Long time no see

Mid February is already here and my interest in blogging has come back. Like most people at the start of a new year I have done a lot of thinking about what I want for me, and for my life as an illustrator. To put it briefly I want more drawing, more experimenting, more doodling for the sake of it, and more storytelling. I also want to get out of the house more often and cycle a lot more (I say that as one of the pedals on my bike broke two weeks ago!). Oh, and I want to look around me more and notice the beautiful little things. And nature. Always nature.

So I’ll share all this here. 2018 is going to be a year full of art for me, so I may as well document it here.  I’ll also share some things that I won’t share on my social media, like photos of my home, my travels, or extra sketches. And I’ll look for the little things that make me happy and photograph them. I won’t be too arty farty, but I want to make sure I notice them. I’d love to be able to post one photo a day on that theme, but I’m useless at sticking to things like that.

Anyway, the first 5 months of the year will be spent on creating a portfolio for children’s book publishers. In May I will be going to the KidLitVic conference in Melbourne and display my portfolio there for a whole day. It’s a bit daunting but also very exciting. I haven’t been to Melbourne for almost 8 years and it’s my favourite city in Australia so I look forward to being there again. I will be child free, which is going to be weird, and I must confess, very exciting!

DSCN1164DSCN1166This is Captain Urchin. I’m hoping to use it do to a character map for my portfolio. I have the start of a story for him to…all in good time…

DSCN1185An oldie (August) in my sketchbook. I need to draw more people (mostly children) and get better at it. This is already a bit old compared to now. I was still deeply looking for my style. I still am a bit, but I have an idea of where I’m headed now.

DSCN1177 copieMy home. I repainted the hallway bright white before Christmas. Something I’ve wanted to do since 2012, when we moved in. It’s so much brighter now, it makes me happy.
DSCN1183My home again. We bought this beautiful artwork by Gunvor Rasmussen when we were in Bergen (Norway) in 2015. I have a fond memory of her little shop, tucked away in a lane in the old part of Bergen, full of old buildings and wooden floorboards, and to this day I am still envious (in a good way) of what she’s achieved.


Nightsky Ray

‘Nightsky Ray’ is done!

I can’t tell you how much I love those blues! I used four different hues, I’ve been having a bit of a blue phase recently so I’m in heaven with this painting! And if I’m organised, it will be available as a print in my new shop opening tonight!

Raging Heart

‘Raging Heart’

Last week in Alaska a resolution was passed to allow the killing of denning wolves and pups, hibernating bears and other predators. This made me so sad and angry, I had to paint something.

The poppy is a flower that represents consolation for a death, peace in death, resurrection and eternal life and beauty, while the red poppy specifically represents death, remembrance and consolation and the white poppy represents peaceful rest in the Western culture.

Currently I am trying to find ideas so that I can help support various fights through my art as these things really move me.

Advice to myself

‘The Cry’

Watercolour, ink and coloured pencil on 640gsm Arches.

Before I decided to repaint (and finish) a painting I did in August 2015, while I was in beautiful Norway, I tried to paint a more realistic illustration because I thought it would make me a more legit artist. I tried hard and didn’t enjoy it. Not because I couldn’t do it. I strongly believe that with a lot of practice I could paint pretty much anything I would put my mind to. But the truth I realised, is that I just was not interested in the end result which is why I struggled and didn’t enjoy the practice.

But this wolf is me: illustrative, magical and bright. And this doesn’t make me less of an artist. Now that’s something useful to learn!

Adventure awaits

My biggest piece ever taught me heaps of new things!

It’s called ‘Adventure awaits’. It is the picture of a girl and a bear on a walk, but it also explores the feeling of excitement and angst which comes when confidence (the bear) is at your side to do something big and to challenge yourself (or climb up a mountain). I’m a little bit proud of myself…😳