Lisa Roberts blog


Remembering Jack Ward

Filed under: DrawingMovement — Lisa @ 08:43

Last week I went to Melbourne for Jack Ward’s wake.

I met Jack not long after I came back from Antarctica.

All of what I do since those days involves raising environmental awareness. For many years I felt the opposite, numbed to my own connection to it. I see this in paintings long before I went:
I now recognise the spheres as suns and planets and me as disconnected from things and feelings.

Being in Antarctica certainly challenged me. In the absence of much life there I experienced intense moments of being simultaneously part of past and future ice ages. Being there with climate scientists confronted me with the reality of human impacts on Earth and our collective disruption of natural climate cycles. I learned about the Milankovitch cycles that govern climate changes over long time periods – cycles of changing relationships between Earth and Sun that govern glacial and interglacial periods. This made me question my relationship to the world and to think about the massive scale of collective human action. It’s amazing to think that we can disrupt such major forces.

I met Jack in Mornington at an exhibition of Sydney Nolan’s Antarctic paintings. There he was, nose close up to the paint. Then I saw his eyes and I knew that he had been there and was most likely changed by that experience.

The other day I heard his voice when I rang his home phone. The sound was curiously disembodied, as I will always remember him, not of this urban noisy world.


Google Doodle, animated dance

Filed under: DrawingMovement, animation, dance, drawing — Lisa @ 20:05

Yesterday’s Google Doodle was a beautiful animation. I was pretty busy and didn’t get a chance to find out anything about it. After asking friends I found out (THANK YOU ALL) that:

It was made by Ryan WoodWard to reflect the dance style of Martha Graham.

The Martha Graham Center site has lots of information.

The site Animated Google Doodle Honors 117th Birthday of Dancer Martha Graham is where you can download animation key frames.

Someone has put music to it.

Someone explains (in German) technical information about it.



Filed under: DrawingMovement, dance, drawing, writing — Lisa @ 06:19

Here I share lesson plans and reflections on my DRAWING MOVEMENT WORKSHOPS, acknowledge the sources of my methods and invite comments.

LESSONS and REFLECTIONS are published under a Creative Commons Share Alike license. This means that you are free to use and adapt the methods to your practice. However, in any publications, acknowledgement of this URL must be made in reference to these methods: By acknowledging this URL you automatically acknowledge my sources.

The theory behind my practice is that physical and biological forces shape us and our environment and that drawing movement can visualise body knowledge of these forces. This is ancient knowledge that is important to recover in this time of need to reconnect.

Absolute Dance, a primal form created by Rudolf von Laban, inspires my preference for body rhythm as the catalyst for drawing.

[Laban] set out from the idea that we should be able to perceive rhythm not only through our ears; that our eyes should be just as capable of perceiving it. When we see the waves of the sea from afar, so that we cannot hear their sounds, we yet fully take in their rhythm. Why should we not have the same delight, he argued, from seeing a dancer? Why should not the dance, like a moving sculpture, be sufficient in itself? It was on these theories that he based the Absolute Dance (Gertrud Bodenwiesser, The New Dance, pp.69-70).



A5 recycled paper sheets (clipped to A5 wooden drawing boards) and clutch pencils (with large soft leads) are made available to workshop participants.


Enter the space

Walk through the space, aware of your breath as you consciously focus on leaving behind the physical experience of getting here (by foot, bike, car or public transport) (Ref. Christine McMillan, 2008).

What changes do you note in your breathing?

Now imaginatively enter and explore a wide white page that is bound within the 3 dimensions of this place – its length, breadth and height.

Focus on your feet connecting to the ground through the weight of your whole body.

Imagine marking the ground with inky feet, drawing a scale that ranges between extremely light and heavy.

Use other body parts to draw lines of different weight through all the dimensions of your imagined 3D page.

Think of your lines as drawing the 4th dimension of time.

Gradually find stillness. Close your eyes. Breathe. Imagine yourself now within a new clear space. You have moved through the imagined white page and into the reality of the present. Open your eyes.

Take your drawing board and pencil and, without looking at the paper, slowing walk and draw a line that spirals clockwise from the centre. Allow the weight of your pencil on the paper to trace the weight of your body on the ground. Your lines will reflect this experience of movement.

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