In My Studio

So much for making this a monthly post! It is well over a month since the first one…but that’s okay. It’s been a busy time.

If you would like to show us what has been happening in your creative space over the last little while, write a post about it and then link to it in the comments. (When I get really clever I will learn how to do a blog roll thingy at the side of the blog.) That way we will be able to see what other creative people have been up to. It doesn’t have to be a finished product, it may be a new paint brush you got from Santa or a poem that has inspired a short story or something that you have been working on.

Today I am going to show you a variety of things.

Firstly, this little box was a gift from my brother. Yep, it was a box of pastels, from Japan. (My brother loves Japan.) Like so many Japanese things, it was packaged beautifully.

IMG_3654

Take off the lid….

IMG_3655

take out the “Welcome to your new pastels” note (as I don’t speak Japanese I am choosing to translate it as that!)…..

IMG_3656

take out the piece of paper that tells you the colours (I am more confident about that translation) to reach the pastels. Each one is about 2 cms.

IMG_3658

Don’t you just love the treasures in little boxes ~ and thoughtful brothers?!

I also have a gift voucher from my Mum (xox).  It is from my favourite art supply shop, Melbourne Art Supplies. I love browsing in art shops almost as much as I love spending gift vouchers.

IMG_3718

You won’t be surprised to know what my Christmas presents to the family were this year ~ sketchbooks! Remember when I went a bit crazy over making sketchbooks? Some of you accepted my offer to send you one. Well, I went into sketchbook making mode again. I decided to make three different sizes, all with different covers. I put them in a box and let people choose the one they wanted. It was okay if they didn’t want one, but I was pretty certain that most would. My family loves projects and recording things, especially in handmade notebooks.

The photo, which I put on one cover, is my grandpa setting sail for WW1. He looks so young, and fortunately he came home again.

You may be curious about the work behind the gift voucher. I had a lovely time playing with images of fungi, repeating, flipping, turning to make these patterns. Because I was giving myself time to play, my mind was free to think about other things I could do. So I added coloured pencil and worked on black paper. I hope to show you those some time. They are not an end product, although often my mind tries to make them one. At the moment they simply are patterns on my noticeboard.

Lastly, in my studio are things to hold my brushes and pens and pencils. I use things that I am fond of.

This delightful mug was decorated by Xavier a gorgeous boy I taught in Grade One. Look how he made the dragon go right around the mug!

The ceramic brush holder was a present from my friend Tess. It has a wonderful African abstract embellishment. The water mug is a tea cup I brought back from Russia. I got carried away over there, thinking I was going to drink tea out of glass mugs with interesting holders. The fancy didn’t last long, but I enjoy using it as I paint.

Who can resist the fancy cardboard cylinders that Chinese tea comes in? Or a shiny milk jug? Or the flat pencil case just the right size for my pencils?

What do you keep your bibs and bobs in?

Go on, tell us what has been happening in your creative space over the past while. I’d love to know.

It’s tea time!

I am so pleased that my Little Sketchbooks have been embraced by you. I have sent off some and they are winging their way around the globe. They have been sent to Wales and North Carolina, Northern Queensland and Melbourne, Washington and central Victoria. I am delighted to give people an opportunity to be creative, and follow their passions. It brings a smile to my face.

On a different art note……You may remember a page I showed you from my current sketchbook, a page of some teapots from my collection. If you don’t remember here it is again.

I really like the way this spreads across the page. It was a conscious composition.(Photo and image copyright: Anne Lawson, 2015)
I really like the way this spreads across the page. It was a conscious composition.(Photo and image copyright: Anne Lawson, 2015)

Well, I received some very favourable comments about it. You are such a supportive group of friends, and I truly thank you for that. The delightful Alys from Gardening Nirvana made this comment

I fell in love with your teapot study. I’ve always loved teapots. Any chance of making those up into some art cards?

and that got me thinking. Not cards, but small studies on A5 paper. I have had great fun with the washes, and as watercolour is a continual learning experience, have learnt so much about water on paper and in brushes. I am also learning about leaving some of the paper unpainted, so that the white comes through as a highlight. The trick is to remember to leave it. I wouldn’t be the first watercolour painter to paint over the white area that had been reserved as a highlight. 🙂

The first studies are of a little teapot I bought in Hong Kong many years ago. I loved the contrast between the smooth body and the knobbly bamboo-like handle. The knob on the lid reminds me of a little grub! It is the one on the right hand of the sketch. In real life it is a dark grey terracotta, so you can see that I have taken many liberties with the colour, both in the following paintings as well as in the sketchbook.

(Photo and art work copyright: Anne Lawson 2015)
(Photo and art work copyright: Anne Lawson 2015)
(Photo and art work copyright: Anne Lawson 2015)
(Photo and art work copyright: Anne Lawson 2015)
Rosy pink teapot (Photo and art copyright: Anne Lawson, 2015)

The next ones are modelled on the blue and white pot in the middle of the sketchbook page. I may add some of the pattern in a future one. But, then again, maybe not! It was a present from my sister, as she knew that I love Asian inspired teapots. The different facets have given me interesting areas to play with.

(Photo and art copyright: Anne Lawson 2015)
(Photo and art copyright: Anne Lawson 2015)
(Photo and art copyright: Anne Lawson, 2015)
(Photo and art copyright: Anne Lawson, 2015)
Aubergine and gold tea pot (Art work and photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2015)
Aubergine and gold tea pot (Art work and photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2015)

If you click on any of the photos you will be taken to my Etsy store. Then you can look at the description and price. If you are interested in buying, you can go through the shop, or contact me directly: annebags@optusnet.com.au

Another outing for my homemade sketchbook and a special surprise for you

My little handmade sketchbook went to the exhibition of Jean Paul Gaultier‘s creations at the NGV, along with many, many other people. However, I managed to find a couple of odd corners to sketch in. (If you intend to see the exhibition, hurry, as it closes this Saturday.)

So many people at the exhibition! (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2015)
So many people at the exhibition! (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2015)

His creations are amazing, and I hope to post photos soon. In regards to sketching, I was interested in the folds and lines of his work. What I sketched was also limited by where I could stand without being buffeted by people. Also his later works were way too complicated for me to capture in a quick sketch.

I have been going on a bit lately about my sketchbook [thank you to all of you who have written positive comments about it] because I am delighted with the whole idea of making sketchbooks with odds and ends of paper. So happy about it that I have a cunning plan. As Black Adder says, “I have a plan so cunning you could pin a tail on it and call it a weasel”. But firstly let me show you a couple of other little books I have made.

Miss C and Miss B came for the day last week and were delighted to have their own little books. They chose the paper for the front cover, and then added their own flourishes.

In return Miss C made me a pair of earrings. 🙂

IMG_1432

So to my cunning plan. I would like to make a little book for you to sketch in. Lots of people tell me that they would love to draw, but don’t know how, or feel that they can’t or haven’t the time or any of a trillion other reasons. Well, I would like to present you with your own little sketchbook, because drawing is not only great fun, but relaxing.

It is not a book to be precious about. While other journal-type books are wonderful to use, they can be intimidating. What if I make a mistake? What if the lines are wonky? What if I can’t draw as well as other people can? This little book won’t care what you put in it. It likes doodles or portraits or thumbnail sketches; it likes pencil or ink or coloured pencils or watercolour; it likes things being stuck on it such as tickets or wrapping paper; it loves going outside, but is perfectly happy to stay inside with you, helping you draw your toast or your comfy slippers.

Okay, not everybody is a sketcher or even a wanna-be sketcher. I get that, sort of. [Although is it just your inner critic telling you that you would be crap at it?] Maybe you are itching to have a little book for writing in. Ideas for your next story. Words that make your heart sing. Snatches of conversations on the tram. Stories that will fit onto a small page. My little books love any sort of creative passion.

Each one will be different, depending on what I feel like adding. The one I am using is 12 x 17 cm, so yours would be around the same size. Great for slipping into your bag or pocket.  I can also tell you that each little book will have 4 sheets of paper folded in half (16 pages to write or draw on) and some of those sheets will have half-finished odds and ends of my work. Do what you like with them. Leave them there and use another page. Incorporate it into your own drawing. Draw over the top of it. Whatever you want to do.

Have I convinced you that you would love to have one of my little books? Shoot me an email at annebags@optusnet.com.au with your address and I will make one for you and post it off. It’s that easy. There is no pressure to show me (or anyone else) what you create, but  of course if you want to show me I would be delighted to see. Hope to hear from you very soon.