Sentinels In The Distance

Renewal

Dusk…A Special Time

Earlier this week we were treated to some beautiful colours at Dusk.

I was inside during this time, painting and I happened to glance out of the window at just the right time. The images below were snapped with my phone as often the colours will disappear quite quickly, and as someone once said, ‘the best camera is the one you have on you at the time…’.

I hope you enjoy ‘Mother Nature’s Art as much as I did.

Written by David Johnson

28 July 2022

Mental Transfusion

Relaxation That Follows/Waiting For Inspiration

As my Followers would be aware, recently my Wife and I went to Norfolk Island. Since returning from Paradise it ‘has been all go’ though strangely (but no surprise) I have felt a greater sense of relaxation throughout this busy time. I put that down to the way of life that is Norfolk Island.

Anson Bay, Norfolk Island

I have felt this way before after both our previous trips to the Island. It is hard to imagine unless you have experienced it but as soon as you step off the plane on Norfolk Island a wave of relaxation washes over you. Each time upon returning home, that relaxation has followed me.

We have been very busy since our return (even though the sense of relaxation remained)…

  • Our Finance Broking business is growing more and more/more enquiries since our return
  • I am also part of an emerging BNI (Business Network International) business breakfast referral group
  • Doing training/education associated with both of the above
  • I continue to do my Entrepreneurship Facilitator role (mentoring start-up businesses)
  • My Watercolour Sketch a Day project continues
  • I am gearing up to have a stall for my Watercolours down at Red Point Artist Association in May
  • Still involved with Toastmasters (though have only made it to one meeting)
  • Judging at one of the local Photographic Societies
  • Catching up with Family/Friends

One thing that had not happened since my return was ‘my morning writing time’, or indeed much writing time at all. It is a bit of a culture-shock to come back from such a relaxing holiday and jump headlong into being so busy but ‘life waits for no-one!’ I usually enjoy an hour or two on a Saturday and/or Sunday morning. Sometimes, it is later in the day.

I haven’t put many poems on the blog since my return almost 6 weeks ago. It is probably (since I started writing poetry in 2013) the longest writing break I’ve experienced since then.

For a moment there I started to think that maybe ‘my poetry writing had run its course…’. This morning (Good Friday here in Australia), I finally felt like picking up my trusty Fountain Pen and started to write, inspired by a photo I took whilst on Norfolk Island. A short, twelve-line poem came out, then a sixteen-line one, then an eight-line one, all of which I will upload.

Sometimes I guess, we just have to let ‘Nature take its course…’. The seeds of the Poems were there…I just had to be patient and wait for the inspiration to come…

Till next time!

Written and Photographed by David Johnson

15 April 2022

Mother Nature’s Hand

1,091 Days and Counting…My Daily Art Practice

Today marks the 3rd anniversary since I started my ‘Daily Art Practice’ of a ‘Watercolour Sketch a Day’. For my 1,091st day I decided to sketch/paint a subject that I really seem to enjoy, a Lighthouse.

“Afternoon On The Coast”

One day, I will gather up all my Lighthouse sketches and put them in a blog post for no other reason than to see them altogether. I think it would be fun!

Looking back, I was pleased to do 7 days in a row and when I reached 1 month I really had no expectations of being able to keep up this daily Art practice for 1 year, yet alone 3.

My goals for the ‘Daily Art Practice’ were:

  • Aim to do one Watercolour Sketch a day (and look no further than that)
  • Be a Sponge
  • Improve my skills through practice
  • Lean from my mistakes
  • Practice, practice, practice!

I don’t believe I am ‘naturally talented’ in sketching and painting. Like all children I did draw at school and at home though I am not one of those Artists ‘who have been drawing/painting all throughout their life’, studied Art and are now full-time Artists. (I’m actually a Mortgage Broker and co-run our business with my Wife, Susan and have an additional Mentoring role for Small Business startups. I’m also involved in Toastmasters {Public Speaking}, and BNI {Business Networking}, as well as two other associations).

From 1982 – 2016 I was firmly entrenched in Photography. In the 1990’s, I briefly had an interest in drawing but that didn’t last long as Photography was ‘still King’. In 2010, I took a basic Drawing course and began dabbling in Watercolour (briefly) before dabbling in Acrylic and Oil over the years. In 2016, I decided to concentrate on Oils but it seemed difficult to find the time, consistently.

In 2018, I rediscovered Watercolour though finding the time seemed difficult again. I had a ‘real desire’ to learn it and started looking for ways to allocate more time to it and was (over the course of time) attracted as well to Line and Wash. On Australia Day, 26 January 2019 I decided to aim to do a Watercolour Sketch a Day.

Along the journey so far I’ve:

  • Learnt about some sketching, drawing and painting techniques
  • Colour mixes
  • Brush use
  • Colour Theory
  • Made an innumerable amount of mistakes
  • Increased my belief in myself that I can do this
  • Sold 3 A4 paintings (unexpected)
  • Joined Red Point Artists Association, Port Kembla
  • Made some great connections through Art groups

What’s next?

Well, I still have a lot to learn (and there’s more fun to have) so tomorrow I’m aiming to a Watercolour Sketch and the day after, another one…

My Daily Art practice with Watercolour has also re-inspired my Oil Painting practice so I am aiming to allocate time to that on a regular basis now and am planning to enter some Art Exhibitions and submit my own Art to the next Members Exhibition of the Red Point Artists Association.

Till next time!

Written by David Johnson

26 January 2022

My Watercolour Sketch a Day images can be found at:

https://www.instagram.com/communicatingcreatively/

My larger paintings can be found at:

https://www.instagram.com/light.inspired/

Calming Influence

A Way To Escape!

One of the ways I’ve been ‘escaping’ in this current lockdown environment is my walks which are allowed, currently within 5 kilometres (3.1 miles) from home. We are blessed to have access to the Nepean River at Camden which is a beautiful spot to walk through (and picnic in normal times).

During lockdown and due to time constraints of the working day, I only get to go down to the Nepean River, Camden on a Wednesday and on the weekend. On other days, I just walk around the suburb. This may sound quite boring, and it could be if not for my nearly 40 years training my eye, firstly via photography and now via sketching and painting as well.

By ‘training me eye’ I mean looking within the scene and the way light interacts with a subject. There is just so much beauty around in seemingly mundane surroundings.

The following images are taken within the suburbs of the 5 kilometre radius we are are restricted to at present.

There are many benefits to be obtained from walking, with exercise being just one of them. I get ideas whilst I walk, for paintings, photos, poetry, articles and business. I either listen to Mother Nature, podcasts or music.

It is quite an immersive experience and a perfect way to ‘escape lockdown.’ I get to walk more days than not during the month. I’m not a good ‘cold-weather’ walker normally so to know that I commenced my latest walking programme in July, which is the middle of Winter in Sydney, was quite pleasing for me.

In programmed walks I have walked 51 kilometres (31.6 miles) in July, 72 kilometres (44.7 miles) in August and am around the 40 kilometre (24.8 miles) mark in September so far. In Winter I walked more towards the middle of the day and as it heats up during Spring/Summer I will walk earlier or later in the day.

Once lockdown is over I shall continue my walks and continue to view the beauty that surrounds!

Written by David Johnson

19 September 2021

A Stunning Display