Having a personal creative space day and blue sausage dogs .

I needed a break today from some book and other  illustration commissions and just wanted to go with ” creative flow ”

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And so I drew a sausage dog .

A blue sausage dog .

Actually ,  a blue sausage dog with stripes and zig zags .

Actually , a  blue sausage dog with stripes and zig zags who wears a casual grin as she is comfortable in her own skin as she likes what she likes and doesn’t need to dress in the boring conservative manner of most sausage dogs .

ACTUALLY , a blue sausage dog with stripes and zig zags who therefore HATES  having to wear uniforms , DETESTS being organised by other sausage dogs , CANNOT STAND instruction manuals ,but, who loves SILLINESS  and  being CREATIVE and showing SELF EXPRESSION through art and music and clothing attire and who despite her love of being around OTHER  sausage dogs , feels feels most at ease when in her own arty space MAKING A HECK OF A BIG CREATIVE MESS .

ummm ….

This  drawing may have some deeper meaning .

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ITS SO FUN BEING A BLUE CREATIVE SAUSAGE DOG !

love to you all

Sandy

PS – A MESSAGE FOR A CERTAIN MISS MADDIE – I haven’t forgotten your request for a drawing instruction video of how to draw a sausage dog – watch this space over the next week or so ….

xo Sandy

Illustrations and my cheesy fudgy squishy brain.

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Its been a journey of building the confidence to take on the job – my first full book illustration commission  . My own scaredy cat brain had stopped me from drawing for almost 20 years ! Yes! It’s true ! I stopped drawing for 20 years ! But that’s another story that I’ll share in another blog one day . It’s a good one for anyone like me , in their mid 40s … heading towards 50… who thought  they were all dried up , on the decline and didn’t  have much to offer the creative world .

Its been a learning journey , as I’ve drawn the pictures,  to  keep persisting and pushing through , even when my drawing brain seemed to turn into a cheesy fudgy squishy   brain .

It’s been a journey of my own scaredy cat brain , as I felt anxiety and possibly even fear at times , when I’ve worried that the author , psychology professor Dr Allison Waters , wouldn’t like my work .

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But , I persisted ! I worked through the  scaredy cat cheesy fudgy squishy brain days and I’m SOooo close to being finished and ready to take on some more projects .. like a possible job with a big children’s book  publishing firm here in Australia illustrating a series of chapter books  …. ( woohoo!) . It’s not definite yet , but I need give my cheesy, fudgy squishy scaredy cat brain the flick ( “give it the flick” is “throw it away” in Aussie slang) and GIVE IT A GO !

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Love to all !

Sandy

 

 

Running to the finish line of a book illustration

I’m  on the countdown , nearing the finishing line and hurtling up the home straits – yep I’m finally getting closer to completing the illustrations for my FIRST EVER  book illustration commission – ‘Jessie and the Scaredy Cat Brain ” by the lovely  Dr Allison Waters .

“Jessie ” is a book about a girl with anxiety . It’s going to be used by Dr Waters in her research and therapy to help children with anxiety . Which is just beautiful .

 

 

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In fact , little anxious Jessie, her Scaredy Cat Brain and Happy Cat Brain  have become buddies of mine .

I have to say though , they’ve  gotten up my nose and , indeed caused me , their artist designer , to want to say very unkind inappropriate things to them when they have raised my levels of anxiety when the little darlings have refused to sit still long enough for me draw them in a different pose, or when they don’t seem to want stay around long enough for me to find a way of positioning them on the page  .. but they are pretty annoyingly cute and endearing at the same time . I love them . I do . Really .

But , even though this project is drawing to a close , some late nights of work in the art studio are still to be had .

 

 

 

Love to all

Sandy

Running to the finish line of a book illustration

I’m  on the countdown , nearing the finishing line and hurtling up the home straits – yep I’m finally getting closer to completing the illustrations for my FIRST EVER  book illustration commission – ‘Jessie and the Scaredy Cat Brain ” by the lovely  Dr Allison Waters .

“Jessie ” is a book about a girl with anxiety . It’s going to be used by Dr Waters in her research and therapy to help children with anxiety . Which is just beautiful .

 

 

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In fact , little anxious Jessie, her Scaredy Cat Brain and Happy Cat Brain  have become buddies of mine .

I have to say though , they’ve  at times gotten up my nose and , indeed caused me , their artist designer , to want to say very unkind inappropriate things to them when they have raised my levels of anxiety when the little darlings have refused to sit still long enough for me draw them in a different pose, or when they don’t seem to want stay around long enough for me to find a way of positioning them on the page  .. but they are pretty annoyingly cute and endearing at the same time . I love them . I do . Really .

But , even though this project is drawing to a close , some late nights of work in the art studio are still to be had .

Lets just hope I don’t have to foster out Jessie and her feline friends before I finish .

Orrrrr…..

 

 

Love to all

Sandy

Swings

When I was a kid , I wanted to fly .

I mean , literally , FLY

Like  in the sky , kind of fly

Not in an aeroplane .

Not with wings , like a fairy .

But basically kind of take off , from the ground and , well , soar , up into the blue yonder .

I took to running down the ginormous grassy hills in my school playground , arms stretched out , optimistically waiting for my little legs to lift off .

News Flash :

It didn’t work .

So , the next best thing, was to go on the awesomely huge and cool grey steel 1970’s  swingset  in our backyard and try to tap into the invisible laws of aerodynamics and magic .

I’ll let you decide if that one worked.

And so , when the 52 Week Illustration Challenge topic was “Swing” …

Well, I had to draw this cartoon and stick it right in my illustration portfolio

Enjoy !

xo

Sandy

 

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Cows

Upon the dawning of a  bright and crisp winter’s Saturday morning this morning , my family and I had a pleasant venture out to the countryside , escaping the “big smoke ” of Brisbane , to imbibe the beauty of the Australian bush and most importantly , to watch our youngest play soccer and subsequently stuff ourselves with pastries at the local country bakery .

And for some reason , I have come back from this journey , not only 3 kgs heavier , but with a burning need to draw a cow .

So here is my portrayal of :

” A cow ”

No doubt some of you , my uber intelligent blog readers , will see similarities in my little sketch , to the works of the great 17th Century Dutch pastoral painter , Paulus Potter , who sadly and remarkably , died of the milk borne disease , tuberculosis. Perhaps he should have taken to painting chickens .

Enjoy my masterpiece

Love to all from beautiful Brisbane Australia

Sandy

xxoo

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In the Whale’s Garden

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So, this little picture was drawn for my portfolio and inspired by the CYA illustration competition that I’ve been shortlisted in . ( still picking myself up off the floor about that one !?!)

The boy, Sam , is swimming with a Whale , in the Great Barrier Reef – much like I will be doing tomorrow when I meet with some book editors about my artwork ie -slightly apprehensive , excited , but hopefully not wet …from fear …

As God is in the business of miracles , I am  saying  my prayers for thick skin to grow in my body tonight .

See ya !

Sandy

Creativity and Jesus

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I just read this verse from the bible , ten minutes ago .

It’s talking about a guy in the bible called Paul who has an AMAZING story of being a murderous angry Jesus hating man , and completing turning his life to becoming a Jesus adoring dude . And this verse is from  about a section of his life when he  was being begged to stay in a certain town to keep on sharing his knowledge of Jesus, (which he probably would have loved to have done) , but instead , set sail for another place , Ephesus , saying as he left “I will come back if it is God’s will “.

His life was run by Jesus …..

I’m an artist , and I love Jesus too . I gave  my heart to Him when I was 10 – and I swear , that since I was that arty creative little girl , to now , being an arty 45 year old woman , Jesus has run  my life .When I have  let him .

“When I have let Him”  …..I haven’t always allowed Jesus to direct the way I live .

I have been anxious , like the little girl scared of the moon at night , worrying about which way my life will go .

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My daughter Tara, used to be scared of the moon  … a water colour illustration I did a few weeks ago for the 52 Week Illustration Challenge .

It’s so easy in our comfortable middle income Australian life , to try to run things our way . To try to control our anxiety ourselves . To try to run our lives by ourselves .

As an illustrator/artist, I have become used to creating my works – a gift I know comes from God . God has given me an amazing opportunity  in the last few months , to illustrate a book to help children with anxiety , written by an Associate Professor in Child Psychology at Griffith a University , here in Brisbane , Dr Allison Waters     . It’s called “Jessie and the Scaredy Cat Brain ” . God has also led me to paint portraits for people , portraits of people who have passed away , of pets they love . I know in my heart these opportunities come from Him – because they do something that blesses people and moves them to feelings of love and peace .

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A page from “Jessie and the Scaredy Cat Brain ” . Jessie is with Happy Cat looking at a situation with her teacher that can make her worried . I’ve put this one in my portfolio .

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Me and the lovely Zhulina with a portrait I painted of her father , an Afghani General who did in a plane crash when she was very young . Zhilina gave this portrait to her mother who now lives in Italy . Zhulina cried when she saw it .

However  ,  this gift of creativity gift that can also lead to a tendency to feel you can create and control your own way in life .

If I ran my life MY way , I would become an illustrator for children’s book that will be published and sold in shops and read by children across the land !

BUT , I also need to prioritise  God , first up , top of my list !

He is my good , kind , peaceful loving Heavenly Father . He wants the best for me . He wants me to share his love with other people .

With you in fact .

And so I have this morning – before I start a big start on my artwork for “Jessie ” today … which will likely be at least 8-10 hours of work , I’ve tried to put Jesus first .

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I’ve read Gods word , the Bible , and found the little verse I shared above , that has just jumped out at me from the page . And now , I feel compelled to share this blog post with you before I start work .

Finally , as the next big event in my life looms near ( only 3 days to go !) – the CYA conference , a conference for authors and illustrators of children and young adults and illustrators  . I have paid $100 a pop to meet with editors of BIG publishing companies -Penguin , Affirm , Black Dog Books and Hatchette , to get feedback and hopefully be contracted by one of them as an illustrator

But , God , I promise to you that I will trust that I will be lead by you .

“If it is Gods will ”

That’s my Theme .

Love to all

xxxooo Sandy

Toby the cat now has his rightful place on his throne … and also in my illustration portfolio .

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Toby does indeed run the house of my friend , Margie .

Unlike Margie , our resident family furry baby is Domino the Border Collie . Domino runs “around ” our house – constantly – usually chasing invisible monsters .. but he doesn’t  run the house …

Margie – I feel your pain …