Sunday, 16 December 2012

From My Sketch Book

It seems ages since I posted at Sunday Sketches. I have been busy getting my website ready for uploading, which I hope to do in the first couple of weeks of January. Also I have downloaded the software from Blurb and started on my children's book Mystery in Arcadia. I've got the hang of it now, but realise that I need to do more illustrations. Seeing the layout before you, gives you a better idea of what is needed.

Anyways, I decided to show you all a few pages from my sketch books. I have one for flowers from my garden, and another one for my walks in the local countryside.

From my garden is a foxglove (watercolour), I did this a couple of weeks ago. I am glad I did it then, as the weather is so hot this last week that all the flowers are fading. The grass is already brown usually that doesn't happen till mid January.

From the other sketchbook are sketches of mice at the local reserve. If you sit really quiet in the long grass in the late afternoon they come and play. I am drawing mice as I have an idea for a picture book about a gang of mice.
Also I get plenty of opportunity to study them as two of my cats, Bro and Lucy often present them to me as gifts!

Blessings to everyone, and have a great holiday season.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Paint Party Friday

This week I have been getting to grips with acrylics, one of the goals I had set for this year. I want to change from oils to acrylics as I have problems with oil paints (allergies), my hands swell up and I get a rash on my knuckles – not pleasant. I know I should wear gloves but I like to get my hands in amongst the paint!

A perfect opportunity came up when a friend asked for a painting of some of the flowers in her garden. As I want to give the painting as a gift for Christmas, it had to be acrylics, so I bit the bullet, and in more ways than one, she likes the classical style of painting, 'none of this modern stuff please!' A hard ask for me, but as she is a lovely lady and has been so kind to me, I wanted to give her something she would love.

I have to say I really enjoyed myself, do you know the feeling when you are painting and you can't believe it is going so well, it is almost like someone is guiding your hand. Then when you have finished it you look at it and think did I do that?

And today I went to a second hand store and found a perfect frame the right size and all. I just need to rub some gilding on the frame and give it a wax and it is ready to go. Maybe I have found a new path?

Have a Happy PPF everybody, and may your build up to Christmas be smooth and joyful.

Linking to Paint Party Friday

Saturday, 8 December 2012

PPF and FFF - Calm in the Storm

The challenge 5 for Fall, Fearless and Fly. The prompts were:
Headline Prompt:  Lifelong Fan:  What or who have you consistently valued or looked up to in your life?  What lessons have you learned from people you admire?
Color Prompt:  Your favorite color now or from childhood or both!
Quote Prompt: "Among those whom I like or admire, I can find no common denominator; but among those whom I love, I can:  all of them make me laugh."  W.H.Auden
Today, I am using the first two prompts. The colours in this piece are purple, a colour I have like all my life and red which is a new found favourite (since the second prompt when we were asked to use a colour we least liked)
 I struggled with this as I do not have a person that I have admired throughout my life, I have admired people for periods of time and something then comes up to show me, they are a mess just like me. I don't stop liking them, but, they are no longer on that pedestal that I had placed them. So it shows something about me, rather than them. I am now very careful not to do that anymore! So I started thinking about qualities of the people I admire, Humour was high up there. But humour can sometimes be very cruel.

Time was ticking by and I had almost decided not to do this prompt, when a very busy and chaotic few days, made me recall, a particular friend I had at Polytechnic. She was always calm even in the midst of crazy student life. Pamela was from Taiwan and her English was not 100 per cent and people put her quietness down to that. I was not so sure, so I asked her one day, “How come she was so relaxed and calm amongst us lot?” He reply was the quote by Buddha in the picture above. She said she was Buddhist and mediation helped to center her. Yes, I have always admired people who keep their cool in a crisis. It is something I aspire to. I can appear to calm on the surface, but there is a nasty storm inside! So I want to learn to be like the quote below, calm inside when there is a storm on the outside. (Blues and turquoise are close seconds in the favourite colours list.)
This week has been stormy for me, I would like to think that I kept my calm throughout. So thanks Pamela, even though we have different faiths, both will help us cope with the slings and arrows of life.

The first piece is acyclic (text added in Photoshop) and the second is an oil painting done earlier in the year with text and embellishments added in Photoshop.

Have a happy PPF day everyone.

Linking to

Sunday, 2 December 2012


Bull, the Frog that talked.

Thank you Sunday Sketchers for all the advice last week. I have made some decisions about publishing. Lynn Cohen has inspired me and I am going to self publish 'Mystery in Arcadia' (last weeks pictures with Blurb and with two others I am going to try the conventional publishers first, and have decided that the sample from 'The Perfect Pet' will suit a publisher in Australia and My fairy story a publisher in USA. So now I have to pull my finger out!

Today's sample is from 'The Perfect Pet' as this picture also fits the prompt – Stretch - for Illustration Friday. The story is a Chapter Book for 6 to 8 year olds
Katie waited impatiently till it was nearly dark, and Liam was having his bath, so that he would not be able to mess things up. She went out into the back garden and crept along the grass to the edge of the pond. There was the old frog calling out to his friends. Katie held her breath, reached out, and made a grab for the frog, but he jumped away.
Drat!” The frog started to call out to his friends again.
I will get him this time,” Katie thought as she slithered on her stomach along the edge of the pond, as close to the frog as she could get.
Katie fell into the pond. As she crawled out, Katie was sure that the frog and his friends were laughing.

Have a wonderful week creating everybody.

Linking with SundaySketches