their work and words, interviews, blogs, images, hints, tips, websites
and more...

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Drawing in Dad's workshed Alissa Duke

I have a yearly visit home to Toowoomba (in Queensland) from Sydney at Christmas. It is a week or two catching up with friends and family and falling into a familiar routine. This usually includes de-cluttering cupboards and being highly distracted by childhood memories.

It also involves re-exploring my Dad's workshed in the backyard. It is a step into the past. Dad died in 1987 and although much of the larger machinery and tools are gone, it still has shelves and cupboards of work tools and bit and pieces. Dad was a panel beater by trade and a handyman, inventor the rest of the time . He seemed to have every possible item to fix, nail, screw, clip, polish, cut, drill ... The tools are stored in specially labelled  containers and drawers or hanging up above the workbench, on the wall. Most of these items are still there and have not been moved

So much of this is part of my childhood

01Jan12 the Shed
drawn in 2012

This year I decided to draw some more of it. It is al in watercolour pencil and Lamy Safari Joy ink pen. If a clean out is ever done (hopefully this year) it may not be there next time I visit. These are my artist journal pages

I stood in front of a wall and started drawing the tools and containers. I decided to add the colour to the (old Dixibelle margarine containers circa 1970).

I then drew the wall above the main workbench, over two pages. I was not sure where/if to add colour to the page. I do not need any of them in my life in Sydney, but wanted a memory. That gave me the idea to draw some of the tools on the page. I chose a few and bought them up to the house and drew they over two days.

This is what I did New Years Eve !  (wire strippers and washers)

a G-Clamp and pop rivets
this is what the dinner table looked like on New Years Eve - a drawing in progress
 I have no idea what many of these objects are and the labels are a mystery. It was the job of my brother & I (and Mum to ) to sort through and to separate buckets of nuts and bolts ! I did not inherit my Dad's mechanical and technical nature, although he also had a creative side (woodturning and pottery). This is not the first year I have drawn tools from the shed. Previous Christmas visits have also provided opportunities. I think I am done now.

05Dec10 Drawing from the shed 1 of 4
(can't figure out how to turn this image)
050110 20f 4 shed drawing 050110 3 of 4 shed drawing 31Dec10 spirit level from the shed pt 1 31Dec10 spirit level from the shed pt 2 1 and 2 Jan11 drill attachments from the shed pt 2 1 and 2 jan11 drill attachments from the shed pt 1


  1. Gosh, you have been busy. What fun, I never thought to go into the workshop and sketch. I like tools tooo. Happy New Year Alyssa. See you tomorrow..

  2. I absolutely LOVE these Alissa! It's a delightful way to honor and remember your dad, and celebrate being home. You always inspire me.

  3. a delightful way to treasure memories from your dad...love the screw driver and wire strippers -- really stunning work!

  4. What wonderful sketches...they ooze with the love you had for your dad too...that makes these priceless I am sure. Thank you for sharing and God Bless your New Year.

  5. What a fantastic idea! I wonder how many of these you know how to use, too….?

  6. Just terrific work, and so personal. Thanks for sharing this new year, and have a happy one!

  7. What a wonderful way to create a memory of your dad. Your sketches are wonderfully evocative. Those of us who love tools and their use can really appreciate the complexity and the ease with which you drew these. Enjoy your memories. And thank you for the sketches.

  8. I hate these comment sections. I write a wonderful, thoughtful comment, hit "publish" and instead google sends me out into the ethernet to sign in. My comments disappear and I have to start all over again. I had effusively thanked you for the fabulous sketches of a workshop - your dad's - saying that you had created possibly the best memory of your dad that could be done. And that those of us who love workshops and tools? We got to vicariously visit your dad's workshop. Thank you for your wonderful sketches.

    1. That happens to me once in a while too, Jill, have no idea why!

  9. Wonderful memories...wonderful sketches!! Thanks for transporting me back to my childhood growing up on a dairy farm. My father also had a workshop...wish I had been sketching many years ago before the farm was sold.

  10. Thank you all. These sketches were immensely satisfying and fun to do . I could have stayed there for a week.
    Quite a few people have commented to me that this reminds them of their dad/grand dad's shed and brings back memories for them too

    1. Yes, I can almost smell my dad's garage...I imagine these WERE immensely satisfying!


We'd love your feedback...please share your thoughts!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...