New Zealand

The Wanderers

I think these babies deserve a bigger post... They’re just so yummy and are seriously making my heart smile.  

The Wanderers are little boats/ships, sometimes with a lady aboard, who are out living a life of adventure. I usually draw these, on one of my crazy painted backgrounds. I love that they feel hopeful and brave and intrepid all at the same time. I kinda hope they inspire other people in the same way! To me they represent a spiritual journey and are all tied up with positive vibes and good juju.



I started making these with a mold made from Jovi air dry clay. It’s quite chunky so that I can create tiny boats by using the inside as a base or go bigger by sculpting a form around the outside. 

I’ve been using Sculptamold and that stuff is yumbo! Really light weight which helps make them feel delicate and you can create awesome texture in its pulpy surface. If you are one of those weird creatures after a smooth surface then you could either make a runny mix, add some PVA or sand your complete boat before you start colouring it. I’m not after perfect so I do none of that.   (You can hear me laughing right?).

Colouring them is waaaaay too much fun. I’m experimenting with creating patina, and layering in some gold leaf. Then dirtying it all up a bit. Heaven!!!!  

The magic ingredient seems to be happening with the final stages of colouring. Blue Interference medium is giving the sheen that you can see. When you add that with ‘a smidge’ (technical term) of colour (turquoise), then you get that aMAZiiiiing paua colour combo that’s happening on the inside.  



Next step is detailing the outside and I cannot wait!! 

Products: Everything I’ve used I got from LeftBank Art Supplies here in Wanganui.  

Jovi Air Dry Clay for base mold

Sculptamold (Frances gave me a packet to try - best BossLady ever)

Gold leaf and size

Derivan Matisse Structure paints

Princeton fine liner brush

Das flat brush

Interference medium - Shimmering blue

Blood, sweat and tears from my own two hands.



Daydreaming and procrastinating

My best intentions to be an 'artist who blogs regularly' never succeed in reality. I'm ok with that 😊. 

For the past couple months I've been working on creating a journal for my classes/students. Something that consolidates design basics, drawing exercises and tips, creative activities and a collection of 'pretty pictures'.  

Its a bigger undertaking than what I thought it would be. It started small and then I realised you can't do this without a bit of that and if you add those then some of them would be great too!  

Its fun to make and fingers crossed it will be fun to work through and will maybe help ignite some creativity and magic in someone else's life. Sharing my passion and all that jazz.

Ive attached a few pictures of completed illustrations - let me know what you think ✌🏼💗✨ 



Spirit Doll Illustration

For Artists Open Studios this year I decided to try something new. I made cocoon dolls, that hang from the ceiling. They embodied a spiritual transition, had delicate illustrations on their bodies and had 'cocoon wraps' of gold leaf. 

Quite a departure from my normal drawing, it was interesting to work in a different medium, with 'new' problems to work through. I've gone back to paper to play with the concept. 

I really like the idea of a range of spirit dolls - made from natural(ish), recycled materials. With crystals attached. Similar in idea to medicine woman dolls. It's fun just to draw them let alone create them as a doll, I need to work on ways of including different elements.

This one became a part of my creative journaling class. I envision her hanging from a tree which is why she's upside down. The first time I drew her and painted her, there was a tragic accident with a gold ink pen. Redrew her and painted it again. There's still a black linework background to add in but I'm loving her so far. It's definitely sparked off a bundle of ideas! 


Close up

2018 AOS dissection

I was in a new spot this year, with the best boss ever Frances Sim Higgins, letting me show my work from LeftBank Art Supplies. 

It was great to be in with other artists and I acquired some sneaky, sneaky tips and skills from being around  Julz Coffey! Julz is reknowned as a Fibre Artist and maker of beautiful things. Quite pleased to be bringing two of her pieces home with me this year! (You can find Julz on Facebook under Julie Coffey Artist and Frances Sim Higgins has a page as well - highly recommend looking at their work annnnd both do workshops and lessons).

I'm not quite sure yet what the highlight was for me from this year. I am the proud new owner of a lovely mixed media piece by Tanya Hayton (The Paper Package), which I'll photograph and share after I pick it up tomorrow. I met lovely folk - as I always do at markets and AOS. My circle of 'woowoo', cool kids has grown as well as some work collaborations I'm pretty excited about! 

What was a nice surprise, was the interest in my 'doodle' pages. Both in the (undrawn on) painted backgrounds, which I prep and scan for my creative journaling. And then the overwhelming response to my little characters and ships was VERY unexpected. I know that my colour combinations are not traditional, so to have so many people love them as a work of art to hang in their homes was seriously awesome sauce! All up, 14 ships, mermaids and magical castles have been adopted by AOS visitors - pretty crazy cool right? With 2 more commissioned. Obviously I need to change my focus and spend my life creating inspiring words and telling stories with lines in white.

I don't remember how many times I've been asked about the pens I use. I happened across them on my internet travels and can honestly say - there is NOTHING like them in New Zealand. Like seriously - they are not sold here. But I'm working on it, with the help of the best boss in the world and a company halfway round the world, we hope (cross your fingers - we're doing the hoop jumping now), to have them for sale soon. It will be worth the wait, I KNOW you're going to love them as much as I do.

For all those who came out and once again supported me, I thank you very much. For those waiting on digital prints of original art works that sold before you could get your hands on them, they will be available within two weeks from my Etsy store. If you live in Wanganui, I will create a coupon code that when used, will let me know you'd like to pick it up from LeftBank Art Supplies.  

Its time for bed now - I have some serious sleeping to catch up on! 

J xox