Enjoying Autumn

Photo of blue sky and autumn tree branches
Autumn Leaf watercolour postcard

Winsor & Newton watercolour on Daler-Rowney watercolour postcard

Conker watercolor postcard

Winsor & Newton Cotman watercolour on Daler-Rowney watercolour postcard

Feathers watercolour postcard

Winsor & Newton Cotman watercolour on Daler-Rowney watercolour postcard

Autumn Leaves watercolour painted in the garden

Winsor & Newton Cotman watercolour sketch of autumn branch painted in the garden in Moleskine watercolour sketchbook (Landscape 21×13 cm)

Photo of bright autumn leaves

Goldmines Hotel

Goldmines Hotel Bendigo
One sunny Saturday I went to the Goldmines Hotel with my family for lunch. The kids were very excited to show me around its beautiful garden, which was full of little nooks that could be inspirations for future paintings.
Pond at Goldmines Hotel, Bendigo
Buddha sculpture at Goldmines Hotel
I attempted to sketch one corner while waiting for the food, chatting to my family and avoiding offers of help from my youngest.
Sketch of one corner in Goldmines Hotel gardens
Amusingly once my meal arrived it turned out to colour coordinate with my sketch.
Eating & sketching at Goldmines hotel
The food was average and a bit of disappointment compared to the beautiful surroundings, friendly service and interesting selection of beers, though my husband, who’ve been there for lunch previously, informed me that on previous occasion it was substantially better.

New creations from old paintings

Custom iPhone case and cards from my paintings
I really liked the painting of an iris that I created for my friend and decided to extend its use by making some cards. I hardly ever used Photoshop before, so struggled through the process of cleaning up the photo and adjusting the size to fit a card template from VistaPrint. While going through the process I noticed a special offer on VistaPrint for the phone cases and decided to combine my old painting of pansies with the iris one to create myself a new case. More struggling with the Photoshop followed and eventually I placed my order with VistaPrint almost at midnight on the 5th of February and it arrived yesterday 10th of February (unexpectedly quick). The colours are a bit darker than the ones on my monitor, but purple colours are notoriously hard to reproduce. I’m so pleased with seeing one of my paintings constantly on the back of my phone and hope my friends will enjoy getting the cards for their birthdays. Next time I may try different higher-quality paper option, which costs extra, but still ends up being cheaper than buying birthday cards from the shops. I also have plans to watch some Photoshop tutorials as working using ‘trial and error’ method takes too much time.

Melbourne Museum sketches

Pen sketch of fossil at Melbourne Museum
Waiting woman pen sketch
Both sketches were done at the Melbourne Museum with the Staedtler pigment liner pen in the Hahnemuhle D&S sketchbook, which I bought as a trial in search for a cheaper everyday sketchbook. It is best used for sketching with a pencil (as it says on the label), which I very rarely do. I’m unable to sketch with my new Lamy fountain pen in it as the paper soaks in the ink and the lines feather out. It also doesn’t take much water for the paper to start pilling. I think I’ll go back to Daler-Rowney Ebony sketchbook for the lightweight casual sketching once I finish this one (with the help of my budding artist)
painting

Back from Beach Holiday

View from Nobbies, Phillip Island
Hello! I’m back from a beach holiday to Phillip Island. I’m not sure why I keep on insisting to believe that I’ll accomplish much more during the holidays than I usually do, including writing blog posts. The truth is I don’t even want to open my laptop.

However, I managed to read half of this good book
Holiday reading - What I loved
and to do a quick sketch at the beach while the kids played in the sand
Watercolour sketch of a beach
and to sketch one of the cabins at the Phillip Island caravan park, where we were staying
Sketch of a cabin
(twice!)
Watercolour & ink sketch of a cabin
and to go on a number of enjoyable walks during which I saw many gorgeous birds, insects and even some wallabies.
Green beetle
Seagulls at Phillip IslandBlack Swan at Swan Lake, Phillip Island
and to marvel at the beauty of the water
Splash  - ocean wave

Iris

A friend asked for one of my iris sketches and I promised it to her before realising that it was the one done in my Moleskine sketchbook. Since I didn’t want to take out a page from the sketchbook, I offered to paint another one based on the photos and the sketch. I don’t usually paint from photos, there is something magical about being able to touch and smell the flowers while painting them, but I was glad to have an incentive for painting and enjoyed it immensely. I hope she likes it.
Watercolour of Iris

Winsor & Newton watercolour on Fabriano cold pressed watercolour paper (12.5 x 18 cm)

Happy 2015!

Ink & watercolour sketch of Christmas Tree

First sketch of 2015: Bendigo Christmas Tree. Lamy Safari pen with DeAtramentis Archive Ink and Winsor & Newton Cotman watercolour in Stillman & Birn Beta sketchbook (14.0 x 21.6 cm)

Yesterday was a very normal day for me: my husband went to work, I took the kids to a playdate and later we did various everyday things around the house and went to bed at the usual time instead of staying up to great 2015. And yet all this week I felt that one stage of my life is coming to a close and that it is the perfect time to start planning for the future. In 2014 (and also, if I’m truthful with myself, in 2013) lots of my physical and emotional energy was spent on moving to Australia and settling in. In 2015 I want to spend more time on learning, drawing and painting. Most of my plans are still very vague, but I’ll share them with you as I’ll progress in my attempts to pinpoint and flesh them out with all the important details of why and how and when.

When I started this blog in August 2012 I wrote in my ‘About’ page: “I tend to start and stop, to skip from one interest to another. This time around I want to keep on going: to improve my drawing skills, to learn to paint with the watercolours, to produce something I feel proud of and would be happy to hang on my walls.” In August of this year a friend posted a photo of my painting in her house and I realised that I achieved my simple wish – not only I have my paintings hanging on my walls, but there are few people around the world, who are happy to have them on their walls. So it is definitely time to set new goals and to aim higher.

Did you already make New Years resolutions or set yourself some goals for 2015?

I wish you success in achieving all your goals and a gentle, productive and fun 2015!