Wednesday 31 December 2014

Happy New Year!!

Micron pen on sketch paper
This was sketched straight onto the paper in pen - took a bit over an hour. One wouldn't want to build a tractor from this sketch as its innards are very inaccurately depicted and positioned.

After Christmas, we enjoyed spending a relaxing few days in the fishing town of Cervantes.  As well as being a great place for swimming in calm waters, the sheltered bay with its naturally compacted beach sand makes for excellent boat launching conditions. There is no queuing for launching ramps as the whole bay is at the boat launcher's disposal. In the mornings, old tractors jostle alongside modern four-wheel-drives to dispense boats from their trailers in the shallows. Most of the boats had already headed out to sea by the time I arrived at 7.30 in the morning. The weather was perfect for mooching along in the shallows and taking photos .


I was stunned by the beautiful patterns the light made in the shallow little waves that were lapping on the sand.
I love the country-town feel of the sandy paths leading from the beach back to the streets. This one led to the caravan park.

Late in the afternoon I enjoyed watching the pink and grey galahs milling around in the driveway and decorating the power lines.
Over the past month or so I have been learning how to propagate native plants from cuttings one day a week with the Wildflower Society. During our morning tea breaks I grab one of the successful plants that is now for sale and sketch it. Below are two examples.

I had intended to paint them when I got home - but somehow I feared spoiling them. I did eventually colour the top one but felt I'd ruined it so I was pleased that I'd photographed it beforehand. I had also intended to paint the tractor sketch but I quite like it left in black and white.
I'm hoping to get back to my acrylics next year.
 Speaking of next year - tomorrow - I would like to wish everyone a very HAPPY NEW YEAR!! May it be joyful, healthy and creative!!

Wednesday 24 December 2014

Merry Christmas!!

 I had hoped to paint something with a Christmas theme to post but time got away from me. Instead I nipped down to the beach with my camera along with some tinsel and baubles to create a festive beach scene.
 I've managed to do a few quick sketches of some native flowers over the past couple of weeks which I hope to post soon. It is after 11pm Christmas Eve and I'm still running around like an idiot finalising things ready for the morning! Organisation is not my strong point! I hope you all have things more in hand than I do and are all set for the big day. Wishing everyone a wonderful Christmas! May it be sunny or white - depending which part of the world you are from.

Thursday 4 December 2014

Hydrangea High

                                               Micron pen and watercolour on paper

The top image is a photograph of the work and the bottom is a scan. The colours of the top image are very close to the original but the background has come out very grey. In the scanned image the background isn't a problem but the picture itself is - the colours are very washed out. It is interesting to see the differences. I will stick to photographing my work for now.
Below is the beautiful hydrangea that I painted from life. It is very handily positioned near the back door and I was able to sketch it from the comfort of a chair indoors.

Unlike my first hydrangea to flower, this one has very large blooms. I get high on these flowers - they are so stunning and last for so long. I love watching the colours develop and change as they mature. They are amongst my all-time favourite cultivated flowers - my favourites make for a very long list.

Oh yes, I have been meaning to provide a link to my travel article that was published back in October in The West Australian newspaper in the weekend travel section. It is based on my sketching experiences while visiting the UK earlier in the year. If you would like to read it click here.  Prior to the online version it appeared in print in a two page spread with half a dozen images. All very exciting!!

And last - and least, (the sketch itself being the least rather than the occasion on which I executed it) I did this quick sketch below while enjoying a cuppa on the balcony with my mum the other week.

Monday 3 November 2014

Mmmmm Mulberries!

Today I had a lovely afternoon with my friend who lives around the corner. I sketched her mulberry tree while she pottered around in her garden. I just did the ink outline before I downed tools to help with picking a bowl full of mulberries. I added the paint in the evening.
Below are the ones I got to bring home with me! Yum!
Afterwards we enjoyed a cup of tea on her balcony where I admired her latest craft work and other spoils from her garden.
Below is a gorgeous old-fashioned rose bush she has growing near where we sat.
Meanwhile in my own garden the plumbago hedge is beginning to flower and will soon be a mass of blue.
My standard iceberg roses, which only weeks before, were nothing more than tangles of bare branches and rose-hips, are now lush masses of leaves and blooms after a brisk trim and a dose of liquid fertiliser. 
The rose below is hidden by the bin so I have to remember to go and admire it.
My hydrangeas are beginning to bloom but are only small having not been given enough fertiliser I fear.
The bougainvillea practically burns the retinas out with its high voltage colours. Just glorious!!
Now if you have got this far, please stay to enjoy some photos I took a couple of weekends ago when I visited the Groat Street festival on the edge of some local bushland. It was an event to promote sustainable community living. My daughters came along and we also met up with a friend. It was such a beautiful day with the stalls looking vibrant and interesting against the bush back-drop. It all felt very country-townish and was a very pleasant way to pass the morning. We joined a women's Aboriginal bush walk with a guide from Bindi Bindi Dreaming who amongst other things showed us which plants could be eaten as bush tucker. Having such a love of our native bush I really enjoy this sort of thing and had been on one of her tours a year or so ago at another bush reserve.

Marissa is a very entertaining guide and is a wealth of information about the local Noongar culture.

 The seed pods below lather up beautifully with a bit of water and make for a great bush soap.

This wonderful stall below made me feel like I was back in Glastonbury in the UK. It was run by Sarah who has a website at
One of my daughters bought a few organic vegetable seedlings.