Monthly Archives: January 2018

Australia Day 2018

My traditional drawing on Australia Day – Vegemite on toast. 


This year I added some gumleaves (not for eating) to the page. The gumleaves were picked up off the ground in Treasury Gardens yesterday. They will dry and lose their colour over the next few days. 

I drew the leaves last night knowing that I was going to include some sort of food. 

Lamingtons? Meat pie? Pavlova ? No – I added the vegemite on toast this morning of Australia Day .  It was cold by the time I got to eat it. 

Australia Day is a national public holiday. Celebrated annually on 26 January, it marks the anniversary of the 1788 arrival of the First Fleet of British Ships at Port Jackson, New South Wales. With community festivals, concerts and citizenship ceremonies, fireworks, music  and barbecues the day is celebrated around the nation.





Travel Sketching Workshop

Yesterday,  I led a Travel Sketching Workshop at Arts on Burgundy in Melbourne .

My one sketch for the day was my traveling to the workshop. 

Ten enthusiastic people arrived and spent the day listening to me talk about travel sketching and then experimenting with sketching on location.

After a few days of very hot weather in Melbourne we were very fortunate to have a cool change come through to give us pleasant weather for travel sketching. 

The two things that I wanted to share with everyone on the day was my passion for the concept of travel sketching and to introduce watercolour pencils as a way of capturing the moment while travelling.  Some people were planning to travel and keeping a sketchbook, or interested in the idea.  A few had watercolour pencils,  but most were new to them. For anyone interested in getting the most out of their watercolour pencils I have gathered together a few practical blogposts based on my experience. 

After an hour talking about travel sketching we walked out for 1 1/2  hours, stopping at two places along the way. In a short amount of time at each stop, they captured the moment and recorded their own individual impressions of their experience. It is really interesting to see what people are attracted to sketching when they are given are wonderful array of scenes and objects to choose from. 

Then back to the studio at Arts on Burgundy for lunch, talking and air-conditioning. 

After lunch we went out again to the beautiful 1859 bluestone St Johns Catholic Church for another two sketches before walking back to the Arts on Burgundy studio for more discussion.

I had a wonderful day and I think that everyone else did too!  We hope to run the Travel Workshops again. Watch this space !

drawing in a book – a work in progress

I am drawing in books again.

Those of you who have followed this blog may be aware of my 2016 exhibition “You Can’t Draw in Books” as part of Melbourne Rare Book Week.

Initially I had an exhibition as part of Melbourne Rare Book Week in 2016, showing 45 books which then travelled to another library and a bookshop. 

I am now selling the individual pages and books on my Etsy store . 

I have just begun another exciting special project as a birthday gift. (Louise, if you are reading this – stop now , and don’t spoil the surprise). I was asked by a good  friend to draw in 1909 recipe book that she had purchased. I have identified about 20 pages that have recipes which have attracted my attention for drawing potential. There are some very ‘of the time’ 









Below are six of my drawings on the recipes in watercolour pencil. The pages are a wonderful thickness and texture to draw on and I am have a wonderful time deciding which to draw on.

 I am working on another four pages and identified another six recipes that have potential.

I have about four weeks to finish and it is on track for completion. I love a project ! 


The first week of 2018

Best Wishes to everyone for 2018 

Here are some of my sketches from my  first week of 2018. There are only a few, but I think they sum up my week and my different styles of using my watercolour pencils. The year ended with a fall (no alcohol involved). No stitches required, but in bed by 9.30pm with a cup of tea and honey. This was my new year celebrations !

Back to work – drawing my work place and meeting sketching friends at lunch. A great way to start the year !

A train ride and back to the suburb of Heidelberg to meet with a sketching friend to walk through my planned route for my Travel Sketching Workshop with Arts on Burgundy on Saturday January 20th. The class is  full, but there is a waitlist and we hope to run more sessions in the future. I sketched this at the station while I waited for my train home. 

dinner with friends. A leftover. I had great fun drawing this. It all came together when I added the ‘dots’ (of the walnut) to the drawing of the cake. Before that it looked like a cheesecake, as the texture  was so smooth 


And finally, I have started on a special project for a friend’s birthday in March. I have been asked to draw in an old cookery book . It was published in 1909 and is about the size of a hardcover novel. I plan to do about 20 drawings. There are some strange recipes that I hope to illustrate in the book. Many of you will be aware of my “You Can’t Draw in Books” exhibition (illustrating pages in books that were about to thrown out) and now the sale of some of the books and pages on my ETSY online store


All of the best to you all in 2018. Happy sketching !