Milly & the Great Shake Mystery - Children's Picture Book
My mother gave me the gift of reading as a child and memories often bring her words back to me, "You are never alone if you have a good book." These days while browsing around bookstores, I find myself drawn to cleverly illustrated and colourful picture books, not unlike a magpie attracted to shiny things.
Milly's journey began with an illustration. Images and places formed in my mind and characters called for a story of their own. After many false starts and rewrites, a semblance of a children's picture book began to appear on my drawing board.
The character Milly was Inspired by three little sisters of Melanesian heritage. She is spirited, adventurous and loves to dance, just like these beautiful girls.
I found the children's book market lacking in titles featuring children of multicultural backgrounds. These children often find it difficult to relate their own experiences to many mainstream books and characters and this made me determined to create something a little more inclusive.
Milly and the Great Shake Mystery is an adventure, featuring a strong, smart girl, who discovers a magical world and along with it some fun new friends. There is a long road ahead of me in bringing her story to the page, but with a little magic and a lot of hope, I look forward to the day I can share a published book with my little sisters.
Dedicated to Namila, Solali and Kamasi
A Berry Merry Christmas
WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE
Nothing is more wonderful than seeing an animal in its natural habitat.
While some of my animal artwork is commissioned, I also enjoy photographing animals myself and translating their unique and quirky characteristics into drawings and illustrations. Who can resist a wombat joey playfully curling into a ball or a cheeky raccoon watching secretly from its hiding place?
In 2016 I was fortunate to be able to exhibit at the Australian National Zoo Annual Art Auction. This event raises funds for animal protection projects across the world. The National Zoo purchased my Ngagi (Baby Gorilla) and Field Mouse submissions for sale in its gallery and gift shop.
Medium: Polychromos pencil, pastel and gouache.
Playful Wombat Joey
Busy Field Mouse
Winter Fox Cub
Vonu - Green Sea Turtle
Ngagi (Baby Gorilla) safe in Mama's arms
Keen eye of the White Wolf
THROUGH HER EYES
A fascination for the visage of women from around the globe, led me to my ongoing project Through Her Eyes. Front facial views capture magnetic eyes and momentary emotions and expressions. My aim is to capture from a similar viewpoint, the essence of each woman within their cultural setting and timespace.
Medium: Polychromos pencil, pastel, ink and gouache.
Through Her Eyes
Masai Warrior Princess
Lancelot's Muse - Lady of Shallot
Shoshoni Tribal Dancer
We have all known and treasured the boundless and unconditional love of our bestie beasts. From the scruffiest mongrel to the pedigree steed, the human-animal connection is indefinable.
Many of these pieces were private commissions to celebrate this special bond and connection and it brings me great joy to be able to preserve the connection for all time.
Medium: Polychromos pencil, pastel and gouache.
Minx & James
Gherkin & Mr Pickles
Graphite pencil is another of my favourite mediums. Simple but effective, it is brilliant for capturing more subtle details and contours. With the distraction of colour removed, I am free to concentrate on the play of light and shadow and the result is quite dramatic.
Medium: Graphite pencil
Lagertha - Viking Shieldmaiden
Twice as much fun
Two Front Teeth
The innocence of youth, a time for wide-eyed wonder, joy and the simple pleasures of life.
Nothing is more honest and open than a child's expression. The joy, mood and playfulness is plain for all to see. With no conditioning or preconceived ideas, they view the world as it truly is.
Namila Oceane - coffee wash
Dandelion - polychromos pencil & pastel
Childhood Memories - graphite pencil & ink
Lillian - polychromos pencil & pastel
Opti Girl - polychromos pencil & pastel
Max - polychromos pencil
Danielle - pastel and polychromos pencil
We all love story time. Whether reading to a child or remembering a time you looked forward to that journey in your own childhood. For just a moment, we can escape into an exciting other world. A world of strange looking creatures and magical spells or far off places, where life is very different and things can happen with the wave of a hand. The sky is the limit in our imaginary worlds.
By bringing characters and fantasies to life, story time stretches the imagination and allows us to fly for a moment.
Burning Bright - oil on canvas
Troll Tales - polychromos pencil & pastel
Witch's Kitchen - watercolour pencil & graphite
Bee Life - polychromos pencil & gouache
Hoi An Festival - polychromos pencil & pastel
The Little Mermaid - watercolour pencil
Beach Days - oil on canvas
The Magic of Books - watercolour pencil & gouache
The Wizard - gouache & ink
THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS
The 52 Week Illustration Challenge, an online artist forum, came into my life by chance in 2014 and I am so glad that it did. The Challenge has had the most important impact on my artistic world since early art school days. Created by talented author and illustrator Tanya McCartney, this forum has led many of us back to our artistic souls over the past 4 years.
Working as a designer in marketing and media for many years, my authentic artist was crying out to be heard. The Challenge led me back through the looking glass to find that soul.
This page features a selection of themed, weekly posts that filled our weeks with colour, laugh and joy.
Forever thankful to Tanya and the amazing arty friends I have made, for the inspiration and impetus this space gave me to once again follow my illustrative path.
Special memento commissions are particularly rewarding for me as an artist. The creative journey in celebration of milestone birthdays, travel memories or a family treasures, is an opportunity to create an enduring record and bring happiness to the lives of the recipients.