Society6 : free worldwide shipping

available for most things in my Society6 shop


I’ve added cushions, tote bags, and wall clocks to the main Casa das Flores design…perfect for the summer holidays!

Casa das Flores tote bags on Society6Also, I’ve put some of my beloved’s quirky black-and-white ink drawings in the shop, available as small or medium prints.

Candle Poet on Society6His style is very different to mine, as you can see! Themes are cycling, sailing, the author and the love/hate relationship with his muse, and general weirdness…

Cycling in The Outback on Society6

I’ll be uploading many more of his drawings to the Society6 shop over the next couple of weeks (travel is expensive, we didn’t have much money to begin with, so we will be mining all the creative works we can dig up!)

A new design for Society6 (at last!)

Casa das Flores

I think my craving for old colonial buildings in Brazil is finally mellowing. I am spending less time running around trying to draw them all, and more time being inspired by my own sketches, using them as a springboard for more imaginative works.
Casa das Flores (detail)
In this one I imagined a three-storey building as a vase for giant flowers and foliage.
Casa das Flores (detail)The original painting was made with watercolours, gouache, and a sepia drawing pen on Arches HP paper. At first I really meant to colour the house as brightly as the flowers, using this sketch of Theatro Santa Roza as my guide, but after drawing the building in pen, saw that an almost black-and-white house provided better contrast.
Theatro Santa Roza

I can always try again: the ideas that I didn’t use in this painting will probably turn up in the next, and in the ones after that…
studies and thumbnails (Casa das Flores)This is available as an Art Print on paper and canvas in my SOCIETY6 shop. I will try to have the design available as bags, throw pillows, phone cases, and other products, before the end of the week.

Casa das Flores art print on Society6

rainy day painting

cerveja Bohemia
The rainy season started a few days ago…and on Sunday the trains don’t run, either (boo!) I stayed home, on the gloomy shadowy boat, shut in to keep the rain out, making postcards out of cereal boxes and sketching a bottle of my favorite local beer.
March 8 rainy day
Also a salgadinho…a fancy name for any savoury snack. This one was sort of like a sausage roll, but made with better pastry. A dollar for three, but they were small.

sketchbook pages

sketch mosaicIn case you weren’t aware of it, I keep images of most of my recent sketchbook pages on another blog, schizzograffia.

I haven’t been taking many photos or doing much in the way of deep thinking, lately (LOL) but Kris and I have been going out to sketch things in the towns to our left and right (João Pessoa and Cabedelo) pretty much every other day. Full-sized images are on there…you can click the mosaic of pages, too.

street art, João Pessoa (Brasil)

street art around Joao Pessoa

street art around Joao Pessoa

street art around Joao Pessoa

street art around Joao Pessoa
street art around Joao Pessoastreet art around Joao Pessoa
street art around Joao Pessoa
street art around Joao Pessoa
street art around Joao Pessoa

street art around Joao Pessoa
street art around Joao Pessoa

street art, Olinda (Brasil)

Olinda street art1
Carnaval em Olinda

Olinda street art3


Carnaval em Olinda



Carnaval em Olinda

street art around Joao Pessoa


26 Feb sketchwalk1
We went on a proper sketchwalk yesterday…left the camera at home to avoid the temptation to be lazy and use the excuse that I’m going to draw from photographs, later (really, really not the same…and you can see it very clearly in the drawings). I took a homemade brown paper bag sketchbook, a sepia felt-tip pen, a water brush and my watercolors, a white Steadtler Omnichrom pencil for highlights.

We took the 7:35 train into the Centro Historico, walked up the hill to the same mustard-yellow church, Igreja de São Pedro Gonçalves, that I’d photographed last Monday, and I found a cozy corner to sit in, right next to the Hotel Globo, a grand first subject. Kris walked off toward the train crossing to draw the little shacks and people on the other side of the tracks (European-style architecture doesn’t stir his soup, he grew up drawing castles and medieval buildings in Prague).

An hour and a half later we wandered up a cobbled street so steep that it was astounding (the aptly named “Ladeira de São Francisco” or Slope of Saint Francis) till we came to a stone bunker, the Casa da Pólvora (Gunpowder House, where they kept the gunpowder to defend the city). From this high vantage point I sketched the church we’d just left behind, looking over the brick roofs of its abandoned abbey buildings, the city, mangroves and hazy river lying behind.
26 Feb sketchwalk2

I only got two drawings done…I think I was trying too hard to accurately draw the Hotel Globo, and got mired in the details of perspective for far too long. We stopped at noon, when the sun beat down on the cobbled streets and there were no patches of shade to hide under in the Historical Center. We had lunch at a little open air rodizio (you are given a plate piled high with black bean stew, rice, and spaghetti noodles…and a waiter walks around with huge skewers of various char-grilled meats, and slices of the pieces you choose. He will keep on coming around, to pile more meat on your plate, until you ask him to stop. We pay $5.50 for two)

Then we went home.

The train runs from Cabedelo to Sta. Rita, along the ancient sugarcane-hauling route; João Pessoa and Jacaré are just two stations apart. One ride on the train, from anywhere to anywhere, costs 50 centavos…that’s 17 US cents. Mass transport is heavily subsidized by the Brazilian government. The trains are old, but very clean, extremely safe (two armed military police walk the length of the train during every single trip it makes) punctual, and never crowded. With going into the city so easy and cheap, I would like to go on sketchwalks several times a week…I have found that nothing makes me happier, while here, than sitting for a few hours and drawing what I see.