Thursday, November 29, 2012

Weekly drawing 65: Sir MacPherson Robertson, inventor of Freddo Frog, Cherry Ripe and Old Gold

Robertson creating novelty sugar mice and dolls
 in the family bathroom 1880 

This weeks drawing is of Sir MacPherson Robertson the inventor of Freddo Frog, Cherry Ripe, Old Gold, Milk Kisses and Columbines. I was intrigued by his story, especially his eager can-do approach. A very independent and resourceful person like Louisa Lawson, I admire his DIY attitude.

On June 10th 1880 in the working class suburb of Fitzroy. Robertson at 21 years of age started his own sweets business, which would go onto become Australia's largest confectionery works by 1900. I wanted to illustrate this moment in time.

"With a small furnace and a sixpenny nail can boiler he made his first sweets in the bathroom of his family home. He created novelty sugar mice and dolls each week between Monday and Thursday. On the weekends he would sell them to local shop keepers. He walked the streets of Melbourne for a year building his business."
By Jonathan Wright (ABC Goulburn Murray)

Sculpture of MacPherson at Fitzroy Library
I like that he looks like he's made of chocolate.

Friday, November 23, 2012

DIY Kids bamboo tepee from stuff around the house

Tepee ingredients
1. Bamboo
3. Double bed Sheet
4. Bull dog clip

1. Bamboo cut from back garden

Old Inner bike tube to tie the bamboo

Double bed Sheet held on with Bull dog clip

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Weekly Drawing 64: Butch Minds the Baby

This weeks drawing is based on one of my favourite Damon Runyon storys Butch Minds the Baby. I have loved Runyon's writing ever since Dad first read me his stories as a boy.

To me Runyon's humorous and sentimental tales of the underworld have influenced many great works such as Tom Waits lyrics on Small Change and Guy Ritchie's script for Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.

Butch Minds the Baby is about an Ex-Criminal (retired safe opener) who can't afford to get caught another time. Even though he's looking after his baby boy while his wife is out of town for the night. Harry the Horse, Little Isadore and Spanish John convince him into one last job. 

"…Big Butch is considered the best safe opener east of the Mississippi River in his day, but the law finally takes to sending him to Sing Sing for opening these safes, and after he is in and out of Sing Sing three different times for opening safes Butch get sick and tired of the place, especially as they pass what is called the Baumes Law in New York, which is a law that says if a guy is sent to Sing Sing four times hand running, he must stay there the rest of his life, without any argument about it."

Damon Runyon
Butch Minds The Baby

Friday, November 16, 2012

Weekly drawing 63: Alcohol fuelled Australia Day, 1808

The Rum Rebellion come for Bligh
This drawing is based on one of Australia's earliest cartoons. The Overthrow of Governor Bligh 1808 a water colour by an unknown artist. I get the feeling it was commissioned by William Bligh's rival John Macarthur. A clever piece of propaganda, depicting Bligh as a coward hiding under his own bed.

The original cartoon neglected to depict the soldiers in their alcohol fuelled state. I think if a bunch of armed and angry drunks charged into my house, I'd hide too.

Reference book: Cartoons of Australian History
by Peter Coleman and Les Tanner. Published by Neslon 1967

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Weekly drawing 62: Resting Tiger

My daughter and I worked on this one together...

A hand drawn wedding card for my sister and her fianc├ęs' wedding this weekend. 
I really like handmade cards. They're fun to make, and we would never find a font on the computer like this one.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Weekly Drawing 61: Sugar Ants sailing an outrigger built from floating rubbish

Book illustration for a book I'm writing:
Sugar Ants sailing to New Zealand in search of the yummy honey.
On a Micronesian outrigger built from floating rubbish.