Monday, 28 June 2010

Giant Chocolate Buttons

Coloured pencil and pen
Everyday Matters n° 277 - Something that should have been invented by now.......

Something that should have been definately invented by now is chocolate that doesn't make you fat.  In fact WHY hasn't it been invented?  Can you imagine how good it would be?   We could eat as many chocolate eggs as we wanted, chobble on big bars of milky chocolate and keep a box of continentals open by the computor!   They say chocolate has a good effect on the brain making us feel happier, well I would certainly feel happier if  I had 'healthy' chocolate to eat everyday!
The only chocolate I had in the house to draw were some Cadbury's giant chocolate buttons,  my favourites.  These were from the bottom of my suitcase and are probably a bit stale, which is why they were still available to draw.   Any other chocolate in my house wouldn't have lasted long enough!

I miss my Buttons and Maltesers : - (        

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

A Scottish Tree

I do like to draw trees and I couldn't resist this one.  It's real and lives up in Scotland, Anne from Frayed at the Edge took the original photograph and kindly let me use it as a reference.  This tree looks like a person and even has little birds nesting in the holes. so it must be a kind tree!  I am hoping to do something else with it, possibly bigger and in ink, this is in pen and coloured pencil.

Monday, 21 June 2010


Saturday I went to the Botanical Gardens in Palermo.  It was really interesting and I enjoyed wandering around leisurely in the sunshine, not only for the amazing plants and trees but for the birds too.
My favourites were the enormous Ficus trees that grow roots down from their branches forming amazing shapes and forms.  While I was there I sketched the lily ponds but as soon as I got back home I drew the Ficus trees while they were fresh in my mind.

Of course I took many photo's, but there was so much to see and absorb and I'm hoping to go back and do some more sketching.   Perhaps taking some sarnies and a flask of coffee this time as there is a distinct lack of refreshment facilities inside the garden!

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Summer Memories

Kelly Light at Ripples  is trying to do something for the poor animals and birds affected by the gulf oil spill.
She has asked for small artcards that can be puchased for a $10 donation and has raised over $3,000 already.  She is doing a fantastic job, even though the whole project has really taken off in  a big way.  See the Ripples site for details.

This is the card I made using coloured pencil and it has already sold, so I'm pleased that someone liked it and also that $10 has gone to a good cause.  I will also have a little card of my own arriving soon, I bought one made with a lino print (something I'd love to have a go at this summer).

Little ripples  grow into waves!

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

A Better Way to Shop

Everyday Matters number 276 was to draw your grocery store. 
I could have drawn the supermarket but  this 'Ape' van piled high with fruit and vegetables was more attractive.  There are lots of these mobile shops here, selling everything and anything, sometimes they cruise the streets shouting their wares or like this one park on the corner and wait for the customers to stop.   I have seen some of these vehicles piled up to twice their size and I often wonder why they don't topple over.
This  man's tomatoes were very good by the way!

Friday, 11 June 2010

A Gentle Giant

This  is a manatee drawn in coloured pencil for the The Spirit of the Gulf Challenge .

I was invited to take part by Sue Pownall from Art of a Nomad.  Suzanne McDermott originally suggested that artists of all kinds make a drawing, painting or any other creative work depicting the beauty of any living aspect of the Gulf of Mexico before the oil disaster.
The oil continues to flow out into the ocean and it is unimaginable the damage that is been done to the enviroment.
A manatee or sea cow is a slow moving creature that resembles a walrus without tusks.
This gentle friendly giant inhabits shallow marshy costal areas surfacing for air every 20 minutes.  The Florida manatee is already an animal in danger of extinction, its main causes of death are human related (collisions with boats etc) and disease.  It is reported that only 2- 3000 of the Florida manatees remain and without protection they will not survive.
Now it is not certain what the effects of the gulf oil disaster will be on the manatee but I'm sure it won't be anything good.

I would like to invite anyone who reads my blog to have a go, here's how:

Find a photo or other resource depicting some living aspect of the Gulf of Mexico before the oil disaster or

Tap into your spirit and use your imagination

Make a drawing, painting or other piece of creative work with love and gratitude for the beautiful life of whatever you're depicting.

Post what you make on your website, include a link to this post: Spirit of the Gulf Challenge (or the facebook group — ( and put the icon below in your sidebar with a link to this post (or the facebook group). Send me a link to your post and I'll add the link to bottom of this post.

Now a facebook group at Spirit of the Gulf facebook group. You can link to your work there! (If you're not on facebook, just email me your link and I'll post it.)

Invite 5 of your friends or favorite artists to accept this challenge, include a link to this post, the facebook page, copy this description of the challenge

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Surf n' Sea

This month's Virtual Paintout is in Hawaii.  When I think of Hawaii I think of Surf, long beaches and palm trees and I knew what I wanted to draw, but I had a long walk ahead of me.  I searched the highways and byways for just the right place, and  there weren't really many people around to ask for directions!
In the end I found my surf shop, complete with surf boards outside along the Mehameha Highway.
Coloured pencil 15x21 cms (in my sketch book)

Tuesday, 8 June 2010


The face in the water looks up,
and she shakes her head as if to say
that it's the last time you'll look like today.

I did say I might do this again...some songs were just made to be illustrated this is one of them.
One of my all time favourites, I can listen to this track all day.  Ripples comes from the Genesis album 'Trick of the Tail'  released such a looong time ago, and  the first time I heard Genesis on my little orange transistor.
Some  friends of mine might even remember me painting the album cover on the back of waistcoats when I was 16!
See here for the other Genesis/Phil Collins lyrics I've illustrated.

Sunday, 6 June 2010


A happy looking chap for this month's Monthly Sketch Project .  The photograph was provided by Suzanne 
Coloured pencil and pen.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Squeeze from the bottom please!

Everyday Matters 275 - draw a tube of toothpaste

What can I's a tube of toothpaste!  I would have liked to squeeze out the toothpaste  and draw that too, but that seemed a bit wasteful, even in the name of art, and I didn't draw the word 'men' on the tube on purpose,  that's just where I stopped with the lettering!

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Another Era

Oil 60 x60 cms

I finally completed a painting, it's been a long time since I finished anything bigger than my sketchbook!
It is an entrance pillar to and old villa but I've given it a slightly surreal feeling, although the painting is not as yellow as this in real life.
I often go by this entrance as it's just off one of the main roads and I've always been drawn to the snail- like curled stone.  You can just imagine the carriages and horses that must have gone rattling past in the old days.
Now they are using this old place for wedding receptions but I noticed that someone has recently filled in all the lovely holes and cracks in my pillar with pink cement.  What a sacrilege!


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