‘ONE WORD ONE DAY’ ASA’s Brisbane event

Before I begin with a write up of this fabulous event, I thought it best to include a snippet of what OWOD (ONE WORD ONE DAY) is all about – for those not familiar with it. Or, if you wish to cut to the chase, just click on a previous blog post.



ONE WORD ONE DAY is a national event occurring at different types around Australia.

At these events, a host of Australia’s best known and highly acclaimed artists create art for ONE WORD ONE DAY to raise funds for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation (ILF) to help disadvantaged kids in the remotest parts of Australia.

Artists have three hours to create a picture and the ASA will release the inspirational WORD that morning (if not before). “The topic for the painting is to be an inspirational word that will fire artists’ imaginations,” says Laurine Croasdale, manager of the One Word One Day event.

ABOUT the Indigenous Literacy Foundation

The Indigenous Literacy Foundation (ILF) aims to address literacy in remote communities across Australia. In the past three years it has sent more than 70,000 books to creches, women’s centres, schools, libraries, health and youth centres in the remotest parts of Australia. ILF also works closely with a small number of communities, translating books like The Very Hungry Caterpillar into local language and recording local stories. In 2011 the Foundation was enormously proud to publish 13 stories written by children from Warburton and Wyndham in WA and Wilcannia in NSW. Called The Naked Boy & the Crocodile, the stories capture the talent and lives of children.

Now for my write up of this fabulous day at ABC Brisbane studios (South Bank).

Drum roll please ………… On Friday 11 May 2012 the foyer of the ABC studios, South Bank (Brisbane) was a hive of quiet activity. This might be hard to imagine – nine talented artists, paints, crayons –   but yes, it was relatively ‘quiet’.  Sure, there was chatter and laughter, the tingle of art materials as the artists buzzed around the art trolley, the scraping of chairs on tiles, the patter of shoes, and the periodical snaps from cameras and filming equipment. But for most of the four hours, each artist was so absorbed in their creative zone that I felt the need be mother hen – making sure they had breaks and sugar fixes. Didn’t want an artist fainting into their paint pots.

The nine creative souls who quickly settled into their new surroundings (give them paper, paints, and brushes and watch their eyes light up) were Kerry Argent, Stephen Axelsen, Rebecca Berrett, Joanne Brooker, Lucia Masciullo, Lynn Priestley, Gregory Rogers, Angela Sunde and Peter Taylor.

Let’s meet the fabulous nine.

You will note that Brisbane’s OWOD word was ‘skidaddle.”

L to R:  Angela Sunde, Gregory Rogers, Kerry Argent, Stephen Axelsen, Lucia Masciullo (far right)

Front: Peter Taylor, Joanne Brooker (holding word), Lynn Priestley (showing back of ILF t-shirt),  Rebecca Berrett (slightly back),

There were quite a few visitors due to regular radio promotion, and the strategic placing of the artists’ chairs and tables in front of the foyer’s large windows, to lure in passer-bys. This didn’t appear to distract the artists.

For me, it was a wonderful opportunity to view the progression of each artist’s creation (seeing their illustrations slowly come to life) and the diversity in style. What also impressed me was the some artists used this opportunity to experiment with other mediums that they hadn’t used before. How brave!

Disguised as a roving reporter, I was intrigued to find out what each artist’s reaction was upon finding out that ‘skidaddle’ was their OWOD word.  (Note: There was a little discussion about the correct spelling of  ‘skidaddle’ (skedaddle). Though all artists interpreted the word to mean ‘fleeing’ or ‘just run away’, it was interesting to find out the variations in the mental pictures that first sprang to mind:

  • ‘Someone running away with something.’
  • ‘Heard the words, skid and waddle. Someone skidding through a puddle like a duck.’
  • ‘Upon discovering what it meant, realised movement was involved, so needed to draw someone running or moving fast.’
  • ‘The Flat Iron building in New York (cnr 23rd and Broadway).  It is at this intersection that police signal ‘skadoo’ (Get moving/On your way). So immediately thought of “run away”.’
  • ‘The thought of medieval time, with the words skatty;  skattering – something dashing off to safety.’
  • ‘Just run away.’
  • ‘OMG’ (I couldn’t print this artist’s exact expression). ‘Then running dogs.’
  • ‘Taking flight. Thought of a mixture of skate boarding, with a humorous picture of animals skate boarding, then fleeing.’
  • ‘Was hoping for a noun. Initially thought, “How could I possibly draw to that?” Then got an idea and all was well.’

And to conclude my roving reporter impersonation, each artist was invited to offer words of inspiration to children – in relation to art:

‘They are born artists and all they have to do, is do it.  They have a natural instinct so they don’t always have to go along with what others tell them [about how to draw]. Don’t judge yourself too harshly.’ (Joanne Brooker)

‘They have to play. They have to be free to draw something even if they think it is bad. Each time they draw something they improve.’ (Angela Sunde)

‘Unlike mathematics and some other subjects, in Art there are no errors, just a continuous experiment; no mistakes. So this is a good thing for children to remember when they draw – you just keep learning.’ (Lucia Masciullo)

Don’t ever lose your sense of play or the ability to play with ideas. The more playful you are the better. Children have an innate ability but tend to lose it as they get older. Try not to lose that sense of play. If you don’t have fun you aren’t going to achieve much.’ (Gregory Rogers)

‘Use nature as inspiration. For example, the words wind and rain, can be very inspirational as they can be interpreted in so many different ways. Kids can use nature as inspiration.’ (Peter Taylor)

‘Don’t stop. Copy. Enjoy yourself!  Don’t worry about drawing realistically. Try to lighten up. Draw lightly and easily to begin with.’ (Stephen Axelsen)

Paint with your heart.’ (Lynn Priestley)

‘I am a fan of drawing constantly and drawing from life, if possible. As a child I was drawing all the time as we didn’t have a TV. Once you develop really good drawing and observation skills you can go onto other mediums.’ (Kerry Argent)

‘Practise every day until you is really good at it. And read a lot.’  (Rebecca Berrett)

What wonderful words of wisdom.

And what about the finished art?

Back row L to R:  Gregory Rogers, Stephen Axelsen, Peter Taylor, Joanne Brooker, Lynn Priestley

Front row L to R:  Angela Sunde, Kerry Argent, Rebecca Berrett, Lucia Masciullo

Well that’s about it in a nutshell. But before I skedaddle, some special ‘Thank-You’s’ are in order.

The ABC staff at South Bank were absolutely marvelous.  I arrived early to find Suzie Wilson, (Marketing Manager), Mark Bowling (State Director) and Glenn Costello busy setting up tables. Mark Bowling pleasantly surprised me when he announced that he had ordered a couple of trays of sandwiches for lunch.

I wish to also thank Lucia Masciullo who also assisted me on the day. Lucia helped greet the artists and was in charge of organising the art supplies.  Lucia also acted as ‘art protector’, keeping a watchful eye on the finished art work, making sure none skidaddled (skedaddled) out of the ABC’s foyer. Thanks also for sending off the finished art to ASA. Thanks Angela Sunde for assisting Lucia in the sorting out of the wonderful art materials.

A special thank you also to Stephen Axelsen, ‘the key man’. Without Stephen’s assistance during set up we would have been up the creek without a paddle.  Whilst the Micador art trolley was being set up, Lucia and I came to a standstill – no bolts to join the trolley together. Aaarrggghhhh!!!! This is where Stephen played a vital role in finding the bolts and allen key, and tightening the trolley. Thus the art supplies had a home for the day.

And thanks Laurine Croasdale (ASA’s Professional Development Officer) for being so organised and keeping me up to date with the day’s schedule.

A big thank you to the ABC’s cross media reporter, Emma Sykes who filmed the artists at ‘work’. Her ‘Artist TimeLapse: Skidaddle’ video can be found on ASA’s ‘One Word One Day’ FB page. It was also a pleasure to meet Suzy Wilson, Founder of the Indigenous Literacy Foundation. (Note: I will be posting a direct link to this video tomorrow – so stay tuned!)

AND big hugs to all the nine artists. You were wonderful to ‘work’ with, and made my role of assisting you so very easy and enjoyable. Hope to see you at the next One Word One Day event.

Artists with Suzie Walker Marketing Manager (left) and Mark Bowling State Director ABC (right).

Far Left: Suzie Walker (ABC’s Marketing Manager)

2nd from far right .Mark Bowling (State Director)

Artists: Back: L to R:  Angela Sunde, Gregory Rogers, Stephen Axelsen, Kerry Argent, Rebecca Berrett

Front: L to R: Peter Taylor, Joanne Brooker, Lynn Priestley (holding the back of her ILF (Indigenous Literacy Foundation t-shirt) and Lucia Masciullo (far right).

Artists with Mark Bowling State Director ABC (far right)  & me (2nd from right) .

L to R:  Angela Sunde, Gregory Rogers, Kerry Argent, Stephen Axelsen, Lucia Masciullo

Front: Peter Taylor, Joanne Brooker (holding word), Lynn Priestley (showing back of ILF t-shirt),  Rebecca Berrett (slightly back),

Far Right:  Mark Bowling (ABC’s State Director), and Helen Ross (ASA’s Qld Professional Development coordinator) –  2nd from right.

Artists with Suzy Wilson (Founder of the Indigenous Literacy Foundation)

L to R: Gregory Rogers, Rebecca Berrett, Peter Taylor, Lynn Priestley, Angela Sunde, Joanne Brooker, Lucia Masciullo, Suzy Wilson (ILF founder), Kerry Argent and Stephen Axelsen

And the parting comment from all the artists was: “That was fun! When can we do that again?”

NB: Tomorrow I will be posting some more pics plus a direct link to Emma’s ‘Artist: TimeLapse: Skiddadle’ video.

 • Melbourne      Wednesday 14 March 2012 – completed
• Adelaide         Wednesday 11 April 2012   – completed
• Perth              Wednesday 18 April 2012   – completed
• Brisbane         Friday 11 May 2012             – completed
• Hobart            Wednesday 23 May 2012    – completed
• Darwin            Wednesday 6 June 2012
• Sydney           Wednesday 20 June 2012

And if you haven’t done so, could you please LIKE ASA’s OWOD FaceBook page. And ask all your Twitter, FaceBook et al followers to LIKEONE WORD ONE DAY.

Just click on:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/One-Word-One-Day/361742690527315 and Press LIKE. That’s all you need to do.

I now close with my own ‘skidaddle’ (skedaddle) creation. This was inspired by some of the artists’ comments upon discovering their OWOD word. My poem was created on the day whilst the artists were ‘hard at work’.


(Best read with slow dramatic flair. NB: The third last line is in reference to the expression, ‘Up the creek without a paddle.’)

Also, please come up for air after every fourth line – for some reason I am unable to add an extra space between each verse.

Oh my God!

What to draw?

It’s far too hard

My head’s now sore.

What does it mean?

How do I start?

I’m at a loss

But I looooooove my art.

(pause – light bulb moment)

Hey!   Hang on now!

Just like rain

Ideas have flooded

Into my brain

I no longer feel

I’ve lost my paddle

Oh good! It’s time to start.

I’d best …….. ski…daddle.

©  Helen Ross 11 May 2012

A condensed version of this write up will appear in a forthcoming ASA newsletter.

Before you go!

Please drop by my blog tomorrow for more pictures, and links to Emma Sykes’ (ABC’s cross media reporter) Artists: Skidaddle TimeLapse video.

About Helen McKenzie Ross

Welcome to my creative world. I am an Australian actor, writer/ poet and have many passions; some of which I write about in my blog posts. I have a quirky sense of humour, and dance to the beat of my own drum. Thanks for dropping by and hope you visit again soon. I always have tea, coffee, wine and cake.
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6 Responses to ‘ONE WORD ONE DAY’ ASA’s Brisbane event

  1. Julie says:

    Great poem and it looks like it was a fantastic event!

    • Helen Ross says:

      Hi Julie. Yes it was a fun day and for a great cause. The artists were lovely and were in their element with all the lovely art materials supplied by Micador. It was so inspiring watching these artists at ‘work.’ I am posting a direct link to Emma Sykes’s video Artists: TimeLapse Skidaddle today (you can actually see me in the background working on the poem). I hope I am involved in next year’s Brisbane OWOD event.

  2. Wow, those artists are just too good – I’m beyond jealous 😉 Sounds like a terrific few hours and your a natural ‘journalist’. I think the new ABC headquarters is fantastic (compared to the old place at Toowong). When I think of Skiddadle I think of mothers telling their children to go outside and not bother them while cooking etc.. Enjoyed your poem too 😉

    • Helen Ross says:

      Hi Gabrielle. Yes, I am beyond jealous as well. The artists are all so talented and well known in their field. It was a great few hours and I do hope I am involved in this event next year. The ABC studio foyer is just lovely, and was a perfect set up for the artists. It was interesting hearing each artist’s first impression. Yes, I always think of skidaddle as meaning ‘Shoo’ I’m busy.

  3. Pingback: More OWOD Pics and TimeLapse video | Helen Ross writes

  4. Pingback: Leading Illustrators’ Auction for Indigenous Literacy | Helen Ross writes

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