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Welcome to my art blog from Tasmania, Australia. I post a little on my various art projects while also working in plant genetics. For more, please try the links to my various art pages or email me at silvergumstudio@yahoo.com.au. Thank you for visiting!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Heidi ... and Arctic Blast

Hello all, I've been a slack blogger lately, but I do have an excuse - I've been working on a small scientific project, an illustration, and lots of glass for the summer season.  (And hey, it's nearly Christmas!)  Here's an artwork I did this week as an entry for the Tomie de Paola award.  The challenge was to create an illustration for the opening scene of Johanna Spyri's "Heidi".  It's hard to find a new way to illustrate this much-loved book, but I decided to play with the patterns and textures of the Swiss scenery, and had a lot of fun combining hand-drawn with Photoshop techniques (still very clunky in my hands, but I wanted a sort of chunky lino cut look, so I decided that was OK).  Interestingly, Tomie posted the first two paragraphs of "Heidi" using a different translation from the one I have, and I was amazed at the difference.  His translation is far more lyrical - mine has a quite matter-of-fact tone,  and I wonder now which version is closer to the spirit of the original.

Completely off this topic, we had some fun this week going to a film called 'Arctic Blast', surely the one and only disaster movie that will ever be filmed right here in Hobart, Tasmania.  I don't think this film will have a wide audience outside Hobart, but the cinema was packed with locals having a right old giggle.  See teenage surfers snap-frozen at the local beach as the arctic (surely that should be Antarctic?) blast rolls in!  See looting and panic at the local K&D when Hobartians realise things are about to get chilly (like we don't already own a full wardrobe of polar fleece and every type of heater?)  See ourselves lying frozen in the street and a plane crashing into the centre of our city, even though the flight path is thirty km out of town!  I'm not sure if it will be good for tourism.  I guess I'll find out if business plummets at the market.


  1. Glad to see you are busy and productive. People don't appreciate the work that goes into producing and selling craft or art.
    Re photoshop; I dream about being that "clunky"! The illustration is interesting not your usual flaxen plaits and yodeling, great idea to introduce the textures.
    I am certainly going to look out for Arctic Blast in my local cinema or video store. A few movies have been made here in Newcastle, always an interesting experience for the locals, certainly not in the blockbuster league of Arctic Blast. :)

  2. I cannot REALLY recommend it as a work of art - there are about ten interchangeable blondes and the script contains immortal lines such as: "Are we going to die, Dad? Are we?" "Not if I can help it," but you might get a kick out of it!

  3. Oh I know how that is when you are in the lab having so much fun that Blogging just falls to the side. it's okay. I love this beautiful illustration. I don't know how many times I have watched Heidi. I loved it! Wishing you a wonderful Holiday!

  4. Your drawing if wonderful.. I loved Heidi... How lucky you are... summer... it's freezing here and well just yuk.. My sister lives in Melbourne, wish I was with her...

  5. Thanks, Vanessa and Catherine - I loved 'Heidi' too. I see you're in France, Catherine! I'm sorry you are having such an 'arctic blast'. Here we have loads of raspberries and everything is green, but today we have a little snow on the heights (despite summer). Hope you have a great Christmas despite the weather.

  6. Hi Gay,

    On the contrary, your photoshopping doesn't look 'clunky' at all- I would never have thought that there was any photoshop involved at all! I love your glass pieces, too...glass is on my ridiculously long list of things that I want to learn to play with at some point! Good luck with the T de P contest!