Thursday, November 8, 2012

the battle axes...

I have been looking at old family photos {which my Grandmother used to call the battle axes} recently and have been inspired to create these little images on old envelopes.  I have been collecting  old letters, stamps and envelopes for a while... some dated from as early as 1880's up to 1950's.  I just love drawing and painting on the old paper, it is so soft.  I have kept some of the really old ones and am not sure whether I will draw on them or not?  

Some of the old  photos were printed as postcards and there are quite a few that are faded so I am endeavoring to incorporate that feeling in these pieces.

{my grandmother is the little girl sitting on her mother's lap... apparently I looked exactly like she did when I was younger}

Monday, October 22, 2012

blob of yellow...

 A few things I have been working on lately...

Yellow was never a colour I had really used much so I decided to push myself and extend my colour palette a little.  I actually really enjoyed the exercise... you can't help but be happy with a blob of yellow on your brush.

I have always painted my girls facing forward so I thought I would have a go at a side view...

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

while he was sleeping...

Have been watching Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter recently... I always thought when I was younger that something special would happen to me like it did to Harry and Frodo.  To be picked for a great quest that would lead to an amazing adventure... I am still waiting for my time {although you don't see many 40 year olds saving the world... sigh

 Anyway, back to reality... I started this one last night while Ben was sleeping and she has inspired a series of angel type characters {are there such things as bad angels}?

and here is another set of masked heroines, which  I finished last week and have now added to my etsy shop... I also have a green set on the go too.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


I have been working on some more of my little masked heroes... these ones are French and were based on knights, Joan of Arc type thing and one of my most favourite songs... wunderkind by Alanis Morissete.  Will be adding these to my etsy shop soon...

Sunday, August 5, 2012

new little guys...

I have been working on a series of these little guys over the last few days.  I am really happy with them and I actually learnt quite a lot while making them too.   They involved painting, drawing, cutting, gluing, stamping and colouring... and I have an idea for using them in a pattern design as well so there will be a bit of photoshopping involved as well... Yay!!!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

words have wings so speak good things...

I think I'd mentioned that I had bookmarked this year as my year of knowledge and so far it has been more than I would have ever expected.  Apart from all the information and guidance it has really made me think about what I am doing, what I want to do and where I am going... really big scary stuff.   One of the big things that came up was that I really wanted to get more drawing into my work.  It is a hard feeling to put into words but I feel like I am needing to re-invent my style a little, put more of myself in there.  

So last night I had a little play while I thought about what I love doing... and what I love doing is this: painting {smallish}, cutting things out, drawing, collage, working on paper and telling a story.  I also love working in photoshop making {surface} patterns from my images.  I think I can incorporate all of these things into my art work?   So I am thinking that for the rest of this year and maybe some of the next year {as well as being a year of knowledge} it will also be a year of play, re-invention and discovery.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

big big big painting...

I have been filling my brain and time the last few months with Flora Bowley's Bloom True course.  Being such a small, tight painter it was quite scary to be face to face with a 750mm square canvas!!!  But the way Flora guided us through her process it was quite liberating and so nice to know there was no such thing as a mistake. 
after layer 1 & 2
after layer 3
after layer 4
after layer 5 & 6

after layer 7 & 8

after layer 9

after layer 10

Unfortunately I didn't take any shots of the layers that made up the following painting, so this is as far as I have gotten with this one...  I have called her 'little red'.

Can you see the wolf in the background?

I really love the bit on the bottom left hand side of this one.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

pattern mad...

Making patterns is like a bug and once you start it takes over and you can't stop!!!  but it is a fun addiction.  We have finished our first module and have a few weeks break till the next one.  If anyone  is interested in joining me for the next one click here!

here are some of my latest patterns...

{these ones above were inspired from a problem I have... forgetting to water my plants}

{and these are some birds that were inspired from the wrapped walnuts}

I went to Auckland last weekend with our design students to the Semi Permanent design conference... I was totally inspired by Kelli Anderson, she was an amazing speaker and I really like the way she thinks and approaches her work.

Here is a link to her TED talk where she talks about similar things to the talk she presented us.

and here is a picture I took outside the Auckland City Gallery... the blossoms were an amazing red, it almost hurt your eyes looking at them.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

something a little different...

I have been unhappy with my 'painting' style for a while now it leaves me feeling really unsatisfied and unfulfilled, the whole process has become mechanical and unfun.  In fact when I say paining it is a bit of a lie, they have become more collage than anything else.

After starting the Surface Pattern Design course it has really bought back my love of drawing.  I have been thinking lately of getting more drawing/illustration into my work and less collage.  So yesterday I played around with the idea of total drawing, the first one was from an idea I found on pinterest... I must say I had so much fun!!!  I made a lot of mistakes and some of them turned out to be happy accidents!  I am excited again!!!... and I can see something like these above might even be able to be used in a pattern design?  Maybe for a little girls night gown fabric or something?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

crazy obsessed...

{steampunk fairies}

A few months ago I had never heard of the term surface pattern design... now it completely fills my mind.  I want to turn every single thing I have drawn into a pattern, I am crazy obsessed.  Every pattern I have done so far has been from an image where pattern was not the intention.  But I think next I am going to try and design something specifically for a pattern design.   We have been talking about colour this week in my Surface Pattern Design course, something which scares me a little... But I have started a folder with some 'moodboards' that I can go back to for inspiration or make up a new one for a project.  They are really great for getting all the elements you want in a design together before you actually start designing. 

What are your favourite colour combinations?

Monday, May 7, 2012

3 good things and some bad news...

I thought it might be fun to wrap a few things and then draw them, so I half wrapped a walnut with some thread... from my drawings of the wrapped walnut they kind of turned into fish. The little cross on the outside of the circle was because I was mad at my connection point, the circle never joined perfectly. But that little cross became a part of my little motifs. I then experimented where I started the circle and the cross became a mouth or an eye. I like the cross as a mouth with a little the fish in his belly, like he is a bit naughty for eating the wee fish... which I think might have been his little brother.

I took these fish from above and used them to make the pattern below

Good things... 

1.  I have been having so much fun the last week with pattern design... seeing patterns in everyday items like walnuts and feijoas and then doing lots and lots of drawing from these discoveries which is leading to some interesting stuff {see above pictures}.

2.  I recently purchased a Intuos5 tablet and I can see it's going to be a valuable tool in my studio practice. 

3.  I have got together with a dear old friend {he is not old, we are old... if that makes sense}? and we are going to work together to design a website for me.  I am so super excited about this and will keep you updated!!!

The bad thing...

1.  My little pirate girls, garden bugs and steampunk girls didn't get accepted for the card company... they said they were not their style.  A small part of me had a feeling that they might be a bit left of what they would be after butthere was a large part of me that was hopeful that they might like them... oh well.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

seed pods and things...

I have just started the Art and business of surface pattern design course... and I am so bloody excited.  Doing this stuff for the rest of my life would be like heaven for me.  I am totally blissed out!!!

The top pics are some of my drawings from collections of stones and seed pods below {I couldn't help but draw a few little pod people}. 

Yesterday was ANZAC day so we had the day off.  I decided it was going to be a photo taking/drawing day... I had so much fun finding all sorts of interesting things... which meant the house ended up in a huge mess!!!  I was a girl possessed.  Then I thought it might be fun to go to the beach in the evening, so we strolled along collecting treasures and I quietly thought about those ANZAC men.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

in the middle of a storm...

{sometimes there was a storm in her brain}

I have signed up to a four online classes and had bookmarked this year as a 'year of knowledge' I just didn't count on that knowledge being so complex and life altering.  So now everything is up in the air and swirling above my head in a huge mess {I was walking outside the other day and I looked up and there was a little patch of blue right above me, but all around it there were a whole lot of nasty fluffy black clouds, I had a little bit of fun naming the clouds... website designing cloud, art show cloud, gallery cloud, work cloud  etc...} I am positive this is all part of some sort of process that I need to go through and as hard as it seems now I am determined to see it though and push forward a little bit more every day.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

new stuff...

Garden bugs

pirate girls

I can't believe we are nearly half way into April... I have been very busy in the last month working through my online course and on a few new projects. These little characters above have been one of the projects which I have been developing to submit to a card company in the UK.  They were so much fun to play around with and I have a whole lot if new ideas for them as well.  I will let you know how I get on, although they did say on the website that they may take up to three months to get back to people... so will see.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Me and the real Olive...

We were on our way down to Wellington for a girls weekend for my birthday and we stopped at my friends daughters house and there was Olive.   And all of a sudden I got an idea for another one of the sisters...  I asked Olive's Mum if it would be alright if I used her as inspiration for one of my new sisters, she said it was ok.  So whenever I do an new Olive picture I send one down for Olive and her Mum.

Monday, March 5, 2012

so much time...

I am planning a new series of collage paintings... they will contain words, sayings and thoughts that have inspired me over the years, which I hope in turn will inspire you.  Here is a sneak peak of a few parts of my first one...

I have made a few decisions recently... as life seems to be racing by at the speed of light I am thinking about the things I really love doing and making more time to do these things.  Apart from spending time with family and friends I truly love to spend time painting.  So to do this I will have to give something up and I have decided to not do so many local markets.  I really love meeting customers face to face but it takes so much time and energy getting ready.  I worried after I had made the decision that it was the wrong thing to do {I actually freaked out a bit} but now I know it was the right choice.  I think I have been learning that it is important to listen and really hear what your inner voice is telling you.  That little voice knows stuff...

Sunday, February 26, 2012

no looking back...

{in a tangle}

Ariadne often finds herself in this predicament as she navigates her way through the labyrinth, she believes that sometimes you have to get yourself into a bit of a tangle before you can sort things out.  

I am feeling this way at the moment as I navigate my way through the first part of the 'hello soul hello business' course it feels a bit like some days are one step forward and two steps back, and then other days are like I am skipping forward three steps at a time and there is no looking back... exciting times.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Ariadne is taking a little time away from everything to think about things.

Wouldn't it be nice to be able to take yourself away from everything... to have time alone to really think about things.  This is what I feel like doing at the moment, getting rid of all that background noise so I can listen to what my inner voice is telling me.  

Thursday, February 16, 2012


{I like it here can I stay...}

We are lucky here in New Zealand, it is pretty hard not to live close to the sea... I thought this as I pulled back my curtains this morning, opened my bedroom window and heard a couple of sea gulls sqwaking down at me.  Although I have a very long 'places to visit' list I am pleased that this is where I call home, this is where I will be coming home to.

Monday, February 13, 2012

thinking things...

{I am not really sure where this ballerina came from... but here she is}

{I am in love with this image}

This course I am doing is really pushing me to think about all sorts of things... the way I think about things, the way I see things and what I want to do... what I really love doing, what makes me happy and who makes me happy.  I have always believed that you have to make your own happiness, you can't rely on other people to make you happy.  And although I still think this is true, I also think that maybe it is important to surround yourself with people that if you find yourself in a situation where you can no longer find the happiness in yourself they will take over for a bit till you find it again.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Cousin Ivy...

(cousin Ivy has been invited to the Kings party)

Sorry, I have been out of the loop since Christmas... back to work for three weeks getting ready for the students to all arrive and also completely immersed in the Hello Soul, Hello Business sessions with Kelly Rae and Beth.  Completely amazing... really got me thinking about what I am doing, what my creative priorities are and where I want to go with them.  I know I didn't spend nearly enough time creating the sisters last year and it is something I want to do way more of this year.  I have ideas for them that are so much bigger than anything I would have dreamed when the idea of them first popped into my head.

They got us thinking about WHY we are doing what we do... this is something I have never really thought about before, it was always just something I felt the need to do.  So to really dig deep and realise WHY has been immensely valuable.  So this is my why... "because I want to give people something to believe in.  A heroine to identify with, find hope in, to gain strength and courage from" I might need to tweak it as the course goes on but that is basically it.

I have decided that this is going to be my year of knowledge... so I have also signed up for two more e-courses, but will tell you more about them when they start up.  

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

R stands for research...

{Arabella's parachute dress}

It is weird how things come together and connect with each other...  On Monday I started the long awaited Hello Soul Hello Business course with Kelly Rae and Beth.  It is more than I ever expected and I can't believe how much it has got me thinking and how much has come about in just two days {we have 10 whole weeks}!  

Then today at work I had a meeting with our research tutor about my PBRF portfolio {can't really remember what this stands for but I am pretty sure the R stands for research}  I wasn't really looking forward to it as I was doubtful it would be something I would qualify for.  But it seems I have been researching for years and didn't even realise it... my girls have a history!!!   So today we scribbled out a whole lot of ideas and will come together again soon to bring it all together.  I am really excited about this and it has really helped with what I am doing/thinking in the Soul Sessions Course.

Back to Arabella... this is the parachute dress that Olive made for her.  If she is dropped from a height she can pull a ripcord and will float down to earth rather than plummet to her death.   Arabella is not entirely happy with it but she does like the list of birds down the front.

Friday, January 6, 2012

easing into 2012...

Olive's new party dress and hat

Welcome to 2012... I hope the start of the year sees you all well and happy.  I have been taking it easy the last week, going with the flow and enjoying the sunshine (finally) and savouring the summer fruit.  

While I have been easing into 2012 Olive on the other hand has been going wild making dresses for herself and her sisters.  She is planning a party to celebrate her Uncle's birthday and is making him a new crown.  Her Uncle has been talking lately about giving up 'this whole King business'.  This talk has upset Olive a little... she doesn't see how a King can just stop being a King because he feels like it and hopes a new crown might change his mind.

I am not sure why Olives face looks like it has a line just under her nose, I think it might be my scanner as it is not on the original picture... hmmmm