Category Archives: 2013 Artwork

Merry Christmas

12 Days of Christmas Turtle dove. Water colour and inks. Journal

12 Days of Christmas Turtle dove. Water colour and inks. Journal

It’s the night before Christmas already here in Australia and we have just about finished preparing for the big day.  Only a couple more presents to wrap and the ice-cream to set.  It has been a really tough end to the year, but we have rallied and are now ready for our two day Christmas festival.  With the children now gown up and with commitments of their own, we have had to spread Christmas over two days.  Its tough, but we are willing to go there.

This gives us the opportunity to have both the traditional and Australian Christmas fare.  My mum and brother love the full english tradition of turkey, ham and plum pudding.  I have to admit I have always struggled with this and with Christmas being 35C it isn’t the most fitting for our summer season.  The Australian Christmas is usually seafood, mangoes, avocados, ice-cream and loads of fresh berries or it is in our house.

12 Days of Christmas

12 Days of Christmas

I have been up early and to the market to get all the seafood and fabulous deli treats. My sister and I love to cook, so we are baking for a couple of weeks and have loads of fun planning our festivities.

12 Days of Christmas

12 Days of Christmas

Now these are something I prepared earlier, in fact I started them last year, but didn’t get them finished on time, so I have finished them for you now, I hope you like my version.

I hope your Christmas preparations are going well and everyone just has a lovely day with friends, families and loved ones.  I would like to thank everyone for their support and kind words this year, you really keep me going and I appreciate it so much.  So have fun everyone I will be.

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The back room is decorated and ready for Christmas

 

Collaboration 2 – Water

Lotus Pond - Bali.  Water colour, pencil and ink

Lotus Pond – Bali. Water colour, pencil and ink

I have spent the weekend working on Gale’s water themed book.  A great way to spend a very cold, wet and windy weekend here in Melbourne.  As I worked on this book I realised that I haven’t done many drawings of water and am not very used to drawing this element in any of its many guises.  Always so good to challenge yourself and these collaborations take me to such different places.

Cathe's Versailles Marie Antoinette's Swan

Cathe’s Versailles Marie Antoinette’s Swan

As Gale and Cathe both choose to take inspiration from recent travels for their double page spreads; Gale her trip to Hawaii and Cathe her Paris adventure.  I took inspiration from my trip to Bali last year and the Lotus temple in Ubud.   The beautiful blue water and tranquil lotus blossoms seemed suitable for the watery theme.

Gale's waves

Gale’s waves

For the first page I added a water splash behind Gale’s leaf with water droplets and on the shared double spread I  added rain drops catching the sun as they fall into a pond, a layered water on water image.   Trying to blend in with the beautifully subtle clouds, but not overpower them.

Splash, my contribution to the the front page  Water colour and ink

Splash, my contribution to the the front page Water colour and ink

Rain Drops, below Gale's clouds  water colour, coloured pencil and white ink

Rain Drops, below Gale’s clouds water colour, coloured pencil and white ink

I also had a play with the white band that holds the book shut and used some watery patterns to decorate it with.  Not sure if it blends well, but a great deal of fun to do.

Front cover of Gale's book

Front cover of Gale’s book

To see the other books in the collaboration please click the links below

Anna Warren’s Book – Circle of Life

Gale Everett Stahlke’s Book –  Water

Cathe Jacobi’s Book –  Collections

Karen Bailey’s Book – Patterns in Nature – Forest

Come for a sketchy walk with me in the sun

Last weekend I went for a lovely walk into the spring bush near Castlemaine.  I know that it isn’t quite officially spring yet, but thankfully the local wild flowers didn’t know that and were blooming quite happily in the sun.

Castlemaine House In and watercolour pencil

Castlemaine House In and watercolour pencil

So first here is a quick sketch of my little cottage in Castlemaine.  It is a sweet little renovated miners cottage.  They are from the gold rush era and were built piece by piece as the family could afford it.  The first part was a two room cottage, then another couple of rooms were added onto the back.  If the family did really well they might add a brick extension on the front to be all posh facing the street, but mine didn’t get that far.

There is a track called the Gold Fields Track that winds from Ballarat, all the way through to Bendigo (about 300 kms), and it runs through Castlemaine, so I decided to walk along that for awhile.  I had actually got up early, something I think about often, but rarely manage to do.  The sun was shining and I knew the chances of that lasting were slim, so away I went.

Goldfields Track

Goldfields Track

 

The whole idea of going for sketchy walks has been a revelation to me.  I would love to go for long rambling walks for hours, but the hard fact is that with chronic fatigue I am not able to walk for more than an hour and even than I would be exhausted for the rest of the day.  But sketchy walks mean that I can walk for 15-20 minutes then sit down and sketch for 20 minutes catch my breath, re-energise and walk some more, so in this way I can be out for a couple of hours and still be fine.  Of course the dog does not feel that this is the proper way to walk and lets me know every time we stop.

Hannah ready to go.

Hannah ready to go.

The wattle was out and it is one of the first harbinger of spring.  All of a sudden what were ragged, inconspicuous shrubs are covered with golden pom poms that are just glowing in the early morning light and there is a golden glow in the drab grey winter bush.

Wattle in the bush

Wattle in the bush

Wattle flowers in the suns glow

Wattle flowers in the suns glow

Here is my little sketch of the wattle.  The one in the sunshine is Golden wattle, while the little one I drew I think is Gold Dust Wattle.

Gold Dust Wattle

Gold Dust Wattle

The next one I sketched was Gorse, not a native plant, but it certainly is very happy here and is often called egg and bacon plant.  This endeavor needed some supervision from Hannah.

Very Prickly Gorse

Very Prickly Gorse

Hannah overseeing the sketching and wanting me to get moving again.

Hannah overseeing the sketching and wanting me to get moving again.

My final sketch was the sarsparilla vine.  Such a beauty in the bush. I like the contrast between the grey bark and rocks and the birght purple flowers and glossy green leaves.

Sarsparilla Vine

Sarsparilla Vine

Well. after such fun sketching in the sun, the clouds had come and the wind was suddenly chill and I remembered that it was really winter and time to go home.

On the way home.

On the way home.

I hope you enjoyed your little walk in the sun with me.

Karen

 

 

 

 

Sketching with the Urban Sketchers

Royal  Arcade July 14 urban sketching Watercolour and Ink

Royal Arcade July 14 urban sketching Watercolour and Ink

I have started another online course called Sketch Book Skool which has been a lot of fun.  So I have made a new sketch book for it.  As part of the course you are encouraged to go out and sketch, so I met up with the Melbourne ‘Urban Sketches’ and we drew in one of the lovely Victorian Arcades in the centre of Melbourne.  A really pleasant way to spend time.  We met up, then everyone dispersed throughout the arcade and did a couple of hours of drawing then met up again to see what each other had done.  Then off to lunch and a little more sketching.

Royal Arcade Melbourne

Royal Arcade Melbourne

This was my first time sketching in the middle of town, but I found it to be really rewarding.  I bought a little stool and set myself up in a corner of the arcade and went to work.  Most people walk by with the quick glance, some stopped to chat and some children were fascinated.  I enjoy talking to people about what I am doing and they were all very kind.

New Sketch Book 29.5 x 20cm 180gsm water colour paper

New Sketch Book 29.5 x 20cm 180gsm water colour paper

Circumstances have been against me and I haven’t had a chance to go drawing with the group again, but I plan to do so in the future.  I have been doing more sketches and I will share these with you in coming posts.

Sketching in Royal Arcade, it was very cold that day.

Sketching in Royal Arcade, it was very cold that day.

Royal  Arcade 2 July 14 urban sketching Water colour and Ink

Royal Arcade 2 July 14 urban sketching Water colour and Ink

This was a quick little sketch of a Babushka Shop in the arcade.  Yes the whole shop is full of these little babushkas so I could not resist doing a quick 10 minute sketch of the window.

Urban Sketchers Melbourne

I would recommend Sketch Book Skool to others who would like some encouragement to start sketching, it is a nice mix of instruction, getting to see different sketchers and their styles and motivation to get out and sketch.

Karen

Seasons of Colour – March, Autumn

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I am up in my house in Castlemaine, enjoying the lovely autumn weather, this in the best time of year in Central Victoria. I am having a lazy afternoon drawing in the sun on my bed with the French windows open. It really doesn’t get better than this.

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Doing well so far and have already completed March’s drawing.

All at once the seasons have turned. Autumn arrived almost instantly. The weather cooled, the nights became almost frosty and the clear sunny days of autumn are here. This is my favourite time of year. It is still warm and sunny, but the burning heat is gone. We have a long, slow descent into winter. Everything seems to relax and breath a sigh of relief to have the heat of February behind us.

I saw this pea vine wrapping around and through an old palling fence. The bright orange flowers against the weathered grey was such a striking colour combination. The leaves have not turned yet, but here is a splash of autumn orange.

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Karen

Getting Ready for Christmas

Christmas Lantern Candle Dec 2013

Christmas Lantern Candle Dec 2013

Only a couple of days before Christmas.  Work has finished and I have had a couple of days rest to prepare for the final Christmas push.  Of course I have way more plans for Christmas preparation then I do have time or energy, but that just seems to be part of the season.

Christmas Lantern Angel Dec 2013

Christmas Lantern Angel Dec 2013

One year I decided that it was all too much and I would be calmly organised and not over eat at Christmas.  Big mistake, the last minute rush, the over indulging and all that Christmas madness makes the day, so now I just know that I will never get done what I had planned and that I will end up snoozing on the couch on Christmas night like a happy over stuffed walrus, knowing that all Christmas traditions have been faithfully adhered too.

I made this Christmas Lanterns for the staff at work and a friend filled them with all sorts of Christmas coloured lollies.  So much fun, I love my new paper cutting machine which makes all this so easy.  It will be cutting its little heart out this season.

Christmas Lantern Reindeer Dec 2013

Christmas Lantern Reindeer Dec 2013

Having been following the blogs of all my northern hemisphere friends, looking at the snow, frost and the lights against a cold winter sky, I thought what makes it feel like Christmas for me here in the sunny southern hemisphere.  So I know Christmas is coming when we have the office breakup parties for the year, the weather is getting hot (both on the same day this year it was 40 C, 104F on our breakup day), we start to be able to eat dinner outside and have BBQs, Summer holidays are here and the days become long and lazy.  We have to wait until after 9pm to go and look at the Christmas lights, so it is dark enough to see them.

We faithfully follow many of the winter traditions, but over the years we are gradually creating our own.  Our Christmas dinner still has turkey and ham, but you will more often see seafood and mangos, the summer berries are at their height so plenty of fresh raspberries, currents, and blackberries with ice-cream and pavlova.  To save our houses getting too hot, we will have BBQs out doors and a Christmas swim at the pool or beach is all part of the day.

Christmas Lantern Santa Dec 2013

Christmas Lantern Santa Dec 2013

This year in my household, we will have two Christmas dinners as we juggle the different family commitments.  One will be prawns, lobsters, mangoes, avocados and fresh berries and ice-cream.  The second will be the full traditional turkey, ham and plum pudding.

So I hope all the Christmas preparations are going well and you are embracing the madness.  May your Christmas be merry and bright and most of all fun and full of love.

Karen

 

Waratah 1

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It has been a while since I have done a coloured pencil drawing of a flower, so on my mini holiday I decided to draw a Waratah that I had bought for my office. It is so nice to have flowers in my office at work as I spend so much time there it makes the space so much more pleasant.

I have really enjoyed doing this drawing, it was so nice to work with the familiar. I tried to give the flower more space on the page, I do like a lot of white paper to show and too give the subject room.

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I did the under painting of this picture with my Sennelier inks and really liked the results, so I think I will do another just in ink, it gives such a fresh look.

I have added some more pictures of my holiday to share with you, it has been a lovely time away, very relaxing and rejuvenating. I will be ready now for the final rush up to Christmas and the summer holidays. Combining Christmas and the summer holiday break as we do in Australia makes for a very busy time.

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This is my holiday studio, such a lovely view down to the valley.

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This is one of the beaches on the Great Ocean Rd, I added this one for you Jennifer Tan.

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This one I couldn’t resist, a Australian farmers Christmas scene, I drove past and had to come back for a photo, just to get into the Christmas spirit.

Karen