Tag Archives: Castlemaine

Late Autumn Sun

Winter sun, Ink and water colour journal page

Late Autumn sun, Ink and water colour journal page

The sun streams into my cottage at this time of year and it is just wonderful to sit on the coach in the sun and look out onto my new garden.  I tried to catch the look of the sunshine through the french doors as it filtered through the dark, red, grape-vine leaves.  As I sit and look at this picture again I am torn, it is close to the feeling I wanted, but not yet there.  I have fiddled with it a bit, but will have to walk away now as more will ruin what I have gained so far.

Late autumn sunshine photo reference

Late autumn sunshine photo reference

Here is the photo I used as the reference, although I did crop the image for the drawing.  Even posting this I can see the issues, will I ever get my darks and lights bold enough?  I have spent ages working on colour and I am happy with that, but struggle now with the contrast.

Work in progress

Work in progress

Here is a WIP photo of when I had just started adding colour, part of me thinks I should have stopped there.

Work in progress

Work in progress

Here is another as I struggle with the balance of the drawing, I was not happy with the doors and went back and darkened the background to make the rest pop.

Well it is always great to challenge ourselves and I will give this another try with different sketch later. Always another day, another page in the journal and more winter sun.

Rosella in the rose hedge

Rosella in the rose hedge

Here is a picture of a Rosella just outside the window to cheer us all up, as it is a cold, wet, windy day here today, even the bird is all fluffed up.

Karen

Settling In

Bounty in a mid- century kitchen  Water colour and ink

Bounty in a mid- century kitchen Water colour and ink

It is Sunday night and for the first time (in more time then I care to remember), I am tired after spending time in the garden doing physical activity.  Nothing beats the feeling of putting your feet up at the end of the day after you have really achieved something.

I have been working on three gardens this weekend.  One garden has the straw bales seasoned and it has just been sown with beautiful flower seeds.  I did start planting them out in a careful pattern, but sowing seed is harder then it looks as some where so tiny, so as usual the great plan was thrown over to a more adhoc system.  Another garden has had the straw bales laid out and it will be planted with peas and beans, its seasoning process has begun.  The other garden has been planned and the plants ordered, it will be a 17 metre long rose garden, under-planted with lavender and catmint.   We have chosen mostly old fashioned scented roses going from a deep red, through the pinks to white.  You have no idea how much fun it is to order 19 roses at once.

The double page spread

The double page spread

During the week I stayed at a friend’s house, she is an amazing cook and adores all things mid-century.  I bought her some local produce and she displayed them in her new Lucie Kaas bowls.  This is her picture, but I loved the composition so much I had to draw it.  It shows three things close to her heart, great produce, great design and her kitchen.  What’s not to love.

Karen

A New Start

View From my door May 2016 Pen and water colour pencil

View From my door May 2016 Pen and water colour pencil

The move has occurred and I have begun to settle in and even found enough time from the unpacking to do a quick sketch.  It is so good to be back in Castlemaine full-time, (will almost I still go to Melbourne two days a week for work) and I can finally get to play in my garden.  Lots to do and lots to plan.  Next to my art, creating gardens is my favourite thing and at the rate I move around, creating gardens is what I end up doing, rather than watching them age and mature.

This is the view out of my front door, of the old pepper-corn tree with the bird feeder and elk-horn plant.  The crimson rosellas are frequenting the feeder again as I am able to keep it topped up for them.  It is so lovely to have their flashes of colour in the garden.  There are also blue wrens hopping around and I will be drawing them in upcoming works.

Rosehips May 2016 Pen and water colour Pencil

I like to think of gardening as drawing and designing in 3D, with the added bonus of scent.  The garden will be a major inspiration for my art, so dear readers you will be seeing the creation of the garden along with the creation of the art.

I have done lots of researching on sustainable gardening techniques including permaculture and have found that you can make straw bale gardens.  You use strawbales and start them decomposing and then plant into them.  They will last about 12 months before they break down too much and you use them as mulch.  I am going to use some for the vege patch and others for an annual flower garden.  I will share the results with you.  Lots of pretty flowers with an abundance of gorgeous scent.

Start of the strawbale garden

Start of the strawbale garden

So hopefully I will be making pretty things and getting enough sleep.  The recipe for a happy life.

Karen

Spring Wildflowers

Fairy Wax Flower, Water colour and ink

Fairy Wax Flower, Water colour and ink

Spring has finally arrived and surprisingly enough it is blessing us with the most glorious weather for our long weekend here in Victoria.  It is 26 C today, 28 tomorrow and 31 on Sunday.  I have been out drawing in the bush this morning and mean to continue to soak up this sun all weekend.  The first time I have had the french doors open all day this year.

Gold dust Wattle water colour and ink

Gold dust Wattle water-colour and ink

Pink Bells watercolour and ink

Pink Bells water-colour and ink

This is my second season of painting the wild flowers and I am enjoying it  as much as last year.  I now know more of the names and I have looked back in my sketch book and can see when the different flowers bloomed.  I am not much into latin plant names but I do like to know the names of the plants I am drawing, though sometimes it takes me longer to research the plant then to draw it.  Still haven’t found the name of the one below.

Unknown flower as yet, watercolour and ink

Unknown flower as yet, watercolour and ink

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I have done a bit of research in taking photos with my iPhone and have found an app, Camera+, that takes the best macro photos, I was amazed at how close I can get and how well they turned out.  This will make taking photos for reference so much easier.  I keep thinking that I will buy a good camera, but for my needs the iPhone is doing all I want at the moment and it is so convenient.

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Button everlasting daisy

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Grevillea

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Paper Everlasting Daisy

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Waxlip Orchid

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Hannah helping me draw

I hope you get to go out and enjoy some sun this weekend too.

The start of Spring

Golden wattle Ink and water colour

Golden wattle Ink and water colour

Winter is finally losing its grip and the first hint of spring is in the air.  I have been walking on the Goldfield track where I found the best wildflowers last year and was rewarded with the first flowers of this year.

The wattle has been out for the last couple of weeks, it is the first to bloom and it heralds the end of winter in blazing golden glory.  That bright yellow just makes you glad.

Golden Wattle Goldfield track Castlemaine.

Golden Wattle Goldfield track Castlemaine.

I also found a new wattle that I hadn’t seen before.  I had seen the bush, as it has very long, sharp, spiny leaves that scratch if you brush past it, but I hadn’t noticed its flowers before.  They were little cream balls of fluff with just a hint of yellow.

Juniper Wattle or Prickly Moses Ink and water colour

Juniper Wattle or Prickly Moses Ink and water-colour

I also found a sundew, a little carnivorous plant that sends up the most beautiful and large white flower.  It was supposed to be scented but I couldn’t detect any, it was probably over powered by the wattle above it.  I have never known that we had these locally or that it had such a lovely flower, it has been a very wet winter so maybe the conditions have not been damp enough before.  You can just see the sticky little hairs on the margins of the leaves that catch insects.

Scented Sundew Goldfields track Castlemaine.

Scented Sundew Goldfields track Castlemaine.

Scented Sundew Ink and watercolour

Scented Sundew Ink and water-colour

There were also these lovely, little, bright, native buttercups, these are the most vibrant yellow flowers with a waxy coating so that they just shine in the sun.

Native buttercups

Native buttercups

Native buttercups Ink and watercolour

Native buttercups Ink and water-colour

I have tried a new technique with my water-colour pencils.  I have rubbed the water brush over the pencil and painted this onto the paper, instead of using the pencils to colour on the drawing and mix them with water.  This gives a much more of a water-colour look and a delicacy to the painting which suits these gorgeous little flowers.

Hannah and the Echidna

Hannah and the Echidna

Just to add a little interest to our walk we spied a rather big, fat Echidna just off the trail.  He heard us coming and hunkered down in the earth, not to pleased about being disturbed.  Hannah was not sure what this strange being was, but manage to give it a right good barking at before hiding behind me.  The Echinda wasn’t much bothered and ambled off once we backed off to an appropriate distance.

I must apologies for my lack of posts for the last couple of months, but my niece has been very ill over that time and other dramas have sapped my energy, there has been very little drawing and no blogging.  But my niece is much better and I now have the energy to draw and post again.  Yippee.  The sunshine helps as well.

To further my recovery and my sister’s, we are going to treat ourselves to a quick trip to Bali for more sun and warmth, in 10 more sleeps (I am so counting the days).   So I am busy making a new journal to take with me and of course I will share my travels with you.

Karen