June, 2010

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On drawing David Malouf

, Jun 03, 2010

Insomnia, writing a blog post, ABR philantropy, and making a picture with a lens, and then a pencil. . How to write a blog post I had an itch to write a post that would tie a knot in the thread connecting Thick of It, Modern Family, MasterChef, Jason Akermanis and ex-Minister David Campbell. But […]
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Reading Habits of Highly Successful Doctors

, May 27, 2010

Fact: Highly successful doctors do not read very much because they are incredibly busy people. (Actually, HSDs read quite a lot.) Fact: Highly successful doctors only read for work and do not have time for lighter or frivolous material. (Actually, HSDs often read children’s books.) . . Last night, RN’s Book Show recorded another in […]
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Peter Porter and the Tub of Poetry (II)

, Apr 30, 2010

. I.M. Peter Porter 1929 – 2010 . I was flicking through Porter’s Afterburner (2004), his penultimate collection of poetry, and on the back page I came across this sketch above – he had read from the book at the State Library. (He had aged since I last drew him in 1990, blockier somehow, and […]
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What the lawyer said to the judge (Radio National’s Book Show at the Wheeler Centre)

, Apr 29, 2010

Last night in the drizzle darkness, Ramona Koval and the crew from Radio National trundled into the Wheeler Centre at Melbourne’s State Library. They came to record an audience session for tomorrow’s Book Show (April 30). Part of the series ‘Reading on Vocation,’ this one interrogated the lawyers. On the panel was Robert Richter QC, […]
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Peter Porter and the Trap of Words (I)

, Apr 28, 2010

. I.M. Peter Porter 1929 – 2010 . Poetry is the art of constructing a trap of words – when tripped by its prey, a curious human, it triggers a rush of thought and feeling. Peter Porter was a master trapmaker. It was as a witless youth in the ’80s that I stumbled upon one […]
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Gum leaves sickling… (a list for John)

, Apr 21, 2010

A list for John Gum leaves sickling to the ground, dry as piles of paper. The clock at Greenwich strikes. The mobile phone is chirruping. A picture file is opening. Silver aircraft – the stillness inside a journey. Between the covers, black swans on the wing. A long Guinness. Whites on the green. Numbers glowing, […]
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To draw is to look (kookaburras and cockatoos)

, Apr 19, 2010

We were down the coast – and the backyard of our friends’ house was hosting a weekend party of birds: comic cockatoos with sulphur crests, a pair of stern kookaburras and a pair of red parrots, curious at the fuss. It’s a challenge to sketch such fugitive subjects but the point is to observe – […]
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How to draw a lightning-fast conductor

, Mar 22, 2010

Don’t know about you but I find it difficult enough drawing people who are sitting still at arm’s length. So drawing someone at five yards who is in constant motion with his back to you is twice the fun. There is satisfaction in nailing even part of a credible image. I was attending a glorious […]
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Gaza, not Gazza: Men behaving intellectually

, Jul 27, 2009

The Full Motley: chair Robert Manne, Ghassan Hage, Mark Baker, Gerry Simpson and Rai Gaita, at the last event of  ‘Gaza: Morality, Law & Politics’, a lecture series pitched dead centre on the world’s most contested ground. We were told by Chair Manne in his stentorian bass that the discussion was being taped for a […]
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The sound of thinking

, Jul 06, 2009

Imagine the score of a late Beethoven piano sonata. Then, being in a concert hall as the pianist attacks the keyboard, the black blizzard of notes swelling over the audience. If, like me, you are less than naturally musical, you are … processing – listening to the flow of sounds with that strange, innate ability […]