Farewell 2023!

December 31st, 2023 § 0 comments § permalink

It doesn’t seem long ago that I was looking back at 2022, and yet here I am, trawling through my work from 2023. I have completed more sketchbook pages and standalone pieces this year than in previous years, and I have explored new areas of art in the process. It is gratifying to look back and see that I have grown and developed as an artist this year. May it be so in the coming one!

The image below shows my top nine Instagram posts for the year. It‘s always really interesting to see what made it through the algorithm and caught peoples’ eye. It‘s never the ones that I think or, dare I say, hope people will like. At the end of the day, I create for myself, so it’s not a big deal, but it IS interesting.

Here are some of my favourite pieces from this year. As always, click to see a larger version of hte pic.

20230131 - roseate spoonbill
One of my first attempts at using a combination of watercolour and gouache in a painting.
202302 - old man
Completed over a couple of months in tiny slices during work meetings. Super simple, Bic pen in Moleskine journal
20230415 - don't care
I continued to use mixed media and collage to explore my inner world and de-fang old ways of thinking. I find this format really freeing…there are no rules and I can make my images as strange as my mind.
20230826 - fairy wren
This year, I delved into the world of nature journalling and fell in love. I can see myself doing a lot more of this kind of work, and I now have a dedicated sketchbook for these explorations. Who knew grey toned paper could be so fun?
20231102 - fruit bat
I was particularly pleased with the way these bats came out! Nature journalling has helped me slow down and notice what is happening in my own very tiny back yard, as well as further afield.
20231010 - whitlam
I played with a curvilinear perspective in my urban sketching practice and enjoyed the challenge. It really made me stop and think. I will definitely be doing more of this type of thing where it fits what I want to capture!
20230726 - paris in spring 3
Another challenge has been to add more people to my sketches. I can do passable likenesses of people if I go SUPER slow, but capturing humans in my quicker sketches has been difficult. More practise required on this front, but I am seeing progress. I have added more people to my urban sketches as well.

Remembrance Day is always loaded for me, and I try to use art each year to help process what is going on in my mind. This year I employed mixed media, including collage and gelli prints of old family photographs, and was proud of the outcome

20231029 - playtime fun
This year, I also finally finished an urban sketching project that I have been working on for a while now to capture the redevelopment of my local shops and playground. I will develop the pictures and stories as a series of illustrated essays in my newsletter in the new year. It‘s free to sign up, so please head on over and subscribe if you would like to see that. They will be posted here on the blog later in the year if you wish to wait 🙂

If you would like to look at all of my sketchbook work for this year, you can do so over at Flickr.

My plan for the new year is to start out with a location sketch somewhere tomorrow to celebrat ehte new year and then follow my nose as to how I continue to develop as the year progresses. The things I DO know are that there will be more urban sketches and more nature journalling. What happens between those two is anyone‘s guess! But it will be fun!

Thank you again for reading and for walking beside me this year. It means a lot to be able to share my ramblings and scribbles with you.

Collages were a thing in February!

March 2nd, 2021 § 0 comments § permalink

I gave myself permission at the beginning of the month to create bad art, to explore processes and to play, regardless of the results. I managed to create a page or two most days this month, for which I am grateful, and I can feel the creative spark starting to rekindle after it had pretty much gone out last year (read more about that here).

Some days my energy ran low and ennui ran high, I didn’t want to write and I didn’t know what to create. So I pilfered other people’s words and bent them to my purposes. I played with scissors and glue and tape and images until something formed that grabbed my imagination. It made a delightful mess of my art desk!

Marie Kondo is the natural enemy of creatives!

This piece is taking a leaf out of Austin Kleon’s book and choosing words in situ. I used a black marker to kill off the words that don’t fit the story, and in this case I embellished with some collage. A couple of hours of being lost in the process was just what I needed.

20210218 - drama
As always, click to see a larger version of any the images in this post.

This slice-and-dice poem was created from Mark Knopfler’s beautiful song Wherever I Go. You can listen here on YouTube. And you can see more of my process here on my writing blog.

20210221 - slice and dice poetry - wander with you

I stopped buying magazines awhile ago because it was a lot of money to be spending on something that would ultimately end up in the recycling bin, but I picked up a couple on a whim a little while ago so that I could practice image transfers with gel plates and paint, however I ended up chopping up a couple of pages and fiddling with sticky tape to see what I could come up with. I have not yet succeeded with gel plate image transfers but will keep trying!

20210224 - it's all in the detail

Even the junk mail that somehow ended up in my mailbox (even though I have a “No Junk Mail” sticker) was not safe…the results are less than inspiring, I will admit, but it’s a fun, low pressure way to play with words when I cannot think of anything else to fill my page.

20210226 - introverted service

This final poem was made with the left over words from the Knopfler song slice-and-dice exercise above, and pasted over a mono print experiment.

20210227 - going blind - slice and dice poetry

I am not sure what March will hold, but I intend to keep up the practice and explore new ways of capturing my life and imagination on the pages of my sketchbook.

If you would like to flip through all of my visual diary pages for this year so far, you can see them on my Flickr.

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