On Saturday I was fortunate to go to the Dromkeen Literary Festival at Riddells Creek, 45 minutes train ride from Melbourne.
It is a festival celebrating Australian Children’s Literature and Storytelling, where “authors and illustrators bring favourite stories to life”.
Read more about the wonderful HUSH book
Dromkeen Homestead has became a home for Australian children’s literature and in 2013 it was purchased by the Joiner family and reopened as a centre for Australian children’s literature. There is so much I could write about this wonderful place , but for today’s blog I will focus on my sketching activities at the Literary Festival. To read more about Dromkeen please visit their website.
The authors and illustrators and storytellers of Australian children’s books talked about their books and their own literary/art journeys. many of the presentations were for children and were interactive I went to listen to a few specific illustrators whose style I like and admire – and to sketch. I was there for five hours and enjoyed every moment of it.
At the moment I am focusing on sketching groups of people at events and specific people. If you know any of these illustrators (above), you will realise that these sketches do not look like them at all. Many of the illustrators spoke to the children in the audience about practice and not giving up on your first try. This resonated with me !
It was a grey day, but there was no rain or wind and a healthy number of people came through the gate. I heard glowing praise all day from enthusiastic children and happy stall holders. There was face painting, storytelling, cartooning demonstrations, puppetry and book mural art. I was fortunate to have a small involvement in the set up on Friday and saw the dedication and immense amount of work of the organisers and volunteers to put this day together. A big congratulations to them all for keep alive and boosting the tradition of children’s literature in Australia.
Below is a sketch of the Country Fire Association(CFA) volunteers at the traditional fund raising sausage sizzle for lunch !