Monday, April 20, 2015

Getting around town

I must say it is a real eye opener, driving around town with the pure intent of looking at homes to sketch. You really do see things in a different light. I realise now, that every time I leave the house, I am looking for future possible sketches. I'm looking for interesting features, angles of roofs, texture of stone, distinguishing features, anything that makes a home a little different than the norm.
I love house with character. Something that makes it that little bit different and unique.

In my search I am finding that it is the older style homes in Lyndoch that I am drawn to. They just have so much character. Like the old house above. I always thought it abandoned, with its broken windows and rusted roof, but my husband tells me a man still lives in the back of the house. Homes like these hold so many stories. I wish I could read the walls like a storybook.
Another home that has always interested me in the past is the one above. For as long as I can remember it has had this old black sofa couch on the front porch, yet I have never seen anyone sitting on it. It also has this newer building at the back which I am not quite sure belongs to the front property or not. I love these sort of older style homes and I think out pretty little town wouldn't be half as pleasant without them.
Hugs Sonya

Thursday, April 16, 2015

My urban sketchbook

I've been busy getting out and about the town with my trusty camera. I'm just filling up my sketchbook with some of my favorite buildings from my home town of lyndoch, South Australia. Enjoying myself with my sketchbook, paints and a cup of tea after work each day.

Happy sketching!

Hugs Sonya

Friday, April 10, 2015

Watercolour book review

I am a big lover of watercolor paint, as you may have noticed if you follow my blog😉
I think out of all the paint mediums this is definetely the most expressive medium for an artist to use. It really can do things on your paper that oil and acrylic just can't do. But that's another story...

Right from the start of creating my sketchbook entries, I have used watercolor paint, however recently I have been wanting to learn some more techniques, rather than just colour-in my sketches.
I decided to purchase a book by Jean Haines, called Colour & Light in watercolour.
I recieved exactly what I was looking for! This book is for people like me, who love loose expressive style watercolour. It's a style I have admired for a long time but never really had the courage to explore in fear that I would ruin a sketch in my book,something I really don't want to do as I paint on the back  of the pages as well.

The paintings in this book are so wonderful and so expiring. Not only does the author start with the basics such as the usual stuff like brushes, colour palette, paper etc, but she also has several step by step paintings to work along with, which really help understand the process she goes through.
To me her style of painting is so very more artistic than realism. 
A lot of the times you hear painters say they 'change the scene to suit a better composition, otherwise you may as well just frame the photograph',but to me this loose style of painting is even more exciting!
Here are a couple of images from the book that have inspired me to be fearless with my watercolour and enjoy happy mistakes.

Even though Jean keeps to the rules of watercolor, she discusses how when she begun she dreaded the frowned apon watermarks and runs, but now she can't wait for them to happen. She has developed her own style, kept some of what she learnt from the 'experts' and thrown some advise away. I love this woman! I don't know why there is a set of rules to paint by anyway. I think a true artist should just go for it - maybe just remembering the very

So I am on a mission to add a little of Jean Haines style to my sketches. I still like my sketches a little more realistic but it has opened up a whole new way to paint.
Who inspired you in your sketchbooks? Do you have an artist you just adore? Leave me a comment

hugs Sonya

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Looking forward, Looking back- Sketches of Kangaroo Island

Today I decided the only way to go forward is to look back.
Way back in 2013, I mentioned a holiday I was about to embark on, to Kangaroo Island and promised to show my sketchbook pictures of the venture.
I never did get around to showing you those pages, but today I finally picked up those old watercolor sketches.
Looking back, one and a half years later, wow! I can definitely see an improvement. I actually cringe at some of the drawings and definitely squirm at most of my watercolor efforts.
( I do still love the rawness of some of the drawings and am particularly still fond of my fresh marron above, and the sketch below. I just love the shape of that iconic KI rock!)
But, you know what?  It is so exciting to see how much I have improved. I am now trying new things, I'm not scared to experiment and I personally think my watercolor sketches have more feeling in them.
I hope to write another blog entry in two years time and see even more improvement. Isn't that what art is all about anyway? Having fun, and enjoying your own journey...



April 2015 sketchbook entry
An old bed and breakfast cottage in my hometown of Lyndoch, South Australia.

I hope someone sees these sketchbook images and decides to jump in and have a go. Everyone can draw and paint, yes everyone! and you never know where the years will lead you. Join me climbing that ladder one step at a time.
I am having a blast thinking of doing some more uban sketching and painting all the remarkable buildings in my home town.
What would you like to sketch?


Friday, April 3, 2015

The Botanical Gardens

Hi all and Happy Easter!
 I hope you have a wonderful relaxing Easter with family and friends. As tradition we are heading to Great Grandma's house for lunch and the traditional breaking of the eggs. Our extended family is Polish and every Easter we have boiled coloured eggs dyed with brown onion skins. Each member of the family is given an egg to crack onto someone else's until there is a winning uncracked egg. What does the winner receive, hmm nothing.... except the glory of being the egg winner!

On Good Friday we decided to spend a family day at the beautiful South Australian Botanical Gardens, as it was such a gorgeous Autumn day. My youngest daughter who is 14, loves going for walks in the great outdoors, so there really is no better place to go.
A part of the gardens, alongside the path are giant bamboo. It seems to have become a part of the visitors tradition to carve their initials in the bamboo and in such great mass, it actually really does look like a masterpiece of art! Of course my daughter just had to do it..
The best part however was the Rainforest Conservatorium. It is a wonderful dome shape type of building with glass panels to let in the wonderful sunshine. While walking inside with the beautiful trees and palms, they were watering with slow mist coming somewhere from above. The effects were beautiful and I tried to catch some on camera.

Unfortunetly, I forgot to get a photo of the outside of the building so I managed to google an image for reference and found a really nice photograph I thought I would use, by Mr Trevor Hampel. Thankyou, Trevor for letting be borrow your photo as reference!


Monday, March 30, 2015

Paint for the sake of Painting

Sometimes you fall in love and sometimes you fall out of love.
However its not a case of me falling out of love with painting and sketching, its more of a matter of forgetting what I am in love with.

My husband always teases me saying "I used to be positive, but now I'm not too sure".
I have always struggled with having faith in my own . Never really seeing myself as an 'artist'.
Even after selling two of my watercolour paintings, I still don't see myself as being called an artist.
I think the problem is that unless I have everyone I know telling me I am this fantastic artist that needs to be selling her work and that they would even buy my work, then I am not an artist.
Just someone who like to draw and paint and isn't that fantastically great.
I was watching re-runs of a TV show the other day, and the girl was telling her male friend that she gave up violin because she wasn't that good at it, and in her family, if you weren't the very best at something then you stop and move on.
The friend then replied, "Haven't you ever done something, just because you love doing it?"
It was this line in the show that struck a chord with me. Why do we as people always strive to be the absolute best there is or quit when we realise maybe we suck.
We are always trying to get approval from everyone else, when all it takes to be happy is to be happy with yourself.
Without getting too emotionally deep, I just want to say that I am happy when I draw and paint. I find it a great escape. No matter what's going on in my life, those few moments I am painting, are calming. Nothing matters in the world accept the colors on the page and I am at peace.


Saturday, April 5, 2014

Time for some Teesha Moore fabric crafts again

I'm back after bit of a break. I went on holiday and lost some crafting mojo after that. I think we all need a break for refuelling at some stage.
But I'm back and biting at the bit to start up some wonderful craft swaps again.
I've been listing some craft swaps on swapbot for Teesha Moore style fabric patches.
I'm hoping I at least get a couple of people in my swap of making little pouches.
Here is a picture of a little pouch made by Fran Meneley. A wonderful artist I found when looking for some new inspiration and ideas for what to make with teesha style patches.

I have also listed a craft swap of free motion fabric collage journal page.
If the swaps go ahead I will be sure to post what I make for my partner and what I receive here on my blog.
Happy crafting

Friday, September 27, 2013


Just a quick check in today. I have been suffering from migranes the past two days so haven't had a chance to post much.
I am also about to head off to a 4 day holiday to a wonderful place called Kangaroo island,
South Australia. I have a new travel journal all ready to go and hope to fill its pages with our wonderful adventure.

 I will be sure to share it with you all, when I return.
Thanks for visiting,
Sonya XX

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Favorite Life Sketchbook Artists

Hi again,
In my last post I discussed the wonderful reasons to keep a daily sketchbook of your life. I really do hope you get inspired by it.
I also promised a list of my favorite sketchbook artists, but I thought a better idea would be to showcase a sketchbook artist once a month, who always continue to inspire me.

So without further delay, my artist for this month is Liz Steel from Liz and Borromini.
 I found Liz's blog only last week and it is wonderful. Not only does she show her recent sketches, but she is also a sketch teacher and talks about her classes and lessons on her blog. I find this helpful and inspiring to see so many others learning to sketch their lives.

I have to admit, I  have a soft spot for Liz as she is a huge tea drinker just like myself, and has delightful sketches of many a tea and cake. She has even published her own book filled with these sketches, along with a few other fantastic sketch books showcasing her work.

Of course Liz sketch's more from her life then just tea and cake and is an an architect by trade. Being in the architecture field gives her a great love of sketching buildings and house of all shapes and sizes on her travels. Some of my personal favorites are below.
This is Luna Park. An amusement park in Melbourne, Australia, which I have also visited two years ago with my family. The kids loved it. I wish I too was into sketching back then.
I love how Liz has captured it. Her style is exactly my type of yum!:)
Do you recognise this little sketch in the bottom right corner? It's the Sydney Opera house.
I like the fact that in Liz's sketches, they are so simple yet so distinctive.  The sketchy little tourists don't take away from the building, the main focus at all.
Loving the layout.

Below is a shot of one of Liz's classes she held in Melbourne I believe, teaching the students a little tip about using red lines in the initial set of the sketch. I am so jealous that I can't attend one of her lessons, as I am too far away. You can read a little more about it one her blog. Here is the link to her post.

Well, a big thank you to Liz for inspiring me and sharing her sketches with the world.
Make sure you visit her blog at 

Thanks for visiting,
Sonya XXX

Thursday, September 19, 2013

5 Reasons to keep a daily life sketchbook

It has been approximately 2 weeks since I started my daily life sketchbook. Since then I have drawn in it everyday. I love it so much that I can see me doing this for many years to come.
I am so passionate about it, that I want everyone to keep one. I guarantee anyone who decides to keep a daily life sketchbook will be hooked! I'm positive... I really am.

So here for you, is my top 5 reasons for keeping a daily life sketchbook:

1. What is better, I ask you? Capturing your life in Art or Photographs? Just think of any favorite photo you have. A person, an event or object that you have, and now imagine if you had drawn it/painted it yourself? Now how would you feel about it?

2. It's simple- drawing and painting everyday makes you better at it. Think your not good at drawing? That's probably because you don't practice enough. It is like anything else, playing guitar, learning to read, riding a bike. Practise, practise, practise. I know I am not the best drawer, but I also know that in a year or two when I look back at my sketchbook,my art is going to look a lot different.

3. You will be capturing little parts of your day that you probably wouldn't remember in a years time. Not to mention next month, next week, or tomorrow.
In a daily life sketchbook you get to sketch anything you want. What you bought today, what you ate for breakfast, what's in your cupboard, your flowering garden, your favorite drink, a butterfly you found, your next door neighbours annoying cat... Anything to do with your everyday life.

4. You love art, and everyone wants to do their hobby everyday don't they?

5. What better gift to leave your loved ones when your gone. What an amazing insight they will have to the life that was you!
And it is this thought that keeps me going. I know one day my daughters and grandchildren will have something very unique and irreplaceable to always remember me by.

I hope I have convinced even just one more person to start a sketchbook and draw in it daily. Tomorrow I will be back with a list of my most favorite everyday life sketchbook keepers., to give you even a little more inspiration.
Thanks for visiting,
Sonya XX