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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!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Thylacine Xylophone

Has this young girl really got a pet thylacine ... or is it just her imagination? 
These strange marsupials probably went extinct in the wilds of Tasmania in the 1960's (the last captive thylacine died in 1936), but they still haunt our collective Tasmanian memory.  Hence the recent picture book 'Dream of the Thylacine' by Margaret Wild and Ron Brooks, and the new film 'The Hunter' starring Willem daFoe.  This image is a rare light hearted look at the thylacine, and also a rare foray into Photoshop for me.  I don't really have the skills yet, but wanted to try using a flat colour design to hint that perhaps the thylacine isn't fully there.

I told my friend, glass artist Merinda Young of Tudor Rose Glass Works that I was doing a drawing of a thylacine xylophone.  Minutes later, she sent me this lovely verse that she composed 'while cleaning putty from windows':
This is the xylophone
about which it's rarely known,
that the faded thylacine
of clever wit, so hardly seen,
is most proficient, and alone
can also play the brass trombone.

Inspired by this week's Illustration Friday theme ('stripes'), I decided to alter my blog by-line to admit, I'm mad about stripes and use them in nearly all of my artworks!


  1. I love the new banner, it is more about what you are doing right now.
    The illustration (and idea behind it) is fabulous, Iam full of envy at your new photoshopping skills.
    I must confess to a similar love of stripes and went through a period when they insinuated themselves into everything I did. I always think of the character, was it Uncle Dick? in David Copperfield who couldn't write anything without somehow rambling on about King Charles' head (the one that got chopped off) :)

  2. Wow, interesting post and lovely illo! Never heard of thylacine before...

  3. Very creative idea! This illustration is wonderful! :)

  4. This is a great concept and I love the style :D

  5. Hooray! I've never seen a happier thylacine. Love the seafoam green and chartreuse! It's very neat. Such a cool idea for a drawing.

    No clue how you got a sketchy look in Photoshop. Did you scan in a sketch first or do the whole bit in Photoshop? I would love to learn more digital stuff but I am trying to put all my effort into one medium for now.

    Gay, would it be rude to ask you why you make your fans wait so long between posts? I'm pretty sure it's not because you're volunteering at the wild wombat preserve. :D Oh! Love the new banner! Such a great character. I would like to be friends with him. (And I am also a fan of stripes.)

  6. I like the color pushing out of the rectangle.

  7. So clever, and your friends verse is wonderful too.

  8. I love stripes too! Such a great take on the topic and well executed. I like your friends verse as well.

  9. Thank you all, how nice! Carole, I've never read Dickens, except for Scrooge, so I don't know about the King Charles' head thing - it sounds hilarious (a bit like John Cleese's "don't mention the war"). Cindy, holy wombat! I'm thrilled to think I have real live fans and a responsibility to entertain them. I often wonder the flip side of your question, namely: how do all these other people create so much good stuff, so fast? I'm a slow worker and sometimes spend time writing instead of drawing, in order to pester publishers who remain strangely silent, so I end up with nothing blogworthy. I also like to spend time outdoors away from the computer, especially in our fabulous summer which is now. I did the drawing on paper and scanned it in. It looks like we all love stripes - they probably remind us of candy and our favourite old pyjamas!

  10. Really like the colors and the effect you created. Line work is beautiful too!

  11. Ah ha, time outdoors. I think you may be on to something there. Also, keep pestering! They can't stay silent forever. I mean really, you have fans!

  12. I feel like marching along in the band with this!

  13. Creatively cool and whimsical too...LOVE it!

  14. Find great deals on xylophones for Xylophones Glockenspiels in Xylophones, Vibes, and Marimbas. Shop with confidence.