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A stencil of Ted's from Painting class

Away on a Christmas holiday, ( Family camp), even with the kids and husband, I had time to reflect and think about art.  The questions I asked myself were, ‘what do I need to have set up to help me do art and primarily get my art exercises completed for OCA  and have my first art assignment done and handed in.’

I came up with these ideas.

1. I need a good nights sleep and be fresh and alert.   – It does help!  But sometimes I will just have to do it even if I’m not feeling that energised…

2. I need table space prepared so I don’t spend all to most of my time just setting up and finding things.

3. A planned study pace would help.  Giving me a goal, impetus, (and a feeling of slight exhilaration/panic sometimes helps too)!

4. I want to get a lot done before we start the watercolour class term up at the end of this month and my next Essentials course later in the year.

5. I do need to plan my drawing time weekly.  I aim to get an OCA drawing exercise, (3.5 hours to 5 hours), completed every week.  Can I do it?  If I don’t aim for it, I won’t.  So let’s aim for that as a minimum.  One drawing exercise a week.  I am finishing ‘Tone and Form’ and going to start, ‘Reflected Light’.  I may have to put aside a day a week in the term just for OCA drawing.  I could probably do that…


Had a wonderful family time at Matakana and Warkworth for the day.  Visited Charlie’s gallery.  He has a cafe too and makes the most awesome ice-creams.  What a treat.  My boys and husband indulged and then we enjoyed the three wonderful artist’s who were exhibiting.

I loved Joan’s etching, and my favourite of her’s was a harbour and wharf in watercolour.  The play of light through the pier structure and water…  She is an excellent teacher too and I am looking forward to spending more art time with her this year at Mairangi Society of Arts.


Merles paintings were full of humour, personality and movement with a dog called Spot’s running commentary under most exhibits.  We enjoyed following with my 3 young sons, the comments around the room.  It was encouraging to see skill and humour meeting together.





And then there was Julie Bishop.  Her work was very realistic.  She used mainly pastels and pencils.  I loved her old fashioned milk bottles and the way I could see through them to the rest of the drawing.  Her work was beautiful and I found inspiration in her coloured pencil drawings.  It was so real.  And it cheered me on in my drawing course…

Then off to Warkworth and extended family for tea and a play.  What a wonderful day.

These holidays I am looking forward to packing my drawing and watercolour bag and sitting under a Pohutakawa tree at our beach while the boys play…”

Long Bay Beach, Dec ’09

I have had a very fun time this term visiting exhibiting artists and their displays

On visiting the library with my 3 sons, we were bowled over by the strength of Gail’s paintings and the joy we all felt as we looked at them.  I had been to a painting circle Gail hosts where like minded artists get together and paint in company.  If ever I took up oil painting I would like to hang out with her again…   Then it was a two-hour trip to Tairua for Aunty Ruth’s watercolour exhibition.  I loved her bird in a nest painting.  As we visited over lunch, she brought out the very nest that the bird had made in her hedge and she had painted.  I loved how Ruth had painted what was so obviously an  everyday occurrence and a joy as well.

Loving the way Libraries display art.

Loving the way Libraries display art.

Looking at art books with Ruth Lee

Hello Learning Log,

I have been having fun with a book I bought off Amazon.  “DRAW how to master the art”, by Jeffery Camp.  He advocates copying the masters.  Here is my drawing “After Rembrandt”

After Rembrandt

After Rex Brandt

I also like the calligraphy lines that he shows from Van Goghs paintings…  So I have started practicing lines with that in mind….

Jeffery talks about how ‘Van Gogh made reed or bamboo pens  describe  his feelings about the sea with active bursts of vigorous calligraphy.  When he did drawings of fields of corn he said the wind made undulations like the sea.’ 1

I am looking forward to exploring more descriptive line with my drawing in pencil and brush work.

1. Jeffery Camp, Draw how to master the art, (New York: DK Publishing, 1993), 25


It’s been an enormous learning curve.  Using computer technology has not been a huge feature of my lifeskills or time before.  Now I have got to grips with setting up a blog.  Finding my way around putting photos on and tags and editing.  I have searched the OCA discussion for ideas on how others do things like…

Learning Logs

I really liked one chaps idea.

1. A daily (almost), waffle on where you are going with art ideas.

2. A summary of the exercises, say 250 words about.  Would that be “Check and Log”?  I think so.

3. Handing in: (by post, email or blog), assignments with exercise summaries, (2-3 pages plus pictures)

4. Handing in: numbered list of pieces with thumbnails

5. Handing in: email link to logbook/blogbook pages online

6. If using a Ringbinder, use section dividers.  Provides clarity to exercises, assignments and reports.


I am using 3 different sizes as well as one I have currently going for my watercolour class here in NZ.

From iPhone 148

Working on an exercise from the book, “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain”

The big A3 is used at present for the excercises out of the OCA Drawing manual.

The others, A4 and A5 are for my scribbles and other profound sketching moments!

I have set up a sketching bag.  It works brilliantly except for yesterday – when  I discovered at the kids piano lessons that I had taken my drawing materials out of it to use for my watercolour the day before and hadn’t put them back.  So we are on a learning curve there too.  To be free to be creative requires a certain amount of organisation!

I'm an artist, teacher, percussionist, and mother currently studying for an Honours BA in Creative Arts with OCA, UK.