The Organic Artist

Last weekend on our anniversary celebration, I picked a book at a store in Berrima, N.S.W. called, ‘Six Impossible Things. Last year, I purchased a double-glass inkwell at the store and was delighted to see that they had moved to bigger premises.

Erica owns the store and is very helpful. I picked up a Postal dip pen nib and the book below.

The book seemed way too interesting to leave on the shelf. A few weeks back I was talking to a gallery director in Camden and he gave me a reed and showed me how to cut it so it could be used as a dip pen. Looking at my attempt I think I have more practice ahead of me. Oh well, something is worth doing badly until one becomes better at it.

In my limited look at the book since it appears to go a lot deeper into the technical details of creating such tools. I’m looking forward to exploring it more and having some more Arty fun!

Written by David Johnson

29 November 2022

Berkeleouw’s Book Barn Treasure

As part of celebrating the anniversary of the very first time we went out to dinner (19 November 1994), we always pay a visit for a couple of hours to Berkeleouw’s Book Barn at Berrima.

Susan and I are bookworms and there is nothing better for bookworms than visiting a bookshop. Although the Book Barn has some new books, it predominantly has used books, which is part of what keeps us coming back.

This visit saw me purchase the following books:

I always seem to come away with at least one Poetry book, and in the last few years the Poetry books have outnumbered the Art-related books, but not this year.

The two Chinese Art-related books jumped out at me as next weekend, I am attending a workshop that is being run by Jo Wong Artist, who is also the new President of the Macarthur Art Group that will be joining shortly.

‘Poetry Now’ is actually a book of Poems where the authors were born within the first 30-40 years of the 20th Century and /Great Artists Explained’ was simply too good a book to leave on the shelf!

I look forward in the coming weeks to grab a cuppa and sit down and investigate all these books more.

Written by David Johnson

27 November 2022

“A New Heaven – The Norfolk Poems” – Mark Tarren

Regular readers of my blog will be aware of my love of writing Poetry and collecting books on Poetry that inspire and delight me.

On our recent trip to Norfolk Island, I was pleased to not only pick up a copy of Mark Tarren’s latest book but also actually get to meet the Author himself.

I first heard about the book from Mary Beth Tarren (Mark’s Wife) in a chance meeting outside Mary’s “Aunt Mary’s Kitchen” cafe/restaurant. Everyone is so friendly on Norfolk Island so it is easy for conversations to get started.

During the conversation, Mary mentioned that her husband had written a Poetry book relating to Norfolk Island. It wasn’t long before I came across the book as it is in several outlets on the Island.

I was quite impressed with the writing. One can sense the deep emotional impact that living on Norfolk Island has had on Mark and I am very pleased to add it to my collection.

For me (as a 3rd time visitor to Norfolk) it was also another way of ‘taking a bit more of Norfolk Island back home with me…’. Over the three trips we have brought back all sorts of souvenirs from this piece of Paradise, including “Morla el Do” a collection of Poems by another Norfolk Island resident, Archie Biggs.

There are all sorts of souvenirs one can bring home from a holiday to remind us of the wonderful times we have had however, to bring home words written in such fine style by a Poet with images that complement those words, is to bring home something special from the Heart of a resident.

To find out more about the book and Mark Tarren, please click on the following link:

https://www.marktarren.com/a-new-heaven

Happy Reading!

Written by David Johnson

3 April 2022

See a previous article on my blog for the list of Poetry books I have: https://communicatingcreatively.com/2021/11/29/a-growing-collection/

A Favourite Spot!

A favourite spot I (we) like to go to relax is only about 8 minutes drive from where we live. The Nepean River wanders through the Camden District (N.S.W. Australia) and it is at its widest going through Camden.

There exists a lot there to please people and caters for a diverse amount of interests. You can:

  • Have a leisurely walk on man-made paths or go off-track
  • Kayak/Canoe up and down the river
  • Go for a quick dip (no sand on the bank, though)
  • Ride your bike along a designated Bike track
  • Sit by the river with a book
  • Sketch, Paint, Photograph
  • Play ball games with your friends and family
  • Exercise in a number of ways
  • Take your children to the permanent Play equipment or kick a ball
  • Just relax

We use it to go and relax, go for a walk and other things. I’ve been down there to sit and read, walk, sketch, paint or just sit and relax. When Susan comes with me she will either take a book or Crotchet.

Our most recent visit was just to sit and relax on one of the benches by the river. We were joined by i/2 dozen Lizards, a few Ducks and cooling breeze on a hot day for an hour or so. We are certainly blessed to have such a place so near to us.

Till next time!

Written by David johnson

16 February 2022

Time Alone With Books

discovery & adventure

One of the presents I was very grateful to receive yesterday for Christmas was the book pictured below. I had spotted it in my local Art store and (as usual) when approaching Christmas, my Wife, Susan said ‘do you have any ideas for presents just in case anyone in the family is stumped for what to buy you?’

I only started keeping a sketchbook regularly at hand in the past 3-4 years and have been searching around for ‘that elusive all-purpose sketchbook’ that apparently does not exist.

We are so spoilt for choice these days in terms of Art supplies, including sketchbooks, not so in days gone past.

The book is beautifully presented and highlights 70 Explorers and what they used to document their journeys and their discoveries. The sketchbooks go back as far as the 1600’s to the 21st century.

I imagine they were ‘not spoiled for choice’ back then in terms of sketchbook and paper types. I think sometimes ‘we have too many choices’ and ‘get too wrapped up’ in the myriad of tools available. Maybe we should apply the K.I.S.S. (Keep It Super Simple) method more often?

I am looking forward to diving in to read about not only the Explorer’s adventures but also what they used to record their adventures and discoveries. It is going to be a fascinating journey!

Till next time!

Written by David Johnson

26 December 2021

Our Mental Fuse

Tales Of The Unexpected!

Way back in the 1970’s, a television show called, ‘Tales Of The Unexpected’ hit our screens here in Sydney, Australia.

Tales Of The Unexpected was borne out of a series of short stories written by a master of the macabre, Roald Dahl. Roald Dahl was a British Novelist, Screenwriter, Poet and wartime fighter pilot. He also wrote many bestselling Children’s books. For more information on Roald Dahl please click on the link at the end of this article.

The TV show was my introduction to Roald Dahl and later searched for the books that the television series was based on (see below).

I read these books many years ago and they were thoroughly engaging. Some time ago I purchased another collection which had all four volumes plus eight more stories and for reasons unknown has sat on my bookshelf for too many years untouched. There is only so much time and so many books, I guess.

I’m in the process of remedying that now as I am reading the book from cover to cover. Some of the stories I have read before, however, there are a lot I haven’t. Just as they did many years ago, these stories leap from the page and hold my attention, tantalising me, drawing me into the story and setting me up for that ‘unexpected end.’

If you like short stories with a twist, I highly recommend you seek out the Author’s work. Some of the episodes are on YouTube and I’ll include the link below so that you can get a taste of the type of stories.

Till next time…

Written by David Johnson

9 July 2021

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=tales+of+the+unexpected

https://www.roalddahl.com/roald-dahl/about

Not Just For Display

Inspiration Plus! – Books

I’m always on the lookout for books that will inspire me and/or stretch my thinking/skills.

My post today is about two books I have recently acquired, one being a gift and both relating to Sketching/Drawing.

The first is “Everyday Sketching & Drawing” – 5 Steps To A Unique and Personal Sketchbook Habit by Steven B. Reddy.

As someone who is trying to ‘loosen up’ in terms sketching/drawing lines, this book has been a revelation! Not only that, there are suggestions for overcoming blocks, time issues, tips and techniques and much, much more.

The second book is, “Rendering In Pen and Ink” by Arthur L.Guptill – 60th Anniversary edition – The Classic Book On Pen and Ink Techniques For Artists, Illustrators, Architects, and Designers.

The amount of helpful content in this book just blows me away! This book is aimed more at Dip pens, Quills and the like, however, the techniques could as easily be applied to the modern day pens.

I see many hours of enjoyment coming my way as I absorb their knowledge and do the exercises in each book.

If you are interested in improving your skills in these areas, I would highly recommend both books.

Written by David Johnson

16 May 2021