New Yallourn House print & a bit of history

OK, so I *may* have an addiction to drawing houses. Often pastel coloured, wonky houses. Some are houses I go past all the time and some are houses I used to live near but the latest fits neither of those categories - not only have I never seen this house, I can't see it because it doesn't exist anymore*. In fact, the town it's from doesn't exist anymore either.

So what is this place and why did I draw it? It's from a town called Yallourn, which was built by Victoria's State Electricity Commission to house the workers of Victoria's open-cut brown coal mines in East Gippsland. It's also the town that my dad grew up in and it looked to be a wonderland of green spaces with a vibrant, engaged community. But it's a town I never got to see because it was all but gone by the early 1980s. You see as the mine expanded, it swallowed up the whole area, and all of Yallourn. You can read a bit more about it here on the new house print's shop listing page here.

So that's the story with the latest house drawing. And even without knowing the background story, I still think it's just a very cute little house and I do hope you like it. 

X Susan

* When I say the house doesn't exist anymore that may not actually be the case. A lot of the houses from Yallourn were simple constructions - a timber frame with weatherboard cladding - and were removed and relocated to towns nearby and also far away. So if you're ever in the Latrobe Valley region keep a look out and you might just see this house, or one like it. How cool is that?

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Hello 2018

Yep, it's most definitely 2018 now but it took a while for the year to kick in here, due to a bit of an unexpected and crap end to last year. My advice: don't get food poisoning on Christmas Day, then faint with a glass of water in your hand and end up in hospital, needing plastic surgery on Boxing Day. Yes, that really happened to me. But there's nothing like being incapacitated to reevaluate your life and the point of your existence (and what you'll do with yourself if you can't take photos/draw/paint/use a mouse etc etc.)

Stitches!

Stitches!

And more stitches, just before they came out.

And more stitches, just before they came out.

I'm glad to say that my hands are nearly all better, which I am sooo grateful for, and now I cannot wait to see what cool stuff awaits in 2018. At the moment I'm dedicating a bit of time each day to drawing (mainly because I'm so happy that I can draw) and have just listed a brand new drawing called North Carlton Houses, I've just sent off my first textile design to be digitally printed as fabric yardage (I really want to make myself some outfits from my own textile designs), I have a new batch of earrings waiting to be fired in the kiln and I am trying to finalise the design of a new multi-coloured screen print. Oh, and I can not stop taking photos and more photos. Hope your 2018 is going great. 

Digitally printed textiles! This is a sample I designed and had printed last year.

Digitally printed textiles! This is a sample I designed and had printed last year.

This brand new print,  North Carlton Houses , has just been listed in the store

This brand new print, North Carlton Houses, has just been listed in the store

Dawn Tan Workshop

I've been a fan of Melbourne-based illustrator and all-round creative Dawn Tan for such a long time and first remember hearing about her work back when she was a student, making human sized mashmallow and Ritz packets. Now Dawn's work regularly appears all over the place, including Frankie magazine, and she sells art prints, cards, does custom drawings and makes gorgeous soap. She's also a teacher and last year my 6-year-old niece attended a regular after-school art class with Dawn, where she produced amazing work. My sister was very impressed, so I decided to give her a Dawn Tan workshop voucher for Christmas - that way we could do a class together and get back to our crafty roots.

The class we booked is a newie - a wonton drawing and cooking workshop - and it was on Saturday. I learnt heaps - from how paint is made to how to clean and store your brushes, as well as different watercolour techniques such as layering and outlining. And we also learnt how to make an amazing wonton soup, which we then got to eat! I highly recommend attending one of Dawn's workshops and now can't wait to hear more about her latest adventure, Little Art Yurt. In the meantime, here are some pictures from the class.

Drawing and painting the ingredients that were to become our lunch.

Drawing and painting the ingredients that were to become our lunch.

Our classmates brought along fresh berries they'd picked from their yard!

Our classmates brought along fresh berries they'd picked from their yard!

Dawn's art is in the frame and our work dried underneath.

Dawn's art is in the frame and our work dried underneath.

The wonton soup we made for lunch! So good.

The wonton soup we made for lunch! So good.