Sunday, 8 December 2013


Thought this sketch was relevant to life at the moment - growing in building wisdom anyway!

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Ten minute sketches or less - a new goal

                                      Quick sketch of stream at Riccarton Bush off a photo I took

Monday, 28 October 2013

Tip on how to get lettering straight from a blog I follow

In this article there is a picture of a grid Liz places under her work to get lettering straight - great idea that came from her architecture background.

Liz and Borromini: Down the drive (and more): I love the way sketching the same thing brings back memories! This evening I felt like splashing some green paint (blue and yellow pai...

Tuesday, 22 October 2013


October's theme for the sketchbook challenge - animal companions.

Fantails often are company on bush walks as they love to feast on the disturbed insects from the track. One of the friendliest little birds around.

Arty photos for inspiration

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Botanic Gardens Chat

Botanic Gardens Chat by 1artalive
Botanic Gardens Chat, a photo by 1artalive on Flickr.
Inspired by yesterday's afternoon sketching - trying to lose the detail in this sketch

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Milford Bush Walk

The Budget Bus Trip sketch #1

Nine hours on a bus trip. I definitely needed to do something to break the boredom! Apart from endless sketches of sheep, hedges and cattle, there were 5 minute sketching opportunities now and again - it was a great challenge as whether I had finished or not the bus was moving on - no completeness here - just a general idea.
This was from the bus stop at Timaru.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Damp day in Gore

A bit of urban sketching - i.e. not relying on my camera and getting something down in the sketch book in public. Still a challenge but fortunately Table Talk cafe was slightly deserted early morning and the coffee was excellent. Got this down very roughly in about 20 minutes as I ran into a new friend and it would have been rude to keep drawing!

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Frugal stamping idea

For those of you with access to anchor products (go New Zealand made!) their containers often have anchors that are 3 dimensional and so make excellent little stamps. I just cut a square of plastic around the stamp to make a square shaped print. A technique that works well is stamping on tissue and then attaching the tissue onto whatever you are working on with gel medium or PVA glue (if you want the stamp to be semi- transparent). Happy stamping!

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Art Journaling Practice

art journaling practice by 1artalive
art journaling practice, a photo by 1artalive on Flickr.
Dina Wakly's "Art Journal Freedom" tutorial book has been fabulous. This is a practice exercise from the book. Finally creating some art journaling that I love.

Sunday, 7 July 2013


Coursera has been brilliant in expanding my knowledge of new and diverse art, wunderkammers and kunstkammers being my new favourites in the word collection department.
This week we were encouraged to create our own wunderkammers, or maybe, slightly curious collections.

Title: Life Compartments 2013
How: I chose a container that was clear plastic to resemble glass to try and create a new take on a cabinet. I attached hardware to this. I created the 4 small rooms insert with cardboard covered in papers of choice, then filled each room/compartment with the themes of my current life: domestic duties, education, creativity and spiritual. I created a faux wooden floor as most old buildings seem to have these. I also created a dress for the washing room. In the school room I created an altered art piece with part of it having a half clock with a wing attached.
What: As above, each compartment represents part of my life. I am a natural collector and have often wondered what to do with the little pieces of paraphernalia that I just can't get rid of yet! 
Why: From the close up you can see an arm in a washing basket this is a) a link to the original Kunstkammers which often had preserved body parts such as the Mutter Museum and b) a reference to the phrase "please give me a hand". Washing in particular, seems to fill up a lot of my life, and is represented by the crowded compartment along with a mixing bowl which represents the never ending creation of food. 
The second close up is of the interactive part of the work - you turn the metal spring that comes out of the box and it makes the part from a musical box play it's music. It's a reference to all the mechanical toys that were in the original kunstkammers or wunderkammers.
The altered art work with half a clock is an obvious reference to the shortness of time and time flying. Behind the brain is a little lego transmitter which is to do with the challenge of trying to transmit information to a person's brain cells (whether mine or others). The screw type thing which the brain sits on reminds me of one of Da Vinci's machines.
My life collection of minature slightly curious objects is finally found useful.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

cousera collage

This weeks challenge:Collage and photography!
Not in my comfort zone at all, but fascinating learning information about artists I had not learnt about before.
This piece is all about not hiding in books/fantasy and was a bit of a laugh taking "selfies" with this massive book on my head - made all the more hilarious by the fact that our neighbours just happened to choose this moment to fix their garage roof with some contractors and our normally private lounge was in full view...
Unfortunately, I had thought that they were on the ground - never even contemplating that they would get up on a roof!!
If they saw me, they would definitely have evidence for eccentricity.
Well, that was the unusual spot in my fairly mundane week.

Friday, 14 June 2013

Coursera home work

I found a link to the coursera art course on one of the blogs I follow and decided to jump in late. Absolutely loving the online videos in it and with the assignments having a deadline I am far more likely to get around to them!
Week 3's assignment - conversations with memory:
titled "Don't Shut the Door Yet"
This is a mail art  project all about how memory is lost - the colour photos becoming black and white and then becoming even less detailed as the drawing progresses down the page(envelope), with the collaged elements such as stamps being the memory prompts that remain.
As a young person, you just assume that memory is eternal and do not think about losing memories.
I collected the stamps off letters (my father collected butterflies hence the butterflies) and now wish I'd collected the letters instead, with all the adventures my parents wrote about. 
They lived a lot overseas and so we corresponded a lot by mail as the phone lines were terrible and exorbitantly priced for the garbled communication with terrible echoes. This was pre e-mail/skype etc.
The stamp insert is purposefully blanker in comparison to the letter. It is of an African Lake that we holidayed at and was full of old dead trees and palms. 
The colours show my mixed emotions - the warmth of the flame tree and rich African soil versus the black and white of loss.
The thermometer symbolizes the setting of the physical, emotional and spiritual temperatures of my life. Physically , my temperature gauge is definitely set for the tropics as my hands often go white with cold.
Often I received letters that were created by writing on the envelope and then sealing it. The letter was the envelope and so my envelope is the letter - a picture being worth a thousand words.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013


Well, I have just bought a new pentel waterbrush having searched some of the supplies of bloggers I follow and am so looking forward to having it on hand - I am still very self conscious about using my paints while out and I'm thinking this will help (discretely tipping some of my water bottle's contents into my palette is always tricky) having never heard of them before it will be interesting to see what they are like and how much I actually use them.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

May's sketchbook challenge complete

Blogged this fully at my other blog - enjoyed playing around with wax - it achieved what I was hoping for in describing the bowl's rough texture.

Monday, 3 June 2013

EDM #28 draw a jug

EDM #28 draw a jug by 1artalive
EDM #28 draw a jug, a photo by 1artalive on Flickr.

My favourite red jug full of sweet peas

Every day in May challenge outcome

27 out of the 31 challenges done, great challenge to get regularly sketching - and discovered how to make the new flikr work along the way, fun too to see other people's styles of sketching. Glad I gave it a try - makes me aware that there is always a few minutes to sketch and even if the outcome is not great I will learn to capture ideas and what works or not for me.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

EDM #15 pencil

EDM #15 pencil by 1artalive
EDM #15 pencil, a photo by 1artalive on Flickr.
Via Flickr:
This is EDM (Every Day in May challenge) #14 and 15 as I've no ornaments and til the quakes are totally behind us won't be investing in any. The pencil is vintage - possibly 40 years old! I remember as a kid it being huge (maybe a meter long?) and somehow here it is years later ( quite possibly because it's hard to sharpen as you can see from the photo - and a bit chunky) albeit a lot shorter. Funny, I'd never even thought how old it was til we had to do this assignment - nostalgia all the way here ;-)

Monday, 13 May 2013

Huntsbury Hike

Well, more of a walk really.
A record of a beautiful Autumn day for May.
You can tell I've been inspired by the journal pages I've read in Every Day Matters and as seen on Flikr - I love the ones with little maps and details.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Sort of urban sketching

It's a start small step to a gate....?
I am spending far too much time
discovering urban sketchers in cyberspace and need to do some real life drawing.
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Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Nikau in the rain

March's sketchbook challenge - natural surfaces.

Abstract boat

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Strathmore wk 4

Really enjoying trying to capture action with a bit more abstraction - and I'm happy with the results. Robert Joyner's teaching really has given me a new technique which has a lot more life in it.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Homework done

Strathmore week 3's attempt - not as abstract as I would like so may yet have to have another go. Enlightening journey in that I took a photo and then wondered what the bird was and had to try and identify it. It turns out that we have Eurasian coots in our local bird population. Having cropped this photo already, I now have to work out why it didn't remain cropped but in the interests of time I will leave this one as it is. Art homework box ticked!

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Week 2's efforts

Having finally found my charcoal sticks I managed to finish the week's assignment. I did attempt another sketch and learnt along the way one of the tips in the online course - if attempting semi-abstracts make sure the items are well recognizable.
I was disappointed a wax crayon resist didn't work under the background acrylic wash - I thought I'd made it thin enough but obviously it wasn't.

Monday, 4 March 2013

2013 Online Workshop Series - Strathmore Artist Papers

2013 Online Workshop Series - Strathmore Artist Papers
And this is the link I promised

Strathmore art class is awesome!

Found a site with free art classes - something I had been hanging out for. I'll post the link - I found it really helpful in getting images down with some movement in them.

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Sweet Sketchbook challenge

Well, scraped in on this challenge by the skin of my teeth. Tried stamping with some store bought stamps but haven't got around to making my own yet. My take on sweet is my current soul journey.
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