Category Archives: birds nest

one sketch, many outcomes

I was considering what to write about this week . I had just scanned a page from my December sketchbook and it struck me how one sketch can have so many purposes.

This is a sketch of  objects Mum has left out for the Satin bower bird to collect .



29Dec15 bower bird cropped

The simple and quick act of sketching these objects allowed me to

  • document an occurrence from Mums house in a sketch.


  • have a conversation with my mother about the Satin Bower Bird visits. The visits  started recently and I really didn’t know much about it , apart from the fact that it visited. I was able to ask lots of questions and make notes. It will also have more meaning  when she talks about him in the future.


  • bring back memories of a camping trip to O’Reilly’s  National Park when I was about 12. This is the only other time I had seen Satin and Golden Bower Birds. You could feed them and the rainbow lorikeets in the campgrounds. I never thought that one day there would be one in a backyard !


  • fill in 15 minutes while waiting for a taxi to arrive to take us to the bus stop. I have always been an impatient person But since I started sketching I have never had this problem. I sketch and the time flies by.
  • practice sketching . I sketch daily and any sketch is an opportunity to observe, measure, make judgments on colour etc

And here is my finished sketchbook page.

29Dec15 bower bird

My first solo art exhibition

My first solo art exhibition. It is small but it is all mine.L1100034

My local East Melbourne Library provides display cabinets for residents to book for a month at a time for exhibitions. With the encouragement of friends, I booked a space for August. Then, with the incredible guidance and assistance of my good friend Louise, (curator and exhibition designer) we planned and then set up my display.


joined images1

This took many hours and the time that we spent planning paid off.   I learnt that there is a lot involved in finding a theme, keeping focus and using the space of the  glass cubes that make up the cabinets. I cut 12 squares of 30 x 30 cm paper (the number and size of each shelf) and spread them out over the floor at home . I then decided what should be placed in each shelf. We took it all down to the library last Saturday, making slight alterations on the day .

All along, I had visualised how I wanted my feather and nests sketches to be exhibited, and the final display exceeded all of my expectations.

The theme of the exhibition was based around the drawings I have had printed as Greeting Cards and envelopes (which are available for sale on my Etsy site). They include feathers, nests, library books and ladders and snails.


L1100010 - Copy

There is one display cabinet featuring library books and ladders.

I tried to add as many relevant sketchbooks as possible to the display as well as the finished drawings  on loose sheets of A4 paper as I am really a sketchbook artist.

joined images3


I also wanted to include some of the original objects that the drawings were inspired by.

joined images2


I have already received some lovely feedback from the library staff.

I hope that you have enjoyed strolling through my first solo exhibition with me today. It is very big event for me and I very proud of my exhibition.

New cards on Etsy

I am very excited to announce a new set of eight Greeting Cards on my Etsy shop featuring my feather and nest drawings. I have had a busy and productive day today putting the images online.

These follow on from my first venture of Library books and shelves Greeting Cards that were printed in March.

all cards for log

Those who know me will be well aware of how much I enjoy drawing feathers and nests. I am continually amazed by the delicacy, fragility and strength of nature. I love to try and capture the patterns and colours of feathers and the complexity and intricacy of nests. I have chosen eight drawings that I hope convey this. They are printed on cream 300 gsm card and come with a cream envelope  and are beautiful to send with (or as) gift or to keep and frame for yourself!

Printing these cards provides me with an opportunity to share my love of drawing and nature.ibistwo7

This adventure into the world of greeting cards has been exciting and challenging. I am on a learning curve about printing, websites, Etsy and marketing.

Please visit my Etsy Shop to view my drawings on my Greeting cards and spread the word.



Small nest drawing

 This Christmas I was given FOUR birds nests, as well as some feathers, bugs and butterflies. My mother knows just what to give me as a present each year! 
I managed to get them all home to Sydney, although the nest on the far left of the photo was a bit of a challenge as the twigs are precariously intertwined and balanced. It travelled as hand luggage in a plastic bag and I made sure it was not knocked or squashed on the flight and train home.

Four birds nests on my desk with my Moleskine Watercolour sketchbooks on the shelf behind.

The drawing featured in this blog is of the smallest nest on the far right. I finally remembered to take photographs of the work in progress. Most of my drawings are completed in the one sitting or the next day. I tend to spend a longer amount of time drawing my feathers and nests, usually over a few days or weeks. I have only drawn a few nests and it is a challenge each time…..  I have learnt a lot from number of books and inspired by MaryJo Koch, especially her books Bird Feather Nest Egg, and even better The Nest. In fact, I have just taken them off my bookshelf to re-inspire me for my next nest drawing. Her paintings are in gouche and I use watercolour pencils, so I am trying to figure out to how to work with my pencils to draw nests. The lines are so fine and light and the whole concept of light and dark lines is a challenge. and I enjoy it so much, especially when it all works out.

I am not sure which birds any of these nests belong to. I’ve done a bit of searching online using Google Images and have not been able to identify them . I have found out what they are NOT.

NOT a willie wagtail, fantail, pee wee, pardalote, pipit, gerygone.

MAY be a crested pigeon or a drongo

They were found empty on local footpaths in Toowoomba in South East Queensland Australia . If anyone has any suggestions of what they are I would love to know so that I can “put a face to a name” so to speak.

I am drawing this nest in my  Watercolour Moleskine Sketchbook. I have been drawing all of other feathers and nests on A4 Arches Watercolour 300 gsm Smooth paper, but started this in my everyday sketchbook. I am not sure why. I left the back of the page blank and have cut it out of the book and added it to my growing collection of feathers and nests on loose paper.  


PHOTO 1 HB Pencil. Ivory and Flesh pencils
PHOTO 2 adding a few individual twigs

PHOTO 3 adding shadow

PHOTO 4 – just a bit more colour
in situ…..
The final version … at the moment

I drew this over a few nights from the 13th to 20th February 2014. I will probably add abit more over the weekend.  I added a little bit at a time. It is easier to look at the drawing fresh the next day to see where to add colour and line. I usually am working on a few other quicker sketches at the same time, so I have a huge sense of satisfaction at the end of each day. It also gives me a chance to use some colours other than the creams, browns, ochres etc of the nests.