Monthly Archives: December 2015

looking back over 2015

2015 has been an eventful and amazing year.

I moved in September 2014 to Melbourne after 10 years of living in Sydney. The move provided so many new opportunities.

Lo Res_Alissa_07

I started listing my achievements and was astounded at how much I have accomplished. Some of the things I have done were on my ‘to do’ list and others were on my ‘wouldn’t it be wonderful one day if… ‘ (medium and long term goal) list. Through the year opportunities presented themselves and I think I grasped most of them.

In this blogpost I have listed my achievements, links to the relevant website and then links to my blog post about the event (if you missed it and want to read up and follow my artistic adventures).

  • Website I previously used to have a blog on Blogger but realized I needed more. I completely amazed myself by creating my own website.  I expected trauma and tears , but it all went smoothly thanks to well written instructions. It still needs a little work, but has the look and style I was hoping for . I used this book Create Your Own Website Using WordPress in a Weekend

Read about it at


  • I have a weekly blog . You can sign up to receive email notifications when I post a blog (like this one) . The blog is all about my art – what I am up to, hints and tips and sketching adventures.



  • Greeting cards – I now have some of my drawings printed on 24 cards and 5 envelopes. I located a Melbourne commercial printer (from local recommendations).  They scan my drawings capturing the subtleties of watercolour pencil and are very patient with my technical ignorance.  The cards have the high quality look I wanted  and I am very proud of them .  I then sourced envelopes and cello bags and all the associated resources.

all cards for logDSCF0644




Read about it

  • Linden Postcard show. I entered three drawings in this local non-juried art exhibition. I was proud to see them on the walls


Read about it

  • I have held three Exhibitions. Two were held at my local library thanks to the local community East Melbourne library who provide free display cabinets. They were my first solo exhibitions and had the joy of an exhibition without the stress of framing, pricing, opening night. etc. I learnt a lot along the way about display and how much work is involved .



I have an exhibition at the Supreme Court Library . It is still on til 22 January 2016 if you are in Melbourne

    • Uppercase – two drawing projects  (snail mail and airmail parcel) published in this prestigious magazine


Read about it


    • Commission x 2 nest and car. They are both Christmas presents so I cannot show you !


    • Market stall – Holy Trinity church. I shared a market stall selling my cards. (which led to a commission) market3

Read about it I may have a stall in an artisan market next year and this was a good introduction to how it works, the reality and set up .


    • Local general store – outlet for cards – East Melbourne General Store – the lovely new owner Lisette is very supportive and promoted and stocked my cards


    • Simone Ridyard’s book Archisketcher: a guide to spotting and sketching urban landscapes , has my drawing of the Sydney Opera House Available from North Light Books and Amazon (click on for links).IMG_0896a
    • as well as filling seven Moleskine watercolour sketchbooks . see ALL my drawings on flickr


Another very important part of my year were the PEOPLE . I have met and sketched with Melbourne Urban Sketchers, Erin’s travel sketch class, as well as local and online friends. They are  all part of the   wonderful and supportive art community locally and online.

Thanks to everyone who supported my art by  liking or following on facebook., flickr, instagram or this blog  or providing guidance and advice along the way. Drawing is great fun but the associated activities  involved in sharing my art are another world. It is  sometimes a steep learning curve and an adventure . I am still learning. (As you tell by the formatting of this page as things don’t go where I want them to on the page)

Looking forward to  2016

I am not sure what will be included along side of Cathy and 23 other awe-inspiring artists . I find it hard to come to term that I am included in this group.

  • Two more commissions a house and a car
  • Potential for more cars as this year s commission is advertised in the car club magazine
  • A stall at artisan Markets
  • An exhibition in July
  • being the In-house sketcher at a series of events.

I am looking forward to the New Years artistic adventures and to see the wonderful places they will take and people I will meet. See you along the way !

Library coffee cups

Today was my work Christmas party. It was held in the tearoom at work, everyone bringing a plate of food and taking the time to  relax. My contribution to the lunch (along with bread and juice) were these paper coffee cups that I had drawn on. They are  drawings of the Supreme Court of Victoria.  The library that we work in is under the dome. The other drawings are of books in the library. People could take a cup if they wanted to, and happily did.

cup and books

Above is a cup against the books.

Below are the different drawings I did.

Here are the BOOKS


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and here is the LIBRARY

















The cups were bought by my colleague Monica at the markets in a stack of 100 (thank you !) . I didn’t think I would use that many but I can see lots fun potential. I have drawn on them with my Lamy Safari Joy ink pen . I hope you enjoy.

If you love books and library you can purchase my watercolour pencil drawings of them on Greeting cards in my Etsy shop




Christmas sketching in Melbourne

Today I was sketching with ten Melbourne sketching friends. We met on a hot and sunny day  in Christmas Square (usually known as Melbourne Square), with its  BIG tree, Santa, elves and plenty of families . As well as doing our usual urban sketching, with a Christmas theme , we each got a watercolour postcard do a sketch and put in a hat to choose one to take home. We did this last year and decided continue and hope it becomes a tradition. I got Kaz’s and Evelyn got mIne.

fed sq


The day was all arranged by Janice –  thank you for the wonderful day and great weather. finishing at Beer DeLuxe for lunch ( and more sketching)


This is the card I drew . There are very tall toy soldiers around the Square and in Melbourne CBD.

My main sketch of the day (apart from the card) was my first one of the Christmas tree, Cathedral and people. Everyone wanted their photo taken in front of the tree. Great fun. The page was very  ‘organic’ – not really planned. It just grew down the page13Dec15 Christmas Square


13Dec15 lunch13Dec15 lunchbar


MYER Melbourne Christmas windows

MYER is Australia’s largest department store with the flagship store in Bourke Street Mall, Mellbourne. Each year, like many other stores, they feature Christmas displays, often animated, telling a story. This year is the 60th year and I specifically visited the frantic Christmas gift department on Level 6 on hot Saturday 3 weeks before Christmas.

Why ?

This year’s Christmas window story is based on a children’s book written by Corinne Fenton, an author friend of my sketching friend Juliet Sampson. The reason I was so interested were the illustrations by Robin Cowcher. Robin also had the opportunity to sketch behind the scenes during the making of the windows. They were doing a book signing for an hour at MYER. This was all too interesting for me to resist!

5Dec15 book signing

5Dec15 book signing2

I bought my copy of the book, had it signed by both author and illustrator and mentioned to them my vague connection. I then tried to find a space out of the shopping crowds (as best I could) and sketched them signing books for other people.

I only stayed half a hour as the crowds were a bit overwhelming.

5Dec15 MYER windows

Outside there was long controlled queue of adults, children and prams lined up to see the windows. In this way, people walk past the windows that are telling the story without having to stand in a five-deep crowd. I stood up on a bench to sketch this. The colour was added at home.

I plan to return during the week, on the way to work when there are no crowds. I will enjoy the story and the windows and sketch more then.

Here is the story in the window:

Little Dog and Jonathan are best friends. They do everything together but on Christmas Eve Little Dog finds himself lost and alone in a busy city. How will he find his way home? Set in the 1950s and featuring some of Melbourne well known landmarks, this charming and nostalgic Christmas story by Corinne Fenton is perfectly complemented by delightful ink and watercolour illustrations by Robin Cowcher. (source

There is an indepth behind the scenes article in The Age newspaper if you want to know more about it all.