Tag Archives: drawings

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.


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.


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.


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


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.


Button everlasting daisy




Paper Everlasting Daisy


Waxlip Orchid


Hannah helping me draw

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

Collaboration 2 Collections

Collections Karen's Page

Collections Karen’s Page

I have finally finished the last book in the collaboration.  Thank you Cathe for being so patient as I dealt with other things in my life.  This is a lovely book based on a great idea, collections.  Don’t we all have a pile of those great little treasures that you find on a walk and bring home.  Well I used to, but for some reason I don’t any more.  I think it is because I don’t have a studio at the moment and I am always carrying my art work between Melbourne and Castlemaine, but I think it could also be because I take photos now rather than collect.

So I was a little bit stumped on what to do, then I thought of other collections I have and one of my favourites is my herb collection.  I love growing, smelling, eating, cooking and drawing my herbs and no matter where I live I always have a patch of herbs.  So a few of my favourites went into my page.

Collections joint  page

Collections joint page

For the joint page I went for a walk and made a collection of some  of the things that caught my eye.  I was lucky enough to find the yellow crest feather of the Sulphur Crested Cockatoo and then the breast feather of a pink Galah, another native parrot and some lovely delicate gumnuts.

The book is finished now and here are the other pages. The page below is the first page, Cathe did the lovely drawing of the paintbrushes in the jar and we all added little bits to it.  Gale the marbles, Anna the feathers (I just realised they are Galah feathers too by the look of them) and I did the gumnuts.

Collections Joint front page

Collections Joint front page

Next is Cathe’s page, she has such a great design sense when she puts these pages together and I like the way she makes the lettering part of the drawing.  I am inspired by her lettering and hope I can get my own to work as well in my journals.  Her feathers are also gorgeous.

Collections Cathe's page

Collections Cathe’s page

Next to work in the book was Gale, she was really inspired by this and put such a great diversity of objects in her collection page. the old tool is fantastic and sits along the rest of the collection so happily.

Collections Gale's page

Collections Gale’s page

Anna followed next and she was so inspired by this book that she has started her own journal of her collections.

Collections Anna's page

Collections Anna’s page

So our collaboration has finished, but we have all been so inspired, challenged and rewarded by it in so many ways, I do think that we will do another one next year.  I must say that I am looking forward to it.  We have all become such good friends through it and learned a great deal from one another.