Rose Bay at dusk

If you follow me on Pinterest, you will have seen a flurry of activity earlier today on my “Paintings that inspire me” board. Particularly with quite a few Raoul Dufy paintings added to it. And just like that, immediately after adding the images, Pinterest worked its magic. I suddenly had an urge to paint something à la manière de Dufy, and very quickly decided on doing a view of Rose Bay at dusk. During my first two months in Sydney, I lived in Rose Bay and took the ferry to work from there. To walk to the harbour every morning and back in the evening was a true blessing. And therefore, a perfect subject matter.

Rose Bay at dusk

I used watercolour and casein on Arches 300gsm paper. But if you want to know a bit more about the process, well, have I got a treat for you! Below is a little film that documents it all. To make it I used an app called “Miniatures Pro” and set it to take one frame per second. And as for music, it’s Dustin O’Halloran’s Prelude 2. Trusty iMovie glued it all together in style. I hope you enjoy the film as much as I did painting and putting it together!



For those of you who read designer blogs and frequent their enticing Pinterest board equivalents, I’m pretty sure the headboard below is somewhat familiar:

Otomi headboard

It was posted on Design*Sponge over two years ago, and like everything that they feature on their website, the Otomi-inspired pattern on the headboard became famous overnight. Handmade by Otomi Indians in Hidalgo (Mexico), Otomi textiles are crafted from cotton muslin and decorated in colourful embroidery. I think anyone who sees an Otomi bedspread lusts over it, with its luxurious embroidery and fantastic imagery. And it’s the latter that inspired me to paint in gouache some very special Christmas presents for some very special kids. The oldest brother’s name starts with an L:

L initial 1

His gorgeous sister’s name with an E:

E initial

And their newborn brother’s name also starts with an L:

L initial 2

I spent a wonderful Sunday with them yesterday and was happy to see an initial displayed proudly in each of their rooms 🙂

Dutch houses

Although my head is always buzzing with ideas as to what to draw next, when I actually come around to doing it, my brain melts. Unless I am very determined on a certain idea, I sometimes struggle when I’m in front of a white page or a bisqued pot. And here’s where Pinterest makes life a helluva lot easier for me. To have a “stash” of saved images to inspire me is priceless. Like this gorgeous photograph of the old quarters of the Dutch city of Groningen:

Which inspired me to do this quick watercolour:

NOTE: the photograph of Groningen was taken by Akbar Simonse.


About 35km north of Paris lies the delightful village of Gerberoy. Located within the département of Oise, its architecture is rich in half-timbered houses and there are even traces of a medieval castle. It is also listed in the plus beaux villages de France (Most beautiful French villages).

I hold Pinterst 100% accountable for the inspiration to do my latest bowl. I saw the photograph above somewhere, clicked, and clicked again and ended up on Jolivillage’s photostream on Flickr.  If my addiction enthusiasm with Pinterest weren’t so, I probably would have forgotten about Gerberoy by now. I wouldn’t have done the sketch below…

…nor would I have taken my sketch to a new level and turned it into a bowl…

NOTE: The image of Gerberoy above is from Jolivillage’s photostream on Flickr, via Pinterest.


Paris is in fashion. But has it ever been out of fashion? No, but I do think that lately there is a wave of All Things Paree in the design world. Pinterest, for one, has a never-ending stream of boards and pins on its style and architecture, and brands like Kate Spade are clearly influenced by Paris in the 60s.

There are so many landmarks in the beautiful French capital I find it difficult to write about each of them and not sound incredibly pretentious, patronizing and try-hard. So today it’s all about the Champs-Élysées, how it’s inspired great songs:

great sketches:

and even better, awesome ceramic bowls done by yours truly:

NOTE: The source of the Champs-Élysées photograph is via Travelling Colours.

Kate Spade

It’s fair to say that until this past weekend, 2012 hadn’t had the most artsy of starts for me. I was very little inspired and the thought of drawing, yet alone painting, was just daunting. When I tried to overcome this, well, let’s just say I recycled a lot of paper. ANYWAY, through the beauty of Pinterest I discovered the wonderful Kate Spade Tumblr! At first I thought it was this lovely tumblr with inspiring pictures of all things pretty and colourful and divine, but then I found out there is ACTUALLY a brand behind it! And they do clothes, and accessories and everything and it BLEW ME AWAY.

One of my favourite adverts on TV – Sony Bravia – encapsulates how I see Kate Spade: over a backdrop of New York City (because Kate Spade is VERY NYC), colourful rabbits made of Plasticine (simple yet incredibly effective, like KS’s lines), jump around, covering the city in bright colours (colour being a staple in KS) and with the brilliant, happy and somewhat nostalgic tune by the Stones playing in the background (KS is very 1960s inspired).

This is one of the MANY pictures I’ve seen on Kate Spade tumblr. Taken by Tim Walker, the idea is a simple yet brilliantly colourful one: balloons coming out of windows. LOVES IT. Loves it soo much I did my own version of it:

I am now obviously addicted to Kate Spade tumblr and have discovered other tumblrs along the way. My addiction to colour and how it can make the ordinary fun and cheerful and inspiring has only just begun!

NOTE: The photograph by Tim Walker was taken from Suz and the city, via one of my Pinterest boards.

On Procrastination

So it’s Friday night, and what am I doing? PROCRASTINATING. I have 4 Christmas presents to paint before Wednesday and  I HAVEN’T EVEN STARTED. Don’t know the themes or ANYTHING. I have however, in true procrastination fashion, purchased a drawing table today. You know, in preparation for the paintings I’ll work on. As my paints are also sorted out nicely, I should be painting right this minute. But I’m not… an invisible force won’t let me.

So what have I done in the last few hours? A very important task, that needed my urgent assistance: create a new Pinterest board. You see, I discovered this wonderful blog called still life quick heart and I started pinning like MAD. I only had one board on Pinterest and realised I HAD to create a new one. And then HAD to go through the 523 pages in this amazing tumblr blog (only made it to page 129) to get inspired to paint, because obviously the dozens of images I’d already found weren’t inspiring enough. After pinning what feels like the contents of 3 galleries on my new board, I realised that not all the pins were showing. So then I HAD to craft a polite yet demanding email to the Pinterest team to inquire as to WHY THE F*CK they weren’t showing. No response yet, but I’m hopeful after scanning the internet for a considerable period of time trying to find out if other people had the same issue on Pinterest. I should be painting now, but I’m not, because I HAD to post about my current procrastination and how it’s affecting me and… and… I should just stop. Right NOW.



Last night I finally populated my Pinterst page. At first I thought it would be a bit of a pain having to populate a base for me to continue adding images of things that catch my fancy on the internet. However, it ended up being highly addictive…

…and inspiring. Let me explain, in my frenzy to add images, I found out that one can “re-pin” images from other people’s boards on Pinterest. And that’s how I stumbled across this lovely watercolour by Charles Rennie Mackintosh:

And then I remembered that I actually have this book at home:

And it contains some images of his beautiful floral watercolours:

It was therefore only a matter of time that I would end up painting this last night: