A change is as good as a holiday!

Well, that’s what they say, anyway! And in light of that, I’ve decided to take this here blog in a bit of a new direction, starting with a redesign! So things might be a little quite around here for a while I do a bit of tinkering.

Be back soon, promise!

Workbook Wednesdays #8 – Jeffrey Phillips


Oh boy oh boy oh boy! I’m super excited to be sharing the work of Melbourne-based artist and illustrator Jeffrey Phillips. I first discovered Jeff’s work on instagram and OH WOW. Seriously, do yourself a favour and check it out, it’s just magic! I love his bold, loose sketching style; it’s playful and fun and reminds me of those really good picture books from when I was a kid. All his portraits are full of energy and character and he has the magical skill of perfectly capturing a moment in a way that makes you feel like if you just stared at it long enough, the little chaps would come to life and continue about their day. His work is really is such a pleasure to look at!

Workbook Wednesdays #7 – Henri Matisse

Henri Matisse would have to be one of my most favourite artists. Seeing his paintly gouche and cut-out work at the Berggruen Museum in Berlin was like stepping into a dream. His choice of colour was so wild yet so perfectly balanced that if one shade was removed, the whole composition would fall apart. This, combined with his bold, fearless brush strokes and lush style of portraiture, results in an evocative and almost tactile experience in which I felt like I could reach out and jump into the image.

So, of course, I simply had to investigate Matisse’s sketchbook practice which was quite prolific and heavily influenced his overall style. (more…)

Back-room crafternoon!

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This weekend, I pulled out the bunting (any excuse, right?) for a crafternoon in my back-room (rhyming is fun!) with my super-dooper friend, Michelle. It was a cold, blustery winter’s day outside but we staved off the chill with tea, muffins and some good ol’ fashioned makin’!  We used polymer clay to mould marbled beads which we then strung on leather thonging and I must say, we really got into it! So much so that our crafternoon became something of a crafter-evening and as you can see from the photos, we’re both a little overexcited by the final products. I can’t think of a better way to spend an Saturday afternoon/evening!

Workbook Wednesdays #6 – Paul Heaston

Paul Heaston's sketchbook | lauraimurray.comIntroducing (drum-roll please!) the wonderful work of Paul Heaston, an American artist and sketch enthusiast. I was first drawn to Paul’s work by his bold use of line and hatching but as I perused his flickr profile, I realised his sense of space and perspective is like nothing I’ve ever seen. I love how he often uses ‘fish-eye’ and panoramic perspectives and includes his hands, knees and sketchbook in the image. Also, he draws dinosaurs and I flippin’ LOVE dinosaurs.


A Sydney Film Festival Wrap-Up in 5 WORDS OR LESS

And so ends the most lovely 2 weeks of watching films that I ever did spend! Once again, the Sydney Film Festival was a rousing success and I had such a blast hanging out in the GORGEOUS State Theatre (as Black Coal, Thin Ice director Diao Yinan said at a screening ‘it’s the most beautiful theatre of all the festivals I’ve been to’), watching films, eating Malteasers and drinking Chai tea. My idea of heaven, really.

I manage to fit in a P.B of 11 films across the 12 days of the festival so here’s a wrap-up of each film in 5 WORDS OR LESS. Why 5 or less? Well, because it’s fun of course!

Mommy Xavier Dolan – Gorgeous aesthetic, fantastic story & performances (ampersands don’t count as words)

The Rover David Michod – Didn’t live up to the hype.

Frank Lenny Abrahamson – An upbeat, moving, dark experience.

We Are The Best Lukas Moodysson – Super cute.

Tom at the Farm Xavier Dolan – Chilling and stylish.

2 Days, One Night Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne – Naturalism at it’s best, amazing performances. (ok, that’s 6 words but it was the festival winner so it earned it!)

Snowpiercer Bong Joon-ho – Conceptually sound environmental melodrama.

Black Coal, Thin Ice Diao Yinan – Long with an odd ending.

Ruin Michael Cody, Amiel Courtin-Wilson – ‘Bad Lands’ in Cambodia.

What We Do In The Shadows Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi - A pure triumph.

The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby Him Ned Benson – Moving film, terrible title.


Workbook Wednesdays #5 – myself!

My sketchbook materials | lauraimurray.comThis weekly look into artist’s work books was meant to serve as inspiration and motivation for my own (and hopefully your!) sketchbook practice. And it has! Hurrah! So I thought I’d give you a wee look into my own progress.

As you can probably see, I’m still sussing out my style but am definitely enjoying water-colours and landscapes. It’s interesting to see the influence the different artist’s I’ve profiled have had on my work – there’s definitely a bit of Stephanie K. Birdsong in the city landscape and I attempted a Diane Oliver-style sketch of a city street but alas, it didn’t quite get there.

Essentially, what I need is practice, practice, practice! I haven’t quite managed to make sketching a daily ritual but I’m getting there. Onwards and upwards!

Do you have a daily sketchbook practice? How do you stay motivated and find inspiration?