Wednesday 3 October 2012

Sketchbooks & India Art Tour

I have been working on various projects lately, but it has taken a little longer as I have been unwell - pleased to report I am now back in my stride. Was up this morning at 5.30am finalising my India itinerary for next year and also editing my new sketchbook 'Fiji Sketches 2007-2012', which I am self publishing, but only for personal use at this stage. It is not a particularly cheap exercise.

Yaukolo Beach on Vanua Levu

I have taken 15 art tours to Daku Resort on the island of Vanua Levu, which is the second largest island in the Fijian group, and an absolute uncommerical hidden paradise. I consider my annual trips a pilgrimage and I look forward to each trip, where I not only take the group around to various locations to sketch, but I teach botanical art as well. There are so many amazing tropical plants around Savusavu and I source some extra rare plants from the gardens of a local ex-pat, as well as from the resort.

Above is the sketch of a bure at Daku, which is the family owned resort accommodation, and it is nestled beside the calm waters of Savusavu Bay. Just a walk across to the beach to enjoy kayaking, a swim or snorkelling. Add to that the incredible Fijian meals, the relaxing ambience and the perfect climate. Who wouldn't want to spend time here?

In between all that, I have completed a sketchbook on 'Bali Sketches 2009-2012'. Bali is another destination I never tire of. There is always something new to see and sketch, but I love the temples and in particular the Gunung Kawi 11th century temple, with its moss covered bricks, its colourful painted wooden decorations and sculptures.

A protector at Gunung Kawi Temple. Sketch on handmade paper

I am very excited about my holiday sketching art tour to India in November 2013 which is 'Sketching the Highlights of India'. This comprises 13 days travelling from Delhi in the north to Cochin in the south and experiencing and exploring the culture, the people and the country. Details of this trip and an itinerary can be found on my website

Luxury houseboat at Alleppey where the group spends a night aboard

A traditional Kathakali Dance performance
What can be better than to create a visual souvenir of your wonderful experiences?

I have finished the last painting in a series on botanical art commissions on Australian native plants, and it is now time for me to begin work of my own. I have an incredibly intricate and beautiful Dryandra that is begging to be painted. Not being well does not inspire motivation. So now I have my mojo back I am itching to begin this new work.

Yes, I have had to spend a few hours a day moving everything out of my office/studio, in anticipation of my new built-in office. I will be unstoppable then. I have two more weeks to prepare the room, or rather to have moved out my paperwork and art materials, computers etc and have all the current office furniture and desks removed and clean up before the installation. I can do it! For a while it seemed such an insurmountable task, but I kept picturing the finish result. At present everything I have moved out is now in the loungeroom.

I will post some pictures of this at a later date. You would think I was a hoarder if you saw how much I have kept in the office, but it is all necessary and all things I use on an almost daily basis. I have been very disciplined and thrown out things I havent used in years and not likely to use again. Isn't that when you are looking for that particular item that you no longer have?

More later.......

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