Wellanbah (Commission) Ink and water soluble crayons 40 x 40cm
It has been an incredibly busy and exciting lead up to Christmas this year. I now have a website, where you can buy my original art works or prints of your favourites. It is something I have been wanting to do for ages, but not had the time (or energy) to undertake. So have a look around it is at Karenbaileystudio.net. To compliment it I have a Facebook page Karen Bailey Studio and I have renamed my Instagram account the same. I have most of my social media organised (or as much of it as I plan to drive at the moment), of course I now have to keep up with it all.
My other exciting development is that I am taking commissions. These will be in three different formats
- Mixed media paintings of your home and garden.
- Coloured pencil drawings of your favourite bloom
- Mixed media painting of your favourite travel or holiday photo.
I advertised before Christmas in my local community Facebook page hoping someone might be interested, but not expecting much. The support I received was amazing, over 100 likes and three commissions. I was soooo excited, then of course I panicked, all the horror stories I had heard regarding commissions flooded into my head and what if the drawings didn’t work out!!!! But the people who wanted the commissions were really lovely and I had such fun. It was challenging, but I enjoyed drawing different things.
The commission I have included here was very different from what I usually do. Painting a autumnal landscape was fun and I channelled some Vincent as I did those poplars. It worked out well after a few problems with the shadows. I wasn’t dark enough, then I went overboard and went too dark and had to lighten again. Thank goodness the water soluble crayons were forgiving. (Thanks Julie for putting me onto Neocolours by Caren dAche). The colours are actually a lot closer than these two photos indicate below, just shows you the difference scanning and monitors can make to the images.
Original photo the paintingwas taken from
Wellanbah (Commission) Ink and water soluble crayons 40 x 40cm
I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas, I certainly did, spreading the celebrations over two days. I spent Christmas day at home with my sister and had the most tranquil of days, walking the dogs, cooking a feast and pottering in the garden. Boxing day was our family dinner and another lovely day spent with everyone, lots of people, dogs and of course food and drinks.
Christmas breakfast under the grapevines on a lovely sunny day.
So please pop over to my website and have a look, it is still a work in progress as I am making it myself, but I hope you like it.
Mum and Hannah Neocolor and ink Lambley Nursery
It has been 100 days since I last posted and so much has happened in that time. It is amazing, life goes on pretty much the same for years, then in a few months everything all changes. I have to admit that the need for change has been building in my life for a few years now, so in some ways these last months have been a good thing as they are sorting out a lot of issues, but did it all have to happen at once!!! I know these things are sent to test us and make us stronger, but really how strong do we need to be!
Over five years ago I left my house in Castlemaine, came to Melbourne with my mother and moved in with my sister and her two children. My father had just passed away and Mum was in her eighties and blind so we needed to care for her. My niece and nephew were at high school and as my sister is a single mother it also gave her some support with raising the kids.
Well five years later my niece has finished her Masters and has a new job, she has moved out of home with her partner and my nephew still at Uni, is moving out as well. Child raising responsibilities over, we no longer need the big house in the suburbs. Mum is slowly declining and will need more care than we can provide soon as her memory and sight continues to fail.
Then the companies I (and my sister) work for are in serious trouble, government funding changes and we are no longer viable and two out of the three companies go into liquidation. So for many months we have not been sure if the next pay day will be the last as we scramble to find a way forward.
As you can imagine everything was up in the air and changes needed to be made. I will not bore you with the details but after three months of struggle we have a solution. We are moving back to Castlemaine, thankfully the property never sold and was rented out, I will be working part time and Mum is slowly being transitioned into care up here.
So in the end it will be a great outcome. Children happy and independent, mother having her care requirements met and my sister and I have ongoing employment and will be sharing the property, which has two houses on a large block. Loads of time for art and to get serious in selling and a garden to play in. There is even room for some chooks and a vege patch. We will move at the end of the month and I am so excited by the possibilities before me.
So I apologies for my lack of communication but am looking forward to sharing my new life with you as I can devote so much more time to my art and sharing it with my friends.
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
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
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.
The back room is decorated and ready for Christmas
Cafe Bunete Ubud Bali. Watercolor and ink
I just realised how long it has been since I last posted and it has been ages. My day job has been totally flat out and I have just not had enough energy left to draw. But it is slowing down a bit and I have had a chance to finish the last two drawings in my Bali journal.
The above drawing is of a cafe we dropped into during the heat of the day to cool off before we went to the spa. It was so inviting and the bright silk cushions were so lovely and bright in the dim coolness. The food and service that we had in Bali was excellent, but the thing that stands out most in my mind was the lime drinks. I wasn’t able to drink alcohol while I was away, (when I get too tired it just gives me a headache, alas for all the lovely cocktails I couldn’t sample), but the non-alcoholic drinks available were awesome. Some had lime and mint, others had spices like cinnamon and two or three vanilla pods. Vanilla pods were clearly cheaper there than at home.
I am really happy with the layout of this and the next spread that I did, I think I am finally getting the hang of journal page layout. I like the visual link between the pages where the drawing either goes onto the next page or the little illustration links across. This gives more interest to the journal pages and makes it a journal rather than a book of different drawings.
Cafe spread Watercolour and ink Bali Journal 2015
Taksu Spa Spread Water colour and Ink Bali Journal 2015
The Spa drawing is of Taksu Spa in Ubud and it is a divine place. The Spa complex spans a creek bed and you climb down into the creek gully into this wonderful alternate universe with pavilions floating in the pools, water lilies, ferns and aerial roots from the figs above hanging down. The treatments were also pretty good too.
Taksu Spa Ubud Bali Water colour and ink Bali Journal 2015
Well that is all of the main drawings done for the journal, I just have to add some photos and neaten up a few pages and it will all be complete. It has been a magical trip and I have really enjoyed making the journal, even though it took much longer than I had hoped. Like all these things I have learned such a lot by doing it and the memories from this trip are saved in such a wonderful way.
Posted in 2015 Artwork, Journal
Tagged art, Bali, Bali travel journal, journal, journal pages, sketchbook, sketches, sketching, Taksu Spa, travel, travel journal, Ubud, Ubud cafe, water color, watercolor pencil, watercolour, watercolour pencils
Water lily and dragonfly Water color pencil and ink Bali Journal 2015
I am still drawing in my Bali journal and quietly proud of it. I am determined to complete it and although I have a number of different projects that I think I would like to try, back to the journal it is. This will not be one of my many uncompleted projects. With the completing of journals I feel the need to start some larger more finished art works. It has been ages since I did a big drawing outside a journal. (See one sentence is about finishing and the next is looking at the bright, sparkly idea over there, the attention span of a gnat.)
The drawings that I have recently completed in the Bali journal all have a watery theme. One of the highlights from the trip was a tour we took to the north of the island to go walking through the rice fields. I was also keen to get out of the built up areas of Bali and see the rural landscape.
Line drawing of rice fields Pen and ink Bali Journal 2015
Above is a line drawing of the rice fields, I haven’t added the colour yet, not sure what medium I want to use, but no rush. On the way to the rice fields we passed by some volcanic lakes, one with an important water shrine, Pura Ulun Danu Beratan. We had followed a whole village who were going for the yearly celebration to this important shrine, they were packed into every type of transport imaginable including large trucks with about 50 people squashed into the back. It was a beautiful and tranquil place and here are a couple of water serpent carvings that were right on the lake edge.
Water serpents at Lake Danau Beratan. Matt water colour and ink Bali Journal 2015
While at Ubud I went to the art store, you can get some really cheap and unusual art supplies in Bali and I found some matte water colours which looked like fun. I used them on the serpents, interesting with a chalky feel to them. Undecided on whether I like them or not, but always fun to have new supplies. Below is a picture of the line drawing before I added the water colour.
Line drawing of water serpents Ink Bali Journal 2015
I had to have a close up of the water lilies in the journal as that pond was such an important part of our trip. This picture was taken to catch a fleeting glimpse of a the dragon fly, but as such things happen I really liked the composition and decided to use it for my picture. I took the image onto the next page to add some interest to the journal spread.
Life on the lily pond page Journal spread water colour and ink Bali journal 2015
Last of all is another Balinese inspired pattern, it has been a horrendously busy 10 days at work and I just needed the solace of a peaceful repeat pattern. Art is such a wonderful retreat where I can forget the problems of the present and return to my holiday.
Balinese Pattern, water colour and ink Bali Journal 2015
Posted in 2015 Artwork, Journal, What inspires me
Tagged art, Bali, Bali travel journal, Danau Beratan, dragon fly, journal, rice fields, sketchbook, sketches, sketching, Spau Lidi, travel, travel journal, water color, water lily, water serpents, watercolor pencil, watercolour, watercolour pencils