urban sketching in Braidwood

A couple of weeks before Christmas I had a weekend to myself so I packed up the car and drove out to a small town nearby that I knew to have a lot of old buildings that would make good sketch subjects. My intention was to do a series of saleable artworks, so I had prepared a bunch of boards with watercolour paper taped securely, gathered up my pencils and pens and brushes…but what I hadn’t prepared for was a change in the weather.

When I left home the sun was shining and the day was shaping up to be fabulous… not too hot for sitting outdoors and drawing pictures, which is a not unimportant consideration in Summer here. I was excited about my first purpose-planned painting en plein air expedition. Nature had other ideas though. By the time I got to Braidwood, clouds had gathered and the odd spot of rain started to fall. Undeterred, I grabbed my camera and wandered the streets taking reference shots just in case the rain decided to stay, smiling at strangers and dodging small children running to get to the local lolly shop.

The rain decided to stay, but instead of going home I drove around until I found a building I could park near and draw without being parked in by the tourists that were coming and going and parking in odd spots with large caravans. I did the base pencil and then ink sketch for this one sitting in the car as the rain began in earnest.

The Albion Coach House - Braidwood

The Albion Coach House – SOLD

 

A little later the rain stopped and I seized the opportunity to get out and draw another fantastic old building.. I got all of the pencil under-drawing done and most of the ink drawing complete before the rain came back with a rush…if you look closely there’s a couple go inky rain splotches in this one 🙂 Just as well I took photos before the rain set in, because I used them to finish the drawings at home.

Braidwood Literary Institute

The Literary Institute – original for sale in my Etsy shop (link on the right)

 

I loved my day out sketching even if the weather did not want to cooperate, I’ve discovered that getting out and drawing in situ is a lot of fun and refills my creative energy stores… I’ll definitely be doing that again!

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st patricks, michelago

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It’s time to decorate in readiness for the Christmas season, and because I was in need of a tree-topper, I took an afternoon trip out to the Bredbo Christmas Barn  which is about an hour or so down the highway. I was lucky enough to get the last white star for the top of my tree… and a couple of other little things that made me smile.

On the way back I passed this little church and stopped briefly  to capture it in my sketchbook. This is a very quick sketch and much looser than I normally do, I really enjoyed splashing paint around with abandon! Who said you have to colour in the lines?? 🙂

 

Remember there’s 50% off in my Etsy shop until 16/12/2014 (use the coupon: CLEARANCE50 when you check out). Click here to see what’s available…. art makes fabulous Christmas gifts!

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christmas sale in my etsy store – 50 % off everything

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Are you looking for beautiful Christmas gifts? I’m running a clearance sale in my Etsy shop right up until 16 December (that’s my cake day!). EVERYTHING is 50% off until then. Original artworks and greeting cards all half price for the next couple of weeks. Take advantage and save.

Use coupon code : CLEARANCE50 when you check out

VVV click this link VVV

https://www.etsy.com/au/shop/MichelleMGeorge

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Buvelot St – home sweet home

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.

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daytrip to the coast

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

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of curliques and flourishes

This week I cracked out a dip pen and some ink and made a wedding card for a beautiful young couple (one of whom I held as a newborn babe .. But that’s a whole other blog post).

In this world of computers and phones as ubiquitous capture devices it has been a while since I have really handwritten anything more than a scrawled note while I’m on the phone, or the odd caption for a drawing in my sketchbook. I felt somewhat rusty!

It turned out well didn’t it? I was pleased. I hope they were too.

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I have always loved beautiful handwriting and I am a stationery addict par excellence. I have collected pens and paper and journals and art supplies since I was a small child. Pencils that smelled like strawberries. Erasers that smelled like grapes. Paper with deckles and imprints. Journals with creamy delicious paper. Aaaahhhhhhhh 🙂

When I was about 11 my mum gave me a fountain pen (an old Parker that looked to have been a piece of company advertising) and it was at this point that I believe I was truly lost… I have been obsessed ever since. The weight of them in my hand… the way the ink flows… the search for the perfect nib…and the best way to remove ink from my fingers. Not a lot has changed…except perhaps the price of the pens I buy….or lust after if I am to be honest…the Montblancs and Watermans are pretty much out of my price range at this point, but I am a huge fan of the Lamy range for both writing and sketching.

I went to school in country Victoria in the seventies in the days when we started each day by lining up in the quadrangle, doing jumping jacks and singing God Save the Queen. Ah the glory days…. *Ahem*

In the sixth grade I had Mrs Thompson… I was voted class president, and having used my power particularly unwisely, I made a lot of enemies and never really recovered any semblance of popularity that I might have had to sure me up for the entry into high school. She taught me a love of the english language and of good grammar, but she lacked art in the delivery of said beautiful language onto paper. She taught us standard Australian cursive script .. (Although it could very well have been Victorian cursive script). Suffice it to say, I was less than impressed. I had been waiting for years for the opportunity to be taught the beautiful cursive scripts that I had seen in books. I was sorely disappointed.

The shining light in that year of prepubescent angst though, was my maths teacher… Mr Cleveland. He was a large hirsute man, more than a little reminiscent of early seventies Elvis, complete with belly and oversized spectacles. What Mrs Thompson lacked in art, Mr Cleveland made up for with the line of hieroglyphs that lined the top of the blackboard in his classroom. The holy grail of handwriting … Copperplate Script. Those curls! Those swirls!!! Such beauty in contrast with the bland printed letters joined together with plain straight lines espoused by the seventies standard Australian cursive. Mr Cleveland was teaching his class how to write “properly” and I was jealous. So I hatched a plan.

For months, in the snippets of time between maths problems, I would try to copy down the letters on the board…attempting to follow the swoops and swirls with an unguided and unpracticed hand. Pages and pages of misshapen capitals and crudely formed lowercase letters in what could loosely be construed as words. As I filled my exercise book up with numbers from the front, I worked steadily backwards from the end pages filling the lines with rows and rows and rows of “a” “e” “i” “o” “u” and full alphabets all joined in contiguous streams of unintelligible loops and flourishes.

Over time I brought the ink into submission and developed a handwriting style that has been called on through the years to complete wedding certificates and place cards and various bits and pieces, and filled journal after beautiful Moleskine journal.

I am a little rusty at the moment, but I am reacquainting myself with the feel of the ink flowing out from my fingertips, adding varying pressure and new nibs and styles. I am loving it. Would you like me to write your envelopes for you? Would you like me to write your place cards for you? I can make them beautiful works of art for you! No computer-generated homogeneity … just beautiful hand crafted words. Watch this space for samples, or drop me a line in the meantime 🙂

 

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four new originals for sale!

I have just listed four new watercolour originals for sale in my Etsy store. Click on one of the pictures to be taken to the store.

 

Brindabella View daisy Flutterby Sorry to bug you

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Eating my model and other car sketch musings

The scenery around where I have to wait for the boys to come down the hill is not particularly exciting, and I was scratching to decide what to draw…as it turns out I had a willing model that wasn’t going to run away….

17-2013 // banana

The car is always filled to the brim with all sorts of bike gear and food and smelly, sweaty clothes and people, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything….and it’s the husband’s car anyway…my car tends to remain untouched on the weekends…one of the benefits of having a very small shopping trolley car.

18-2013 // shuttling

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Birthday drawings

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I finally had a chance to sit and draw some of my birthday presents. It has been a busy week, so this was a nice therapy break 🙂

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I’m featured in ‘The Sketchnote Handbook’ by Mike Rohde

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Over the years my friend Mike Rohde has become known as the father of sketchnoting – an innovative method of taking notes that allows you to capture your thinking visually rather than as slabs of monotonous text – and he has just released his first book to share his secrets with the world.

When Mike asked me to be a part of his book project a couple of months ago, along with a bunch of other super talented sketchnoters from around the globe, I jumped at the chance (who wouldn’t?) !  I set to scribbling down my ideas immediately! I was *so* excited!

Those of you who follow my Facebook page will have seen snippets of what I called “the sekrit project” …the picture above is the fruit of my labour

I can’t wait to get a copy of the book and get a close up look at Mike’s work, and the work of the other sketchnoters!

 Want to know more? Want to buy a copy? Click HERE.

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