Studio Practice Feed

The Steadfast Oak

It's no secret that I adore all forms of block printing. There is something incredibly connective to nature to me to be able to create in this layered form of expression. I miss nothing in the creative process.

They do take a long time but there is so much time to think, to focus and to understand each note of nature. First the sketches, then drawing out onto to a lino or wood block and then inking, the reveal and then the addition of colours.

Steadfast oak|"Steadfast Oak ~ Quercus robur"
 Cheralyn Darcey 2015
mixed media mono print and linocut on paper, ink, watercolour and acrylic 150 x 210mm

I also began a return to mono printing after seeing Gelli Print plates a while ago. I had experimented with Gelatine Plates (the method these are based on) probably 30 years ago now and although I did enjoy it, I have to say Gelli Print have perfected the creative process with these tools. Love them. So I've been experimenting with a combination of mono printing with Gelli plates and lino printing. This is the first artwork that I'm really happy with after months of experimentation with all the combinations and styles I was dreaming up!

I haven't exhibited in a few years and I have the itch! This is the first in what I hope is a body of work for a solo next year. 

Canberra Travels & Research

Go to Canberra in Winter?! 
Not only does my oldest and one of my dearest friends live there but Canberra in winter is just gorgeous! Sunny, brilliant pure blue skies, rust leaves, glass flat lake, quiet bike and hiking trails, toasty fires and the ever present national institutions which are my friends in research. 

Last week, I spent 4 days in Canberra, riding Petal my bike through the forests and around the Lake with Mr Darcey. I did do the 'whole' circuit.... 24km in one session (have sore bum to prove it!) 
I'm getting better at the longer bike rides and loving them. 

Can 2
Stopping off along our way at various gardens and spots gave way for research, sketching, photography and just time to think. I have a deck and a book I am working on at present and places like these, available to us all, make such work so much more accessible. I'm such a 'fan' of Canberra for this. I have been lucky enough to travel and to live internationally but I can't always. Time, family and let's face it, money prevent me from throwing pens at maps. Most capital cities have libraries, gardens and intuitions, stores and resources you can access. Be a tourist, be an adventurer, a researcher in your own home. I bet you will surprised at what you find. 

Can 4
WHY, thats a lovely installation at the National Art Gallery!
"Man Off Bike wanting Launch BEFORE Gallery visit" 2015

Can 5
We stay with my friend Jan when we visit Canberra, apart from her being an very dear friend and great company, she lives in Kingston and it's accessible to everything! Taking our bikes, it's so easy to get to the Gallery, Library and more. Rug up though, sunny but chilly chilly! ( I have TWO scarves on in this shot!)

Can 7
I love the crispness and freshness of Winter in Canberra. The light is so bright and the air so clean. 

Of course this trip we picked up our beautiful fountain by Annie Storey.
This remarkable Artist creates sculptures and fountain sculptures from recycled metals. She uses old hot water heaters plumbing pipes and more. So inspiring!
I was so taken with her work and her, on a trip last October and Mr Darcey and I have been planning to make one of her creations a focal point for our new home. I can't wait for our move next month and to have this treasure in her place in our garden... 

Can 6

Can 8
See you next time Canberra & thank you! xx 

Rainy Weekend ~ Walks, Writing & Illustrating

Leaves, Boots and Warm Dresses.
Loving today immensely. No such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing choices when out in Nature! 

BootsA walk in a nearby park to refresh the senses and think

I am in the final stages of a book I am writing that is being published soon. It's something I'm really excited about but I have to be honest, the work involved has been incredibly time consuming and requires meticulous attention to detail.  Weekends like one we have just had, did provide a sense of closing in and in a way, a space to just be with the work and focus. 

Rainy Sunday, writing, drawing, creating... Bringing my next book to completion. Those effected by Nature's wild power right now, I wish you safety and strength.

Some desert flowers reminding me of the heat, warmth, brighter light and of other similar 
energies I am writing about and illustrating. I can't just write out of nowhere or thin air, I need to be either at the place or have some remembrance of place and of what I am writing and illustrating with me. 

I need to draw a lot of simple line work sketches to illustrate this book that I am writing and it feels so pure, so  strong to just be with black lines on white paper. No tricks of colour and light, no place to hid anything. There is such an honesty in this work and time, that I really am finding so much in me that I never realised existed on beginning this project so long ago. 
Primer flannel flowerMay Nature always bless you
and may YOU always be a blessing to Nature! 
Cheralyn xx 

Magical Studio Spaces

I have a dislike of working indoors when I'm Writing and Creating Art so as the rains have come in and the air has chilled, I find myself under my 'tent' most days into evenings.


No excuse not to finish the next Reading Deck and my book at all!
We have only been in this house two years and are looking forward to our move North soon to our home but I have found new ways to create space, to find that peace and centre in a busy world. 
It will so different to have abundant space, the peace and nature all closer to us but I've been blessed to create this little nook all the same and for that, I'm grateful. 

Moving North! I have a dedicated studio space in our home which I'm going to transform into my studio 
BEFORE  :)   ~ 

Those windows are being opened out and will become doors to a long veranda and I have a large front garden. Complete bliss and I've waited a lifetime for it. Looking at skylights at the moment as I really want the space to feel opened up, connected with outside and filled with
whatever nature brings each day. 

For over 30 years now, I have had 'studios' on kitchen tables, under stairs, in boat sheds, on coffee tables, oh and in studios! The art and the creativity really are not improved with where you create, it's the attitude and energy you bring into the space you have that makes the difference.
I've never once waited for the perfect space or time to make art or to write,
I've created both and usually out of nothing. 

Like home, studios are where YOU are.
Without you, it's just a room, a space no matter how wonderful or purpose built it may be. 

Passion requires it's partner ~ Dedication

Drawing Flora Flower. In order to finish with a cartoon drawing that holds the expression and feeling I'm after, I have to begin with a strong foundation. I take my time. I think, I explore and I give space and time when needed.

Flora time

I sketch rather anatomically correct figures first.
Then I exaggerate features to suit my style and build in clothes and details. 

You can not expect good results with anything unless you learn all the tools and create good strong foundations. Messy unresolved art or repetitive bland copycat styles are born from short cuts and an unwillingness to dedicate time to basic skill development. 

If you want to do anything in life, go and research and learn all there is and expect to spend time just doing, a lot of time.
Passion needs it's partner, dedication. Be dedicated to each layer of all that you do.




(in the process I have signed these as I used them as example online to a group of younger students I mentor) 



Flora time

May Nature always bless you with all that you need, 
Cheralyn xx 


Flower needs water ~ Lotus needs mud

While I was writing today I realised that in order to really connect with what I was writing about I needed the dark, I needed the things I had rejected over time, because in those moments and in that light, or lack of, I found the things that enhanced my understanding and growth.
May you too find gifts from these moments and times. 

Cheralyn xx




A lesson in Grace ~

I tried really hard to meet someone who's work I respect do something incredibly unprofessional and disrespectful through probably the wrong assumption and even if that assumption was correct, it was hands down the most ungraceful thing I have ever experienced when it comes to exhibiting art. 
I value Grace. 
Grace is being authentic and living your truth with kindness and consideration. 
I've sat with this situation for a few days and I've thought about. I've been giving the people involved the benefit of the doubt in my mind because they are inexperienced in the creative arts outside of their niche. 
Please, think before you act, be well mannered, be GRACEFUL and open discussions when you wish to know something, share space and to work alongside others.
It's a big world, there is room for everyone and you will be surprised what other paths may even become available to you very easily
when you are True and live in Grace. xx


The Five Day Art Challenge

I do enjoy these types of challenges, even when I have zero time to commit to them... lol 
But anyway I'm in. 

The idea is to fill Facebook with art...The challenge is to post 3 pieces of your artwork each day for 5 days and nominate a different artist each day to do the same...

This is the first three days so far for me ~

DAY ONE for me ~ 
These are some of my sculptures created from waste and recycled materials. Each of these have been key pieces in exhibitions from through to 2009 to 2012 when I was experimenting with creating aged patinas with paints I mixed myself and scientific experiments! maw ha ha!!

Surfboard copy



This is a collection of my pastel paintings from the 1990s~ One was a very important Australia Art Prize winner that I will never part with. 
So from left to right we have "Sedona Morning Walk", "Brindabella Sunday" and "Bondi Wednesday's Decision" 
For about 15 years from the age of 21, my professional work was probably about 80% pastels (soft, oil & water soluble). There are A LOT of my pastels out there. I exhibited and sold many in Australia and the USA. Most were landscapes and flowers.


Brindebella  copy

Bondi copy

This is a collection of my collages dating back up to 10 years. Two are actually SoulCollage images I created. Oh and Alice's crown is a very old shearers comb I found in a field. Just adore Collage... need more time for it. 




May Nature always Bless you! xx 

You can steal my words but you can not steal the Truth of them. I live that.

Just saw the blurb for a new deck... ummm yeah that line is on my website/blog/social media for my first deck and all my work and has been for the past MANY years. It's the final line in my short bio. It's what all my Presentations have been about the past year and the sentence I leave everyone with at the end of them, to take home and explore.


Not sure if I should be incredibly flattered or angry. 


I know I'm just little me and I guess they are just words to you and I can't 'compete' with 'blah blah INC' but it hurts. It hurts that what you share, what you feel and what you know and what is so important to you because you live it and have lived it for so long, just gets ripped out of you as if it doesn't matter. 


Well, we all matter, I matter. My work is not created for what others perceive as the next fad to hurry up and jump on. No I didn't do that. It's been 30 years in the making, but gosh thanks for thinking so highly of it that even my Bio is stolen out of my mouth and heart. 


You can steal my words but you can not steal the Truth of them. I live that.

Tim's Vermeer

Watched 'Tim's Vermeer' last night and it was interesting.
This technique shows how brilliant Vermeer was, but was he an Artist? 

I do also admire Tim Jenison's passion to find out and to carry through this amazing quest immensely. It is an incredible undertaking and his attention to the entire process as well as his genius is something rather inspiring to watch...

The phrase that still resonates with me? 
"you become a machine" 

This 'technique' is replicated, in a way, over and over today thanks to computer assistance and before that photographs. Artists put together photoshopped creations and paint over them. 
I know the debate continues...

For me, YES you do need to stand before a blank canvas and release your passion while you fall. 
If some else feels that with these other techniques, fantastic! 

For me, no. I need to stand before that blank canvas, fall, tumble, tiptoe with the energy of paint layering with my hands, of soggy papers from watercolour washes, tease broken pencil stubs of their precious last and line with inks the things I feel. 

I need to carve what I see and feel in blocks and print by curious hand, revealing what may come and learning why that is. 

My sketchbooks fill my shelves, bags, drawers, pockets as much as they fill my heart and it is here I whisper dreams and concepts as my passions chatter and creative problems resolve. 

I need to be surprised and inspired by results unthought of. I need to let my chisels and files slip and find grains I may feel at the last but not of seen at the start. I want to watch as metals oxidize in colours undreamt and pigments combine on canvases beating paths of exploration, not following maps of calculation.  

I am not saying the other is not Art. 

Just for me, this is Art.