Monthly Archives: December 2017

Looking back over 2017

I write a blogpost at this time each year looking back at what I have done during the year.   ( I have done this in 2014  2015 & 2016 )  

I look at the ‘professional’ art events in this review.  I sketch everyday and have so many personal highlights that it would be impossible to list them all.

I am always amazed at how much I achieved during a year and how quickly and yet how slowly time has gone by.  Once again, I have been involved in many wonderful events and projects in 2017, some planned, some unexpected.  All have come about due my Moleskine Watercolour Sketchbook, Faber Castell Pencils, Lamy Safari Ink Pen and my love of drawing and sketching.

I have added links to many of my blogposts about the events as I mention them.

  • Daily sketching. I filled 10 Moleskine sketchbooks of everyday sketching of my day to day life. I scan every page of my sketchbook and put them all on Flickr (an image sharing website) Some go onto Facebook at Alissa Duke Art , some on Instagram alissaduke1
  • I have maintained 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 and  full of information. I hope that I am able to share a bit of my passion for drawing and watercolour pencils. Please let me know if you have any questions or would like me to explain anything I do . I hope to be able to produce a video one day, (but it is not in next years goals!) 
  • Etsy Sales – I have an Etsy online store selling my Greeting cards. This year I had 83 online orders, with single and multiple card orders from United States, New Zealand, United Kingdom and Singapore and within Australia and also and many directly from friends and family and  organisations.

    2017 month by month 

February – My exhibition “You Can’t Draw in Books” at Blarney Books & Art, Port Fairy 

Selling drawing in books 

I have decided to sell the original pages or books from my “You Can’t Draw in Books” books . They are taking up four boxes of books in my apartment and it is time to say goodbye, They are available for purchase on my Etsy store online 

February – East Melbourne Picnic market stall


My first ever market stall at a local picnic. A perfect introduction to stall, setting up, selling and everything else. The set up I had here has guided me for future markets this year. 






May – CRAFT Victoria HATCH markets

My first professional markets . I was one of thirty stallholders of craft practitioners and artisans. I decided to get a banner to put up next to my stall- a great investment. I have used it several times and am really pleased with the graphic designer’s ideas and the quality of the final product. 


I was advised that it is a good idea to have a mailing list for people to sign up to at markets, and online, The online newsletter is aimed at people who would like to kept up to date on my art, but not every week on my blog. It is sent out occasionally when I have an exhibition, a new range of cards, workshops or other exciting news. Sign up on the front page of my website 

June – Melbourne Rare Book Week

I was the official Urban Sketcher at MRBW and sketched at 23 of the 60+ events over the one week. I hope to capture the essence of the people, the place and the events on the page. The talks go for 45 minutes to 2 hours. An exhilarating week ! The sketches were  used in the AANZAB report and distributed  internationally .

June – East Melbourne travel sketchbook exhibition

My local library reopened after being closed for refurbishment, I was invited to have an exhibition for the reopening.  The exhibition  featured my travel sketchbooks and had sketchbooks open at travel pages (in display cases) and also display a few (reprinted by Blurb) completed sketchbooks for people to browse through. I received some lovely feedback and am beginning to be known around the community, 

June –  East Melbourne travel sketchwalks







Two afternoon sketchwalks with 12 participants.Great fun and a great group each time !

Winter East Melbourne and Jolimont News cover .

My drawings of local doors, windows and features were on the cover of our local quarterly magazine. A lot more local people are beginning to identify me as the sketcher /artist.

August – Craft Victoria HATCH markets

 I participated in the same Markets I did in May this year, This time I had a Paypal Reader to take credit cards. I learn something new each time. 

October – New Cards

I decided on  five new drawings to join my range of  greeting cards for sale in my Etsy online store. They were stocked by  current shops, some who restocked on other cards during the year


November – ETSY Made Local Market

A BIG market – over 100 stalls and 8000 people through the doors on the day .


 three challenging and exciting private commissions of local historical buildings. Here are some features



December East Melbourne Historical Society Christmas invitation

I was asked to draw something for the local history society Christmas invitation . My drawings of the roof tops of houses around a local park were used along the bottom of the inside and outside of the invitation, 









2018 – plans and ideas

January – Travel sketching Workshop – Arts on Burgundy

I was excited to be asked to hold a full day travel sketching workshop by a Melbourne framing and art store in just a few weeks, The class is filling up and there is a waiting list !

Travel sketching workshops

Melbourne Library Service at East Melbourne Library is re-running my Travel Sketchwalks . We are planning Saturday afternoons once a month in February, March and April . yet to be advertised . Watch this space….

Melbourne Rare Book Week 

The dates have been announced for 2018 July 29 June to 8 July 2018, My annual leave is booked and I am looking forward it, 


I plan to expand into selling prints of my drawings on my Etsy online store, I have investigated some of the basics of getting them printed and have received some great advice from  few friends. I will have to have a think about which images would look best at a bigger size, what size to print them and prices, I would be interested in hearing anybody’s ideas and suggestions!


This year has also been full of wonderful and interesting people – new friends and old. Drawing and sketching could be seen to be very solitary things to do. But for me they are interactive , social times where I talk with other sketchers or non-sketchers. Although I am documenting my objects and events in my world around me, I am also part of it. And after I draw, I share my drawings with my online friends, as I view and comment on their artistic adventures. 

Thank you for your continued interest in my art and I am looking forward to what 2018 will bring. 

Best wishes to you all for 2018 


Exploring for a travel sketching workshop

I am very excited to have been asked to hold a Travel Sketching Workshop by Sarah at Arts On Burgundy in Heidelberg, Melbourne. 

On Friday I took a day off to meet Sarah, discuss the January Workshop and explore Heidelberg, as I have never been there. I wanted to see where I could take the Travel Sketching group on a walk on the day.

I will base it on the very successful plan of my East Melbourne Library Travel Sketchwalk except this is a full day workshop, not just an afternoon. 

I am not teaching how to draw, but how to see and to sketch an impression of your moment. No erasers or rulers,  wobbly lines are  just fine. Nothing matters but enjoying what you do. 

I also want to introduce people to watercolour pencils as a everyday art medium or a travel sketching tool. 



I also took the opportunity to catchup with sketching friend and artist Jodi Wiley. We started the day sketching our food and talking a lot.  I got a lot of ideas for where to sketch locally from Jodi and then Sarah.

I walked around and around the streets of Heidelberg.  I stopped at three places and did two 15 minute sketches at each.

This will hopefully give the participants an idea what can be sketched at each. I  looked for places to stop where we could stand or preferable sit for 15 to 30 minutes.

I need to know about the potential for shade as it will be January in Australia. However it is Melbourne – so who knows what the day will bring.  


My day ended at Heidelberg Railway Station, knowing that I had just missed a train and had 19 minutes to wait. Time flies when you are sketching !!!

Melbourne Urban Sketchers Sketchwalk

Melbourne Urban Sketchers Sketchwalk

Forty sketchers signed up for a full day of sketching in Melbourne city. It included a Senior Art sponsored ‘goodie’ bag, including a T-shirt , paintbrush, Daniel Smith watercolour sample sheet, handmade 10 cm x 14 cm accordion fold sketchbook and A4 Visual Diary.

I completed both sides of my accordion fold book. It required a concentrated effort not to spend too long on each sketch and keep moving though the pages, I am so glad that I did !

We met at 9am and started sketching at The Great Petition . I had seen it but had not realised what it as. I think that (if you can) it is important to know a bit about what I am sketching. It is a large scale sculpture (those are sketchers sitting in it) , installed in 2008  to celebrate 100 years of women’s right to vote in Victoria. A petition was presented to Parliament in 1908 signed pages were glued to the sewn strips of calico the length of which was 260 metres.

St Patrick’s Cathedral was in one direction, the city skyline on the other, 

Then to Kere Kere Cafe in Fitzroy Gardens for lunch and a watercolour demonstration by Jay. 

Out into Fitzroy Gardens  to sketch the people, trees and buildings.

We met at 4pm for a final photograph and show and tell. (with a lady from Captain Cooks Cottage, which was the subject of quite a few sketches)

We were very lucky with the beautiful sunny weather today as last weekend when this was scheduled was very wet! Thank you to  Evelyn for organising and to all the helpers making donating and purchasing things especially Janice Ng Kwong Yap  and Kym Steinke

I was also very fortunate to win one of the lucky draw prizes . Janice Ng donated of her handmade sketchbooks. The Sketchbook is filled with Fabriano Artistico hot press paper. 100% cotton . Beautiful . I hope that I will do it justice!