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the melbourne painter meet up group – painting at st kilda pier

(Just realised I wrote the following entry but never posted it)

In trying to find fellow art journalers in Melbourne, I joined the Melbourne Painters at St Kilda Pier for a day of sketching and painting.

Below are some of the pictures I took on the day.

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woyww 101


This week, my work desk is mainly covered with acrylics.

I’ve recently signed up with Julie Prichard’s Chaos and Calm class and the page above is the result of lesson two.


I’ve never worked with glazes before and this class seems to revolve around it a lot.

It’s interesting to try to blend acrylics, and I can’t wait to see the paintings that would be produced in this class.


Unfortunately acrylic and glaze take forever to dry, even with a hair dryer.

I’ve already had a couple of mishaps where I’ve lifted still-wet paint when trying to blend colours.

This is an exercise in patience, which I was never very good at.

What classes have people taken recently?

woyww 100

Tearing myself away from my Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files audio books (read by James Marsters – *squeal*) – which I have been plugged to for the past two weeks (book 1 to 10) – I bring to you my first What’s On Your Workdesk Wednesday post.

Since it is the first WOYWW post I thought I should show you my whole desk, as opposed to just what I’m working on.


Actually thinking about it, I just realised that I’ve had previous pictures of my workdesk here.

Okay, maybe I’m just shamelessly plugging my own blog. XD

For those who don’t know what I’m talking about, WOYWW is a link party for people showing off what’s on their workdesk on Wednesday (pretty obvious now that I spell it out, huh?). I suggest that everyone head over to Julia Dunnit’s blog,

Stamping Ground, to read more about it. If nothing else, the horror of showing the same project on my desk for weeks in a row would get me off my butt and doing some crafting. XD

Actually my art journaling has been going very slowly recently. In addition to my obsession with James Marster’s voice-acting abilities, I have been concentrating on mandalas instead of journal pages.

However, I’ve kept my journals opened at my workdesk in hopes that I would add bits and pieces to it as I pass by. (My workdesk is actually in my room, so it’s not like everything is hidden away in some corner of the house)

I’ve read people’s blogs where they say they could see what they want the page to look like and they work towards that. I can’t do that most of the time; I have no idea what I’m doing with a page until I’m halfway through. This may just be evidence of a lack of practice. But sometimes, sometimes I see images or colours in my mind’s eye and I know it supposed to go on the page.

The tree in the corner of the page was drawn at one such time.


I have trouble drawing realistic looking trees, I make branches too uniformly wide and straight; a real tree is more twisty and bendy.

I’ve taken quite a number of photos from my trip to Ocean Grove over the Easter break last week, quite a number of them have trees that has a lot of character. I plan to go through them and do some in depth study of tree anatomy.

convo book

Convo book, short for conversation book, may be something a lot of you already have, but may be calling it by a different name. (note: the more popular name for it would be “exchange diary”)

It is a diary of a sort, but you share it with another friend, or a group of friends. Perhaps it’s more accurate to say it’s like a predecessor of an e-group/yahoo group; you write a letter (or letters) and pass the book onto the next person in the group, and they pass it to the next person.

It was something that my friends and I have been doing since high school, with some books (groups) being more successful than others. It’s normally the books between small groups of people (e.g. 2-3 people) that are the most successful; it’s easier to keep track of the book, and people are more willing to open up in their entries.

(the kind of book I used with my friends; it was pre-printed with subject titles, such as “today’s news”, “weather”, “mood”)

In the past, the convo books between my friends and I are primarily journal-based; letters to each other about events we all went to. In some of the later books, we would include a random sketch, or a ticket stub.

We stopped writing once I left to work in Hong Kong – our convo books were commentary on shared experiences as opposed to letters on missed events.

Since I’ve returned to Australia, I had re-discovered my old stash of convo books. I showed them to my friend, and we had a good giggle over the high school dramas we recorded.

My friend thought we should try resuming the exercise and the next day we went out to kikki.k and bought some really cute notebooks.

It wasn’t until a few entries into my notebook that I realise I should do an art journal page in the convo book. I won’t be doing a spread for every entry, that would just take way too long, but the occasional page would be a nice touch.

So how many people have taken part in convo books, or exchange diaries, before? I don’t mean round robin journals, but books where you have an on-going conversation with another person.

If you haven’t, why don’t you try starting one. It could be with someone you’re already really good friends with, or with someone you would want to get to know better.

Post a comment with a link of some of the entries that you’ve created.


Last entry I posted pages made whilst doing the Layer Love lessons. The following pages were my attempts at doing layers before I joined the class.

These pictures were taken quite a while ago, but there was a period of time when I really loved doing brayered backgrounds. I found that the brayered paint quickly builds layers without muddying the colours.

As the acrylic paint builds up on the brayer (I don’t wash them as I should) it creates texture on the brayer which results in interesting patterns.

catching up

I’ve been a bit lax at posting for the past week, though not for the lack of creating.

Here are some of the journal pages (finished and unfinished ones) that I did in the past week. Actually some of them have been changed (added to) since the photos have been taken, but I’ll upload them at a later date.

Actually most of these pages were done last week. This week I’ve been focusing on my online courses.

Yes, I said courses. Plural.

I’ve joined two online art-related courses, the first one was SuziBlu’s Les Petit Doll course, and the second one is the Creative Goddess eCourse (yes, it’s an affiliated link).

The Les Petit Doll course had already been going on for two weeks when I joined so I had some catching up to do. Thus my lack of posting.

I’ll refrain from writing reviews on it until I’ve completed the courses, but a short description of what I signed up for: Les Petit Doll is a course running from January to May 2010 teaching you how to draw “Petit Dolls” (a term coined by SuziBlu I believe) and put them on a painted, shabby background (pic below. This is not my painting, this is SuziBlu’s).

Creative Goddess eCourse

is a 6 weeks course encouraging you to be more creative. I originally thought it was a 6 weeks “how-to” course on different medium, but it will seem to be 6 weeks of different creative prompts.

There is a spiritual slant to the course as it encourages you to view art as an expression of your spiritual self. So part of the course material for each week is a meditation that you would need to do.

This course only started last Sunday, so I’ve only had time to read some of material and listen to half the meditation (I drifted off half way through, woke up in time to hear the ending).

So that’s my latest update so far. Oh, and we’re having weird weather here. From 10 degrees earlier this week, it’s jumped up to 26 degrees Celsius (around 79 Fahrenheit) today. A lot of people have gotten sick at the office – including me. I have a sore throat and I feel like I have a fever (albeit a low one) for the last two days.

I need rest.

zentangle / mandala / art supplies

So I tried zentangling today and I’m pretty happy with the way it turned out (left).

Had to wrack my brains trying for patterns, but there’s plenty of resources online with inspirational patterns/templates.

For the official low-down, you can visit the zentangle website. You can buy a zentangle kit and learn how to apply zentangling to relaxation, education etc.

Or you can learn how to draw a zentangle here.

There’s also plenty of youtube clips, which pointed me to Milliande’s site

. She seems to have some interesting tutorials (haven’t checked them out yet), so will be having a look in the next couple of days.

I’ve become obsessed with drawing mandalas. Okay, not “obsessed” obsessed, but it’s something I really enjoy.

I used a Pilot Petit1 fountain pen to draw this (it’s actually the same pen/ink I used in the zentangle above).

This journal page is not yet finished; I should be adding some journaling to it in the near future.

There’s so many unfinished pages in my journal — I love creating backgrounds, but then end up scratching my head for content.

I want the words to match the background but when I do have the words, they don’t neccessarily correspond with any pages I’ve already created. And when I feel like writing, I don’t feel like painting/collaging/doodling a background.

The only solution I can think of is to write down the words in my iphone so I have the contents for reference in the future. The problem with that is that the words would not be written in the journal on the spur and I would censor them when I put it down on the page.

It’s getting late, I’m ranting again.

Last thing before I sign off. I found a picture of some art supplies I’ve purchased a couple of weeks back. Rubber stamp packs, lace borders and a CarlaCraft Florence Muret craft punch. A Christmas present for myself. =)

too many hobbies?

Although it may be true, I’m still going to give this a try.

My interest in art journaling began when I saw Diana Trout’s Journal Spilling on book depository. I’ve never heard of art journaling before; I’ve seen movies/tv shows where you have the occasional goth with a highly decorated notebook, but I didn’t realise it was an established art-form with an extensive community.

From there I began googling art journaling, and found Samatha Kira’s (aka JournalGirl) YouTube videos and then her blog.

After this, it was a jumble of blog entries, jumping from one artist to another, one “how to” tutorial to another. For my own reference, I’ve put up a list of links that I’ve found (as a starter).

Most of the stuff like colour pencils, felt-tip colour pens, blank journal I had lying around the apartment, so that was fine I still had to buy some supplies; gesso, watercolour pastels, acrylic paint, brushes, ink, gel medium, tape glue and PITT artist pen. It was not cheap… (though still cheaper than what I spent on my photography gear…)

Hopefully I’ll be able to post something up soon.

(edit: Actually I found something I was working on a couple of days back, so pasted that at the top of the article) I was interested in the 365 challenge or the Creative Every Day Challenge, but I take so long with each page, I might not be able to make something each day. However then I saw that each page is dedicated to about a month, with individual squares marked out that you fill in for each day. Perhaps I should do something like that.

The links I started off with in my googling/web-jumping.

How To’s: