For reasons too tedious to relate, we all have to take 10 days leave between now and Christmas. Which has me in rather a tizz.
I find it hard to take holidays for two reasons: firstly because there never seems to be a ‘downtime’ here as I work across all our projects and their deadlines overlap into a fairly constant state of pre-press crisis, and secondly because it is teeth-gnashingly irritating trying to book holidays as a single person. Most places are designed and priced for twin-share or couples.
This is aggravated by the fact that there are SO MANY things I want to do and places I want to see here in Australia, that I simply do not know where to start.
1. The Ghan. A 3 day train trip from Adelaide on the south coast up through the red centre at Alice Springs and on to Darwin on the north coast.
2. Kakadu National Park
3. Uluru and Kata Tjuta
4. Scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef
5. I’d like to find out more about the various types of Aboriginal art from the practitioners themselves
6. Seeing cassowaries in the remains of Australia’s rainforest on the north east coast. They are the most dinosaur-like creatures.
7. Scuba diving with whale sharks on the Ningaloo reef, west coast
8. Visiting the interior and the desert
9. Going to Melbourne. I know, I know, its only a short plane hop away from Sydney and I’ve been here two years…
10. snowboarding and cross-country skiing
So, what have I booked for part of my obligatory ten days? Well, actually, an intensive week’s oil painting course, here in Sydney.
The only trouble with the creative input of this job is that it is just enough to take the edge off my usual constant craving to draw and paint. Each day I do a little sketching of concepts for spreads in new books, as well as a little ‘tweaking’ of artworks from other illustrators; its as though this art snacking has ruined my appetite.
This course should push me beyond the boundaries of what feels comfortable (by which I mean, what I know I’ll be good at), because the emphasis is on classical teaching of techniques and use of the various media, about which I know very little.