Monthly Archives: December 2016

Looking back over 2016

Looking back over 2016

I wrote a blogpost this time last year, looking back over 2015. Reading it now, I had an amazing year then, but this one has been just as extraordinary.

I have been involved in many events and projects in 2016, some planned, some serendipitous, all due my Moleskine Watercolour Sketchbook, Faber Castell Pencils, Lamy Safari Ink Pen and an absolute passion for drawing and sketching.

These have included”

  • Cathy Johnson’s Book – Artists Sketchbook: Exercises and Techniques for sketching on the spot.  I was invited to invited to contribute and am proud to see my name and sketch (p 57) 

  • Lost Trades Fair  Once again I sketched a few of the stall holders. Earlier this year I met Lisa   the organiser and I was invited to sketch and to become involved in it in a greater way, I wrote two blogposts about my day Part 1  and Part 2
  • New Cards – I decided on  six new drawings to join my range of  greeting cards for sale in my Etsy online store. They were picked up by new stockists and also in current stockists, some who restocked during the year . My snail mail range expanded to include cards insert in side snail mail envelope.  

  • Law Institute Journal article – I was interviewed and a two page article  was published in the Law Institute Journal. It  is the publication for solicitors who are members of the Law Institute of Victoria. They have a page on the interest of people working the law. It is a beautifully written article that captures by life and working at the Supreme Court Library and my art outside it and how they have joined together.

  • Etsy Sales – I have an Etsy online store selling my Greeting cards. This year I had 17 online orders, most with multiple card orders from California, New York, Ohio, Germany, Washington DC, Illonois and within Australia – from Toowoomba, Cranborne South, Sydney, Maroubra, Pyrmont, Melbourne and Kingston Beach  and also 11 directly from friends and family and  9 from organisations.
  • MRBW – Melbourne Rare Book Week . I was Urban Sketcher at 22 of the 56 events over one week. An exhilarating and exhausting week ! The sketches were  used in the AANZAB report and shown internationally . I received some lovely generous feedback from those involved. I wrote a blog post each day . Read them here  and see all the sketches here

  • MRBW You Can’t Draw in Books? Exhibition . As part of MRBW I was invited to hold an exhibition at Melbourne City Library. I drew in books that were about to be thrown away, or that I bought for a few dollars.  The next step for them  would have been the bin.I gave the books a new life by drawing on the pages with my watercolourpencils. The image I choose to draw, reflected the words on the page. 


  • East Melbourne Library Exhibition You Can’t Draw in Books . I was fortunate enough to be invited to display my exhibition of You Can’t Draw in Books? at my local library, sharing it with new and local audience. It is lovely to read what people wrote in the Comments book that I left near the exhibition.

  • Royal Historical Society of Victoria.  I attended a conference on the 175 year of the Supreme Court of Victoria (which I work as a Reference Librarian) hosted by the RHSV and sketched the speakers and audience. This is what I do . I was very pleased to be able to share the sketches with the organiser and was mentioned in the RHSV , who mentioned me in the July 2016 History News (p5)
  • and this led to some of the panelists asking for prints of my sketch and one of them using the sketch as their twitter icon. 

  • I was commissioned to illustrate a family cookbook, with recipes from the 1800’s to the 1960’s. It was a fun and challenging experience.

  • I filled 15 Moleskine sketchbooks of sketching memories of my day to day life. I scan every page of my sketchbook and put them on Flickr (an image sharing website) 
  • Maintaining my weekly art blog

Thank you to everyone who follows my weekly art blog. I hope that you find it enjoyable and interesting to read, full of information. I hope that I am able to share a bit of my  passion and obsession for the joy of drawing and watercolour pencils.  If there are any questions you have about my pencils or drawing, please ask.


I have been provided with opportunities because of my sketching. It has introduced me to some of the most amazing and interesting people, some in the sketching world, and some  not, through my involvement with events. They have fascinating lives and stories to tell. I am touched that that they find my drawing of interest. I finally got to meet some of my online art friends at the Manchester Urban Sketching Symposium.

2017 – the first six months

What is coming up?

February – My “You can’t Draw in Books/” Exhibition is travelling to Port Fairy, Victoria.

March – Lost Trades Fair – I will be involved sketching,  somehow.

April  – I have another exhibition planned at East Melbourne Library 

July – Melbourne Rare Book Week is on again. I will be involved as an urban sketcher and will be involved in events. These are to be decided but will be exciting and challenging.


Please join me again in 2017 

Christmas carolling sketches

It is the season for Christmas events and celebrations.  I sketch at some, but not all, depending on the circumstances. This week I was fortunate to attend a Christmas concert at St Michael’s church in Collins Street, Melbourne. 

I walk past this 1869  built church everyday, but have never been in. On this night I experienced the church’s rich history, design and beauty while listening to The Tudor Choristers sing beautiful traditions old and new carols. I was able to sketch the event, while absorbing the music and surroundings. However I did put my sketchbook down when the audience were invited to stand and sing Once in Royal David City, Away in a Manger, Hark the Herald Angels Sing, O Little Town of Bethlehem and O Come All Ye Faithful. Wonderful.

The next day I met with some Melbourne sketching friends and experienced another group of carollers, this time from a local community, At Christmas Square in Melbourne city. This was a lot more informal and singers came and left the group to talk to people passing by. Angela and I stopped and sketched and sang along to everything we could.  That is a major plus of having been in a choir – you get to learn the words to the second and third verses of songs !

This is my Christmas sketch of the tree in Christmas Square. I think that I will use it to print on the Christmas cards I send to family  and friends. 

Of course, you can purchase Christmas cards of my drawings from my Etsy store online. But be quick, as Christmas is getting closer and postage is taking longer to arrive !



sketching weekend in Port Fairy

Last weekend I spent a delightful weekend away in the delightful Port Fairy, four hours from Melbourne . The historic seaside village of Port Fairy is a unique example of a perfectly preserved 19th century shipping port. The little township has retained its old world character and there is an extraordinarily rich variety of architecture.   

POPULATION 3100 – peak periods > 10,000 – Folk Festival > 40,000

(Source: Port Fairy Moyne Shire : Official tourism website of Port Fairy and Moyne Shire )

I was visiting Port Fairy as I am having an exhibition there in next February at the wonderful Blarney Books & Art  and wanted to look at the gallery space and meet the lovely owner Jo. 



I caught the train to Warnambool and then a short connecting bus ride to Port Fairy. I carry my Moleskine Watercolour sketchbook, Lamy Safari ink pen and watercolour pencils with me everywhere. This blog is my journal of sketches from the weekend. It includes my different styles of sketching and drawing, depending on time, opportunity and inclination. I feel like I have captured my weekend on paper and looking back at it will bring back memories of the time and place.


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I walked around  the nearby Griffith Island. The lighthouse and bird (above) were sketched on location. The shells and seaweed drawn back at my cosy accommodation at Hanley House Edwards Den in the evening. It was an idyllic day.

The Port Fairy Lighthouse was built in 1859 (41 feet above high watermark) and is on Griffith Island. Griffiths Island is also home to a large colony of muttonbirds, who nest in burrows in the ground. 

I saw the dead Muttonbird (Shearwater) on the beach at the end of my walk and sat on the beach to draw its angelic wings as it was buried in the sand. I had seen a few dead muttonbirds on the island (thousands roost live there in summer) but this is the first one I wanted to draw.


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On Sunday I met with a sketching friend, Angela who took me on a tour of Port Fairy and we sketched some of the sights. It has so much to offer visually and historically. I am returning in February and will do more sketching then. 



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As well, as seeing the sights, we visited a local Church fair, where Angela’s friend Val was face painting. A group of four small girls arrived with parents and Angela offered to lend a hand. It was an unexpected and delightful time of the day. The young girls were very happy with the results of the newbie face painter! I was happy to sketch the painters.

I am really pleased with my captures on paper from the weekend.