My art work

Flinders Island, here I come!

Soon I will be off to Flinders Island, to stay at Mountain Seas Resort for an Artist in Residence stint. [In my mind it is more of an Artist Retreat.]

Doesn’t this sound idyllic?

Mountain Seas is contiguous to 40,000 acres of national park. We have private trails accessing tall trees, fresh water streams, waterfalls and sculptural granite boulders. The walk to the highest peak of Strzelecki Mountain begins one km from the property.
The beaches, two kilometers from Mountain Seas, are among the best in the world. The white sandy beaches of Fotheringate and Trousers Point are featured in magazines such as Australian Geographic.

I really don’t know a lot more about what to expect. Conversations with my Mum have gone something like….

Mum: Will there be other artists there too?

Me: Ummmm….

Mum: Will you have to give classes?

Me: Ohh, I think I will have a workshop, but it’s not really clear yet.

Mum: Do you have a studio?

Me: Ahhhhh, ummmm….

Mum: What will you be doing?

Me: painting……

Me: Ask me these questions when I get back and I will have all the answers!

Mum: I am so excited for you. Just enjoy every minute!

I have been thinking about what to take. We are flying on a small plane, so weight is an issue, 21 kg, including hand luggage.

Not much thought has gone into the clothes — warm, waterproof, comfortable — although the Fella has organised me into getting a pair of new boots. A little more thought has gone into books and technical things, like checking up on internet connections [pretty basic].

No surprises to know that more thought and preparation has gone into my art supplies. Part of my problem, as you can see from the conversation with Mum, is that I don’t know what I will be doing. Well, I sort of do, but only very broadly. So I am not sure what materials I will need. Paper has been the biggest thing to nut out. Paints, brushes, pencils etc are light weight — an extra brush will not make a difference.

This is what I have decided on for paper supplies. I think that mostly I will be collecting  visual information. For that I need sketchbooks I can take out walking. I also think I will be playing around with washes and effects. For that I need slightly larger paper, but only of moderate quality. So I have made a range of sketchbooks of different sizes and papers.

Three sketchbooks are made of Art Spectrum’s “Draw and Wash” paper. It is not watercolour paper, but is designed for dry and wet media. It is lovely to work with in a sketchbook. I have made a couple of small ones because I fancy creating small botanical stories.

The next sketchbook is made of the same paper, but I have bound four signatures together, 24 pages. It doesn’t have a front cover, only the back that you can see in the photo. The cover is made from an old painting on 600gsm paper. It is quite rigid and will give me a firm drawing surface when I am sketching outside.


The final sketchbook is made of better quality watercolour paper, Arches, 300 gsm. It has five signatures and I have alternated signatures made from smooth and medium/rough paper. It has a front and back cover, again the 600gsm watercolour paper. The painting is of tree bark. I quite like the way I have spaced the stitching on this one. In fact, this sketchbook looks and feels really good!

Lastly, a couple of other odds and ends. I found this interesting tracing paper in the art shop. I use tracing paper quite a bit, and am interested in overlaying this paper onto other work. Creating little maps? X-ray vision?

And a viewer to help me with composition. I am finding it difficult to get the proportions of things right at the moment. I think my view finder will help, especially with landscapes.


Also, I have been doing research into plants on the Island. I have found a list of the flora, and I have investigated some that may be found in the area where I will be. I may not find them, and they probably won’t be in flower, but I feel that I have some idea of what I will be looking at.

More things need to be organised, but I am on track. And who knows, I may be able to squeeze in an extra woolly jumper!

26 replies on “Flinders Island, here I come!”

Congratulations!! And the books are lovely, especially the cover of the coptic bound book…I think I have the binding type correct. Have always wanted to do this type of binding. Must get down to it! That cover is a very artistic…looking 3D.
Wishing you heaps of productive fun.
Kind regards, Sandi


Yes it is Coptic binding. Very easy to do and lots of help on YouTube. Go for it! I would recommend buying an awl though. I have been using a darning needle, but it is hard on the hand. My new awl is a wondrous thing!


Thankyou for the tips. And how wonderful – I have just read below that you are travelling for the first time with your own handmade sketchbooks. Just imagine – returning with your own handmade sketchbooks filled with the treasures of Flinders Island. Your books will work out just fine.

Oh, I am great at giving advice, but not following it…I must pick up my new awl too and start doing, instead of dreaming, ha ha. Thankyou for your inspirational blog.


I love people having projects. ( I must be very annoying to those around me) So if I have inspired you to make some sketchbooks I am very happy!! An awl is a wonderful tool.


Love your trompe l’oeil bark painting sketchbook cover! Deeply jealous of your opportunity too, the perfect chance to just sit, absorb visually and let your hand and eye convert the experience into something beautiful. I hope you’ll be able to post while you’re away so we can share some small part of it?


It will be a great experience, and sitting, absorbing is just what I hope to do. I would like to post while I am there, but we know how appalling internet connections can be in rural Australia. Fingers crossed!

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Only 2 weeks. I debated about longer — would 3 weeks have been too long? Better to leave while I was wanting to stay longer. Besides, I would have to have taken a plane load of paper to work with! 😄


I suspect that there may have been fewer clothes and more washing! But I am a Melbourne Lass, and find packing difficult, as there always needs to be those ‘just in case’ items. 🙂


LOL- oh yes, I know about those. Back in the day they used to include just one more book in case I run out. Now I have fiction on tap so to speak 🙂 Have fun!


The worst part of any trip (hopefully!) is having to decide what to take and what has to be left behind. I think it’s brilliant that you can make exactly the types of sketchbooks you know you will use and enjoy. You’re going to have so much fun! Looking forward to seeing what you see!


Here are some photos of Flinders from one of my Hobart mates that might give you an idea of what to expect. It’s a striking place! The plane is small, but you can wear lots of clothes on the flight instead of packing them in your bag as it’s pretty chilly on board.

Your sketch book is beautiful! I really like the idea of having your art on notebook covers: it’s perfect for it.

(thermals, thick socks + thin under-socks, scarf, gloves, beanie, windproof + shower-proof coat, layers, always layers)


I love your very practical list of clothes to take. You are so right about the layers. My Gorgeous Mum has sent me a scarf she has knitted for me, so that is a definite inclusion. Thanks for the reminder about the cold in the plane. I have been in little ones before, but had forgotten that they are chilly. i do intend to take my camera on board though!


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