The beginnings of this drawing lie in the camping trip I did last year to far western New South Wales, in particular Broken Hill. I took dozens of photos of the plants and flowers I found, as well as drawing as many as I could. When I started this drawing the inspiration was a sprawling shrub with dull green leaves and purple flowers, an unexciting photo, but the essence of it gave some of the structures that appeared in this drawing. That plant was consumed very quickly by the drawing taking on a new life entirely, there are no remnants left. As often happens with my drawing new elements emerged – there are hints of birds and insects as well as petals and leaves and this led to the title, Oracle. Bringing in colour intensified these forms.

It was entered into the Ewart Art Prize, with some trepidation, and to my relief it was juried in, then to my astonishment and delight found yesterday that it had been awarded First Prize for Drawing! This is significant to me, as I feel this drawing is a new development in the abstract works I have been gradually building over the last few years.

Below are four detail images. The base drawing was done in Liquid Pencil, using an old, ratty brush to make loose marks, on yupo paper, then finished with Caran d’Ache coloured pencils.

Author: anna warren portfolio

I draw, I paint, I am a printmaker. Always searching for the interesting detail in the world around me.

15 thoughts

  1. I love to see how you keep push this medium! This one is so intriguing and rich. So happy to read your post and see that you have won the juried exhibit! Congratulations Anna! You continue to inspire me with your incredible talent!


  2. Congratulations and well deserved. Thanks for the close-ups it was lovely to zoom in on the detail. I think the choice of title is excellent as the amazing blooming of this ‘plant’ seems to speak of strange and unusual possibilities.


    1. Titles can be quite important can’t they – I spent a long time mulling over options, and in the end borrowed the title from another (very different) artwork I saw recently. As you say, I felt it summed up what this ‘plant’ is about. Thank you so much for your comments Leonie, always insightful!


  3. Hi Anna, sorry for my delay in seeing this post. I have had a hectic few days so have only just gotten around to looking at my computer. “Oracle” is a universe in a drawing. It so deserves to have won the drawing first prize in the Ewart Art Award. I would want to hang this in my bedroom as there is no place in the house where I look and look at a drawing more than from my bed – before or after sleep. This drawing would never tire of exposing new parts to the viewer – there is just so much to be seen here.
    On another point, I notice you have no captions under your images in this post. Is this because WordPress has stopped allowing a method of putting captions in? It seems so to me as I am turning my brain upside-down wondering why I cannot put a caption underneath an image on a post I am currently trying to create. Is it me or is it WordPress?

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  4. I like your notion that there is a universe in this drawing – it was another one that has a beginning and an idea, but then grew itself almost, populating its own world with hints and suggestions of things a bit outside our own experience. The position where it was hung in the exhibition was good, any viewer could get really close to see the detail, as well as being able to see it across the gallery.

    I didn’t add captions here as I felt the detail images were self-explanatory, but I have for other posts. WordPress is certainly not so accessible as it was when we started using it! Now to add a caption you have to click on the image, and little boxes appear for captions and other options. It seems to want to put the caption ON the image, not below, but I think there may be ways of doing that … Something I find annoying is if I put in a gallery (or group of images) and decide I want, for example, two columns, that will appear in my draft, but be in a single column in the actual post. I enjoyed the simplicity of the earlier methods!


    1. Hi Anna, it was sixth sense that led me to your reply rather than an email to say there was one (though I got an email to say you’d written a comment on my blog post). Definitely WordPress is getting less easy to navigate, especially for the likes of me! I note now that if I am on the editing page I don’t see any captions (say, for older posts and pages) but if I view those published pages, they are all there. Why would they decide that it is better for us not to see captions on our editing pages? I can’t understand the logic of that. As for columns, I have never dared to try more than one column and I’m sure I never shall. Oh – so you click ON the image? I hadn’t tried that. Instead I add the caption in the media library (which I only figured out how to do last night as the little caption-adding boxes that used to be on the right of the screen in the media library are now gone).
      That’s great that your “Oracle” was so well hung. That is one thing about going into art awards that you can only hope for but never guarantee. And as to the universe, both on a macro scale but also a micro scale – as if you were viewing it through a microscope.


      1. It is very confusing with the captions and general layout. They seem to have decided to ‘improve’ it by making it more complex. One of the things that drew me to it was the clarity and straightforwardness of the application. It also seems there are several different ways to do the same thing, some more complex than others! That’s nice – to feel the drawing can be viewed from both a macro and micro perspective.

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