Thursday 24 February 2011

i have been sketching

Recently, I signed up for, Sketchbook Delight, an online class with Alisa Burke
and I'm loving it!

I set myself various creative challenges at the beginning of the year but I have discovered that my heart keeps going back to plain, simple sketching.  I love keeping a sketch journal! My problem is that I don't sketch often enough because I procrastinate too much about just what to sketch, I am too much of a perfectionist when it comes to sketching, and there are a lot of distractions in my life. Excuses, excuses, excuses....I'm over it! I want to keep a daily sketch journal that's not about creating perfect masterpieces but rather, a record of memories, my days, events, parts of who I am, likes, dislikes and anything else that takes my fancy. I yearn to loosen up and work faster with my sketching and I felt that Alisa Burke's class was just the ticket....I was right!  I like that Alisa loves working with pen a lot!  Alisa's class isn't about formal sketch studies, it's more about finding our muse, developing our own style and creating loose, free-flowing and pleasing sketches. 

At the beginning of 2009 we noticed a tiny two-fronded common fern springing up in our backyard lawn....a gift from nature which I immediately fell in love with.   Beau suggested potting it so I did.  The pic below was taken back in April of 2009 after it had grown a little but...


....look at it now!

So thick and dense......I just love it!

So, after being inspired by Alisa's class, out came my sketch book and, working directly with pen, I set about sketching one of the fronds that had broken off the fern.

I then added another sketch in pen, then some watercolour and info to the page.  It's still a little tight for my liking but I'm hoping to loosen up more as time goes on.
Pen and watercolour in A4 sketch journal

Another very quick sketch of the doll I bought from Michelle when she was making and selling dolls a couple of years ago. Her name is Rachel and she lives in my bedroom.
Pen only sketch in A5 sketch journal

Recently, Michelle and Alex bought a play gym for Mikayla and, judging by the look on little Mikayla's face, it's a winner!  She loves it!


~ Love, light and peace ~


  1. Mikayla sure is growing! She is a beauty just like her Mom and Grandma!!! Gorgeous girl!!!

    I think you may have the same fern I have in the front planter at my house...I found all of them in the backyard growing wild, and transplanted them to the planter. They did the same thing as yours...grew, filled in and even many more grew in as well.

    I sure love the ink drawing you is so perfect!

    Check out this post and see if you think my fern is the same kind as yours! I love it also!!!

  2. You have such a green thumb, Lady! I absolutely love ferns, but after having killed three of them in short order over the years, I quit buying them. They probably cringed as I walked by in the store--ROFL! That one is gorgeous!! And I love your sketches.

    Somewhere along the line I must have missed about you having skin cancer removed. My dad has had that a couple of times. I hope you have seen the last of it.

    The class does sound like exactly what you need right now. I think you're doing a great job and if you just go ahead and sketch journal every day I'm sure you'll see good shifts. I think your work is always good, but I can relate to the loosening up, myself.

    Look at all that color around Mikayla! Maybe she'll grow up to be an artist--wild and loose with color! ;)

    I hope Reece and Sarina get home safely.

    You're so right!! Life is good!! :):)
    Have a great weekend!

  3. Beautiful sketch book page Serena...I wish I could grow lovely lush ferns indoors but it's not humid enough and the central heating dry's them out too much. Mikayla is growing so quickly an seems very bright an aware!

  4. Hi Serena,

    So happy you are back sketching! That fern really grew into a lovely adult palnt. It must really like that spot inside of the house. :)
    Your sketches are lovely as always.
    Little Mikayla is so precious.
    Hugs and keep happy

  5. Serena... you and I share the same perfectionist Instead of just doing... we talk ourselves out, find something else to do...put off...procrastination is my middle or as my husband always says... Last Minute Because if I don't think about it and I just start drawing... I do great... but the minute I start thinking... somehow I end up talking myself out... thinking I am not good enough or worthy...

    You are such an amazing artist... it was you who got me back into painting... following your blog these past few years.... You always inspired me, encouraged me, and taught me even when you didn't know you were. I always write in my journal... God, I wish I was as good as Serena... I LOVE YOUR WORK.... I love your paints, and I really love your journals... Seeing your sketches come alive, with new each one I see your growth... Don't ever feel your not good enough... or berate your ability. I am convinced there isn't anything you can't do, achieve or create.... I am soooooo Blessed to have found your blog and you soooooo long ago. I am so blessed to have followed your suggestions of Tam's Art, Heart and Healing workshop... I am well on my way to painting, drawing, and creating the art I have only dreamed about creating.... And it's all because of you! I know that if we lived close, I know we would be great friends... your online friendship is so important to me, even-though we've never met personally I feel like I've known you for years..... Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.... I love you dearly! Keep up your great work!!!! You are AMAZING!!!!!!!
    {{{{{Love & Hugs}}}}}}
    Chel Marie

  6. Your sketch books are going to be filled with so many memories and beautiful sketches, what great keepsakes. I think your sketches are very 'pleasing', I wish I could draw that easily. You are the second person to recommend Alisa's course, I should seriously look into it.
    That fern looks so healthy it is obviously in the right place and with your nurturing it can't loose.
    Mikayla is growing by the day isn't she? She looks so content

  7. Great post Mum!

    I really enjoy looking at your art that you do, whether you've painted it or sketched it, it's pretty good anyway!

    I love seeing the pictures of the fern, when it was small and the way it looks now, it really has grown into a great plant! I wish I was like you, how you see the beauty in plants and trees. I do love the sketches of thr fern and the fern leaf as well, they're pretty good! I even love your sketch of Rachel!

    Lastly, I love the pic of Mikayla, she really does look happy! I love looking at her every time Michelle brings her over, she really is so adorable!

    Love Brad!

  8. Julie, my fern definitely does look very much like yours...they may well be. Thanks for your nice comments.

    Rita, I have always had a black thumb until recent years. I do believe that there are some plant varieties that shake with fear when they see my coming. lol I love ferns too!

    Thanks, Kate. Ferns do love humidity and we sure have plenty of that here. Even so, I still mist my fern with water a few times throughout the day.

    Thanks, Norma. The fern actually grew to adulthood outside under our pergola and has only been brought indoors in recent weeks. It seems to like indoors also, thank goodness.

    Michele, thank you so much for your kind words. I'm so happy that I was able to inspire you.

    Thanks, Lee. Yes, I'm very much enjoying Alisa's class and have already learned a few different techniques for sketching.

    Thanks for taking the time to comment, Brad. Mikayla is sure is adorable ~ xo

  9. wow...look at that fern! and what a beautiful sketch...I love your work so much!

  10. I don't see how your wonderful sketches can get any better but you said you wanted to loosen up a bit. The class sounds fun. It will be interesting to see how you go about the loosening.

    The fern is amazing. What a treasure and especially after seeing it as one frond.

    Sweet, sweet baby too.

  11. Serena your sketches are always awesome. I think you are too hard on yourself.

  12. Wonderful reminder of how wonderful art journaling is. I have just recently stared back to doing one. Thanks for the reminder and for sharing your delightful pages.

  13. I am taking Sketchbook Delight as well. It is a great class! I found your post when I saw your fern sketch posted on the flickr group.

    your sketches are gorgeous! I too struggle with procrastination and perfectionism. I still haven't been sketching much but I plan to review weeks 2 & 3 in the class and do a bunch of sketching this weekend!

    one more thing - I really love the Buddha you have sitting next to your fern :)

  14. Ohhh..she is so gorgeous! And loved reading about and seeing your sketchbook.

  15. I have just had my last lesson of Sketchbook delight. I will now take a couple of weeks to do some work to finish it all off. It has been so much fun, Alisa is so inspiring. It is all about finding your own style and enjoying your art. Just what I needed. She is a great teacher as she shows us her work in process in videos and talks about lots of techniques which you then get to go and play with. I will miss it when it is over. Then again there is part 2 and many other courses as well. I have loved it so much, learnt heaps and most importantly of all it has got my own creative mojo working so much better. Her courses are great value and you get to keep them and I have already referred back to previous lessons. I totally recommend as they are pressure free but full of content.