Thursday 28 August 2014

Nasturtiums in Watercolour

In one of the classes in my Studio we have been looking at Still Life - and painting from life too. It makes such a difference when you really look at something; examine the shapes; enjoy the colours; and appreciate the light shining through petals on a flower.

Nasturtiums I ink and watercolour Alpha Sketchbook

I prevailed on one of the artists to leave her beautiful nasturtiums for me to paint over the weekend. Since I have a new colour - Schmincke Translucent Orange - it seemed fitting to use watercolour. 

Nasturtiums II ink watercolour Alpha Sketchbook

                                     Nasturtiums III watercolour Alpha Sketchbook

I enjoyed trying a few variations - ink then watercolour; watercolour on its own for quick, free flowing colour; and lastly a more careful painting. I planned to add a few more shadows however life got in the way and when I looked a few days later, the flowers were past their prime. Life is fleeting.

 I found a delightful poem to complete the page.

Tuesday 19 August 2014

Urban Sketchers Brisbane on The Great South East

There was much excitement at the USK Brisbane sketch crawl this morning. Our group was to be filmed for the Channel 7 TV programme The Great South East, which features people and places in SE  Queensland.

Needless to say there was a bumper turnout. While we waited for the film crew to arrive, I started a quick ink sketch of the General Post Office. I wanted to get a feel for the building and decide how to tackle the building in the larger sketch.

GPO Noodler's #41 Brown in Alpha sketchbook

 It's a building with three sections. The left hand side with the clock face is the original building, although the clock was originally on the centre Tower section and was later moved. The right side of the building was added later and matches the left side. We were in relative calm sitting in Post Office square across the road.

I decided to concentrate on the original building.I loved the fact that the trees obscured quite a lot of the complex building. There was a also a lot of traffic on the road in front of me - trucks, delivery vans and crowds of people moving about, so a lot of editing took place.

While I started my sketch some of the other sketchers were interviewed. I decided on a loose watercolour wash of the main shapes so I would have something to work on when they came to talk to me. 

Fortunately I had a fair bit of the sketch started when it was my turn to be interviewed, so I didn't have to face a blank page. Carole Horne, the Producer asked me to "assist" the presenter, Blair Allsop with his sketch and give him a few tips on starting. The crew were with us for a couple of hours and then went on to shoot footage of some of the sketches we had done in other locations around the city.

 General Post Office Brisbane ink and watercolour Zeta sketchbook 

If you live in Queensland make sure you tune in to Channel Seven on a Sunday afternoon at 5.30pm. We will get some notice of when the segment will air - most likely in about four weeks so I'll let you know when it's on.

Andy Warhol predicted that
“In the future everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes”

After all effort that I am sure our fame will most likely only amount to three or four minutes in total.

Sunday 10 August 2014

A Tea Party

What a lovely morning - a warm sunny winter's day in Brisbane. Six of us gathered for a tea party at My Beautiful Things at The Lavender Barn in Newmarket. There were four klassmates from Sketchbook Skool Beginnings2, one of my students as well as myself. I am enrolled in the second semester - Seeing1.  We had our own little area under a gazebo with plenty of space for our Devonshire tea as well as all the sketching paraphernalia. 

We were given free rein of the shop being able to gather any props that caught our fancy. I couldn't resist the tea cosies, in fact I bought one that I had absolutely fallen in love with...well I don't have a single tea cosy so really had to have one for my tea. 

My first sketch featured this vibrant tea cosy - the clever work of Rae Cooper - Tempting Tea Cosies and oops not tea but my coffee. I realised when my coffee arrived that I had sketched this particular cup once before - but it's so pretty that I decided to paint it once more.

The Pink Teacup and Tea Cosy - ink and watercolour in S&B Alpha sketchbook. 

Now it was time for Devonshire tea. I think the staff had fun deciding which of their cups we would love the most. They didn't disappoint. I loved this cup and saucer with a harvest theme. Needless to say the fruit scone was absolutely delicious. There's space on page for some text which will follow in due course. Or I might paint the business card which is currently MIA.

Devonshire Tea - ink and watercolour - S&B Beta sketchbook

There was time for one last sketch - this was fun to paint.  

Little House Tea Cosy with Milk Jug -  ink and watercolour in S&B Alpha sketchbook. 

Please note: the top photo is a quick one with my iPhone. After so much sketching the scanning and stitching is beyond me today!

Saturday 9 August 2014

A visit to my Studio

Today as I was about to put the lights out and go out for the afternoon, I realised that my studio looked surprisingly tidy.

On a Saturday afternoon after my class leaves, I move current work in progress back into my studio and then for the next four days proceed to create a crazy, untidy muddle. On Wednesday evening I clear away the chaos in preparation for classes on the following three days.

I know people love to have a peak into artists studios so I took a few photos to share with you while it still looked tidy.


The paintings on the easels are both work in progress, in preparation for a group exhibition in September.




Monday 4 August 2014

Deja` Bru Cafe`

I had been living in my home for about a year when Deja Bru Café opened in the shopping centre a couple of hundred meters from my house. One day while I was having coffee and chatting to the owner, somehow the conversation turned to what I was doing - working as an artist and teaching art. Jess asked me if I could do a painting with a French theme as she was looking for something for the wall of the Café. 

Back in the studio I did a few ink sketches of Paris scenes in my sketchbook - the Eiffel Tower, some Parisienne buildings and a few French pastries. A few days later, when having another coffee, I produced the sketches.

 I was asked:
"Can you do some café  scenes? - And "The painting needs to be quite big... "
So the process for creating the large paintings for Deja Bru began. You can read all about it  here, and here and view the completed painting here. 

Better still if you live in Brisbane drop in for coffee. Deja Bru Cafe` is in McDowall Village Centre on the corner of Hamilton and Beckett Roads, McDowall 4053.

A few weeks ago I was at Deja Bru and had my large Zeta sketchbook with me. I decided to do a sketch, and remembering Tommy Kane’s approach to drawing, this was the type of drawing where I could take my time. Also, I could include all the many little details that make this such a unique place. 

The drawing was done over a number of visits, whenever I could get a table with the right view. After a few visits, I often found that some items were moved to a different shelf as Jess tweaked the décor! In desperation I took a couple of photos for reference so I didn't have to move them in my drawing!

Deja Bru Cafe - ink and watercolour Zeta sketchbook 300mm x 420mm

Once the ink drawing was complete I started adding watercolour. Some parts have remained black and white - I like the contrast between the splashes of colour and the stark ink lines.

Deja Bru Cafe` celebrated its second birthday last week. How time flies, and how lucky am I to have this little treasure on my doorstep?

And I have an extra reason to be so grateful to the team at Deja Bru - last week while having breakfast with some friends, I dropped my pen case containing both my old and precious Waterman and my favourite Lamy Safari pens! I was frantic as you can imagine and searched high and low re-tracing my steps that day.
Fortunately for me, when the boys were clearing up they found my case and kept it safely for me. Thank you, boys, for your honesty.