Art workshop for Canberra Tree Week

On Wednesday 2 May, I will be introducing the “STEP into plein air” event on behalf of NatureArt Lab, as part of Canberra Tree Week at the National Arboretum. My artist talk is followed by a three-hour art workshop held among beautiful local endangered trees and flowering plants of the Southern Tablelands Ecosystems Park (STEP), Forest 20. “STEP into plein air” focuses on a creative appreciation for our natural environment, especially the gorgeous array of plants from the Southern TablelandsRead more

Sketching trees at Earth Festival

What’s not to love about painting trees? Even better, painting trees in the beautiful surrounds of Canberra’s Australian National Botanic Gardens. I was invited to demonstrate acrylic sketching techniques as part of NatureArt Lab’s course promotion event on Saturday 21 April at the Earth Festival – celebrating sustainable living with a great vibe, music, good coffee and healthy food choices on the shady Eucalypt Lawn. I introduced the acrylic demo with a statement about our relationship with trees and my appreciation,Read more

sketching pixie

Sketching a tree is simple. Other subjects are more difficult. Pixie was a very obliging subject, dozing in the late summer afternoon following a hard day’s work hauling a gypsy wagon along country roads in farmland near Bendigo, Victoria. I haven’t turned those sketches into a painting yet, but I might one day. Sometimes the act of drawing is just another way of engaging with the subject, paying close attention to detail, reverencing the form, observing the way light shapes theRead more

work in progress: amulet

One of my favourite mediums is pen & ink. For several days, I have immersed my art table in found objects as part of the creative process to develop an amulet design for the cover of a fantasy novel. I use found objects as references for form and colour, and the way light caresses the surface. Handling the real object means I can portray it more convincingly in my illustration. For the accompanying knife sketch, I borrowed a leather-handled US Army knife to see howRead more

sketching on the move

Drawings made in the TGV while rushing past the yellow canola fields of France, from Paris to St Malo. I like to use Moleskine notebooks to record thoughts, impressions and quick sketches when traveling. Often these super quick sketches are just biro drawings on whatever writing surface is within reach, like a paper napkin. If I have the luxury of sitting still for an hour or so, I make a draft in pencil then finish the image using pen & ink withRead more