New header

And it's about time! I had the last one up there for several years I think.

Out with the old....

in with the new....

oh and little favicon too! They're so cute! 

Time lapse tree

Well the baby hasn't arrived yet, which has given me time to get together this time lapse video I took of me doing a painting for my latest book "Cherish Your Skin".

SO, now I can tell you that it is a book that will be distributed in the USA and Australia, through the Cancer Council here, and published by Bright Sky Press. I had lots of fun doing it, and it has a great message to boot! Namely, about being SunSmart and taking care of yourself in the sun, something Australians should be particularly conscious of -- the sun always seems hotter down here. Blast that pesky ozone layer.

This is my favourite painting from the whole book and it was fun to set this up. I hope you enjoy a look into how I paint!


Here is a piece I did as a wedding present for a friend. I had a lot of fun doing this and it's wonderful to have a bit of time to do some illustrating that's just 'for me' (or for friends, in this case...)

So there's something I've been keeping secret..... I am about two weeks off the due date for my first baby!! I am trying to squeeze in some good illustrating time before bub arrives and my life changes. All I know is I am extremely happy all the time and can't wait to meet this new little heart :-)

So if you don't hear from me for a little while, you know why.....!

Picture Show

For the school holidays the gorgeous Hill of Content bookshop in Melbourne is hosting a lovely little picture show in its front window of some original children's illustrations. I've got two pieces in there (below) and am humbled to be sharing the window with wonderful illustrators such as

Jody Pratt
Lisa Coutts
Anna Walker
Sonia Kretschmar
Sarah Hardy

Some pieces are for sale and others have prints available for sale. Contact me if you're interested in a print of one of these babies:

In other news, the final painting for my current book is fresh off the press! I of course can't show you too much, but here's a little snippet. :-) I filmed a stop motion of me creating this painting so I look forward to showing it to you when I can.

Hope all is well out there in bloggy land.....

Hopscotch collection

Late last year a small illustration of mine was accepted for  'Hopscotch' –  A collection of short stories, poetry and artwork for children, published by Jelli-Beanz publishing:

Jelli-Beanz recently did a lil interview of lil me on their hopscotch blog -- A few questions about process and inspiration.  If you're interested, you can check it out here.

And if not, you can just print this out for colouring in! (If you are so inclined)

Hiccups / IF: Capable

These guys are certainly capable of driving this train!

This is an illustration I did for the background of a poster for the Winter Kids Festival happening here in Melbourne in July.

Sometimes, a project goes incredibly smoothly. An idea springs into your head, you sketch it with perfection, and it gets approved in a flash. Other times, you have a few hiccups along the way.

Last year I did some illustration work for the Northcote Kids Festival which was a lot of fun - I got to see my illustrations displayed across 2m high billboards! Quite the thrill. So when they asked me to do some more work for them, this time for the Winter Kids Festival, I was of course very excited.

The great thing about these festivals is thst the imagery is very whimsical - which I love but don't often have the chance to do. I came up with the following sketch which I was super happy with:

Unfortunately, the festival organiser was not super happy with it. Because it is being held at the Newport Substation, an old train station, he wanted it to involve a train (even though my brief was for a boat). OK, fair enough. I did two more (very quick photoshopped) sketches with trains:

But they decided they would prefer to have a more side on view. So, sketch #4:

...which was accepted. To me, this is the least interesting! It doesn't have the movement and energy the others do. But, that is the business of illustration. You don't always get your way. I added a bit more movement into the final, and luckily, I'm happy with the way it turned out! It hasn't been designed into a poster yet, but it will be fun to see my artwork on those big billboards again....

Darcy & Griff

In between spending time with family and enjoying the Australian Open tennis and gorgeous sunshine, I have been beavering away on my current book project. I can't really share much with you yet, except to say it is being published in the US and distributed in the US and Australia, so that is pretty exciting!

For now, here are the characters I am working with, who are not named in the text, but who I am affectionately calling Darcy and Griff.

I always like to make a colour sketch of my main characters to stick above my painting space, to remind me what they should look like! I've written down all the colours I use for the watercolours and also for the pencil details, to help maintain consistency.

With this book, I am going to be working slightly differently. I love using collage in my work, and am always experimenting with new ways to incorporate it into my paintings. This time I'm going digital for the collage process -- I'll miss not having millions of little bits of paper all over the place, but I'm excited to see what effects I can come up with... (all hail Photoshop!)

Stay tuned sports fans.....

Merry everything!

No matter what you may or may not celebrate, I hope you have a wonderful end to the year, and that 2012 starts out in style!!

It has been quiet here, I know, but there has actually been LOTS happening. I find myself pulling back a bit from the whole blog/facebook/twitter world a bit now. As much as I love the connections and appreciate all of you out there in cyberland, it can be difficult to time manage! (as we all know)

But I am not deserting you completely! The roughs for my book have been approved with minor changes (yay!) and as I move into doing the paintings in the new year, I hope to be able to show you some sneak peeks. I haven't told you much about it yet. For now I'll tell you it is a sweet book with a great message, and is being published by Bright Sky Press in the US of A.

and with that good news I will leave you to your turkey dinners and/or pavlovas, and hope that the holiday season treats you, your mind, spirit and waistline well.

lots of joy and good cheer from this lil blogger xo


Illustrators Australia is having its annual 9x5 exhibition.... Tonight!

The theme  is 'Rapture'

There will be an auction of all the works and drinks as well as mingling with your friendly neighbourhood illustrators.

You can VIEW, VOTE and BID online here

Space 39, Lvl 2, Little Collins St, Melbourne
Friday 14th Oct 6pm-9pm

We are also hosting illustration-related seminars all day on Sunday 16th October 10am-3pm -- Should be good!
You can see the piece I submitted here.

Omeo & Alice

I spent a blissful few days in the mountains last week, in and around a beautiful little town called Omeo (wherefore art thou..) We had beautiful weather so a lot of my time was spent in the sunshine by a burgling creek, and the rest was spent in a rustic little cabin with a log fire.

Here is a little painting I did while sitting next to said burgling creek:

And here is another one I did (in a very different style!) for What is the Use of a Book Without Pictures, where illustrators are illustrating the entire text of Alice in Wondeland in B&W!

My paragraph, #415, was
"I mean what I say,' the Mock Turtle replied in an offended tone. And the Gryphon added [to Alice] `Come, let's hear some of YOUR adventures."

It was fun to play with ink again!

A few things (including IF: Boundaries)

Rapture knows no boundaries
Here is my submission for this year's Illustrators Australia exhibition 'Rapture'. I'm really happy with how this turned out and look forward to working with this style of collage much more!

There are a few things I've keep forgetting to tell you about:

< Prints of my Morocccan Orange Salad recipe I did for They Draw and Cook are now available through Great Big Canvas
> I'm donating one of my Japan Tree prints to the Lighthouse Foundation Art Auction - another wonderful annual event

I've just joined, and found out I will be Featured Artist of the Week starting today! yippeee!

< Also,  if you haven't seen it yet, I have a new blog Illustration Station which collates current worldwide opportunities for illustrators. Check it out and check often for lots of new posts!

Cheers x

Northcote Kids Festival

I did some illustrations for the Northcote Kids Festival happening soon in the northern 'burbs of Melbourne. I think the poster turned out great! Tix are cheap or free, but even so you can go into a draw to win free tickets by liking their Facebook page.

I will also be conducting an illustration workshop for kids aged 6-12 as part of the festival, on September 30th. I'm very excited! I must admit that it is my first ever hands-on workshop (though I did teach ad hoc art classes to kids a few years ago) but I'm hoping it can become part of my regular repertoire.

In this workshop we'll discuss what it means to be a book illustrator, what makes up a good book, and then together we will come up with ideas for a story, and kids (and their adults) can illustrate their story together! All in an hour. Ambitious? I think not!

There are lots of other fun events and workshops happening, so check it out if you're in the area!

Sketches for my secret home

Here is an illustration I did recently for a kids theatre show called 'My Secret Home' by Curious Legends Theatre Company. I'm very happy with the way it turned out.

I thought I would show you a little bit of the sketching process behind this illo. The theatre piece is essentially about a boy's love of books and adventure. I was working with the director of Curious Legends Theatre Company, and his idea was to have the characters jumping out of the book. So here are some initial sketches:

so here is the more 'final' rough sketch I did because it's what he wanted:

and here is the sketch that I wanted... Even though the other sketches were more active, I felt that this one captured the cosy feeling of safety a child has in their self-made fort.

So as you can see, my first choice won out in this case. But it doesn't always happen that way! I was happy when he agreed with me in the end, but I think either one could have worked well.

I did the shading on the animals with graphite as opposed to coloured pencils which I used on the boy, to make them less intense so that they fade into the background more. I really had a great time doing this piece!

Illustration Friday : Stay

New Orleans would have to be one of my favourite places to stay in the USA.

This is a map I did for They Draw And Travel -- they asked for a very personal map -- things that aren't necessarily in the tourist guides but the things YOU love to do in a city. And that's exactly what this is. We often visit NOLA due to my musician-husband's desire to have been born there, so we have many rituals, a lot of which are on the map.

I have always wanted to illustrate a map and I had sooooo much fun doing this. If I have time I may do another for Melbourne!