, for writers and readers of all ages.

Book Launches:
Jacqeline de Rose-Ahern  
Charlie’s Adventures in South Africa
Date: 25 August 2018, 11am – 12pm
Where: National Museum of Australia

Kerry Malone
Sophie Makes New Friends
Date: 27 October 2018
Where: Harry Hartog, Woden

Saturday 14 July 2018

Cats in Bed - Drawing Lab

One of the new books that I bought recently was Drawing Lab for Mixed-Media Artists by Carla Sonheim.

The first activity was to sketch lots of cats while in bed. I chose a few of my favourites and added water colour, pencil and ink to the illustrations. To see each cat illustration go to my Art Gallery.