SHARING THE LOVE: Tony Ditcham (one of the Toukley and Districts Art Society Wednesday Academy Group's mentors) at back, with Sonja Fabian and group members.
SHARING THE LOVE: Tony Ditcham (one of the Toukley and Districts Art Society Wednesday Academy Group's mentors) at back, with Sonja Fabian and group members.

Drawing out artists' best at Toukley

SONJA Fabian loves the simplicity, accessibility and the tonal values of drawing in graphite and charcoal.

This year she decided to share that love for drawing and help others to develop their skills by forming The Friday Drawing Club at Toukley and Districts Art Society.

Trained in the early 1970s at the famous Julian Ashton Art School, in the Rocks Sydney - founded in 1890 and now the oldest continuous fine art school in Australia - Sonja went on to many and varied jobs, but never lost her interest in art.

Having retired five years ago, she has dedicated more time to drawing and to the art society.

"You can get absolutely lost in what you are doing," said Sonja, whose main focus is drawing animals (particularly the big cats) and people.

"Everything disappears around you. Your worries go and you just lose yourself in the picture - it's very therapeutic."

Sonja said whether you are a complete beginner, looking to improve your drawing skills in themselves or as a basis for painting, or just need technical advice on an existing project, there is something to be shared and learned at the Friday Drawing Club.

"If you are an absolute beginner we have plenty of materials here in the gallery you can use to start you off," Sonja said.

Still life, proportions, shading and lines, design and how to place objects in your art, and that old bug-bear of the human form are all aspects which you can work on at any experience level.

Sonja is also hoping to attract subjects, willing to give up an hour or two to act as models - and no, there is no nudity required, the main focus will be the face!

The club is in addition to the society's Wednesday Academy Group, which has been bringing painters together for several years now, and acts more as a mentorship, or advice-sharing venue for more experienced artists working on pieces.

"It's a lovely setting here by the lake, very calm and relaxing," Sonja said of the art society's Wallarah Point Park venue.

She encouraged people to visit, look around the selection of art on display and for sale in the gallery, from drawings and paintings to porcelain and pottery, craftwork and jewellery, and perhaps sit in on a Friday meeting.

The Friday Drawing Club runs from 9.30am to 12.30pm and 12.30 to 4pm, or you can stay all day. The cost is just $5, which is waived for your first visit.

Wednesday's painting group runs 9.30am to 12.30pm, also for $5.

The art gallery is open daily from 10am to 4pm, and there is a coffee shop on site.

Stalls are also available for the Toukley Art and Craft Fair by the Lake from 9am to 2pm on November 18.

Call 43924666 for details or go to

Meghan, Harry ‘struggling to cope’ in LA

Meghan, Harry ‘struggling to cope’ in LA

Dream of a blissful new life has quickly turned into a nightmare

Fresh confusion over virus 'detention'

Fresh confusion over virus 'detention'

Thousands of Melbourne public housing residents have been provided with "detention...

Man in iconic 9/11 photo dies from virus

Man in iconic 9/11 photo dies from virus

This man miraculously survived the 9/11 terror attacks