For as long as I can remember I’ve based my artwork on the study and interpretation of themes. This has enabled me to come to know my subjects on a deeper level. I enjoy collecting, analyzing and at times, investigating the history of some of my art chosen themes. Not only is it (for me) a fun thing to do, it results in a greater respect for the subjects I draw. I rarely simply interpret a photo. I’m not a fan of duplicating what one sees. What’s the point? The way you both see and feel about a subject should be bound together in the visual statements you create.

Like so many artists, I collect various objects. Stones of various sizes are one of my favourite. On my travels over the past 3 years I’ve come across many beautiful stones, but a good deal have been photographed as they’ve often been in National parks. However, here at Port Macquarie, I’ve steadily built a rather nice collection, mainly beach stones and some of them have been immortalized in coloured pencil.

I have included photos of a selection of some of my stone drawings in coloured pencil over the years. Most of these have been ‘arranged’ either on location or outside my studio. I plan my arrangements, even on location when I feel that there needs to be some changes in the arrangement of objects. I prefer a strong light source as it can result in some interesting shadows.

My other themes include objects floating on, or below the surface of watercourses, the Midlands landscape in Tasmania, the shoreline at the southern end of Lake St. Clair (Tasmania), the life cycle of the Australian Scribbly Gum in Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour in NSW, the impact of colour in Tropical Far North Queensland, Hyland’s Flat and the Kempton Sugarloaf in Tasmania’s Midlands region, shells, landscape simplification, or ‘cleansing’ as I call it and waterfalls.

Do you collect things? Do you favour certain subjects in your art?

Our everyday lives are strongly influenced by our ‘likes’ and ‘tastes’, it defines who we are. I like to think that I’m a dedicated artist, but one that’s also prone to be obsessed from time to time!


About artkleko

artist, art curator, art teacher, art judge, art critic
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  1. ridgecookearts says:

    I didn’t realise we had that in common. I take home a stone or rock or two from our travels if it really speaks to me. I’ve yet to draw them but they do take pride of place in some of my garden features. We carted 3 crates of rocks and stones from Hervey Bay to here. My family thought I was crazy but it was impossible to part with them as they all have a story.

  2. Sticks, stones, shells, seed pods and scraps of fabric that have had a past life. We have been known to have 7 kg of stones in our car by the end of a trip! They definitely make their way into my art but more from a sense of colour, pattern and surface. I make art according to place but, like you, have to have a connection of some sort. Otherwise you might as well have a photo. The interaction of the visual and experiential is what I strive to convey.

  3. LOL, I have an informal rock collection, too. Some are in my “vacation basket” that includes a rock from every major trip I’ve taken (New Zealand, Spain, etc.) and some sit on a little ledge that wraps around the entryway of our house. Each one has something special about it–a color, a vein, a hole, a breakage pattern. I’ve never really thought about drawing them, but maybe I should! I also have a box of “interesting textures”–mosses, bark, feathers, shells, beetles, pine cones.

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