10 September 2015

This time only a year ago, I had just opened my eyes for the first time to the extraordinary and vibrant world of colour pencil fine art. I was both overwhelmed and inspired by the styles and skills I witnessed. I also had just completed my biggest challenge ‘Death of a Gum Tree’ and was on cloud nine after incredible encouragement and subsequent publications in COLORED PENCIL Magazine, Ann Kullberg’s Hidden Treasures II and later in the year, the Australian Coloured Pencil Network Calendar 2015.

It certainly was the reassurance I needed to continue working with coloured pencils. I know I’ve come so far and learned so much since then. It is a wonderful thing to receive encouragement in the way of likes and comments on the social media platform. Sometimes the world of an artist is a very isolating one and any positive feedback makes you feel as though the long lonely journey undertaken is the right one. Obviously some artworks receive more interest than others, giving a clear indication of the more popular style and subject.

Submitting your own art to magazines is a nerve-wracking thing. If your artwork is an accepted submission to a magazine gallery it is clear proof that your peers value your skills, style and subject choice.

Recently, I had the opportunity as an artist still relatively new to coloured pencils to approach Ann Kullberg, the creator of her magazine recently renamed ‘Color’. I spoke to Ann a couple of times before a more lengthy conversation which was an ‘interview’ for a new section for the magazine called ‘Spotlight’. I can say that Ann was very friendly, genuinely interested and had a great sense of humour. I was a bit nervous beforehand, I mean in the colour pencil world I regard Ann Kullberg to be the queen of colour pencils! She has done more than any other in teaching and promoting the fine art of colour pencil. But Ann put me to ease very quickly with her relaxed and down to earth manner. I also discovered that Ann has a very cheeky side. During our conversation I confessed that “I wish I could lock up the kids so I could draw all day”, then I read the completed article before going to print, I actually burst out laughing splurting my cup of tea everywhere when I saw my words quoted in black and white! I loved that Ann included this as it really does reflect my sense of humour but I do hope that no one takes it too seriously!

I am truly honoured to be part of Ann Kullberg’s incredible magazine. An accomplishment that seemed an impossible thing to reach only a year ago.

So when I say this, I’m also telling myself to keep striving, to keep creating, to keep drawing or painting or whatever it is that we love to do. If it is my dream to be an artist and whatever you dream, then only ourselves can make it a reality with hard work and determination. Not to be undeterred by knock backs or negativity that others and the world can throw at us. With every minute that we keep doing what we love, we are learning, growing, improving and a moment closer to making it come true.

Ann Kullberg's Color Magazine
Ann Kullberg’s Color Magazine, September 2015

For more information, past issues, subscriptions and tutorials please check out – www.annkullberg.com

I’ve also included the links for two artists Ester Roi and Uma Barry that I mentioned in the article. Also, the link for author Julie Toner. Please take a few minutes to check them out.




31 May 2015

Quite recently I completed my second large scale coloured pencil painting, which I titled ‘Kaleidoscope’. It all began when I happened to see a stunning photograph by a wonderful artist Shirley Davies, whom I’ve had the pleasure to get to know through Facebook – Shirley’s Pencil Art

One wonderful thing about this social media site is the many fantastic connections I’ve made with artists from all over the world, whether it be of a similar passion for colour or graphite pencil or simply the love of art.

Shirley announced through her Facebook page to other artists, a fun challenge she herself would take part in of producing a work in whichever medium chosen by the artist, using the photograph provided. The final piece could also be used in whatever way the artist chose including sale. There are other artists and photographers who are happy for artists to use their photographs to be used as a reference and others who do not. Copyright is something every artist should be aware of and respect and also to be very careful of. It’s always best to assume every photograph is copyrighted, until it can confirmed either way. Copyright can be very tricky and difficult to understand. I’ve erred on the side of caution and have always used reference photographs provided by clients for commissions, with permission from photographer friends and I am also beginning to take my own photographs to use as reference.

I wanted to paint a large scale drawing once again, which would be approximately 42.0 x 59.4cm/16.5 x 23.3 inches or size A2. As with ‘Death of a Gum Tree’ I used Canson 220gsm white paper. I used a grid to enlarge the reference with a under-drawing or in other words, a preliminary sketch made on the paper with a 2H graphite pencil. I often make these under drawings so light that I struggle to see them when I start the painting process with colour pencil!

With this painting I used Faber-Castell Polychromos oil based pencils as I really love the soft creamy texture and wide range of vivid colours, the leads are extremely break-resistant, they have maximum light-fastness and when using solvent, the colours blend extremely well for a painterly effect that I like to achieve.

I combined the Polychromos with Caran d’Ache Luminance pencils which I learned have the highest light-fast permanent colour of any other pencil. I purchased a tin of 36 pencils with some of my prize winning money and I absolutely love them. The colours are striking and alive, and although wax based combine with the polychromos pencils beautifully.

The process of bringing ‘Kaleidoscope’ alive took at least three months. I did complete a couple of commissions in between and working on the painting for only a couple of hours in the evenings was quite frustrating to say the least. Once my children were close to going to bed or already there, I could settle down to draw with my hot cuppa (and maybe even a slice of cheesecake) but sometimes I felt like I was just getting on roll and into the zone when I’d glace at the clock and see the time, knowing I’d be getting up only six hours later. My youngest child is currently at kindergarten two days per week so I’ve make sure I use some of that quiet time to draw although the housework might be forgotten on purpose sometimes.

Even so, this painting took quite a while to complete. I can admit that I am quite a perfectionist with my work and cannot help but to try and capture every single detail that I can see to the best of my ability. I want the viewer to be able to appreciate the painting in two separate ways, from both a distance and up close.

As an artist, my hope is that you the viewer, may see what captured my imagination when I first saw Shirley’s photograph. I was immediately drawn to the colours and shapes of the pebbles. I couldn’t help but see the movement of the water and how the continuous ebb and flow would change these colours and shapes. When I first began to paint I was thinking about the huge variety of colours I had laid out before me, that the pencils became a rainbow. Sometimes I need to concentrate and consider the possible titles for my work, other times they pop straight into my head immediately. This was the case with the title ‘Kaleidoscope’. My husband who meant well, explained the tube shaped toy containing mirrors and coloured glass where the reflections changed patterns. Whereas I knew the meaning of kaleidoscope also represented constantly changing patterns, the sequence of elements and composition of colour. To me, this portrayed exactly what I wanted this pencil painting to be and I believe has now become. I hope you think so too.

I would like to thank Shirley Davies for permission to use her beautiful photograph. I am very appreciative.

‘Kaleidoscope’ 2015 – Coloured Pencil on Paper 42.0 x 59.4cm $1800

6 January 2015

I was so excited to have won the Just Pencils category in the recent ACPN – Australian Coloured Pencils Network 2014 Online Exhibition and am eagerly awaiting my prize of art supplies from ArtHouse Direct.

Then to be asked to be the next Featured Artist for ACPN, wow, I am both honoured and so proud. This is an unbelievable beginning to the new year for me. It is so encouraging and inspiring for the year ahead. Looking back, I may have answered some questions a little bit differently and maybe added some more information. But being my first interview, of course I am very happy!

Read the article at ACPN



7 December 2014

I recently entered the ACPN – Australian Coloured Pencils Network Online Exhibition 2014 with my landscape ‘Death of a Gum Tree’. The artworks that were to be my competition, wow incredible! Beautifully rendered, breathtaking pieces of coloured pencil art with a great variety of subjects. Of course it would be wonderful to win the art supplies that was to be the prize but of course I also needed to realistic.

Then I discovered with shock that I was announced the winner of the Just Pencils category! There was also a Mixed Media category and Peoples Choice award.

I was absolutely thrilled! To be awarded the winner by my peers made me feel both humbled and very proud. Working for hours and hours, more than I could count and then to be rewarded with such positive feedback, makes it all so worthwhile.

Once I finish off a couple of commissions that I’m currently working on, I will be on to my next project involving a pebbles and water combination. I can’t wait!

ACPN Winners 2014

Death of a Gum Tree
‘Death of a Gum Tree’ 2014 – Coloured Pencil on Paper 42.0 x 59.4cm $1800

5 October 2014

Why ‘December Calendar Girl’ do you ask? Because my artwork is featured in the month of December in the Australian Coloured Pencils Calendar 2015, that’s why!

The Australian Coloured Pencils Network Calendar 2015 is now available to purchase on REDBUBBLE. Of course I’m so very excited and still in a state of shock and disbelief. What an incredible and dreamlike month or so I’ve had. More than I dreamed could be!

ACPN Calendar 2015