General | 05.12.16

Imagery as insight

Drawing is the universal language.

I am sure my dad was not the first person to say it but it was he who passed on this gem to me. And my experience has born out the truth of this statement.

Time travel

Travelling to many parts of the world and have witnessed how the simple act of drawing attracts a crowd. Whether in the highland villages of New Guinea, the market places in Morocco or in Taronga Park zoo in Sydney people just love to see an artist at work. In many cases words are not spoken; who needs words when greeted with big smiles.


I enjoy illustrating stories and poems by others. While living in London I had the opportunity to illustrate works by Somerset Maughan ; Liza of Lambeth and On a Chinese screen. Researching the period in which the tales were set, the architecture, the people and their clothes, the landscape, was part of the pleasure of doing the drawings.

Body of work

When asked to illustrate a body of work from a gifted writer and performance poet I made a decision upfront. Rather than attempting to illustrate individual poems I will tackle the underlying elements, water, earth, fire and air that link all of the poems.


Each tool I use be it a pencil, charcoal stick, pen or brush and ink has distinct qualities that dictate the style of the drawing. For this latest project FULLmoonshakes by Stuart Boag I am using a stick of compressed charcoal. By using the stick on its side the marks I make have a calligraphic quality. I like the fluid lines sharp edges and almost 3D quality of the mainly abstract forms I draw.


Kimono is another of Stuart Boag’s projects which ‘celebrates beauty and wonder’ in parable and verse. This work inspired by Japanese kiminos Stuart collected over many years called for the use of colour in the illustrations. I use torn strips of coloured tissue paper to provide a fragile texture as well as colour. I use a Japanese brush and black ink for detail; a strong combination.