A Red and Blue Festive Season

Christmas in Australia means summer and summer for my family means the beach. For me the fresh combination of red and blue and white feel more festive than the usual green and red combinations. I’m looking forward to turning some of these and other designs into products in 2016. Whatever your colour preferences I wish you sparkly, bright days and plenty of time to be creative!

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Euphorbia and a Return to Paint

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It’s been a very busy few months with lots of good things going on but not much painting. Now that things have settled down a bit I’ve used these last few weeks to refamiliarise myself with my art materials and explore the gorgeousness that is Euphorbia. We have this plant growing in great abundance in our side garden – it glows in the late afternoon sun and I can’t resist bringing a little to decorate my desk. It has the most fantastic shapes and details as well as a wonderful limey green that I’m completely in love with.

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Free Colouring Sheets to Print and Colour

IMG_0002 Last week I had a chance to draw up some quick colouring sheets for my little botanic garden. Loraine Callow Colouring Sheets The sheets were a great hit with kids visiting our Paint the Gardens event – they swooped on the colouring table with such energy – I was totally delighted! Some folks look down their artistic noses at the idea of colouring – as if it’s “busy work” but the sheer enjoyment of choosing and applying colours to a design holds plenty of appeal – I saw it in action. The only busyness was the sheer number of children who spent time at the table on the day!Loraine Callow Colouring 2 In some of the designs I deliberately left spaces and it was very sweet to see butterflies and beetles and birds being added – all with no direction from any grown up. It’s a lovely, easy to do, social activity, with kids chatting away while they worked at their chosen sheet. The pure happiness in all this has helped carry me through a heavy duty week of work. I’m hoping to do some colouring of my own over Easter! Best to you all.

I’ve made two of the sheets into PDFs, link below – please feel free to download and colour! The top one is is made up flowers and the second is inspired by Kniphofia (red hot pokers) growing in the gardens. Colouring 1 Loraine CallowColouring 3 Loraine Callow Download PDFs to print – Colouring 1 Loraine Callow Colouring 2 Loraine Callow

If Steinbeck Say It’s Okay, It’s Okay

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John Steinbeck has been sitting in the top corner on my computer screen all through my year of mourning and into 2015, quietly keeping me company as I try new things that make me feel like a novice. Things make my brain stretch and hurt, things that make me feel old and inept, things that make me feel that I may never know how to paint again or use the fantastically elaborate and sophisticated programs that promise so much design delight.

Steinbeck has been here as learning makes me feel hopeful and clever and good for having persisted and not succumbing to fear. He’s been here, steady and wise as I’ve begun to paint and draw and design and with me as slowly the fog of sadness has lifted and the joy of being a learner has taken its place.

I’ve learned that there is peace and solace to be had in paint and pencil and pixels and it doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s taken a whole year to hear what Steinbeck had to say to me.

So in my imperfect hand, with ink at the end of my imperfect brush, I pay a perfect tribute to you Mr Steinbeck.

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My Window Garden – Autumn in Melbourne

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Autumn has arrived here in my little corner of Australia and with it comes the morning sun at a slightly different angle – an angle that brings the distinct feeling of seasonal change and registers both the ending of something and the starting of something. It’s a bittersweet combination of melancholy and anticipation for the season ahead. In the meantime I’m full of gladness and deep appreciation that I’m blessed with flowers and a garden. I hope you are enjoying the season wherever you are!

Art Materials Love 2 – Micron Pen, Koh-I-Noor Watercolours

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Here’s a A5 sized hand lettering piece I did last year for a little friend’s birthday. It’s done on 300gms/90lb rough water paper using Sakura Mircron Pen and Koh-I-Noor Brilliant Watercolour – you can see how inky and deep the colours are! They look remarkably flat and not that interesting in the pans themselves but they are very punchy on paper! I’m delighted to say my 10 year old friend was very happy with her leafy name  and has it on the door of her room. 🙂