Queensland Literary Awards — winners portraits

Congratulations to all the shortlisted and winning writers at the Queensland Literary Awards tonight!

I had the honour of illustrating all the award winners — all of whom are listed below:

Queensland Premier’s Award for a work of State Significance

The University of Queensland Fiction Book Award

The University of Queensland Non-Fiction Book Award

Griffith University Young Adult Book Award

Griffith University Children’s Book Award

University of Southern Queensland Steele Rudd Award for a Short Story Collection

Judith Wright Calanthe Award for a Poetry Collection

  • Heide by Pi.O (Giramondo Publishing)

Queensland Writers Fellowships

David Unaipon Award for an Emerging Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Writer

  • ‘The Space Between the Paperbark’ by Jazz Money

Glendower Award for an Emerging Queensland Writer

Queensland Premier’s Young Publishers and Writers Awards

The Courier-Mail People’s Choice Queensland Book of the Year Award

Author Portraits for the Lair of the Evil Doctors Brain


Over the last little while I have been providing very small illustrations for a series of interviews for the Lair of the Evil Doctors Brain (aka Angela Slatter and Lisa Hannett) which can be found here: http://www.angelaslatter.com/lair-of-the-evil-drs-brain/ and here: http://lisahannett.com/2011/09/28/lair-of-the-evil-drs-brain/

They have invited very impressive guests, and subjected them to the indignity of being drawn in footed pyjamas, up trees and in full Jedi get-up.  All poses and costuming are at the request of the Evil Doctors.

The first was China Mieville (rejectamentalist manifesto) – interview “China Mieville in da Lair”

China Mieville

Stephen Jones (Stephen Jones Editor) – interview “The Peripatetic Life of the Freelance Editor”

Stephen Jones

Jason Nahrung (Vampires in the Sunburnt Country) – interview “Sublime Juxtaposition and Gravitas”

Jason Nahrung

Karen Miller (karenmiller) and Sean Williams (seanwilliams) in their Star Wars capacities – interview “So You Want to Write for a Franchise, or Thanks for my New Kitchen, Mr Lucas”


Kirstyn McDermott (kirstynmcdermott) – interview “Oops, Your Psychosis is Showing”

Kirstyn McDermott - large

And a bonus:

Kirstyn McDermott - small

Card Games

Moly_x: My entry in Anna Denise's Moly

Pen and ink, with just a touch of watercolour.

This is my entry in Anna Denise’s Moleskine for the portrait party exchange (mxportraits1.blogspot.com/). This is part of the international moleskine exchange (www.flickr.com/groups/moly_x).

Moleskine exchange: Portrait of Robin

Moly_X: Robin's moly

This is my latest portrait for the Portrait Party Moleskine Exchange: http://mxportraits1.blogspot.com . Robin, on the right, is the owner of this sketchbook. The little birds came about because of the paint spots Jan (previous artist) left for me to work with. The dress is new.

In other news, NaNoWriMo starts tomorrow. I am looking forward to it, and trying not to resent it a little because I was just getting back into the short story swing. I submitted 2 tonight: M (epistolary Australian vampire/thumbelina fable, although one of the very kind people who critiqued it at the last minute said it reminded her more of the Gingerbread Man) for an anthology, and that Australian Scarlet Letter/Cinderella/St George story E&tF which I hope finds a home, poor thing.

Portrait of Rita

Earlier this year, Rita de Heer asked me to draw a portrait of her, based on reference photographs, which she could use in a range of sizes and formats. After discussing the details, she sent through the photos and I prepared a number of very quick digital thumbnails sketches.

Portrait of Rita - in progress

Rita liked the black and white, but wanted images to reflect her land care activities. I did a pencil sketch and drew the portrait (above right) with a dip pen and ink. Unfortunately, the flowers at the left were easily confused with a noxious weed, so I picked a grevillea flower in the station carpark, drew that and then replaced it digitally. I also moved the butterflies around and added the black background. This let me rearrange the elements to suit a range of sizes, and the butterflies and frog (I am very fond of the frog) were suitable as thumbnail images.

Here is the final portrait at its full dimensions:

Portrait of Rita

I enjoyed this project, and it was an opportunity to try out several approaches I’ve been wanting to use. The scattering of flowers and butterflies is loosely inspired by a vase my mother has, and the linework with black background is a style I admire for portraiture.

Moleskine Exchange – Portrait Party


Here is my entry in RebelPapa’s moleskine for the portrait party exchange (http://mxportraits1.blogspot.com/). This is part of the international moleskine exchange (http://www.flickr.com/groups/moly_x).

What I took away from this experience was *not* to do self-portraits in a hurry in ink without sketching in pencil first while my sister tries to make you decide what film to watch.

Portraits-RebelpapaAlign Center

Portrait Party Moleskine continues

I’m back on deck and catching up with moleskine exchanges. This is cross-posted from the Moly_X Portrait Exchange One. You can click on the picture to see it larger on its Flickr page.

Vast Expanses of Blue

Marina's moly - Sign-in

My contribution to the sign in page for Marina’s moly – I can dance, but I can’t dance well!

Marina's moly - Me

Self portrait executed in broad strokes (and illustrating the dangers of using flash photographs for reference).

Marina's moly - Marina

When doodling gets out of hand.

Antique Photo Postcards

The weekend before last I made some wonderful (i.e. more interesting than expensive) finds at the vintage stores in Paddington, including these photo postcards. There were many of them, but these were the ones which caught my eye. To see larger versions, click on the photo which will take you to its page on Flickr.

The first is the girl who inspired last week’s Illustration Friday picture. She has such an odd sweet face, and looks like she should be in a Tim Burton film.

Photo Card

And this is the marvellously horizontal hairstyle which caught my attention first of all the cards.

Photo Card

The next two postcards are printed on stock from different companies, but they look like the same woman, which might be the case since they were in the same shop. Her name is probably Nellie (unless it was common to write “love [your name]” on the back of photos of other people). I’m not quite sure if its a photo or a scarf around her head in the first photo. I do like her coat, but my father says her hat could be problematic in a high wind.

Photo Cards

This couple, writing from South Australia, are concerned about the health of Bert. I hope he pulled through.

Photo Card

I also bought a few books and will post about them later (I’ve already scanned them, so that is not as empty a threat as it sometimes is).

Illustration Friday: Memories


On a carless Saturday, I set out to walk to Paddington and was pulled into a passing station wagon and taken off to Toowong to have crepes for breakfast. Cheryl kindly took me back to Paddington afterwards, and we had coffee and fine English chocolates and in an vintage shop I found a basket of antique photograph postcards: a young couple in a buggy, a distinguished Edwardian lady, a girl with a startlingly horizontal hairstyle and a young woman with a sweet haunted face that looks like she should feature in a Tim Burton film. Apart from the young couple, who had written a letter enquiring after the health of Bert, there was no clue as to who they might be.

When I took the cards to the counter, the elaborately eccentric proprietor (pearl chokered and velvet hatted, with fabulous eye makeup and all her cash in a large embroidered bag) asked me what I planned to do with them – frame them and pretend they were my family? I confessed I hadn’t decided and she said that is what she does, and her walls at home are covered with other peoples’ wedding pictures and she creates a family for herself of all those images of people forgotten but not gone.


Comments and critique are always appreciated – I am still learning many things, including how to balance light and dark when working in scratchboard!

Red Islands

My first entry for moly_x_32 was featured on Moleskinerie!

This is a cross-post from moly_x_portrait1. To see larger versions/detail, click on the image to go to its Flickr page and then click on “all sizes” above the picture.

My entry in Jan's Moly

My entry in Jan’s moleskine – Jan right side up and me up side down. I continued some of the patterns and words from her entry.

Jan's Moly today

The full spread to-date.

page in Jan's Moly

My contribution to the mix & match sign-in page.