Leanne Barrett

Monday, 4 June 2018

My Practice Inspired by the Sketchbook Revival

Frenetic
Fun
Fabulous
Freeing

These four words are what I would use to describe my experience of the 2018 Sketchbook Revival: An Online Workshop created by Karen Abend.

It was quite a task to complete the 24 workshops that ran for two official weeks - with a 2 week catch up period. Each day there were two sessions to learn new techniques and mediums from a range of artist's that work towards sketching daily. Each session's video length was around one hour, so on top of the viewing time I spent extra time stopping and starting the videos, following the process to create my own sketchbook pages.
See my sketchbook revival creations later in this post.

Reflection On Workshop

It is now a few weeks since I finished the workshops and I'm really pleased that I took the time to immerse myself in developing my craft's; skills and techniques. Many of the workshops aligned with other creative practices that I am currently following ie: The Artist's Way by Julian Cameron and the Jen Storer's, Scribbles online creative writing course.

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Canberra Children's Illustrators May Coffee and Pictures

This month we met at Pollen, the cafe at the Australian National Botanical Gardens, with the idea that we would spend some time sketching in the gardens. The weather forecast of only 11 degrees and showers were against us. At the halfway mark we were having so many worthwhile conversations that we all decided to continue with sharing our artworks, tips and materials. As usual the two hours flew by and while the cafe was closing the conversations didn't stop and some of us talked in the car park for another 30 - 40 minutes. 

Monday, 16 April 2018

Ideas Jar - Loving the Salamander!

Wow what a change a few days can make.

When I first found out that I was going to have to draw a salamander I totally recoiled. I have now sketched a salamander for the last 4 days and I'm loving this little guy or gal.

Since the terrible first sketch I have drawn my salamander  7 times. Here is a sneak peek at some of the sketches.



Friday, 13 April 2018

Sketching Ideas Jars - Why a salamander?

One of  my goals for 2018 was to draw every day. I haven't yet been successful with this daily practice. So this week I joined a new group, Sketchbook Revival Online Workshop, it will begin in late April. I hope by doing this workshop that it will help me with my daily drawing.

How did I find this group?
Nina Rycroft highlighted this workshop at the end of her blog How to use your sketchbook practice to find your illustration style. In Nina's blog I read about Idea Jars. Idea Jars are filled with words to help inspire you to draw. I now have 3 jars labelled; animal, objects and actions, and in these jars I have 380 words.

I bought a new sketchbook for the workshop and decided that I needed to conquer my fear of how bad or good my drawings are in this book. It's about practice, ideas and opening yourself to creativity. 'But I don't want to ruin my new book!' I heard my inner child say to that horrible inner critic. I reminded myself that if I can do what ever I want in my Intuitive Art Journal (Sylvia Marris) no judgements, then I can do the same to my drawing sketchbook! Today I drew out the word the animal - Salamander.
My inner conversation went like this.

Monday, 26 March 2018

Creative Kids Tales Writers Festival 2018 Wrap Up

Georgie Donaghey asked the attendees of the Creative Kids Tales Writers Festival 2018 to be 'Prepare to be inspired!' and we were definitely inspired.

The hand of hope is needed in the story. - Suzanne Gervay
Write something memorable. - Suzanne Gervay
Do things in a positive light. - Georgie Donaghey
Take the germ of the truth, then lie and be good at it. - Wai Chim
Go to lots of talks and gleam ideas. - Tristan Bancks
Write the story that only you can tell. Your heart story. - Sue Whiting
Authors please leave space in your manuscript for the illustrator. - Sarah Davis
Illustrators are like film directors, they choose the cast (characters) and the set for the action to occur. - Sarah Davis

Friday, 9 March 2018

Canberra Children's Illustrators March Coffee and Pictures

To meet, share and chat is an opportunity that is too precious to miss. It warms my heart that people keep coming to each meeting.

I know that everyone who wants to come can't always attend because somehow the rest of life manages to get in the way. But when you are able to get together it is special.

These meeting's are scheduled a bit randomly. We try to get together at least once a school term, while trying to work around many other literary events on the calendar.



This month we met at Bookplate at the National Library of Australia. We talked about all things illustration. We discussed: painting techniques, pencils, parchment paper, the brand of watercolours we use, light pads, mechanical pencils, sculpey modelling clay, pens and copic markers.

Danielle has been on the book launch trail.
Jess is busy making clothes.
Kelly and I are loving Nina Rycroft's Picture Book Illustration eCourse.
Tania showed us some of her botanical illustrations, just divine! You can find Tania's illustrations on her Facebook page.
Catherine is working her way through the Character Design Weekly Challenge themes.
Stephanie gave us a seek peek at a map she is drawing for an upcoming book.
Suzy showed us some beautiful small illustrations that are reflecting her stages of pregnancy.
Genevieve is busy with William Brambleyberry, her beautiful family and growing baby number two.

Everyone that came received a two page list of upcoming booky events in the Canberra region. This list also included some online courses, plus a couple of illustration competitions people might be interested. See the list at the bottom of this blog for more information. 

NEXT MEETING:

We discussed the next meeting and thought a trip to the Australian National Botanic Gardens might be a lovely location, plus we could do some sketching of plants while we are there. At the May meeting we will chat over coffee for the first hour and then wonder along some of the pathways and sketch for the other hour. As usual children are welcome.

Canberra Children's Illustrators Coffee Pictures & Sketching
Date: Saturday 12 May 2018 (please note date change as the Sunday is Mother's Day)
Time: 2 - 4pm
Location:  Pollen located at the Australian National Botanic Gardens, Clunies Ross St, Acton ACT
RSVP: Please message me for numbers

Thursday, 1 March 2018

CBCA Notables Books Wrap Up

In Canberra on Tuesday night (27 February) CBCA ACT Branch and Harry Hartog hosted the CBCA Book of The Year Awards Notables List Announcement. See the complete list here.

It was a glorious night catching up with authors, illustrators, teacher librarians and other book lovers.

We were delighted that two of our local authors' books were long listed.

Tania McCartney's book Merry Everything, illustrated by Jess Racklyeft, was long listed for the Picture Book of the Year Award.

Cate Whittle's book Trouble and the New Kid, illustrated by Michael Stephen King, was long listed for the category of Younger Readers.

There were so many wonderful books chosen this year and as per usual some books that you hoped would make the list but didn't.

I was fortunate enough to have reviewed the following Notable Books for Kids' Book Review.