Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Paint it OUT!

Sometimes you just need to paint it out...  and the lull is over.
Paint it OUT! – painted using acrylic paint on large canvas while listening to fave music.
When I'm in a lull (stuck, down, completely uninterested in anything, no energy, nil will or drive, unmotivated and burdened by an impossibly heavy dark mood... hmmm, depressed?) I've found that the only thing that can break it is to just paint it the hell out. So I did...

The other day I spent a good solid 4 hours in my studio doing just that. I found a big old canvas, chose a few colours I felt like painting and put my fave music on (which at the moment is The Cure, Standing on a Beach). The canvas started out the other way around with black at the top but when I had finished painting, I turned it around to paint the sides and decided I liked it better with the black at the bottom. Not sure where the red came from - I didn't choose it but somehow it managed to work its way in during the process. Sneeky...

I love painting like this – no plan just letting it go, letting it out on a blank canvas using colour and my hands. I can look at that canvas now and see exactly where my head was at, how I was feeling - a snap shot of before. All that crap that was stopping me from creating has been expelled and captured on a canvas... much better there than in my head! ;)

Feeling so much better now... x

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Tea Fixes Everything

Tea Fixes Everything – art print available at my Etsy shop, kazartgallery.

I have this saying which I say a lot. Its origin is a mystery – not sure if I came up with it myself or picked it up from somewhere else but it feels like it is entirely mine.

The saying is "Tea Fixes Everything", which I'm sure you've heard me say at least a trillion times before.

It is true though. Tea does fix everything... usually. However at the moment I am in a lull and even tea isn't working. I can't find the motivation or energy or focus I need to get things done or even started. Its like something is missing. My drive has gone. My confidence is zilch. I barely have enough energy to get through an ordinary uneventful day.

I tell myself it will pass, take it easy and maybe tomorrow I will wake up and the spark will be back. I wouldn't normally write about something like this on my blog but I figured it was better than writing nothing at all. Maybe it will help shake it loose so I can just get on with it.

Maybe I just need to do something mundane for a few days like weeding to get it out of my system ;)

Or maybe I'm just tired and tomorrow I will wake up and feel alive again. x

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Make For Good Campaign 2016

So happy to be a part of the Make For Good campaign at Etsy!

The Make For Good project is powered by Etsy sellers from Australia and New Zealand in support of Plan International’s Because I Am A Girl campaign. 20% of the sale price of marked items will be donated to Plan’s Because I Am A Girl Campaign. All funds raised will go towards supporting projects that help make a difference in the lives of girls held back by poverty and gender inequality. To learn more about this project go to

If you would like to help, please go to my etsy shop kazartgallery and purchase one of these prints:

makeforgood Rainbow art prints are for sale at kazartgallery
This artwork by me was inspired by my own animal loving, world changing daughters... xo

Another artwork created by me for this amazing project x
To purchase an art print go to my etsy shop kazartgallery

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Phoebe – The Lull

It had been a while and Phoebe had been very patient but her head was hurting and Monday morning was always such a disappointment. Another week and still she hadn't seemed to have gotten anywhere. Enthusiasm, nil... energy, zilch... she sat and tried to pick herself up. Was this just a sugar burn out? Did she eat too many jelly beans yesterday? Maybe listening to The Cure really loud would help... usually it did. Or maybe this was just a lull, an unscheduled stop in her journey. Anyway, Phoebe decided to kick back, take a moment, and wait for something to happen... x

Phoebe – The Lull – as usual, this illo started with a pencil sketch which was scanned onto the Mac and redrawn in Adobe Illustrator. Phoebe and the stop sign were coloured in Illustrator as well. Then in Photoshop, I added the hand-painted background texture (which is actually a scan of one of my painted canvasses) and the Kazart swirl. The grass was painted in Photoshop, as well as the jelly beans, etc. 
This illustration took about 5 to 6 hours to create. There were so many layers involved! Also I was a bit rusty having not done a Phoebe illo in a while but it was sooo enjoyable. A challenge as usual as I started out with a rough sketch and a scribbled story and then slowly it evolved as I re-sketched and started to put it together. I'm never really sure how it is going to end up but I've learned to just trust the creative process and let Phoebe steer. Seriously, if I try and take control it just ends up in a car crash... x

PS. this Phoebe illo is dedicated to her most loyal fan, Michelle, who has never given up on her in spite of Phoebe's absence from the universe for a while... thanks for your patience & encouraging comments, Michelle. xo

Thursday, 1 September 2016

How does a chook tip toe?

Took a bit of research and a lot of imagination but eventually I came to the conclusion that chickens don't actually tip toe in real life... that's where the imagination came in. I kept imagining cartoon characters tip toeing along to the tinkle sound of a piano - you know the sound. Anyway today I tackled the colour illo for Betty tip toeing past a... you'll have to get the book when it comes out to find out!? Here she is... x
Betty the chicken, tip toeing – hand sketched using very light lead pencil and then coloured with Derwent colour pencils. The crest and floppy bits around her face are actually coloured with a pastel pencil as the texture looked better. Have to admit that she doesn't come across as sneeky as I was hoping – maybe once the rest of the illo is done it will make sense. Or we could just add sound effects... hmmm.
Colour illo & original pencil rough – took a while to get those legs right – hope she at least looks like she's trying to  tip toe?? Ha!
Hope to post the next colour illo for the children's book I'm illustrating, Betty the Homing Hen, over the next few days. Til then... x

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Time to start the Chook Book...

According to my Collins Pocket Dictionary, the word 'procrastinate' means 'to put off, delay'. I thought the meaning would be much more dire than that – more like 'to sit on a project for years due to lack of confidence in one's ability to actually start and or finish it and have it constantly niggling at your brain until it sends you completely insane!' Or is that just me...

Anyway, today I started (restarted?) a project that has been sitting in my pile of stuff to do for 5 years. EEK!! I actually did start it way back then but it came to a halt when I started a full-time job 4 years ago. My, how time flies?! Lets just call that 4 year span 'the creative coma' which sucked up all my spare time, energy and life leaving me zapped like a tired uncreative drone stuck in auto-pilot. Too severe? Maybe. BUT now I am unemployed, extremely happy, unstressed and drawing again, so able to finally get back to the project. Hardest part was getting to the drawing table, getting my head back into it and picking up the pencil. Once I started though, it felt sooo amazing!! Why had it taken me so long?! It wasn't as hard or as daunting as I had over-imagined it to be... it was actually do-able. Lets blame it on procrastination.

What is the project?
Illustrating a childrens book called 'Betty the Homing Hen' written by an extremely good friend of mine, Karen Wynn-Jones. Four years ago, I had actually gotten as far as pencil roughs and page layouts so all I really needed to do now was get started on the colour illustrations. I had already decided to use colour pencil and pastels so finally, today, I finished the main character illustration. The relief I felt was undescribable!
Here she is... x
Betty – colour pencil illustration of the main character of upcoming childrens book, Betty the Homing Hen
written by Karen Wynn-Jones and currecntly being illustrated by me.
The final illo and the original pencil rough of Betty.

As I do the illos I will post them, so you can keep up to date with the progress of the book. I'm so excited to finally be doing this... x

A Very Strange Cat

I have a pile of small painted canvases in my studio that I painted a while back to use as backgrounds for my Phoebe illos. I've been wondering what to do with them – I decided to put them to good use and paint silly cats on them to sell on Etsy or at the markets. So today I painted a cat. Not a realistic painting of a cat or a portrait, but just a silly character of a cat. Actually this one is quite mean and grumpy but silly none the less...
Strange Cat on Canvas – acrylic paint on a small canvas (9.5 x 11.5 in)

Not sure if I like this cat but the fur was fun and at least it got me started AND I actually finished it. But should I even be painting? It didn't feel right – maybe it was too small? I think it made me realise that I should be drawing more and painting less. I love painting expressively with colour but I struggle with the paintbrush when it comes to painting an actual subject – I just want to ditch the paintbrush for a pencil or pastel or charcoal... mmm charcoal. Actually, the more I think about it, its because the canvas was so small and I found it really confining working on such a small scale.

What have I learnt today? Stick to what you love – which in my case is drawing, NOT painting. Saying that, I do enjoy painting but mostly BIG expressive colourful painting on HUGE canvases. Fiddly little paint brushes are just not for me... x