25 creative things I did while not being an artist

25 creative things I did while not being an artist

I’m on the cusp of change this year, seeing new opportunities emerge as I begin to shift my energy to more creative work. Having taken up ceramics in a big way this year, I've been thinking about women who embark on creative projects or careers later in life. I’m not starting with a blank slate. [...]

Botanical ceramics

Botanical ceramics

When I started making ceramics, I had no preconceptions about what I wanted to make. It was all just play: getting my hands into the clay and disconnecting from the left side of my brain. Over the years, I'd pinned quite a few ceramics pictures in Pinterest. There was no clear intention - I just [...]

Suburban dreaming: a haiku sketchbook

Suburban dreaming: a haiku sketchbook

Last year I visited the Brooklyn Art Library, home of a brilliant public art project, The Sketchbook Library. Over 41,000 5"x7" sketchbooks from 130 countries can be viewed in person, on tour and online. I was inspired to bring home my own sketchbook, which I've now almost completed. My sketchbook combines pen and watercolour drawings [...]

Paris – my mind is blown

Paris – my mind is blown

Ah, Paris. It was my first visit, and after Lyon, Strasbourg and Reims, the culmination of our French library tour. I confess I didn't experience the fabled, unequivocal "falling in love with Paris" in the four short days I was there. It's a city of 12 million people, plus what feels like a million tourists [...]

How I saw in the new year

Happy New Year! Here's what I was doing at midnight: Feeding ice cubes to my feverish husband, who has been down with the flu for three days. Half-watching The Karate Kid (new version) with my kids, who were determined to make it to midnight. Listening to fireworks in the distance. Painting fish. If there's any [...]

Documentary drawing class

Documentary drawing class

Today my 10-year-old daughter Ling and I spent the afternoon at a "documentary drawing" class at Abbotsford Convent. The Pop-Up School class was taught by the talented Lily Mae Martin. Lily is a visual artist and writer who produces detailed pen drawings (and some oil paintings) of expressive faces and figures, reflecting her fascination with [...]

Sketching at the Linda Jackson exhibition

Sketching at the Linda Jackson exhibition

Back in June, Ling (my 9-year-old daughter) and I went to Federation Square for the opening of the Melbourne Jazz Festival, to take part in a public singing session with Katie Noonan and  bunch of other wonderful singers and musicians. Afterwards we took our sketchbooks into the Ian Potter Centre (National Gallery of Victoria's Australia [...]

UK calling

UK calling

I'm in the UK on holiday - my first visit and traveling solo, which is an indescribable luxury. I've been here for six days and already my head is full to bursting with new ideas and images and experiences. This morning, en route from London to Oxford, I bought a small notebook and pen so [...]

Plumbago and Pokemon

Plumbago and Pokemon

Until my son was 6, he didn't like drawing at all. We were one of those families who brought home cereal box sculptures from kinder, never paintings. Then I told him about scientific illustration - looking at something and drawing it accurately, rather than imagining a scene. He sat down and drew the plumbago outside [...]

My olowne day

My olowne day

The wind picked up last night and stripped the paulownia of most if its leaves. Lots of big, crunchy brown leaves underfoot; the air strangely mild and muggy. Less than a week till winter. Although the paulownia is spectacular in flower and lush during summer, I do enjoy its winter sillhouette against a grey sky. [...]