Friday, September 30, 2011

Eva 9

In my previous post I mentioned that I had created a small watercolour sketch as a show of my admiration for the work of two of my hero's. When I met Tony DiTerlizzi in London, this was the piece of "fan-art" I had created of his character Eva9 from his children's novel "WondLa".

This is how she looked at the beginning. I am glad I took a progress photo, I love how ghostly she looks.

And the finished piece.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Meeting two of my Hero's

If you had asked me earlier this year, "If there were any two people in the whole world I could meet, who would they be?" my answer would unwaveringly have been Tony DiTerlizzi and Chris Riddell

Two Children's Book Illustrators who have been phenomenal inspirations for me, and whose work helped shape my desires to follow my own path in this direction. I discovered their work as an early teen, when I knew I wanted to "draw" as a profession when I grew up, and it was the vibrant creativity and magic these artists could achieve by illustrating stories that cemented in my mind the knowledge that I too, wanted to illustrate for books.

I am a regular follower of Tony's blog, where he shares his various stages during the conceptualisation of a story, the slow and lengthy process of character realisation, the work of his fans, and the work of those that inspired him. It was here that he announced he was going to London for a book tour of his latest illustrated children's novel WondLa, and a guest appearance would be made by illustrator Chris Riddell. 

It seemed too good to be true, and an opportunity I decided I could not miss out on. I bought my ticket over, and embarked on my illustration pilgrimage.

Besides signing books for the little people, they both answered questions and talked about themselves, how and why they got into illustration, and recounted various humorous stories. I was struck by just how witty they were, and found myself sitting in the back row grinning ear from ear at their tales.

As a small show of thanks, I gifted each of them with a small watercolour sketch of one of their characters. Tony was incredibly sweet, it was my immense pleasure to have been able to meet him in person. 

The other amazing part of the night was when Chris handed out three of his personal sketchbooks for the audience to look through. Whilst the little one's were getting their books signed, I sat and flipped slowly through these incredible tomes (because that is what they felt like). I felt my hands shaking in awe, it was a chance unlike any other I have ever had, to be able to glimpse in person the work of such a phenomenal artist. His "sketches" were mind bogglingly detailed and amazing works of art.

the detail blew me away...

she was my favourite....

They both urged me to not waste any more time and get my act together and submit my portfolio to publishers, and even though I knew this was the next step for me, it helped me feel more determined about it. I have a cold european winter fast approaching, where I will be working on a possible solo exhibition for next year. The work won't be exactly appropriate for a children's book portfolio, but it will be the beginning of this grand project.... 2012 will be the year that I finish a completed portfolio to submit to children's book publishers. That will be my resolution! Nothing will stand in my way!!

Next week I will be in Italy, as the end of my Art-Gallery/Illustration-Pilgrimage week is coming to an end here in London. The galleries have all been incredible, and indeed I filled 8 pages of my sketchbook at the Victoria and Albert Museum... but it would have been worth it solely to meet Tony and Chris. There is no one in the world I would have wanted to meet more than those two childhood hero's of mine.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A Photo or Two - Exhibition Night

A couple more articles that were posted regarding the Győr Art Symposium and Residency I took part in. The photographs were from the opening night.

there I am, fifth from the right :-)

Drinking Champagne.. as per usual :-)

Zsuzsa and her little "witch" series

Supposedly my illustration of "Cerceruska" also made it to print in the paper, but I have not been able to get ahold of a copy yet.

Friday, September 16, 2011


Glimpse at a new piece in progress...

I broke with tradition and painted her face first. I'm off to London for a week, but I will introduce you to this young lady when I can!!

Thursday, September 15, 2011


Spending my adventure holiday inside playing around with filters.... well in my own defence not only is it raining outside but it is below 20 degrees celcius.... which is cold for little tropical me :-)

Both of these littlle dears were inspired again by the incredibly eery dolls of Kamilla at Wooded Woods. I've been really entranced with her work recently.

Here's the original watercolour in my sketchbook...

Little Salt

Happy with how my last little character doodle turned out, after a walk down to the river this morning I busied myself inside with this little watercolour sketch.
It's very rough, but I think this is a good way for me to practice creating characters in a more "illustrative" style.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

To sketch or not to sketch

I recently read some very inspirational posts by fellow artists who are dedicated and hard-working and make sure they sketch something everyday, keeping themselves in practice and allowing their ideas to constantly evolve and grow from this habit of keeping their minds active.

In particular, I love this beautiful blog "sweet lime" by Terri, whom I have been familiar with as a very talented porcelain artist, and it's delightful to see her style on paper as well.

I can only wish I was in such good form, as much as I love the idea and have attempted it before, I have never been able to follow through with drawing something every single day. I know I would benefit greatly from pushing myself to do this, but I find I prefer to write my ideas down, instead of sketching them. My "sketchbook" looks more like something that belongs to an author, with concepts and characters and storylines written down, almost completely bereft of any figurative work at all. I actually don't like sketching. I feel my sketches come out gangly and awquard. But perhaps this is just it... I just need some serious practice.

At any rate, feeling ashamed that I am not drawing as much as I should, especially that I am seeing so many new and wonderful things here everyday, here is a pen drawing I doodled of a Szigetközi style Hungarian Circle Whip.

And whilst we're on the subject of trying to find a rare visual treat hidden within the depths of my sketchbook, here is a little character quickly done in watercolour. Her costume is inspired by another doll artist, Kamilla of WoodedWoods

Commenting Issues??
 Is anyone else having serious troubles leaving comments on Blogspot Blogs? I have found many blogs rejecting my comments, saying my account does not have "permission" to leave a comment, sign out then sign back in with my google account, but to no avail. Fellow bloggers have also been complaining of this recent anti-comment phenomenon. Has anyone figured out what is going on and how to fix it? I think it is a real shame that we can't leave our support and encouragement for fellow artists, who might be wondering at the sudden lack of feedback on their work.....

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Wanderer

"Not all those who wander are lost." (Tolkien)

Recently I came across - which introduces Ed and Will, two musicians who walk across Britain, singing for their supper. Collecting tales and songs, they can be on the road for many months, even long stints lasting up to 8 or 9 months at a time.

Being on a journey of discovery myself, I was instantly entranced by the notion of their adventures. One of the main reasons I left my comfortable life in Sydney behind was the thought that if I wanted to illustrate and write stories of adventure for children, I would first have to go on a grand adventure myself.
Well, compared to walking around Britain for 7 months, my adventure has been quite tame. How I would love to embark on a journey akin to Ed and Will's. But with winter on it's way, and being a girl, and being alone, I admit that the chilly thought of danger bars my way. I am almost sure that I would be ravaged by wild beasts such as hedgehogs and chinchillas whilst I sleep.

Silliness aside, listening to their voices singing haunting ballads and quivering tales, I found inspiration in their incredible journey, in what they do. I was compelled to capture this inspiration in a watercolour.

Please visit their site, and maybe..... go outside for a walk, amongst the trees and rivers and rocks.

And a perfect example of why I endeavor to always paint in a background first. Because I know myself too well, and once I finish painting the figure, I am so darn pleased with myself that a backdrop seems highly unnecessary. Which is code for the fact that I am lazy.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Those Dear to Us

I am blessed enough to have some incredibly talented friends, who inspire me every day with their dedication and hard work, and the beautiful worlds they create with their talent and creativity.

Stephanie is a dear friend of mine currently completing her fashion degree and is creating a body of work that is utterly to die for... appropriately titled Memento Mori - Remember, you must die

The photographs were taken by my dear friend Angela Rose of Butterfly Bones - whom I adore to no end and similarly find endless inspiration in. She has been a delight to work with on many occassions, and I cannot wait to get back to Australia to continue to be amazed by her talent and wonderful personality.

The stunning model is another dear friend, Jessica, who has been a muse for some of my watercolours with her delicate angelic features....

I think we are often guilty of forgetting the wealth of talent that surrounds us everday in the form of our friends. I find too often people are entranced by the idea of the "exotic other", creating celebrities out of artists they do not know because there is a shroud of mystery surrounding them, the possibility that they could be some sort of genius. I however, prefer to look to those dear to me, because I know very well the incredible dedication they have devoted to their work, and have seen them progress along their artistic paths, creating beauty and wonder.

So this post is for my dear and talented friends, of whom there are so many more, but this post was just about three of them. Angela, Stephanie and Jessica, keep up the good work, and I am missing you all terribly.