Monthly Archives: September 2014

Bali Journal

 

Barking Gecko

Barking Gecko Bali Journal, Gouache and inks

I have been working hard this weekend to finish up a lot of the pictures that I started in my Bali Journal.  I know that once I move onto other things I will never go back and complete them.  So here you are, be ready for lots in this post.

Just to get you back into the mood here are a few pictures of where I was working.

My villa at Hurry Slowly Bingin

My villa at Hurry Slowly Bingin

My studio at Bingin

My studio at Bingin

View from my villa Bingin

View from my villa Bingin

Working with the girls

Working with the girls

The Barking Gecko and the Frog, where both visitors to my little villa, the gecko I only heard and he was extremely loud.  I thought geckos were small but these were a medium sized lizards and did in fact bark a bit like a dog.  The frog was a visitor to my open bathroom, but he didn’t like sharing and would quickly move on, which suited both of us.

Frog

Frog Bali Journal Gouache and Ink

The Manatee picture is a favourite, it combined a number of memorable images.  Manatees would swim out with the surfers and Angus, the husband of Jane who ran the course, would go out surfing and tell us of the manatees he would meet.  Also every evening the local fishing boats would stream out of the port and go past our cliff top perch, then at dusk they would light their lights and fish just off shore.  It was like another city of twinkling lights out in the ocean.

Manatee sleeping, Gouache, water soluble crayons and inks,

Manatee sleeping, Gouache, water soluble crayons and inks,

The dragon flys would zoom past as we were working in the garden, or would come and visit me in the villa.  This one is resting just by the hut by the pool looking over the cliff to the sea.

Dragon fly Bali Journal Acrylic and ink

Dragon fly Bali Journal Acrylic and ink

The next two are a double page spread and they are the offerings that would appear each day in my villa.  The Dupa is the Balinese offerings to the gods which are seen everywhere in Bali and help to bring good luck to the occupant and ward against evil.  The other was the little flower arrangements that the staff would do each day for me.  Such a lovely tradition.

Bali Offering, Water soluble crayons, ink etc

Bali Offering, Water soluble crayons, ink etc

Offering 2 Bali Journal

Offering 2 Bali Journal

I still have a few more pages to finish and I will be adding some of the photos to the spare pages and I hope to have another lovely keepsake of my trip.

Karen

 

Hanging out with the mixed media girls

It has been a busy couple of days as I started the course with Jane Davenport who is a mixed media, journal artist.  There are fourteen of us here all drawing away in this little piece of paradise.

Umbrella Bali Journal Page

Umbrella Bali Journal Page

The mixed media journalling is a whole different world for me and their process is completely different to mine.  They do not plan their work, just go where the page tells them, they work from their imaginations not from real life and they just lay done colour, papers, stencils on a page to start the journal without worrying what the picture will be.  Also this group do faces, as anyone who follows this blog will know, I rarely do faces.  I am used to planning a drawing, doing sketches and working from real life or photo references.  Wasn’t I out of my comfort zone on the first day as we merrily slapped down colours and papers. I would be alright for a moment until I started to think about what I wanted to draw and then I would worry that I didn’t have a background that would work.  Let go Karen, let go!

Bali Journal Page Background

Bali Journal Page Background

Bali Journal Page Background

Bali Journal Page Background

Anyway I got there and have managed to get most of my pages filled with a background.  The great thing about these girls is they will use every different media under the sun in one picture, background using a scrape booking paper, on it will go a printmaking technique, then acrylic, then some water colour, ink paint pens and pencils.  They know so much about all the different mediums it is inspiring to watch them work.

Morning Offering Bali Journal Page

Unfinished Morning Offering Bali Journal Page  Every morning a offering (canang) is placed at my door with a stick on incense (dupa).

I have only finished on page (Umbrella at the top), but I will show you where I am up to in a couple of other pages.  I am also learning to work on a number of different pages at a time and not to worry if one doesn’t get finished.

Manatee Page Bali Journal

Unfinished Manatee Page Bali Journal   At the top I have drawn the fishing boats that go past every morning and evening and use their lights to attract their catch.  The manatee swim with the surfers.

Working on these different backgrounds has been so much fun, and it is what I most wanted to get out of this courses, apart from the pleasure of working with so many other lovely like minded people.

Bali Girl Bali Journal Page

Bali Girl Bali Journal Page

 

Ubud

Temple Ubud Water colour, coloured pencils and ink journal

Temple Ubud Water colour, coloured pencils and ink journal

I spent the day yesterday travelling to Ubud to have a look at the local art and craft.  Had a lovely day just not what I expected.  Ubud is a village in the hinterland of Bali and in the hills, but before your mind goes to quaint little village nestled in the rice paddies and jungles, that is what it was, not what it is today.  We didn’t get out of the urban sprawl, there was only an occasional rice paddy in amongst the shops, temples, shops, houses and more shops.

Ubud journal page

Ubud journal page

There was certainly a great deal of craft, each village (suburb) has it own craft specialty and we passed kilometres of stone carving  shops, I don’t know how you would choose which one to go in.

Me at the coffee tasting

Me at the coffee tasting

 

I hired a driver for the day, such a lovely gentle man, he choose were to go and I did not quibble as the thought of sorting out which one would be best was beyond me.  So I visited Batik, silver jewellery, fine art and temples.  The art gallery was much better than what I feared and amongst many touristy paintings was some really nice and interesting work.  I bought this little painting as I like this naive style.  All the patterns and details were so well done. ( I lost the piece of paper with the nae of the artist on it will have to email the store for it)

Balinese Painting

Balinese Painting

I didn’t have time to get to the rice terraces, but had lunch amongst rice paddies instead.

9b Rice paddies Ubud

Made it to my new villa where we will have the art retreat, it is a little piece of Balinese heaven, show you that next post.

Karen

Seminyak Beach Sunrise (well almost)

Seminyak Beach Sunrise Water Colour

Seminyak Beach Sunrise Water Colour

Almost got up early enough to get the sunrise on the beach.  Still just a hint of pink in the clouds and the lovely early morning colours.  (Before you all think I am a really early bird, Bali is two hours later then home, so I am awake very early.)

I tried to use all water colour in this picture, with only a few ink lines to sketch the figures.  The sea is so hard to paint, all those waves that just won’t sit still for me to draw, and people are always a challenge.  I didn’t really succeed with the water colour and when I got home it felt very insipid so I got out the colour pencils and gently added some depth to the colours.  I only have a limited water colour set and just couldn’t get the colours I wanted, and working with such a new technique on site defeated me this time.

I did this drawing at the beach, there were loads of people walking, many with their dogs.  It made me miss mine, I will never get used to going for a walk without a dog, it just seems wrong somehow.  These dogs were having a fabulous time chasing waves and each other.

Seminyak Beach Sunrise Left

Seminyak Beach Sunrise Left

This view was taken looking straight ahead, I also took photos looking either way up the beach and when I got home I used the one looking left for another painting.  I used ink for the trees, but it tried again with the water colours in a more controlled environment and I am much happier with the result, especially the sky.  Nothing beats water colours for painting beautiful skies.  A bit more practice and I will get consistent results.

Seminyak Beach Sunrise Journal Page

Seminyak Beach Sunrise Journal Page

Here is the journal spread, starting to get the writing to work with the drawings.

Seminyak Beach Sunrise Right

Seminyak Beach Sunrise Right

I am off to Ubud for the day tomorrow, looking forward to seeing the inland scenery and the rice fields and of course all the arts there.  Ubud is the artistic centre of Bali and has many fine wood, silver, fiber artisans and fine arts. Hope I can find some nice things to take home.

Karen

Bali Morning

 

Drawing of courtyard at Villa Kresna, Seminyak Bali water colour and ink.

Drawing of courtyard at Villa Kresna, Seminyak Bali water colour and ink.

Arrived in Bali yesterday afternoon, a little shattered after a flight spent at the back of the airline full of excited children and a two hour wait in the customs queue. But Villa Kresna where I am staying in Seminyak for the first three nights, is a beautiful, calm oasis. I sat at the little table outside my villa and drew this picture of the pool and courtyard I look out on. Isn’t it divine.

Drawing at Villa Kresna Seminyak Bali

Drawing at Villa Kresna Seminyak Bali

I did the line drawing last night and finished this morning, still getting to know water colours and trying to take the advice of the lovely Ruth Bailey a gorgeous water colour artist I follow and leave some of the white paper shine through.  I am pleased with how the water turned out and think I finally got some of the contrast happening after having to repeatedly go back and deepen the colours.

A nice quiet day today, with a spa this afternoon and I should be ready to adventure out tomorrow.

Karen

 

The Start of Spring

As promised here is a picture painted with my lovely new brushes and a picture of the brushes.  I thought I would quickly post it now before I head off on holidays and forget.

Spring Magnolia Journal Page Water colour and ink

Spring Magnolia Journal Page Water colour and ink

In Australia we count the seasons a bit differently than other countries, we do it by the calendar not by the equinox.  So for us spring starts on the 1 September and lasts three months until December.  It has certainly been spring this weekend, with the most gloriously warm, still and sunny days, that just make you want to stay outside and soak up all that lovely warmth and sun.  So I wanted to do a spring picture for my Season of Colour Journal and it needed to be fresh and lively like this spring weather.

New paint brushes, ink and water colour journal page

New paint brushes, ink and water-colour journal page

So I went for my latest medium of choice water-colour and my ever so fabulous new Japanese brushes.  These are art works in themselves and a very welcome birthday present from my brother, it is so convenient that he lives near some quality art shops.  I have heard about these lovely brushes which are very fat, but come to the most sublime points.  Mine are Kazan Mahogany mop tops no 6 and no 2.  I was surprised at how big they were but they just glide across the paper.  I tried to work quickly and spontaneously and lay the colour down, then went back over it with a dip pen.  I am tempted to do a little more detail, but keep telling myself to walk away.

So for all of your out there sliding into fall, here is some spring sunshine.

Karen

Dusk in Fitzroy

I was waiting to meet up with a friend for dinner and used the time to start a sketch of the lovely old Victorian shops in the stripe the restaurant was in. It was still too cold to sketch outdoors so I did the next best thing and wound down the window of the car, switched on the seat heating and the stereo, almost outdoors but with all the comforts, felt a bit like cheating, but I was too comfy to care.  It was right on dusk so I did not have much time to get the basics down.

Dusk in Fitzroy

Dusk in Fitzroy

I am using my new Japanese pens, I found a new website (which may be going to cost me big time) called Jet Pens through Sketch Book Skool and bought just a couple of things.  The new pens are Kuritake Bimoji Felt tip pens, they just have to be good with a name like that.  I also received some very special Japanese brushes for my birthday too.  Kazan Mahogany mop head brushes.  I asked for the number 2 and 6 and they are huge, but soooo divine.  I will be drawing them soon and will share some photos with you.

These two little terraces stood out for me as the tops were still original Victorian with the contrasting brick colours, while the bottoms had been renovated and were painted black.  A very ugly job but interesting juxtaposition between the colourful old and monochrome new,  Melbourne is renowned for these colourful brick patterns, luckily we had a number of different clay colours close at hand which is apparently unusual.

The other news is that I will be off to Bali for 10 days where I will be taking part in a drawing retreat.  Can’t wait to be in the sun and spend time with other arty people.  I will be sending you some drawings from there next week.

Karen