Czech Republic 2006-07. Poland 2009. Slovakia 2014-15.

While traveling and working overseas between 2006 and 2016, I did three groups of studio works on paper based on artworks done while living in Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic, Plonsk, Poland and Zvolen, Slovakia. Although working as an English teacher in these places, I had enough time to complete these artworks using makeshift studio spaces where I lived. It was an opportunity to work on different subjects to what I normally used in my Tasmanian artworks, which created different, almost surreal qualities which I experienced while living in these post-soviet countries. These are a selection of the studio artworks done in the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia, using oil and soft pastel on paper up to 80cm by 60cm, with some being diptych works.

Slovakian studio artworks 2014-15.

Slovakian journal extracts.

I had three good days of drawing this week, with more of my first group of pastel drawings getting close to being finished. I was enjoying doing these drawings and getting similar results to what I got in Poland and the Czech Republic. I was trying to capture the mood of the place, which was somewhat bleak but also quite beautiful with the contrast of natural and man-made structures. Zvolen, Slovakia 2014.

I finished the final group of pastel drawings and packed them away with all the others I had done in the last nine months here. The last few were of the blocks of flats, the station and along the river. Subjects I had used a few times before. I was mostly happy with the results compared to those I had done in Poland and the Czech Republic. Zvolen, Slovakia 2015.

Slovakian studio artworks.

Mediums: Oil and soft pastel on paper. Dimensions: 60-40 to 80-60cm (Some are diptychs).


Polish studio artworks 2009.

Polish journal extracts.

The country was very flat, but it had a certain charm about it that made it an interesting subject to draw. The lack of topography allowed me to focus on other aspects such as the light, depth and accents made by objects upon the land such as trees, houses and chimney stacks. I enjoyed the walks through this countryside and seeing it slowly change from winter to spring. The sketches were used to start ten larger drawings done on the kitchen table. I had four mornings a week to work on these drawings, so I was able to organize my time around this and the afternoon lessons. Plonsk, central Poland 2009.

Polish studio artworks.

Mediums: Oil and soft pastel on paper. Dimensions: 60-40cm to 80-60cm (Some are diptychs).

Czech studio artworks 2006-07.

Czech journal extracts.

I had noticed an attic space at the end of the corridor behind my kitchen which I thought would make a reasonable studio. I asked Leona if I could use this, and she got permission from the owners of the building. I ended up setting up a drawing space with an easel made of a board on a chair and other boards to put unfinished drawings on from sketches I had done outside. I would end up using this space until it got too cold, then used my bed-sit from then on. Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic 2006.

I started eight new studio drawings this week as I had finished the five started before. These ones would be more tonal than the more colourful ones I had done so far. I used some of the same subjects as before and included some new ones from walks I had done through the countryside around East Bohemia. I was enjoying doing the ones based on the station and buildings nearby including locomotives and carriages, along with ones of the fields with copses. I was really getting into it now and enjoying these subjects. Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic 2006.

Czech studio artworks.

Mediums: Oil and soft pastel on paper. Dimensions: 60-40cm to 80-60cm.