Friday, March 29, 2013

The Final Countdown

In just a few short days, the new 21 Secrets goes live.  Myself, and 20 other wonderful creative instructors have been working very hard on preparing a huge line-up of amazing workshops. I have been fortunate enough to get a sneak peek into many of the finished workshops and I must say, they are some of the best mixed media and art journaling classes I've ever seen.

I love these year long creative gatherings, and 21 Secrets is one of the best available.  The workshops being offered are not at all flimsy or light weight, each class offering is jam packed full of videos, commentary, and beautiful images.  Plus this year, participants get a workbook that contains PDF's from all the classes, project sheets, supplies lists, all sorts of stuff!


What's even more incredible is that participants get full access to every single workshop from day one, and they can come and go from them as often as they like for the entire of this year. At only $59 subscription, it's incredible value for money. I know there are almost a thousand signed up participants already who are anxiously awaiting April 1st. The Facebook group has been a buzz with chatter and excitement, the teachers have been teasing everyone with peeks into their classes, and some endearing friendships have already been forged.


I was fortunate enough to teach on the program last year, and I loved it so much that I couldn't resist the opportunity to teach on it again.  My workshop is called "Sparkle-arkle".  It's a mixed media journey into glitter, twinkle, shimmer and shine.  I share some of my secrets to creating beautiful, luminescent art.


It's not too late to sign up.  If you're ready to learn the secrets of mixed media art journaling, then please join me, and 20 other amazing instructors on 21 Secrets.  For  more information, or to register, click here.


(This piece, called "Ocean Waves" was done as a commission using a vast array of mixed media and sparkle products. )

Thanks for checking in. xx

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Sketchbook Secrets

Natural Surfaces - ROCKS

I am one of the new host contributors over at The Sketchbook Challenge blog. It's a wonderful program of monthly themes and tutorials by some amazing artists. I've been loving the March theme "Natural Surfaces" and have been playing around with all sorts of ideas and mediums, so I thought I'd give you a few tips on capturing rocks in your watercolor sketchbook.

Natural Surfaces - ROCKS

In this free video tutorial, I use the new Stillman & Birn Zeta Series Sketchbook, Sakura Koi Water Colors, Faber-Castell Water Color Pencils, and the Koh-I-Noor Rapidograph and Nexus pens. I show you that capturing the natural surfaces of rocks is a very simple technique that can be used for all sorts of surfaces.  A light wash is followed by some darker layering and then simple pen strokes--it's that easy.

Have fun, and don't forget to pop over to The Sketchbook Challenge blog and join the fun.  You can even post your sketchbook pages in their Flickr group. It's a great community and a wonderful challenge.

Natural Surfaces - ROCKS

Natural Surfaces - ROCKS

Thanks for checking in. xx

Monday, March 25, 2013


Zeta Series Launch

This month, the new Stillman & Birn Zeta Series Sketchbook is being shipped out to retailers across the globe.  It is a much anticipated event in the art world, and last year my art was chosen to adorn the cover banner of the 5.5" x 8.5" hardbound version.

Zeta Series Launch

Zeta Series Launch

What is unique about this book is that the paper is probably some of the best quality paper I've ever worked on in a sketchbook.  It is extra heavy weight, archival quality, natural white, 180lb/270gsm, SMOOTH, that has been enhanced for wet strength.  Kind of like hot-pressed watercolor paper. (You can read my various reviews of the Zeta paper here). I've been bursting with excitement for months, choking down this secret that I've been dying to share with you.  This week, I received a package from Stillman & Birn, and was finally able to hold the new Zeta Series Sketchbook in my hand and see my art on the cover banner.

Zeta Series Launch

Stillman & Birn are well known for being premium quality, high end sketchbooks, and with the growing movement of art journaling and sketchbook art as legitimate forms of expression, artists are demanding books that will stand up to treatments never before seen in a sketchbook. The Zeta Series raises the bar on sketchbook quality.

Zeta Series Launch

Today, artists are using their sketchbooks in more inventive ways, they have evolved from a private practice tool, to a book filled with finished art, and personal expression.  Sketchbooks are now the endearing tools for telling our stories, expressing our hopes and fears, and recording our lives. There is also an emerging, and very lucrative market for finished sketchbooks and journals, and even I have had several approaches from collectors wanting to purchase my completed sketchbooks.

My painting that was chosen by Stillman & Birn was an Iris that I did in one of their Epsilon Series Sketchbooks.  (You can read about it here.)  It was inspired by the beautiful art of Fiona Peart.

The Epsilon is a lighter weight version of the Zeta.  I love working in water soluble wax pastel, specifically the Neocolor II's by Caran d'Ache.  In fact, I am putting the finishing touches on a new online class that focuses specifically on these beautiful, luscious, little sticks of wonder called "Wet Pastel Workshop" (coming soon).

Zeta Series Launch

So to celebrate the launch of the new Zeta Series Sketchbook, I'm giving one away, with my art on the cover of course!!  To be in the running, just pop over to my Facebook Fan Page, LIKE IT (if you don't already), and leave a comment telling me for what purpose you mostly use your sketchbook. Or if you prefer, you can officially "FOLLOW" this blog (if you don't already), and leave a comment here.  I'll be choosing a winner at the end of the week.

Zeta Series Launch

The new Zeta Series Sketchbook is available in various sizes, in both hardbound and spiral bound.  (My art is on the cover of the small 5.5" x 8.5" hardbound.)  You can pick it up at all good art stores, or online.

Zeta Series Launch

Thanks for checking in. xx

Friday, March 22, 2013

When Artists Cook: They BBQ

Hi, Tracey Fletcher King here. I have been insanely slack on the whole When Artist’s Cook contributions lately, and it isn’t as though I haven’t been doing paintings and drawings based around food recently. In fact I have been fairly obsessed with recording different food stuffs lately, but the truth is that I haven’t cooked much and it feels kind of bad painting up and writing recipes while the family is madly looking to me to feed them something other than the standard fare of some sort of grilled meat or fish and salad. I figured it would be cruel to taunt them with visions and thoughts that I might actually get in and make something. Mind you looking at the paintings they do kind of reflect what we have been eating anyway… except the mustard… not made much use of that lately….


Can I just clarify at this point that I am in fact not the world’s neglectful and lazy ass parent… but it has been a long, hot summer and for the last few weeks we have been plagued by our normal late summer rains. Here in Queensland, January/February is stinking hot and humid and more often than not it is just too hot to face the kitchen by the end of the day, so I pretty much refuse to subject myself to such torture and turn on oven or hot plate… which limits us to using the bbq and grabbing some salad from the fridge…or if it is really disgustingly humid we stay in the pool and eat ice cream or sorbet… and I will come clean and state we have also done this for breakfast and lunch, and it worked a treat…. but families cannot exist on bowls of ice cream, though I have given it a good shot this summer, and at times I have needed to actually feed them.

So here is the big summer recipe… drizzle flavoured oil on something then grill away and serve with salad… easy right… Lemon oil on fish or chicken is delicious… the Chilli oil on salmon and tuna… the Basil oil on lamb, and the Garlic oil for beef… and pretty much any of them can be drizzles over prawn… and yes that does mean I am actually giving in to the stereotype writing that you should throw a shrimp on the barbie… but in actual fact it should be a prawn on the bbq… if you want to really add that Aussie flavour then start calling them prawns… they will taste so much better…

Pathetic excuse for a recipe I know, but let’s be honest we have all done it, maybe not as often as I have in the last 6 weeks, but at some stage we have all taken the easy road… and I would rather spend any cool moments I can find painting and drawing… which is what happens when artist’s cook… sometimes we spend more time painting food than actually cooking it… makes perfect sense to me…

Hope spring is rushing your way soon….

Trace xx

By the way, you can find me here….