Thursday, December 10, 2009

On the cover!

This month I'm very excited to see the new December issue of Alive come out - a logo that I designed for the Alive Awards has been published on the front cover!

When designing the logo I tried to think of the word "alive" and the products that the awards are for - natural health products. So this is how I came up with the concept of 'being alive' - I wanted to capture that feeling of joy and vibrancy of good health. The idea of a figure leaping with confidence and excitement came into my head.

I sourced a number of reference images and then sketched a silhouette. After scanning my sketches, I used Adobe Illustrator to trace the outlines and simplify the image. There was a number of revisions - maybe three to four pages with 10 concepts per page, before we settled on the final design, above.

The Alive Awards spread also features 17 illustrations that I created for each category! It is very exciting to see them all in print, in stores, in people's hands. Grab a copy this month for a very good read.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Relentless Rain

It's been raining what seems like forever in Vancouver - 10 days, 12 days? I don't know anymore.

It's been very dark, wet and depressing and I'm trying really hard not to let this weather bring me down so recently I began imagining what it would be like if the rain was rainbow coloured!

Here is an illustration I created today showing multicoloured raindrops - so much fun :) Not sure if I'm finished with this yet, I might add more drops or a background hue. What colour would the clouds be? What would the windows look like? Would the drains be filled with rainbow water? I used water-soluble pencils for the blurry, watery effect.

What would our world be without imagination and art? I hope this picture inspires you to walk down the street with your brolly (umbrella) and see what I see - glorious colours.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Tree again!

Today I'm stretching and priming a 30x30" piece of canvas... not sure what I'll paint on it yet but I feel like getting my hands dirty and I wanted to use some materials I have left over from Costa Rica.

So, while I wait for the first coat to dry I thought I'd share another tree I drew a couple of weeks ago. This one is an actual tree that is on the corner of my street. I used shellac based black ink on some left over printmaking paper - probably not the best surface to use inks on as it is quite thick and sucked up all my ink instantly so was a little hard to have a nice flow.

Anyway, here it is. I'm really enjoying looking at and sketching trees (when it stops raining in Vancouver) so I think I'm going to continue and start a little tree collection.

Back to priming!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

In my sketchbook

Hey its Friday and I'm stretching canvas in my studio, getting a bit distracted...

Lately I've been sketching all sorts of things in my sketchbook, so I'd thought I'd share some of them here.

I'm still fascinated by trees and their bare branches... here is one sketch i did recently. Instead of solid colour I used crosshatching lines to fill it in. I did this randomly but I think next time I will try to follow the texture of the tree.

I've seen a lot of bird illustrations around, I think they're really cute so I had to have a go at one myself. It took me a number of versions to get to this simplified form of an Australian Blue bird (that's me missing the constant chirp of birds and parrots that is prominent all over Australia.) After a few sketches I created a final colour version with my shellac based inks and brush on paper (this time just plain white drawing paper).

I'm also working on creating some Christmas illustrations. Instead of buying cards I thought I'd make them myself this year for family and friends, and that way I will build up a portfolio of images for this season, to submit to greeting card publishers for next year. This one is inspired by my boyfriend Marc-Andre who is an elf this Christmas!

Gotta go and get back into it now - enjoy!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Rave review..."Particularly stunning"

I recently discovered that my name and artwork had been reviewed by Opus Framing, supplier of fine artists materials.

Read this article by Eleanor Hannan which is discussing the Drift Festvial. The article was written on October 1st - just a few days prior to the Drift.

I was so excited to stumble upon this I jumped up and down - its a tiny mention but a really positive one! Ahh the Scraps Collection - maybe I should do another round again? It's inspiring to know that someone took the time to look through my website and found something worth mentioning :)

My prints have a new home!

Following the Drift festival, my gorgeous lino prints from Costa Rica were in search of a new home - I didn't want them to just collect dust in my house while I hunt down potential buyers.

Cambie Village Massage Clinic
(Suite 203 - 3256 Cambie Street Vancouver) was looking for some new artwork for their premises, and when I sent them a photo of the prints, they immediately contacted me!

I'm really excited to see them hanging proudly again, gaining exposure to the public, and a clientele who is apparently appreciative of art. I think they suit the surroundings quite well - bringing out that peaceful vibe. I have three hanging in the main foyer hallway and three in one of the massage rooms.

Thank-you to Stephanie, Coleen, Nimira and Isaac for supporting local art and artists. I might have to return the favour and book in for a massage...

My butterfly collection and a couple of other paintings that were exhibited during the Drift are still on display at Balance Acupuncture & Massage Clinic at 4338 Main Street - two places at once!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


It's been a strange week for me, and the up and down weather has been dictating my mood.

I came home today feeling frazzled and the only thing that I felt like doing was drawing. I recently bought a new brush to use with my shellac based inks, it's wide and flat with a sharp point - so versatile! I decided to use this brush to create a tree with fallen leaves.

This tree was inspired by a tree on the corner of my street - the colours of the leaves are absolutely stunning, and it was simply amazing how in just a matter of days all the leaves were gone, the tree branches bare.

I was really enjoying myself painting this today, but my boyfriend said it's pretty drastic, especially with the single leaf...

I guess unconciously I needed to express the drastic temperature drop (currently 6*C!) and the fact that we're clearly in the midst of fall. In Australia we call this season Autumn, but what would we know? Fall, it is...

Saturday, October 17, 2009


Wow! Yesterday I got my hands on the November issue of Canada's alive magazine - some of my illustrations and designs are finally published! What started off as a short term contract has now turned into a permanent part-time role and I'm very excited to be a part of the alive publishing team.

Below is my most proud illustration for an article about eco labelling on coffee.

And here are a couple of more pages that I designed and illustrated. Alive is Canada's natural health and wellness magazine and is distributed to health food retailers nationally - 190,000 copies per month. That's a lot of eyes falling in love with my designs :)

It's a really great read so get your free copy in stores now!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Drift report

Oh, what a great weekend it was...the Drift
festival along Main Street was a huge success!

The sun was shining, the weather was crisp but nice (even for a warm blooded Aussie) and scores of people were out on the streets drifting in and out of stores, cafe's, businesses, and studios enjoying the art and the artists - Main Street was abuzz!

I was having a great time
at Balance Acupuncture & Massage, meeting and greeting the 60 or so Drifters who came in pairs or groups to view the work.

It was so exciting to be a part of it and meet so many interested and enthusiastic people. I received a lot of good feedback about my art, and had many people signing up to my mailing list. It was a great feeling to share my art with the community. I had a couple of bites but nothing sold as yet, hopefully, this will happen in the next few weeks as I've seen lots of traffic to my website foll
owing the Drift.

And, the best news is that Kirk and lovely Shinobu from Balance Acupuncture were delighted with the weekend and have agreed to keep my artwork up for longer - as long as I like! I'm extremely happy that my work will continue to get exposure to the public and won't be sitting in my studio in storage. I have a feeling something good will come of this :)

Here are some photos from my little corner of the Drift and me enjoying the sunshine with the lovely flower my boyfriend got for me.

Thank-you so much to everyone who came to check out my art! I must say I'm a little bit proud!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Butterflies Explained

On the eve of the very exciting Drift Festival which starts tomorrow, I thought I'd take the opportunity to discuss a series of paintings I will be showcasing - The Butterfly Collection.

In fact, these paintings are not really just paintings, but they are also prints! The inspiration came from these gorgeous colorful creatures that I saw flying around Costa Rica in May. I wanted to capture their vibrant colours and their beauty, but I didn't want to just paint them as I saw them, I wanted to mimic their behaviour - the folding and flapping of their wings.

What resulted was quite an experiment...I used raw (unprimed) 13oz cotton duck canvas, which I measured out and cut into 18 x 30 and 30 x 30 pieces. After making some sketches in a notebook, I mixed my paint and used multiple paint brushes to apply my design on the left side of the canvas - I only painted one half of the butterfly.

It was extremely hot and humid in the middle of the day in Costa Rica, so I had to work quickly in order for the paint to remain wet. Then, I folded the canvas over in half, and pressed down firmly all over the place with my hands - printing the wet half of the butterfly on the other blank side of the canvas. That's how my paint-print came about.

Peeling the canvas apart was the most exciting part! I never knew exactly how it was going to turn out. The more detailed the butterfly was, the longer it took to paint and the faster the paint dried. I was extremely happy with the result - the right side of the butterfly reveals some of the last brushstrokes I made, and is like a slightly distorted mirror image of the left side.

What I like is that on first instance you just see a big butterfly, but your head takes a double take to notice the two similar, but different halves of the insect. The folding of the canvas was like the folding of the butterflies' wings.
Let me know your thoughts? I look forward to the Drift tomorrow and see what the public thinks too.

Please visit my website to view others in the collection.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

My Art on Main Street

I'm very excited that in two weeks my art is going to be on display to the public during the amazing Drift Festival on Main Street, Vancouver!!

October 3 & 4th will see over 100 artists, 35 Artists’ Working Studios & 80 Main Street Shops, Cafes & Galleries team up to host this free 2-day art party! The idea is for the public to meet and interact with artists in their studios and purchase unique works.

I'm busy preparing everything for the drift - I just picked up my prints from the studio, I need to see the framer and I'm making sure all my canvases have strings in place so I can hang them on the walls.

I've also created a promotional postcard, as seen above, which features my artwork and a map of where my artwork will be displayed during the festival.

I'm nervous, but very excited!!! So come drift with me on October 3 & 4th - I will be at Balance Acupuncture and Massage, 104 - 4338 Main Street!! Hope to see you all there!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Printing at Malaspina Printmakers' Studio

Last week (or was it two weeks ago already?!) I booked some time in at Malaspina Printmakers to print the series of lino squares I created whilst at the artists colony in Costa Rica.

I was extremely excited to get in there and get going - after all I have had these prints lying about since May!

Here are some step by step pics of the process...

Firstly I mixed some black ink (I've used water-soluble block printing ink) with a little bit of retarder to slow the ink drying time. I have used a heavy duty roller (brayer) to spread the ink out onto a glass surface. When it has a distinct peeling sound it means the ink is ready. I then began rolling the ink onto the linoleum square.
Once the ink was evenly applied onto the lino sqaure, I carefully placed it facing up onto a backing sheet on the press bed. The backing sheet is measured out exactly to indicate placement of the lino - it is the same size as the printmaking paper.

After placing down a sheet of printmaking paper, I gently lowered the felt blankets on the paper and lino square. This keep the plate and paper in place, and stops the printing press from ripping the paper. I tested the height of the press prior, by rolling an uninked lino through the press and adjusted the height accrodingly - checking the pressure each time.

Rolling, rolling, rolling - once the blankets are down and the pressure is set, its time to grab a hold of the wheel and turn it clockwise until the press bed rolls underneath the press all the way through to the end. It should feel quite tight, and is great for building up those upper arm muscles!

Once the press bed was on the other side, I lifted the blankets and gently peeled the paper off the lino square - a perfect image was imprinted. Ahhh, my gorgeous yukka print is drying patiently on the rack!

I'll be back in the studio again this Friday, finishing off the prints and some colour variations I'm working on(fun!). I can't wait to have these ready for the Drift coming up extremely soon!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Printing at home in the studio

Last week I decided to try to print some of the gorgeous lino squares I carved in Costa Rica.
I bought some black watersoluble block printing ink, some BFK paper and a baren. I already had a hard roller and smooth surface to roll out the ink.

Here is a picture of a bamboo inspired lino square (with some residue ink already on it) and my workstation in my home studio (which also happens to be my bedroom !)

This was the first time I have tried printing at home, and it has been a challenge! It seems that no matter how much ink I put on or how hard I press down with the barren, the image the gets imprinted is not a solid block of colour, with paper still coming through. I even tried using a marble rolling pin!

I either need to hit the gym and work on building some muscle strength in my arms or I'm thinking I should try an oil based ink? I just don't know what I'm doing wrong...

So, I've decided to rent the printmaking studio at Malaspina Printmakers for all of next week and give it a go with the giant printing presses there...

I'm off to the store to stock up on different coloured inks, more paper and anything else that might catch my eye! I'll spend today preparing myself for the studio - cutting down the paper to the correct size, having a plan of action etc, so I'm ready to rock and roll when I get in.

I can't wait to get in there! I'll keep you posted next week on new developments....

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Last Friday I sold two paintings!! Wooooooooo hoooooo!

It's so exciting, its the best feeling in the world - it's so nice to earn money doing what you love! I couldn't be happier.

What's even more exciting is that someone is going to be enjoying my artwork in their living room or office, every day. Hopefully they will get lots of positive comments about my art from other people and those people will want to buy more of my art.

The two pieces sold are the ones which I created whilst at the artists' colony in Costa Rica. They were very labour intensive but I guess all that hard work has paid off!!

I have given the paintings the latin names of the actual plants.

Anthurium, acrylic paint on canvas, 18" x 30", May 2009

Alpinia Purpurata
, acrylic paint on canvas, 30"x30", May 2009

I'm also getting ready for the Drift festival coming up very soon in October, so I will keep you posted on further developments!

Starving artist - what's that?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Two new illustrations

I think I'm getting better! This blog is really starting to pay off. Here are two new illustrations that I recently created.

The first illustration Beaded is of one of my favourite bracelets, a colourful creation that I bought in the balmy seaside town of Montezuma, on my recent trip to Costa Rica. I took a photo of myself wearing the bracelet in my favourite purple dress.

The second illustration, titled Sandals is a reflection of all the gladiator sandals I'm seeing on the streets of Vancouver this summer. I have fallen victim to fashion too and bought myself a funky black pair similar to the style featured on the left.

In both of these styles I have tried to move away from using black as outline - I think it has a more natural and realistic feel this way. I'm using Derwent watercolour pencils.

Sunday, July 5, 2009 is now online!

I'm very excited to invite you to view my new website focusing on 
art : illustration : design!

It took me quite a few months to get it all together, but here it is, loud and proud:!

It's a great way to showcase my artwork and includes 6 galleries full of the exciting new work I created in Costa Rica as well as other works that have never been revealed before.

You can also browse through information about me and my work, link to interesting sites and find out about my upcoming events and exhibitions.

Click onto now and buy my art!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Hot Off The Press

Malaspina Printmakers is having their annual summer fundraiser with a huge exhibition of all the member's artwork! I have the following three pieces on display and for sale at $100 each:

"Dzidzia" is an aquatint inspired by the ultrasound of my sister's tiny baby while still in the belly. "Dzidzia" literally translates to baby.

"Plaige" is a photopolymer print created from a copying exercise - I drew a picture and made photocopies, and copies of the photocopies, and copies of copies until this image was formed, and then trasferred onto acetate before going through the photo-sensitive printing process. 

"Microphone Inspiration" was inspired by my boyfriend Marc-Andre, who is a very talented musician and is obsessed with recording sound. He is always describing and showing me new microphones and I was drawn to their metallic forms.

Please join me tonight, June 18th at Malaspina for the opening reception, from 6 to 9pm. It's down on Granville Island, 1555 Duranleau Street. Otherwise, the exhibition is running until August 30th. 

It's a great way to meet people, have a few drinks, view and purchase original artists' prints. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Banking on it

I'm back from a glorious month in Costa Rica and into the thick of things - my parents are visiting from Australia, we're touring Vancouver and heading out to the Rockies in a few days... crazy times.

Julia and David White Artists' Colony was THE MOST amazing experience ever!! I'm sorry I was slack in updating the blog, but I didn't make any promises...I was so busy creating I didn't want to stop! It was extremely rewarding with over 20 pieces created and a privilege to meet a dynamic group of talented artists from around the world. 

More about my experiences in Costa Rica later... but for now, I wanted to show two pieces that I created there - Wild Flower and Leaf.  The first one is 30" x 30" while Leaf is 18" x 30". They are both acrylic paint of canvas. I used 13oz cotton duck and two layers of gesso.

I am extremely excited to present these two pieces at G&F Financial Group - a bank located at 1-2949 Main Street, Vancouver.  If you're in the area, please go in and check out my work. As part of the Drift Festival, G&F Financial is supporting local artists by showcasing their work in the bank throughout the year - I'm the lucky artist who's work will be on display for June and July.

Let me know what you think, and don't forget they're on sale so please contact me if you're interested.


Thursday, May 7, 2009

Surprise Inspiration

So, here I am finally!! After 3 days of travel delays, I'm living the artists' way in Costa Rica! Upon my arrival to the Julia and David White Artists Colony, I was jet lagged, exhausted and overwhelmed with my surroundings.

As I got to explore my new home (large studio, big kitchen, creepy crawlies everywhere, cold shower, lots of natural light, bed not so comfy) I took a walk around the large grounds of the colony. There was so much green, so much bright light that my eyes and my brain were struggling to digest all the colourful information. The one thing that stood out for me among the lucious tropical plants were these gorgeous, greying, ageing leaves, slowly disintegrating into the ground.

I'm not sure which plant they come from, I have to investigate, but I'm slightly surprised that these grey creatures captured my inspiration first. I just love the formations that they make as they curl inside themselves: ageing gracefully.

So here's my first illustration from Costa Rica, done on watercolour paper with ink. I'm off to see a volcano tomorrow - I'm doing more of these too but I'm sure the colour will come to me soon.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Costa Rica Countdown – For Julia and David White Artists’ Colony

In less than ten days I will embrace the artist life in beautiful Costa Rica!

I have been accepted to do a month long fellowship at the Julia and David White Artists’ Colony in Costa Rica. It is an artists' retreat in the town of Ciudad Colon, surrounded by nature, volcanoes, rainforests, hiking trails, wild life…

Here’s a drawing I did over two months ago which I hung high above my desk - it served as a goal to visualize and now finally realize my dreams.

I can't wait to get into my own private studio and start creating – no day job, no errands and no distractions: just the luxurious gift of time to focus on me and my art.

I’ll do my best to keep the blog updated whilst on my adventure, but it might be hard to get me away from my paints, pastels, pencils, inks, scissors, brushes, carving tools, charcoal…

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Illustration Friday - Legendary

So this week's topic for Illustration Friday is 'Legendary' and I must admit I'm cheating a little with this post - it's not a new creation, but an illustration I did about two weeks ago as part of my new portfolio. I love this little frog and am happy to announce I've finally found my Prince!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Illustration Friday - Intricate

Here's my entry for this weeks illustration challenge at Illustration Friday. This weeks topic is "Intricate". I went crazy with the scissors to create a paper stencil for my elaborate design. The background image is all swirls and curls created using watercolour pencils. The intricate details of the stencil were filled with black drawing ink and a small sable brush. What do you see?

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Drawing, drawing, drawn!

I have been very productive in the last couple of weeks. I went out and got some good quality, thick, watercolour drawing paper and some black pens with different nib widths. I’ve opened up my tin of pencils and began building up my portfolio of illustrations.

At the moment I’m focusing on enjoying myself and drawing things that I like, things that I feel like drawing, and things that are crawling my mind but I also have a whole list of specific items/subjects I’d like to draw pending on the markets I’d like to get into. I’m using black permanent marker pen as outline, and then I render with water-soluble coloured pencils which I blend with water and a tiny sable brush – the colour really jumps out from the page.

I’ve got at least 10 pieces so far - here’s a sneak peek of my favourite three!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Illustration Friday - Breezy

I found this great website called Illustration Friday - its a weekly illustration challenge. A topic is posted every Friday and then artists and illustrators from anywhere have all week to come up with their own interpretation.
This week's topic was Breezy so here's my little drawing of a dandelion blowing in the breeze... I think its a great way to build up a body of work on the side.