Ready to Fly

“Ready to Fly” Neocolor II and coloured pencils, 31 x 38 cm. January 2023

I am a bit obsessed with our Rainbow Container Sculpture in East Fremantle. How the colours do change depending on time of day and atmospherics. My newest drawing “Ready to Fly” shows the sculpture on a fiercely clear autumn day. Early morning sun and fresh air result in THE SHOCK OF THE BRIGHT.

How does a seagull in the foreground compete with such forceful colours behind? It flaps its wings and manages to grab our attention with an upward thrust. Off you go.

In my two previous rainbow sculpture drawings “All is Calm” and “Colour My World” there is smoke in the air due to prescribed fire hazard-reduction burns. The colours of the sculpture are considerably muted by hazy atmospherics.

“All is Calm” drawn in October 2022.

The sculpture in reality is absolutely hard-edge; made from shipping containers. But I don’t want to draw hard-edged containers which is why I employ an accommodating bird to focus on. (How often I wait in vain for one to show up!)

“Colour My World” November 2022.

Now that I have drawn the sculpture so many times (four pictures but one didn’t survive) I feel positively drawn to it . When I see it in the distance, usually from a car, I feel a connection thanks to all the hours I have spent observing and rendering it in various lights. As to the birds, they sooth my soul.

11 thoughts on “Ready to Fly

  1. Joy

    Thank you for the reminder of the colourful sculpture and your beautiful birds, Julie! You capture the light and the ambience perfectly. I really should admire that sculpture more! The birds are ALWAYS admired, as you capture them so succinctly.

  2. anna warren portfolio

    Observation is the key to understanding I think, and this can be applied to all aspects of life, but especially to art. You have immersed yourself completely in this wonderful sculpture, but it doesn’t dominate, it just quietly defines and enhances the star of the show, the bird. The light on this gull is delicious, its just glowing! A worthy addition to the set.

    1. juliepodstolski Post author

      Hi Anna, my current practice is to immerse myself in nature (ie Araluen Botanic Garden where I drive to in the Perth hills often) and just concentrate on loving being there – WITHOUT stressing on getting source photos. I managed this very well yesterday. I was lulled by the constant calls of the Forest Red Tailed Black Cockatoos and just enjoyed myself so much being in the presence of birds, flowers and trees. Looking and listening; observation as you say. (I’d be lying if I said I didn’t take any photos; I did, but I didn’t have anxiety about it.)

  3. xanderest

    Hi Julie ,

    When I saw all your bird/container-sculpture drawings together , I thought what a wonderful set they would make on a wall , so I hope someone buys them as such as it makes such a cohesive story ; shows the seasonal light change and probably what different birds are there. Magnificent obsession !


    1. juliepodstolski Post author

      Hi Judy, actually the drawings are different sizes/ratios so I’m not sure how well they’d sit side-by-side. Perhaps everyone will have a different favourite. Matthew’s favourite is the latest one whereas my favourite is “All is Calm” – the middle one here. xx

  4. Robyn Varpins

    I love the way the rainbow is reflected in the bird. It feels exuberant and uplifting. It reminds me of an Icon with the arch outlining the bird.


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