Every house where love abides
And friendship is a guest,
Is surely home, and home sweet home
For there the heart can rest.
- Henry Van Dyke 

Buvelot St

 

A dear friend of mine is about to lose her family home due to a government mess up.

There is something deeply sad about losing your home. So many memories. So much love. So much time spent with loved ones and friends. And yet while the building will be soon gone, the memories of beautiful experiences and relationships will remain. The connection to loved ones will always live on.

We created this portrait to help her remember her home and to provide a visual reminder of the beautiful things that were shared within its walls.

Hugs my friend, I trust you will find a new place for your heart to rest soon.

20141118 - people watching
I’ve been reading a lot of blogs and books lately about urban sketching and slowly easing myself into drawing in public. I had fun with food and architecture last week…but I’ve been putting off drawing people I see on the street… they MOVE!!! And more often than not they’re long gone before I get the picture anywhere near done! Achieving any resemblance of correct proportion is nigh on impossible for me at the moment too… so it’s practise, practise, practise…and I hope to see improvement over time. I also hope to get far less self conscious about examining people too :) Looks a bit suspicious really.

macro-nature-jumping-spider (images via: light stalking)

 

These are the eyes of a jumping spider. Irridescent. Mesmerising. Stunning aren’t they? Also…who knew they were furry little critters?

More often than not I rush to get through my days and I don’t see much more than a blur of the world around me as it passes by. It seems to be par for the course at this stage of my life, but the problem is that it can make life seem tiresome and monotonous at times.

It’s only when I slow down and take the time to take in the details that I am overwhelmed by the beauty of the world around me. It is then that my energy returns. None of the things that I need to do each day disappears, but I seem to have more patience to deal with them.

Little details that turn a scary spider into something that looks like a plush toy.

Little details that make me smile.

Little details that make me want to pick up my pencils and draw in an attempt to capture that magic on the page.

Little details that inspire me to action.

How do you let beauty fuel your days? Do you experience more creative moments when you stop long enough to feel the velvet petals on a rose in your garden or gaze into the eyes of a little spider?

I do… just need to do it a little more intentionally :)

I finally made the time to sketch during my lunchbreak again! So rusty! I had forgotten how therapeutic drawing can be when I’m feeling like my grip on sanity is slipping…particularly inking those windows, that was almost hypnotic. I forgot to grab a ruler when I was gathering my kit for the day and so I discovered in a round about way that I cannot eyeball vanishing points for perspective drawing. I’ll need to work on that some more I think.

20141106 - Scarborough House

This building is one of a group of buildings in this town centre that are named after the ships of the First Fleet… the red name plate can be seen from all over the centre. I started out the week by drawing my lunch… not exciting, but it was pen to paper, which is more than I can say for the last month or so!

20141105 - drawing the mundane

daytrip to the coast

October 3, 2014 — Leave a comment

It’s the Spring school holidays on Antipodean shores so I took my sons to the beach for the day. It was a little windy, but totally blissy feeling the sun on my skin and listening to the waves crash as I practised some en plain air painting. Just what the doctor ordered! 20141002 - Tomakin beach

i have succumbed

September 19, 2014 — Leave a comment

IMG_0715

I’m sick … I spent the day at home moaning and coughing and sneezing. Mercifully it was warm enough to sit outside for a little while with a coffee and my sketchbook to take in some vitamin D. This urn is the centrepiece of my courtyard and has deep purple pansies that are thriving and bright red cyclamen that are a little the worse for wear. Tucked in one side of the bowl is a little porcelain angel… I like to think she’s there watching over me.

 

By the way … I’ve just dropped the price on my eBook… check it out by clicking the Shop button on the right of your screen.

 

a Monet moment

September 16, 2014 — Leave a comment

monets studio

Standing in the open window of Monet’s studio window on a crisp Autumn afternoon and inhaling the heady mix of oil paint, dust and the perfumed garden was one of the most intensely spiritual moments of my life.

Even looking back at this photo taken three years ago I can feel the sense of peace and belonging wash over me palpably.

Sometimes you just connect with something bigger than yourself. It’s out of your control. Unexpected. It’s beautiful. Sometimes you just know.

 

a little rusty

August 24, 2014 — Leave a comment

 

20140821 - lunchroom

 

I was at a course for work this week and arrived at the training facility in the city a bit earlier than I had anticipated, so I scribbled a quick sketch of the lunchroom while I waited (added colour today). I found it really odd how the whole of the building was very modern and designed for a sleek professional feel…but the lunchroom had vintage-style bright orange chairs at modern tables and woven cane light shades that all seemed a little jarring to me… perhaps I am just not hipster enough to appreciate this kind of decorating.

I felt very rusty doing this drawing. More practice is in order I think!

connect-the-dots-steve-jobs

Last week I wrote about having a rotten case of artist’s block, and I’ve been thinking over it this week. If Steve Jobs was correct when he said that creativity is about connecting dots, then perhaps I am in a phase where I am collecting the dots to be able to join them up later.

My intake activities have been all consuming these past couple of months. I’ve been reading a lot of books … everything from biographies to novels to brain chemistry texts. I’ve been travelling and visiting new places. I’ve made new friends and experienced new things. I’ve been spending lots of time in nature. I’ve been watching TED talks and seeking out new information to feed my brain and my inner child who is waiting patiently until it’s time to create freely again.

I seem to be in a phase of collecting dots … random pieces of seemingly disparate information … I wonder what sort of picture I’ll end up with when it’s time to start connecting them all up?

How do you fuel your creativity? How do you gather the raw mental materials that light your creative fire?

dark rain

August 14, 2014 — Leave a comment

IMG_0660

 

It has been a sad week with the passing of one of my favourite funny men… Robin Williams. This is a sketchbook page I did during one of my lowest periods. The black dog is a persistent little bugger. Remember there’s always someone to talk to if you feel like there’s no way out.