Sunday, September 29, 2013

Blossoms

Blossoms


I think I've spoken about my sisters garden before, but right now, it's amazing.  Spring is in full force in Australia and I must say, I'm seeing it with new eyes.  Having been away from home for more than a decade if feels like I'm seeing it for the very first time.


Blossoms


I recently spent an afternoon sketching and photographing her garden.  Her apple blossom tree was simply glorious.


Blossoms


I'm exploring a more relaxed, slow, meditative style of art journaling and this was the result. 


Blossoms


Sometimes capturing the simple detail of what is around you is a wonderful way to infuse your memories of day.  I love to paint flowers, and I love them close up. 


Blossoms


I sketched this from a photograph I took in her garden.  I sat down quietly one afternoon and gently applied layer upon layer to build up the shadow and tones.  Leaving white space is somewhat of a challenge for me because I love color so much, but it's an important part of enhancing the depth of an image and casting the focus into the right places.


Blossoms


I started with a light watercolor wash, then built up the color, tone and texture using watercolor pencils.  This was done in my Stillman & Birn Zeta Series Sketchbook.  You can see how beautifully vibrant the colors are on this paper, and how sharp the pen lines and detail.  The smooth surface of the heavy weight paper is truly exquisite and is by far the best book I've ever used.


Blossoms

Have a wonderful week and thanks for checking in. xx

Friday, September 27, 2013

Tea with Amy

Tea Time


I lived in the US for a decade and it took me a while to find someone there who enjoyed the art of tea as much as I did.


Tea Time


Tea Time is one of those glorious traditions we Aussies inherited from the English.  Although we don't take tea with quite the gusto of the bygone era, many of us still partake in the art of tea.


Tea Time


Amy is my friend in the States, she is a beautiful person, a talented piano teacher, and a loyal and loving friend.  Amy loves taking tea as much as I do and together we spent many gentle mornings sipping from little china cups and nibbling on something yummy together.


Tea Time


Tea with Amy was a joyful time for me, especially in the midst of the many storms I navigated with my tiny son who was born a micro-preamie.  Our little tea parties were a beacon of light, love, and serenity, they kept me calm, centered, and strong.


Tea Time


I miss Amy very much since coming to Australia, and as tea-time is a rather enjoyable event here, every time I take tea, I think of her.


Tea Time


I wonder if it's the simple act of making tea fresh in a pot, using beautiful cups, picking some flowers for the table, and slowly and delicately savoring the gentle flavors with a dear friend that brings us into those very special moments that imprint on us for life.


Tea Time


(This sketchbook page was done using Sennelier Watercolors and Ink in my Stillman & Birn Zeta Series Sketchbook)

Take time for simple things, and enjoy them with friends.  These are the moments that make lifetime memories.

Thanks for checking in. xx

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Twinkling Giveaway Ending Soon

Twinkling Cone Flower


There is one week left in my "Mastering Twinkling h2O's" online class giveaway.


Twinkling Cone Flower


If you sign up for "Mastering Twinkling h2O's Part 1" before the end of September, you go into the draw to win you place in "Mastering Twinkling h2O's Part 2".


Twinkling Cone Flower


Twinkling h2O's are beautiful little pots of luminescent watercolors made by Luminarte.  The paint is infused with crystal and mineral mica which makes them truly gorgeous to work with.


Twinkling Cone Flower


They are so versatile and can be used in so many ways.


Twinkling Cone Flower


This painting of a cone flower was done first in brush proof ink and washed with flat watercolor.  Then the background was painted using Twinkling h2O's.


Twinkling Cone Flower


Everyone who registered for "Mastering Twinks Part 1" receives a 15% discount on any products from Luminarte, including Twinkling h2O's.  It's great value, but places are limited, so if this class sounds like it's for you, then sign up before the end of September to go into the draw.


Twinkling Cone Flower



Thanks for checking in. xx

Monday, September 23, 2013

Fine Wine & Surf

Wine Glasses

I'm currently staying at my mother's house on the beautiful Bellerine Peninsula in Victoria.


Wine Glasses

This area is most famous for surfing with the Bellerine connecting to the Surf Coast Shire. A spectacular coastline stretching on for hundreds of miles with huge swells rolling in from the most Southern waters in the world.


Wine Glasses

This is the home of the 12 Apostles, The Great Ocean Road, Bells Beach, Rip Curl, Quicksilver, Roxy, to name few icons.


Wine Glasses

Well, something you may not have known is that the Bellerine is also famous for some of the best wines in the country.


Wine Glasses

The northern side of the peninsula is an abundance of rolling vineyards with all the fun that goes along with them.  Fine dining, cellar door sales, outdoor cafes, and exquisite scenery for the artist in everyone.

Wine Glasses

Scribbling in my sketchbook is never quite the same after a few good wines, but enjoyable nonetheless.


Wine Glasses


Don't forget to enjoy the finer things in life, and remember, everything in moderation...but don't overdo it!

Thanks for checking in xx

Friday, September 20, 2013

Australian Colors

Gum Leaves


Since coming home to Australia I've been obsessed with the colors around me. Color is very important to my creative process, and Australia offers up some incredible color anomalies.


Gum Leaves


If you look closely at the humble gum leaf, you'll see that the classic gum-leaf green is actually a myriad of rainbow hues dancing around. 



Gum Leaves


Seeing these trees in different light sometimes gives the observer the impression of blue or red, but really, the gum tree is as visually spectacular as a rainbow.


Gum Leaves


I felt compelled to bring out the colors that I see in these trees, and I chose my watercolor pencils as a way to do it.


Gum Leaves


This is probably not a technical color study, but in the spirit of studying the colors around me, I call this a color study.


Gum Leaves



Thanks for checking in. xx

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Cherries

Cherries

Just a quick check in today.


Cherries

Sketching cherries in watercolor pencil & ink.


Cherries

Sometimes there is no deep meaning behind my sketchbook pages, just the pure joy of creating.  It's something I do everyday.

Thanks for checking in. xx

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Appreciation

Citrus Joy

Appreciation of the little things is paramount to living a full and happy life.

Citrus Joy

I find that in times of transition and turmoil, appreciation is more necessary than ever.  It's not until we step out of our comfort zone that we become acutely aware of our graces.

Citrus Joy

Walking in the shoes of others less fortunate is something we encourage our children to do.

Citrus Joy

Our kids don't have a lot of stuff, and the pressure from their peers and society as a whole to be perfect, techno, and trendy is far greater now than ever.

Citrus Joy

Keeping my kids grounded in reality is a never ending task.  Helping them to know their limits and gifts, knowing right from wrong, and knowing how to live with less expectation of instant gratification are the lessons we're focused on.

Citrus Joy

We don't have a house full of iPhones, computer games, and the latest fashions.  We don't take glamorous vacations or drive flashy cars, but we do eat well.  We eat raw as much as possible, fresh all the time, and try to teach them to make healthy choices.

Citrus Joy


And every night at our dinner table is a conversation about gratitude, appreciation, and thankfulness.  Staying focused in this way changes everything.

(This page is done in Sennelier watercolors and ink in my Stillman & Birn Zeta Series sketchbook).

Thanks for checking in. xx

Monday, September 16, 2013

Water Soluble Pastel

Red Lily


Red Lily

Just a simple sketch of a Lily in my sketchbook.

Red Lily

This is water soluble pastel, Neocolor II's to be exact. 

Red Lily


Red Lily

 I simply love these little creamy sticks of joy and use them in my sketchbooks all the time. 

Red Lily

Use them wet or dry, they are perfect for no mess travel, simple color studies, or just capturing a mood.

Red Lily 

Red Lily

Thanks for checking in. xx