Archives For moleskine

The winner of the book is: Post 3 – Kat Lardner, posts 6 and 4 (Amanda and UKViewer) win a full set of greeting cards each! CONGRATULATIONS!

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This time last year I was mid-flight somewhere over the Middle East, basking in the afterglow of two weeks spent travelling around France. I have no idea where the 12 months have gone! It seems like yesterday that I was wandering through Monet’s gardens, and there’s barely a week that goes by when I don’t drift off into wistful daydreams of being drawn into the magic and romance of living in Paris. Sigh.


La Parisienne

While we travelled I filled a couple of Moleskine sketchbooks with watercolour jottings of the things we saw and experienced. Looking back over the pages now brings sights and sounds and smells flooding back.


My book Sketchy Details – An Artist’s Tour of France was born out of these pages.


Since I can’t go back to France just yet, I thought I’d celebrate the one year anniversary of my trip by giving away a copy of my book and a couple of sets of the greeting cards I created from my French adventure paintings.

What I’m giving away: one copy of my book. Two full sets (8 cards each) of French Adventure greeting cards

How to enter: leave a comment on this post (one per person please)

Closing date: 6pm Saturday 27 October 2012 (AEST)

The winners will be selected randomly (using and winners announced on the blog.

Good luck!

How gorgeous is this suede, custom made Moleskine cover?? It smells fabulous and it makes my heart sing. My inner artist is spoiled rotten!!


Take these broken wings

March 12, 2012 — 2 Comments

This morning I found a dead butterfly when I was out for my walk. I thought it might be fun to try a new style of painting and compare it to my usual style. My usual style involves inking the outline and then filling with watercolour. I have never done a watercolour without ink lines before, so I decided to give it a go. I penciled in a very light outline and then went for it. I found that the ink-less drawing took much longer, although I’m not entirely sure why…I think perhaps I left the layers to dry longer, to make sure nothing bled together. I am thinking I like my usual style better….it feels more like me…

The top one is the experiment…the bottom one is my usual style… which do you prefer?
without  ink outlines

usual style with ink outline

This past weekend we had the unexpected pleasure of camping with a family that have been friends of ours since before we were married. We have been through a lot together, but of late, life’s stages have meant that we haven’t seen a lot of each other. So…we jumped at the chance to spend some time together roughing it by the ocean.

On Saturday morning one of our friend’s little girls came screaming down to the beach in tears after making a trip to the primitive bathroom facilities. She said that she had seen a dragon. We didn’t think much of it…and chalked it up to the furtile imagination of a seven-year-old girl…until we went back up to the tents and came face to face with a family of lace monitors.



8-2012 // lace monitor


They are BIG lizards … as long as a medium sized dog, but with short stubby legs. She HAD seen a dragon! The family of dragons, so far as we could tell, consisted of two adults and a juvenile, and they wandered lazily past our campsite a couple of times a day in search of the sunny spots on the cliffs.

As a child my mum used to read me may Gibbs’ Snugglepot and Cuddlepie stories and for a long time I have wanted to have a go at drawing a banksia pod. Here’s what I came up with:
7-2012 // banksia pod


I had hoped for some time early this morning to draw a family of blue wrens that I observed as I wrote my morning pages, but instead I was visited by the sweet Miss Emily who scared the birds away, but who was so interested in my paints and pens that I simply couldn’t resist her charms. Here’s the drawing that we created together.


9-2012 // my little friend Emily


I love the excitement of little minds playing with pretty colours and seeing how paints mix and swirl together. Perhaps she was a reminder to nurture my own inner child artist.


The Parisian woman

A Parisian woman watches on

I’ve been back from France now for almost three months and finally I can say that I am making progress on my book! Yay! I have finished the actual travelogue part of my journals, and I’m working on approximately 30 supplementary sketches to fill out the second Moleskine. Today I start on the tedious task of high res scanning my journals so that I have print-ready images to share 🙂

I cannot tell you how excited I am that I am working on this project! 🙂

Figuring out how my paints behave on the Moleskine watercolour paper is fun!!
53-2011 // choosing my palette

learning how to do maps and freehand lettering…
53-2011 // practicing maps and lettering

Crap photo…but practising buildings…
54-2011 // chateau practice

Sketches during worship this morning…
56-2011 // church today

57-2011 // foreign territory

Loving that I am making time to draw so much. 🙂

I am LOVING sketching with ink and watercolour! The results are so immediate and fun!  I think I could sit and do this all day long 🙂 Here are two that I did this week:
49-2011 // vintage van

50-2011 // my metal baby Jeff

44-2011 // war memorial

One of my architectural practice pieces for the trip…

I’m too excited to keep this a secret any longer!

I have been inspired by the beautiful Blurb books created by Liz Steel showcasing her urban sketches and adventures with Borrmini, that I am thinking that I will create a Blurb book of my own from my adventures in France later this year. I am more than a little excited 🙂

What is a Blurb book? It’s a book that is available for order and printed on demand just for you and then posted directly to you. Nifty system huh?

My French holiday sketchbook will contain all of the sketches I manage to capture while I’m travelling, and be combined with the odd photo here and there as well as excerpts from my written journals. I am so wound up about it that the anticipation is just about killing me 🙂 I may even include some of the lead up and preparation sketches and back story …. we’ll see.

Anyway…I’m telling you all now so that I can’t chicken out later 🙂 I would love to have it out in time for Christmas, but having a realistic look at my work schedule and art commissions on the list…it will probably be early next year.


I am thinking I’ll take a watercolour Moley to France later in the year as my travel journal, so I decided to do some experimenting today…here are the somewhat less than stellar results! Adapting to the new page shape is an undexpected challenge too!

38-2011 // testing a layout

39-2011 // Crumpler

40-2011 // another layout

I love spending lazy Sunday evenings with friends 🙂 What better way to celebrate than with a drawing 🙂

The colour behind the food was supposed to be “redder” I don’t like the way the sketchpaper in the Molekskines takes colour. Will almost definitely be taking a watercolour Moley to France later in the year.

37-2011 // Dinner at Chungs