Pausing to collect

My son collects stones. He tells anyone, who would listen, that they are fossilized dinosaur bones. Sometimes I get frustrated at his constant stopping to look at the stones underfoot and to choose the right one to take home with him. The other day I was walking on my own and noticed a beautiful eucalyptus leaf; so I stopped, picked it up and continued to look for other leaves that would look good together in a painting. At that moment it dawned on me that I pause often enough myself to pick up a feather or a leaf or just to exclaim about how beautiful the clouds look. Oh, the irony!

Watercolour painting of Eucalyptus leaves

Winsor & Newton watercolours on Daler-Rowney watercolour postcard (A6)

Eucalyptus flowers

Another small painting done for the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge.
Watercolour postcard of Eucalyptus

Winsor & Newton watercolours on Daler-Rowney watercolour postcard

Yes, I’m attempting to do it again for the third time. During my first attempt I managed to paint only 13, the second one – 18. Can I do 30 small paintings this time around?

First day of spring

In the morning the grass was covered in frost. Yet the sky was breathtakingly blue and the day slowly warmed up. I got out into the garden to prepare the garden beds and to plant peas.
Spring Blossoms Watercolour

Winsor & Newton watercolours on Daler-Rowney watercolour postcard (A6)

The sun shone, the birds flitted about, the bees buzzed in the blossoms-covered tree and I shed layers of jumpers as I worked.
Spring Blossoms Watercolour

Winsor & Newton watercolours on Daler-Rowney watercolour postcard (A6)

For weeks there were signs of spring coming: first daffodils, occasional glimpse of a butterfly, hanging the washing outside for the first time in weeks, magpies gathering together and singing their beautiful songs.
Sketchbook pages - Signs of Spring

Winsor & Newton watercolours in Strathmore 400 Series sketchbook (21.6 x 27.9 cm)

And now everything is bursting with new life, flowers, noise. I’m so glad to welcome you back spring.

Goldfields sketchbook – fireplace

Back in London, while planning the move to Australia, I wanted to record some of the places that I loved or visited often, but there was always something else to get done and I only managed to do a handful of sketches. Now I regret not giving this project a higher priority. It would be wonderful to flip through a sketchbook remembering the good times and all the small details that one notices while sketching. Not wanting to make the same mistake twice I recently bought a Strathmore 400 Series sketchbook (21.6 x 27.9 cm) to try to capture some of my life in Bendigo and surroundings. We recently extended our lease for another six months, but after that the future is uncertain and we may move again somewhere else. So there isn’t much time to dilly-dally.

I wanted to begin this sketchbook with the sketch of the house that we are renting, but since the weather has been on the chilly side I opted to sketch the fireplace instead. First sketch – the declaration of the intention and others will follow in time.
Watercolour sketch of fireplace

Winsor & Newton watercolour in Strathmore 400 Series sketchbook (21.6 x 27.9 cm)

Feather Collection

My small collection of feathers
I’ve been collecting feathers lately. I find it hard to walk past a feather without picking it up – they are all unique and beautiful. Some are easy to connect to the names of the birds: white & yellow of a Cockatoo, black & white of an Australian Magpie, grey & pink of a Gallah. Others remain nameless.

If I like something I end up sketching it (or at least day-dreaming about how I would try to capture it on paper) and lately I’ve been sketching feathers.
Watercolour of two feathers

Winsor & Newton watercolours on Daler-Rowney watercolour postcard (100 x 148 mm)

Watercolour of a feather

Winsor & Newton watercolours on Daler-Rowney watercolour postcard (100 x 148 mm)

Watercolour painting of two yellow and white Cockatoo feathers

Winsor & Newton watercolours on Arches Medium Watercolour paper (185gsm, 148 x 210 mm)

Watercolour painting of two feathers

Winsor & Newton watercolours on Arches Medium Watercolour paper (185gsm, 148 x 210 mm)

I seem to gift away these little paintings faster than I can paint them and so I made another one in Moleskine watercolour sketchbook to make sure I’ll have some record left to remind myself of these time of painting feathers.
Watercolour sketch of feathers and autumn leaf

Winsor & Newton watercolours in Moleskine watercolour sketchbook (Landscape 130 x 210 mm)