Still debating

I’m a bit concerned that my choice of objects is too literal and more about the actual object than its qualities. For example for swimming I am choosing a towel. It has a link with swimming that is not really related to its formal qualities but more related to its use. I have however chosen a towel that has a flowery tropical pattern on it, typical of a souvenir tourist towel, so in that way it represents the bright pattern associated with tropical tourist.

To represent tacky souvenirs, I have simply chosen a snow dome, to me the quintessential tacky souvenir, so in this case I guess it does have the formal qualities of shiny, bright and clique-ed content that I associate with tacky.

For bright sunlight I am using the yellow massage ball. This is better because it’s not as literal.  I have chosen it because of it’s qualities of bright yellow, pointy bits radiating suggesting rays and round shape.

I’m thinking I’ll combine lush rainforest and humidity in the one object now by stuffing a carafe full of local fern from the garden. In that way I hope to convey the oppressive feeling of humidity in a tropical jungle.

Cocktail glass with blue cocktail represents the qualities of blue-green tropical waters on its surface, whilst encased in the form of a cocktail glass, the essential tourist drink.

The detailed pattern of shells and coral will be represented by actual shells. This is just literal but adds a necessary component to the collection.

Actually looking at these I think they should meet the brief and perhaps I should stop procrastinating and actually start some work 🙂


Selecting objects

Now I’m back home I should start selecting objects to draw for Assignment one.

Going to select objects to match the following characteristics of Tropical Tourist:

Lush rainforest – Fern fronds

Sea life – coral, shells- Patterned shells that I bought or I could use my nautilus shell. Not sure if nautilus shell is tropical.  Just looked it up. What I have is the shell of Argonauta nodosa (paper nautilus) and this is actually a species of octopus. The shell is actually an egg casing and it’s largely not tropical but found in cooler areas. So the shells I bought in the souvenir shop will have to suffice to suggest shells and coral. I have coral pictures too but can’t take actual samples.

Blue/green water- Blue curacao cocktail

Humidity – Really struggling with this one. The feeling of thick air in the jungle is what I’m after.  Thinking I have a small carafe that I could put a lid on and put dirt in it to allow condensation to collect…. maybe, I’m not sure. Consider presenting the fern fronds in the carafe and sealing it for a while to get condensation.

Bright sun – Drawing things outside with strong shadows, or alternatively I have a yellow massage ball that looks like it has sun rays coming from it. Also looks a bit like a beach toy.

Tacky souvenirs- Turtle “snow dome”

Cocktails- Plastic cocktail glass

Swimming- Bright flower pattern towel

So maybe towel, fern in carafe, blue cocktail in cocktail glass, turtle snow dome, patterned shells, yellow spiky ball.  Six objects but some of them combine two things.

Tomorrow I will photograph them and try some arrangements.

Some initial imagery to start Assignment One

I collected some objects from the souvenir shop here on Hamilton Island thinking that they would serve as my source objects for drawing. But then I read the brief more thoroughly and I realised that I should really be identifying the qualities, as well as objects, that I think of as tropical tourist, and selecting objects based on that. To that I end I did the brainstorming in the previous post.

Now I’m going to add some imagery from our current tropical holiday, that start to illustrate my sense of tropical tourist.

Cocktail in the lounge while the piano plays

One of the first thing that comes to my mind when I think of Tropical Tourist is cocktails. Not sure what this says about me but they seem to be the ubiquitous resort drink.

Dead coral from the beach

Tropical holidays in Australia usually mean coral and snorkelling. This is a piece of dead coral washed up on the resort beach. I have photographed it but have then put it back on the beach because it’s an offence to take coral. Notice also the interesting pattern from the towel behind

Gift shop souvenirs

This is my collection of souvenirs from the gift shop. I purchased shells because you shouldn’t really take them from the beach in a national park.

Lush forest

Humid cloying heat and lush greenery with buzzing insects speak of tropical to me. It’s actually not that warm at this time of the year but you can still feel the humidity. Lots of new growth on Hamilton Island at present as a very destructive cyclone went through the area just two months ago.

Colours of sunset

Palms, decimated by the recent cyclone, fringe the waters of the coral sea


Thinking about Assignment One

I’m choosing Tropical Tourist as my theme for this assignment. Mostly because this jumped out at me straight away given that we are currently on a holiday in the Whitsunday’s in Northern Australia.

Brainstorming what Tropical Tourist brings to mind for me:

Bright sun, blue-green calm water, lush greenery, coral, fish, shells, sand, seaweed, warmth, humidity

juxtaposed with

Cocktails, seafood, tacky souvenirs, loud music, towels, thongs, pools, bright coloured patterned clothing, hats, shops

An uneasy combination of natural beauty and commercial excesses