November 26, 2013

Hello hello hello….. yes I am still alive and I am slowly coming up for air. Crazy busy last couple of months. I will share with you over the next few weeks some of the highlights and a few other things I have been slowly saving for you over those months.

But for now….. something fabulous. Poppytalk calls it ‘What happen’s when you give kids thousands of stickers. Take it as a pre-Christmas warning….. or Encouragement …. if you like.


Beginning with an all white room …..


…. in the Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane …….


Yayoi Kusama…..


….. gave children stickers ……


…… and over two weeks……


….collaborated with the artist …….


….. by placing stickers anywhere they wanted.


Two weeks later…..


…..The Obliteration Room ….. was complete. 

Hat-tip  Poppytalk,  stuart addelseesccart, and heybubbles and colossal).  Via The New Domestic. …. so apologies if you have seen it before. 
I think it appeals to me because it’s how the last half of the year has felt like, but makes it look so much more joyful than it was some days.
Though out it all Tim was fabulous and the kids were great. I am hoping and praying that in the next month leading up to Christmas I can embrace the joy in the chaos….. and get to take the opportunity to serve them, and others, like they have been serving me. 



Musical Miniatures.

October 7, 2012

My original strips. See what I am doing with them by clicking on the picture.

More details of ‘Three pears and a pomegranate’ Click on image.

Artmaking Part 1

August 4, 2012

Thanks to everyone who gave me feedback on where to start creating again.

These are some shots from the classes so far.

I was a bit out of practise and unsure so I spent some time sketching, using the inspiration you all suggested.

This is what the first week produced.

This image from decor8 became…..

…. became this pencil sketch.

Image from the house of turquoise became……

…. this very ‘not really convincing’ pencil sketch.

I cropped the image from decor8 to become……

….. this little A3 collage (brown paper with ‘pencil paper’, charcole ad pencil. I am quite pleased with this one.

During the making of the collage I put a sheet of graphite carbon paper underneath as I worked. This was the result. Interesting as every mark comes out the same colour.

This image from ‘the bottom of my ironing basket’……

…..became this pencil ‘hatching’. Surprising myself a little by how much I enjoyed making this. I am pleased with the result.

During the second week I developed a couple of these ideas.

Using the pears and pomegranate I worked with crumpled handmade paper, collagecross hatching, ink, pencil and stitching to start creating an artwork. It will take a while to finish….. lots of stitching to come.

The beginning of the A1(ish) work.

I have decided to keep an online visual art diary with another blog. It’s called ‘Art is cheaper than therapy’

If you would like to follow along with the creations, that is the place to go.

I will link to it occasionally, and it will be purely notes and pictures.

I would love and welcome any feedback via comments….. even negative ones.

See you soon when you can help me decide where to go next.

Collage close-up.

Just thought I would let you know, I have one of the loveliest present making and buying families in the world! I’m sorry if that makes you jealous….. but it’s true.

Yes, today is my birthday and they spoilt me, yet again.

Earlier in the year I had emptied my wallet framing these works that were quickly becoming damaged without the protecting framing provides. You may remember we had them in our bedroom in the last house. One of the great things about abstract art is you can hang it anyway you choose! They now are taking pride of place in the lounge room but hung differently.

…….anyway, I had said that this would be my birthday present, but Tim and the girls went ahead and gave me a voucher to do more art classes! I am running out of walls. I will have to start painting miniatures.

‘Red Wine’ by 13 year old.

My voucher!! Woo Hoo.

13 year old painted me something, and they all took me out for a grungy pub dinner near Newtown.

I think I am having the most artistic birthday ever!


The collages in situ. in our new pad.

Two of a three part series on the other wall. The first one is still st the framers……. string direction issues.

Image from Lauren Childs book 'Who's afraid of the big bad book?' source: bswigshoppe

Author/Illustrator: Lauren Child

Genre: childrens picture books

Artists medium: collage, pen, photo montage

Age Appropriateness: 4 and up.

Introduction: Of course, I had seen Lauren Child’s artwork used to animate the Charlie and Lola series of books but one Christmas I came across “Who’s afraid of the bog bad book?”. After looking through it quickly I saw that it was perfect for our no. 2 who at the time was about 6. It’s a fantastic read aloud and talk about the pictures….. as your read the font becomes part of the illustration and experience. Turing the book this way and that it makes for a very fun experience.

Other work: Beware of the storybook wolves, many of the Charlie and Lola series, The Clarice Bean series, The Princess and the Pea, The Pesky Rat,I want a Pet, My Dream Bed, Hubert Horatio Barten Bobten -Trent…



For all the surface brio of illustrations that are crammed full of everything from photographs to fabric scraps, in person, Child remains as tentative as her books are bold, as hesitant of her success as her characters, with their crimped mouths and vast, wary eyes, appear to be of their exuberant environments.

Video Interviews: An extended  interview about how she became a writer illustrator.

Her website: Milkmonitor…. a very fun and arty website.

Other things they do: Lauren works with UNESCO to help children in need.

Her work can be purchased through the Illustration Cupboard.

This one I find super exciting…. Lauren’s illustrative style has been commissioned  by Liberty of London for fabric. Beautiful and playful.

You can find out about the design process here.

Image of Lauren Child fabric for Liberty from Design Wotcha

Image taken from the Design Wotcha of Lauren Child fabrics for Liberty.

The Self-Portrait by Shaun Tan. From 'The Red Tree' Image his.

Author/Illustrator: Shaun Tan

Genre: childrens picture books

Artists medium: painting, mixed media

Age Appropriateness: The pictures can be a little scary and melancholy, so probably not before school age…..and on. Think adult fables rather than children’s books.

Introduction: During a library visit about 7 years ago I first came across ‘The Red Tree’. I loved the book but it felt too sad to own. I remember being intrigued by the art of Jeffery Smart and Martin Sharp as an early teen and by the great skill of cartoon artists. Shaun Tan combines these artistic ‘looks’ in a thoughtful whimsical way to explore complex issues. His work reminds me a little of the ‘Wallace and Gromit’ creations of the Aardman group…..but with less of a sheen.

Other work: The Bird King, Tales from outer suburbia, eric, the arrival, Sketches from a nameless land, The Lost Thing, Lost and Found and What Miscellaneous Abnormality Is That?


‘The lost thing of the title is a curious amalgam of what could be best described as a teapot melded with a crab. 

The environment Tan creates is deliberately unsettling. Buildings and concrete slabs are old and decayed with rusted pipes jutting out at strange angles. The city looks worn out and tired, and there is a complete abscence of plant life. 

The city is populated by self absorbed adults, preoccupied with their ritual habits. Too busy with their dreary and gray lives, they neither notice nor care about the lost thing. But the unnamed protagonist does care. He is a beacon of goodness and decency in a dark, detached environment. 

The youth, a tireless collector of bottle tops, takes on the responsibility of finding the lost thing a home. 

Shaun Tan’s illustrations are a homage to several artists, such as John Brack and Jeffrey Smart.’

Review from Speechlanguage- resources

Video Interviews: A preview of Tans Award winning short film The Lost Thing.

An interview with Shaun Tan on madness and Nonsense and the Writing and Illustrating process.

Tan talks about the idea of an adult fable and the process

Other things: As well as working on concept drawings for Wall-e and Horton Hears a who, Tan has created murals, made award winning short films and had his work adapted by artists in different fields. You may recognise his drawings from “Fuel Your Mind’ Book Week 2008 .

Shaun Tan's illustration for 'Fuel the mind' Book Week 2008

The ACO adapted ‘The Red Tree’ into a musical production, puppets have been used to bring his books to life and theatre productions have also been made of his works.

Art: Like many Illustrators Tan’s artwork can be purchased through the illustration cupboard and is the feature artist of the moment.…as it turns out.

Norseman by Shaun Tan.

'Estuary' by Shaun Tan.

'Fighting Crows' by Shaun Tan.

'Track Layers' by Shaun Tan.

'Alert but not armed' by Shaun Tan.

'Never leave a red sock on the line' by Shaun Tan.

'The Gift' by Shaun Tan.

* All images are the copyright of the artist. Click through on the images to go to original source.

Image from The Incredible Book Eating Boy by Oliver Jeffers.

Author/Illustrator: Oliver Jeffers

Genre: childrens picture books

Artists medium: collage, paint, ink, everything!

Age Appropriateness: kids get it at about 4…… I know lots of adults who like this one too. Very readable aloud.

Introduction: a few years ago Cathy  gave one of the girls the fabulous book….. “The incredible Book Eating Boy”

Other work: How to catch a star, Up and Down, The great paper caper, The heart and the bottle, The way back home, Once there was a boy.



‘Exquisitely trained art critics and recently potty-trained children equally love Oliver Jeffers’s work. The Brooklyn-based artist, originally from Belfast, Ireland, leaves viewers of all ages and backgrounds in awe with his whimsical paintings, installations, illustrations and picture books. He is best known for the latter, which led The Times naming Oliver as one of “The Best New Picture Book Illustrators” in 2008. Following that praise, his book Lost and Found was made into a short film that went on to win 60 international awards, including a BAFTA for Best Animation in 2009. Oliver remains humble and charming despite his substantial success…’


Taken from 10 answers

Video InterviewsAuthor video fun guy…interesting to see the process.

                                  Kids talking about what they like about Oliver Jeffers books.

Other things they do: You can see more of his artiness at the design label You and Me  The Royal We


The Before and After Painting No 1 by Oliver Jeffers.

Still Life with Logic and a Choice of Beverage by Oliver Jeffers.

Landscape with metal and Trajectory by Oliver Jeffers.

Favourite Things (7)

July 22, 2011

Vintage map Bird Artwork by Bombus on Etsy. Image from there.

A really simple, beautiful idea….. with exquisite execution.

For more spectacular pieces 

Vintage map Butterfly Artwork by Bombus on Etsy. Image from there.

The Dully Archies!

June 23, 2011

12 year old and her self portrait.

Each year Dulwich High School of Visual Arts and Design hold their own unique version of The Archibald .

12 year old got to join in as it is a year 7 students only exhibition and competition.

Last night we went to the opening of the exhibition…and I’ve go to say…. these kids have skills!

All of year 7 must enter… which is about 120 kids. We got there right as the gallery opened pretty much and it was full…..so sorry about the oddly cropped photos!

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The Dully Archies has 3 prizes, just like the Archibald.

  • The packing room award (given by the curator/hanger of the exhibition)
  • People’s choice award (voted buy the punters on the night)
  • Judged award (by a previous (real)Archibald winner….. the dully archie winner.

She didn’t win (although the peoples choice prize is still being counted so there is still a chance) , but had a great time putting her portrait together.