Monthly Archives: February 2017

East Melbourne Picnic market stall

On Saturday I was fortunate to be invited to have a stall for my Greeting cards at the local East Melbourne “Picnic on the Green” at Bishopcourt . It was a community  event organised by East Melbourne Group to gather friends and family and was a wonderful day.

Bishopscourt is the residence Melbourne’s Anglican Archbishop. It is a blue stone building in a style of gothic architecture and was completed in 1853. The red brick wing was added in 1903.

The grounds were open for a picnic, with children’s activities and face painting, sausage sizzle, cool soul and jazz. It was a pleasant 20 degrees (after a week of cold weather) and many local families set themselves up for the evening from 4pm.

I was one of five stall of local craftspeople and artisans. This was my first solo market stall and it a great introduction to running a stall. It was a friendly environment, and I had a huge amount of support, style guidance and assistance from a good friend Louise. I had done a bit of planning and thinking about set up and things we would need, such as change and a float and a mailing list . 

I took fifteen of each of my card designs, with five cards out on display. We were flexible on the day as we did not know what size tressel table would be provided or where it would be situated. I would not change anything that I did on the day. It all went very smoothly. I sold 26 cards on the day . The most popular seller were the squirrel (there are no squirrels in Australia) and the red books on the library shelves. All of my cards are available on my online Etsy store.

It started weeks before locating and ordering display shelves from United States. I knew the “look’ I wanted my stall to have and thankfully, when I opened the box, they were just right. Then I put them together and filled them with cards to see what they looked like. 








Selling my cards  was exciting. But most importantly I met some local friends who did not realise that I drew the cards or had not connected me with the displays of my sketchbooks in East Melbourne Library last year.  It was lovely to be able to proudly stand behind my stall and explain that I was the artist and talk about my drawings and sketchbooks. 







finding my sketches

A bit of a different blog post this week.

I am spending a lot of this weekend cleaning my apartment as I am renting and have an inspection by the property agent next week.  So some of my sketching plans have disappeared. I thought about sketching my cleaning tools, but realised I would not be getting any cleaning done if I did that !

Instead, I have added any drawings that I have done in the past in relation to cleaning and they are the images scattered through my blog today.

Today I am writing about how I locate those drawings and sketches from the last 10 years in over 63 sketchbooks that are sitting on top of my mantle piece.

The answer is Flickr. Have you heard of it? Flickr (owned by Yahoo) is an online photo management and sharing website. You create an account and upload your scans/photos and it also allows you to organize your images. It was around before facebook, many other sites today.

I joined as a member in 2008, mainly to share my sketches with my family interstate. My sketchbooks are often my daily journal, so my family could keep up to date with what I was doing in Sydney .

 I scan all of my  sketches and upload them to Flickr. I have over 4600 images on Flickr . I then add “tags” which are descriptive keywords.  The tags are the key to finding images.  I can do a search through the archive of my “Photostream” and locate any drawings that match that search term. For example, for this page I searched for the words  housework, dusting, cleaning, tools, broom and dirt .  


Once I have found the image I can see the date I sketched it and find the original on my computer or in my sketchbook. I  decided early on to include the date in the title eg 18Feb2017. My early scans are not great as I had not really learnt about scanning and I did not have Photoshop. Now, I have access to Photoshop software and I use it can ‘clean up pages’ ie. remove the edges of the sketchbook, remove scratch marks and make the background paper lighter (scanning often picks up every mark and distorts the colour a little). I do not do anything to the sketch. I sometimes remove the words so that the images can be used in another context on a website on printed ( such as on a birthday card).

Of course, searching through the tags is only as good as the information that I put in the description or tags in the first place. Gosh , do I sound like the Librarian that I am?  When I started I was not very consistent with my tagging and now when I am rushed, or lazy I forget to add tags. 


A small part of the floor where the dining room/living room meets the kitchen. Hmmm another part of the house that needs cleaning

Some of my  early Flickr friends are still on Flickr, others are on other sites including  facebook , instagram, websites.  I post some of my drawings on the  various sites (below) but  everything goes onto Flickr, as it is my archive and database.



Instagram : alissaduke1

I also have organised some of my Flickr sketches into”Albums’ .  Albums are a great way to keep  sketches grouped by topic or theme. Some of them are :

My family history project drawings. 

My hospital stay 


Coffee and tea and cups

curious about Albums  ? See them all

There are many ways to organise and locate sketches so that you or anyone else can search them. What do you do?

My exhibition at Blarney Books & Art

Last weekend I travelled to Port Fairy from Melbourne (four hours by train and bus) for the set up and opening of my exhibition “You Can’t Draw in Books?” at Blarney Books & Art.

Jo , the owner of this wonderful secondhand book store and gallery , had already set the books out beautifully on display in cabinets and on tables,  and all I had to do was add some small display panels that I brought along.  These talk about these books and why I drew in them and also my process of drawing.

You can see by the photo above that I am very happy and excited to have my art in books on display and sharing them with a new audience in Port Fairy. 

Jo had printed  a fabulous glossy postcard that I later saw in cafe’s around town – another ‘pinch me’ moment. Gosh I am an artist (of sorts) . I have a few spare postcards if you would like me to post you you one. Click on the contact me Tab and send a message. 








There was a Meet The Artist session on Saturday and a few locals dropped by especially to have a chat . We talked all things art and they asked lots of questions, And there was bubbly to celebrate.












Some have already sold but all others are all for sale ! 




The next day the clouds came over, then the rain began. I sketched in Blarney Books & Art, with the rain sounding on the high tin roof. I could have stayed there for days. (That is Craig the mannequin sitting opposite me. Quite disconcerting. ) 

We had explored Port Fairy in our spare time and I completed a few pages of sketches. See them on my flickr site where I post all of my drawings. 

The exhibition is on til March 5 – so if you are in the area , please have a look. Let me know if you if you visit. 

new exhibition up this weekend

This is a short blogpost as I am currently installing my “You Can’t Draw in Books?” exhibition at Blarney Books & Art in Port Fairy. It opens on Saturday 4 February and runs until 5 March . Blarney is open Thurs, Fri, Sat & Sun 11-4.  It is a fabulous bookshop, with fascinating second hand books, comfy couches and a fish tank, . Their art exhibitions tie in with books, book art, artist books, and/or storytelling. 

“You Can’t Draw in Books?”  was originally created for Melbourne Rare Book Week last year. I then had the opportunity to display it at my local library. And now it has travelled to Port Fairy (with the help of the Wiley family) , a lovely seaside town about four hours from Melbourne (out along the Great Ocean Road). 

A Tale of Two Cities . if you read the page – it describes Madame Defarge and the other women knitting as the executions take place

There are 45 books in the exhibition, some new to this exhibition, as some books were bought from the previous exhibition. If you are not familiar: 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 watercolour pencils. The image I choose to draw, reflects the words on the page.

I have blogged about  it .

My MRBW exhibition 

My East Melbourne Library exhibition 

Here are some of the new drawings on pages