Last Illustration Friday entry for 2009!

Illustration Friday: Pioneer

On Monday I retrieved the axe from the garage (one of those things I shouldn’t carry around barefoot) and my father’s old akubra (the headrest on the chair doesn’t let him wear them anymore, but he always had two – one work and one good) from the hatstand and talked my mother into a long-sleeved shirt and outside to pose for reference photos.

My parents left Brisbane and bought a cattle property 6 hours further inland when I was two. I am led to understand my father promised my mother a little cottage in the country, and maintains that is what he gave her. She talks about moving into the tiny house in a treeless paddock, with a wood stove, mosquito larvae in the bathtub and a party-line phone (our number was Jackson 6K) and standing, barefoot, holding me by one hand and my sister on her hip, watching her husband ride off to work on a horse. I don’t think she’d even had time to fully acclimate to living in Australia at that point.

Brush and ink (practice for a project) with colour added in Photoshop. The border is made of twigs from the branch in the blue bird gift tag.

And entirely unrelated – the highlight of my day today was going into the hardware on the way home from work and asking the rather dour, middle-aged lady who helped me if she knew what sort of weight skipping ropes were, only to have her pull out a length and execute a few very energetic turns by way of a test. I tried it out when I got home (startling the bats and cane toads) and feel appropriately inadequate.