Happy New Year!
Let’s make 2016 a fabulous and most creative year :)

Over the next few posts I will be showing my artworks from the recent group exhibition: Water Lines. There are endless ways to interpret this beautiful, majestic and ever-changing element … Between five artists our exhibition incorporated a range of media, including oil on canvas & paper, ink, textiles and printmaking  … Persuaded by the fluid, yet permanent properties of ink – I put pen to paper to explore my love of oceans, waves and ships …

Rather than create one massive post with all ten drawings, I decided to break it up a little. I am showing framed images of the drawings, along with a few close-ups – as I want as much as possible to convey the feeling of actually being at the exhibition – I hope you enjoy :)

Onboard James Craig

Onboard James Craig - pen and ink Annette Abolins
Onboard James Craig – Pen & ink on paper

A number of my drawings (including this one) were inspired by a day spent on the James Craig; a fully restored tall ship (barque), part of the Sydney Heritage Fleet. It was a memorable and quite amazing experience to sail out past the heads on this beautiful ship. With hoisted sails it is easy to imagine her on long voyages, where in the past she rounded Cape Horn 23 times!
While on board I did some sketching and took plenty of photos to use as inspiration and reference for further drawing.

Detail pen and ink drawing Annette Abolins Detail pen & ink drawing Annette AbolinsDetail from ‘Onboard James Craig’


Learning the Ropes

Learning the Ropes - pen and ink by Annette Abolins
Learning the Ropes – Pen & ink – Annette Abolins 2015

Many nautical terms have made their way into everyday language, including the phrase to ‘learn the ropes’. Learning what each rope does is an important part of becoming a good sailor; learning any new skill is an accomplishment … And then there is the aspect where bundles of ropes are a visual feast in themselves.

Detail pen & ink - Annette AbolinsDetail from ‘Learning the Ropes’



Crossing - pen and ink drawing by Annette Abolins
Crossing – Pen & ink – Annette Abolins 2015

Crossing tells of long journeys across the sea with unpredictable weather and big waves. Safe passage could mean the start of something new along with a sense of longing for what was left behind.

Detail pen & ink drawing Annette Abolins Detail pen & ink drawing Annette AbolinsDetail from ‘Crossing’

Thank you for visiting – and make sure to come back soon for Part II
Annette :)

This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. Johan

    Lovely work, Annette!
    The ropes are indeed fascinating. They are reminiscent of those puzzles I used to love as a kid, where a bunch of lines are scribbled and one of them would lead from a starting point to a destination. Sometimes I see real life like that as well, where people’s lives form a tangle of ropes. At some points those ropes meet and leave, following their own path. Where 2 ropes are knotted together, a lasting relationship exists…

    Anyway, drifting off :)
    Happy New Year! May the year be full of good things for you and yours.

    1. Annette

      Thank you Johan – and a very Happy New Year to you and yours too :) I like how you see the ropes as puzzles making the leap from lines to the real world, and the way you describe it is just so beautiful! I believe my own fascination with puzzles is having relief from my constantly messy mind – to enter a space where there can be order and solutions :)

  2. Diane

    I love your drawing ‘Crossing’. It is almost possible to see and feel the ocean heaving and sinking, while one wonders where the ship might be headed, and if life turned out happy for all of those on board.

    1. Annette

      Thank you Diane :) I really like how you describe the feeling of the ocean heaving and sinking … add a ship, no matter how majestic she may be, and you are bound to wonder where she’s heading and what the journey will bring for those on board.

  3. Linda Cuthbert

    Beautiful work as always Annette. I seemed to spend more time studying Learning the Ropes. Loved how the rope work kept my eyes in the picture.

    1. Annette

      Thanks so much Linda – your kind words mean a lot, and I’m glad the ropes captured your eyes :)

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