Wednesday, 29 July 2015

sally's picks - week 29: LOVE

Ahhhhh Love... such a wonderful feeling.  I loved doing my love piece this week as I zoned out to the feeling of falling in love.  I have loved seeing all the wonderful images of love this week.  What's not to love about love.  So here are the ones that I really LOVED!

Anita Gadzinska

Sophie Pittaway

Jess Racklyeff

Marie Laure Fontan
Vair Buchanan

Natalie Daniel

Patricia Ward

Penny Fisher

Izabella Ward

Lauren Tregenza

Michelle Freeman

Peter Hinton

Ian McLean

Smell Sky Walker

Birgitta Eriksson

Deborah Parker

Heidi Cooper

Leonie Cheetham

Lesley McGee

Nicky Johnston

Peter Papamonolis

Raffaella Picotti

Ramona Van Bakkum

Monday, 27 July 2015

meet challenge director - Nicky Johnston

Nicky Johnston

1. Your name, location:
Nicky Johnston, Melbourne Australia
Week 18 2014: CELESTIAL BODY

2. Describe your family

We are a large, noisy, busy, crazy, loving, noisy, funny, noisy, large family! With four boys (4yrs, 8yrs, 13yrs, 16yrs), we are always out and about doing something. There is never a dull moment. It is not surprising that I love the silence that late working late into the night brings. 
"Cocoon" THEME by Nicky Johnston

3. Describe your work
I never really know how to answer when I am asked 'what work do you do?'. So, depending on how much time I have will influence my answer! I have a number occupations....I am a primary school teacher and for 15 years have been working for RACV as an incursion Traffic Safety Educator in primary schools. I also visit schools as an author/illustrator inspiring children to continue their passion for writing and drawing. I am  a mental health advocate and presenter raising awareness of mental health issues, particularly in children, speaking at conference, seminars, teacher PD's and I'm a community presenter for Black Dog Institute.

In terms of my 'artwork', I have had others describe my work as emotive, nostalgic, whimsical, soft, and connecting to childhood memories. At the moment I tend to use mainly colour pencils, watercolours and inks, but also work in pastel, acrylics and collage.

Week 47 2014: NEW YORK by Nicky Johnston

4. What is your career goal? 
My goal is to continue working in the children's book industry writing and illustrating quality, beautiful, impacting children's books. My other  passion is art and teaching, so in addition to school workshops,  I also want to start running private children art classes again. 

Week 14 2015: WHIMSY by Nicky Johnston

5. Describe your art background 

I have been drawing and painting my whole life. I still have some of my very first drawings and my first 'books' that I made. When I was 9, I started art classes at a local gallery and it was there I honed my skills in drawing and oil painting. When I was in Year 9 (high school), I was invited to attend the Year 11 Art Camp - I had brilliant teachers and parents who pushed me beyond my realised boundaries.

I began running my own art classes for children, and for many years I taught young children to follow their passion for art. I had the same students for 7-8 years!

No matter what job I have had, somehow, my art has always become part of it. I was an educator for Juvenile Justice Centre, where I worked with young, talented graffiti artists. I painted murals on the walls at two employment offices and became the 'sign writer' for others. Now, I develop and create teaching resources used by the Traffic Safety Educators at my current employment.

Week 46 2014:CIRCUS by Nicky Johnston
6. What do you love about the Challenge?
I started the Challenge with Tania McCartney (founder) week 1 in 2014 and fell in love with not only having a 'purpose' for my art, but the beautiful people involved. Over the past year and a half, I have met many courageous, kind, thoughtful and creative souls who I consider my dear friends. I have gained an enormous amount of knowledge about products, techniques and community spirit through this Challenge.

I feel so grateful to be part of this group and truly believe it has changed me as a person, helping me become confident in my own work and remain completely true to myself. It has enforced my belief in life to not be competitive but be creative. Celebrating the talent, successes, achievements of others brings me pure happiness.

Week 26 2014: CLOUDS by Nicky Johnston

7. Tell us something we don't already know about you...
I am scared of snails. I like to lick the beaters when I bake a cake. I am a worrier. It has taken me over 30 years to learn to love watercolours. I am a 2nd Dan Black belt in Karate - apparently this gains instant respect from my boys' friends!

Oh, and I have just signed a contract with EK Books to illustrate a beautiful, touching children's book written by the talented Dimity Powell..... very exciting news.

Self-portrait - Nicky Johnston

Follow Nicky Online:








Children's Books:
Go Away, Mr Worrythoughts

Happythoughts are Everywhere...

Actually, I Can

The Worst Pain in the World

Giclee Prints

and other accessory items

Theatrical Production:
Go Away, Mr Worrythoughts - produced by Frankston Arts Centre bookings can be made for all primary schools in Victoria, Australia.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

lisa-marie's picks - week 28: Winter

"Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire:it is the time for home." Edith Sitwell

It is also the time when 52 week challenge members filled my news feed with the most exquisite illustrations that warmed my heart and made me forget it was cold outside. Every day you all inspire me so much. Thank you for sharing your creative gifts with the world, and for being cheerleaders for your fellow artists.

Here are some of the illustrations that resonated with me this week. 

Annie Hamilton Grundy

Deborah Parker

Elin (3)

Karen Allen

Kathleen Potter

Leonie Cheetham

Margaret Dewar

Nanette Evans

Nicky Johnston 

Patricia Ward

Paul Heppell

Peter Papamanolis

Ramona Davey

Ramona Van Bakkum

Sally Fawcett

Sarah Ang

Sarah Hart

Shayne McCormack

Sophie Pittaway

Vickie Stokes

Marie Laure Fontan