View Full Version : The Changing Seasons Journal

Vivien Maloney
04-26-2010, 11:03 PM
Hullo everyone! I thought a brand new Forum deserved a new Journal, so I've just begun the "Changing Seasons Journal". We have 4 very distinctly different 4 Seasons down here in the Southern Hemisphere, and I hope to post sketches from all Seasons as we go throught the year.

I've decided on a loose-leaf Journal, as I like to work in many different mediums, Watercolour, pastel, Acrylic etc. So I will collect my work in a file after I've finished and posted each page. I hope this is ok, as this is such a new Forum, I'm not exactly sure what the rules are.

Anyway here's my first page, done on A4 Watercolour paper in Watercolour and Inktense Pencils.

Now I notice, after viewing many different Journal on-line, that most of them print out the writing on the page so it's easier to see so here it is;

Late Autumn here, and we've had 2 days of heavy rain, bringing flooding to Fiordland and Te Anau and swollen rivers in Southland. Some low-lying farmland is under water, but luckily, not ours.
The temperatures are dropping rapidly and so are the Autums leaves as the beginning of Winter is nearly here. I thought I'd pick up some Autumn leaves to sketch as I do enjoy the colours of Autumn.

I hope I've done this correctly. Please Yorky or Jamie let me know if I have or I should have added anything else?
C & Cs welcome

04-27-2010, 03:24 AM
Hi Viv I was puzzled until I saw you were in New Zealand :)

A lovely start.


Jo Castillo
04-27-2010, 08:05 AM
Vivien, lovely start.

04-27-2010, 08:31 AM
Gorgeous leaves, Viv! I love the curling sides and intricate veins, as well as the way you got that subtle point where sometimes the veins are still green and the red's crowding right up against it. Cool text too. Your theme rocks.

Looking forward to much more! You live somewhere beautiful that I will probably never get to travel, seeing it through your eyes is so powerful.

04-27-2010, 09:20 AM
Aaaah, beautiful fall leaves! It will be nice to see your seasons journal opposite to our seasons here: a reminder of what has passed and what is to come!

Thank you for typing out the writing. I had too many pages to post to do that on my initial posting, but will type it out in the future. It does indeed make it easier on the eyes (and brain)!


04-27-2010, 12:44 PM
Just beautiful Vivien. Awesome start. Fall leaves just beg to be painted. Looking forward to more pages.

04-27-2010, 12:47 PM
Beautiful journal, Vivien. Love those leaves!

04-27-2010, 07:47 PM
Hi, Vivien. I especially like the top leaf with the curling edges. Also, your hand writing is very good also. :)

Vivien Maloney
04-28-2010, 01:01 AM

I've bought a file/book/thingy to keep my pages together in and have done a Cover Page for it which I've posted here. The cover had a convenient plastic cover for which I printed out a page to fit inside (using a Word Processing Programme) and used a photo of a painting that I did last year. It looks ok, I guess and at least I now have a title cover to my Journal - all of which I should have done before I began jounaling in it!


C & Cs always welcome

04-28-2010, 07:45 AM
Vivien, I love the painting on your cover!

I don't think journals should necessarily have the covers done first....Sometimes the theme arrives in a circuitous fashion! ;)


04-29-2010, 09:00 AM
These are really good, well done, can't wait to see more!

Vivien Maloney
04-30-2010, 01:20 AM
Thanks Jamie, Jem and all those that have commented on my Cover Page and Page 1 of my Journal. I hope to have more pages to post soon.

04-30-2010, 12:04 PM
Wow, those are beautiful!!! What a great idea to do a loose leaf journal....That way you can use what ever paper suits the media mood you are in that day

04-30-2010, 01:40 PM
Vivien, I love the cover painting you chose. Well laid out cover! Very cool way to bind a loose leaf journal too.

04-30-2010, 01:43 PM
gorgeous colours and a nice theme to work with there :)

Vivien Maloney
04-30-2010, 06:27 PM



"There was a spectacular sunrise this morning, for the first day of Winter. Beautiful - but I hope that doesn't mean there's more rain on the way, but it probably does!
I managed to get a quick 15min sketch of it, looking out from my kitchen window.
I used Fabriano pastel paper and Pans Pastels, and soft pastels were used for the trees on the sky-line."

C & Cs always welcome

04-30-2010, 07:23 PM
This is wonderful, Viv! Just as we're going into Spring, you're going into Winter. How marvelous it is that we will be able to enjoy all seasons through your journal!

04-30-2010, 09:00 PM
Vivien, your winter sunrise is spectacular! I love how you used the Pan Pastels to get those soft layering dawn clouds to flow so natural. The scene is compelling, you really caught the light and feel of it. I like the silhouetted foliage too, that's really nice.

04-30-2010, 10:15 PM
That is an awesome sunrise. Just beautiful.

Jo Castillo
05-01-2010, 01:15 AM
Vivian, lovely sunrise. Your cover and journal are progressing nicely.

Vivien Maloney
05-01-2010, 01:35 AM
Nancy, Robert & Debbie; Thank you so much for your nice comments on my Journal. I'm enjoying the process of sketching the year as it unfolds and looking forward to seeing Journals of the opposite Seasons of the year in the Northern Hemisphere.

05-01-2010, 02:41 AM
Gorgeous sky Vivien.


05-01-2010, 08:53 AM
Vivien, I really like your new page. There are often times when I wanted to snatch a sunrise...Never thought about doing it in one of my art journals! It's a great idea.


Vivien Maloney
05-03-2010, 12:28 AM
Page 3 - New Zealand Fantail

This lively, busy, cheeky little bird, comes down from the Mountains in late Autumn and early Winter. Its to be found in abundance in gardens everywhere. Smaller than a Sparrow and very likeable. Its little "peep, peep, peep" can be heard as it flits around catching insects. A really endearing little bird that is totally unafraid of humans.


C & Cs welcome

05-03-2010, 11:54 AM
What a tail on that little fellow! Beautiful sketch.

05-03-2010, 12:38 PM
Vivien, your little fantail is perfect! He looks like a birds book illustration, so detailed and intricate. Gorgeous pose too. Smaller than a sparrow? They must be so beautiful flitting about. You're lucky to have such flamboyant little peepers around eating the bugs. Heck, even the ugliest bug-eater is welcome, but the Fantail is beautiful as well as handy.

Vivien Maloney
05-03-2010, 04:50 PM
Debbie & Robert; thank you. The Fantail is a dear little bird and always looks as if his beautiful tail feathers are too big for his body, but that's the way he is. It was a bit of a mission trying to sketch him, and I did pages of skethces that were little bits of him, as he's never still for long! So this final version is the result of lots of sketches put together.

05-04-2010, 02:22 AM
Vivien, this journal is starting out beautifully. The leaves are gorgeous - I knew you must have used some Inktense pencils the moment I saw them. They make me feel the crisp fall air. Your winter sunrise is gorgeous, too. And that Fantail certainly lives up to his name, huh? I've never seen one like him, so I'm glad you put in the effort to capture him for all of us to see.

05-04-2010, 10:36 AM
Vivien - You are off to a good start. You have a very neat handwriting and I think a good writing means a lot in a sketchbook. Looking forward to seeing the beauty of seasons unfurl in your journal.

The sky sketch has gorgeous colors!

05-04-2010, 02:23 PM
I love the leaves! Living in New England we have wonderful colors too, and I enjoy the curling and color changes in each leaf as well. I have not started a journal yet, but the idea of loose leaf with pages added sounds very workable to me. Thanks for the ideas!

05-04-2010, 02:58 PM
Cool theme for your book! I love the sunset page :) :) :)

05-05-2010, 10:37 AM
Nice theme!

Love the sunset, by the way :)

Vivien Maloney
05-07-2010, 01:22 AM
Thanks Ep and Prismalos; I need to get my Journal out and sketch some more, but I've been busy this week but not too busy for art!

05-07-2010, 10:20 AM
Yes, I wish there was dedicated time for art everyday! Anyway, looking forward to your updates :)

Vivien Maloney
05-07-2010, 08:36 PM
Page 4 Watermedia Challenge - Shells

This is not exactly keeping to the theme of my Journal, BUT my excuse is that it was a cold, wet, Winters day, and (as Spring is a long way off) I decided I needed to paint something that was bright and fun - so hence the bright shell.
I used Inktense Pencils.


C & Cs welcome

05-07-2010, 08:38 PM
Sometimes rules are made to be broken. :) Very nice shell. How do you like the inktense for sketching?

05-08-2010, 01:03 AM
Great start on your journal, Viv. Beautiful fall leaves and a gorgeous sky and good job on the shell. Very good theme that should keep you busy.


05-08-2010, 12:15 PM
Rules? Nah. It's your journal, so you can make, break, ignore 'em. :)

Your sky sketch is captivating and I like the vividness of the shell.

Vivien Maloney
05-08-2010, 02:45 PM
Debbie, Doug and NHyde, thank you. I wanted to put the shell sketch in as it was so bright and colourful. I think from time to time I will add some sketches that are not on the theme, as it gives variety to my Journal.

05-08-2010, 03:27 PM
Viv, that seashell is made of awesome! The colors are so beautiful bright and glowing.
And hey, it's always season for shells, isn't it?! ;)

05-08-2010, 08:26 PM
Really nice work, Vivien! The sunrise, leaves and Fantail I particularly like. I'm into birds, so the Fantail is intriguing. The closest thing we have to that bird's behavior up here in the Pacific NW is the American Redstart, which has a habit of fanning its tail during courtship and territorial displays.

05-09-2010, 02:08 PM
Vivien, your conch is a beauty! I love the smooth pencil texture, it's completely perfect in colored pencils realism. There's "textured" and "textureless" colored pencils painting and you've done a perfect textured piece. Strong values, soft color transitions describing the form give it a three dimensional weight that jumps right out at me. The brilliant blue shadow picks up and enhances all the warm colors of the opening and the rough dark more muted left side looks all rugged, irregular and natural.

This is wonderful. I was thrilled to see you use the same reference and come up with something that fantastic and that different from mine. That's part of the fun in these art challenges, seeing everyone's different style and techniques and mediums. Wonderful page!

Vivien Maloney
05-09-2010, 02:29 PM
Robert; Thank you.

Vivien Maloney
05-09-2010, 07:28 PM
Page 5 - "The Roaring Season

I've been meaning to post this sketch for a while, as its in keeping with my theme of documenting what's happening around me within the different seasons of the year.

We have several neighbouring farms around us, that farm deer and March/April and May are the months when the Stags begin to "Roar" (in other words the mating season for them). As the "Roaring Season" gets into gear more and more Stags (from the different farms) begin to answer each other. Its quite thrilling to hear them and on a frosty night they are really great to hear as they challenge each other. The sounds are coming from miles around on the cold night air.

I tried to sketch our neighbours Stag "roaring" but he objected strongly to me and began to be very threatening, even though there was a 6ft deer fence and a paddock between us. They can be very dangerous in the "roaring season". So I made do with a part of a sketch and took a quick photo and beat a hasty retreat. This is the result. I'm quite pleased with it and would like to use it in a painting at some stage.


C & Cs welcome

05-09-2010, 07:55 PM
I love the theme of your journal, you live in such a neat place. Great sketch of the stag.


05-09-2010, 08:52 PM
Viv, that is a great picture of an elk stag in rut. Wonderful addition to your journal.

Vivien Maloney
05-10-2010, 01:25 AM
Page 6......."Flowers for Mum"

For many years, I would pick a huge bunch of Nerine Lillies from my garden and take them to my Mother, every Mothers Day. Sadly Mum is no longer with us, but I still remember her with "Nerines" on Mothers Day.

Nerine Lillies was done with Inktense Pencils both wet and dry.
C & Cs welcome

05-10-2010, 07:40 AM
Viv, I love the stag and lily drawings! Thanks for sharing.


05-10-2010, 09:36 AM
Vivien, wow! Your quick sketch of the stag is magnificent! I'd have probably gotten nervous too at his roaring and threatening. Not sure how they mistake artists drawing them for other stags unless you were cunningly wearing antlers to put them at ease, but still, I'd have sketched quick too. It's got glorious detail and accuracy for being a quick sketch. Wow.

Your Nerine lily is elegant. I love the Inktense brilliance and you captured all those crinkled petals in wonderful three dimensional profusion. Gorgeous. Keep going! I love your journal. I'm learning from you.

05-10-2010, 11:15 AM
I don't know how about NZ, but roaring stags are a very popular theme in rural paintings over here. Your sketch of him turned out really good. I hope you are going to show us the painting once it is finished, too.

It's very nice of you to remember your mother with this kind of ritual every year. :)

05-10-2010, 02:53 PM
The lily is gorgeous. Sad, but fond rememberance for mum.

Vivien Maloney
05-10-2010, 02:57 PM
Thanks everyone for your lovely comments on my Stag and Nerine Lillies pages. They were both fun to do.

05-16-2010, 03:15 AM
rules??? who wants rules :) play and enjoy!

Vivien Maloney
05-18-2010, 12:48 AM
Page 7 - Glass house tomatoes

Every year, at this time of the year, the colder weather and the frosts kill off our tomatoe plants in our Glass-house. So we bring the tomatoes - that are still on the plants, (both green and red) inside to ripen up on our kitchen window-sill, where it's warmer. This year we have about 20 so I sketched some of them as they looked very attractive sitting there trying to ripen.


I used Inktense Pencils, both wet and dry.
C & Cs welcome

05-18-2010, 04:55 AM
These are AMAZING Viv!!!!!!

The expert handling of the inktense coloured pencils are amazing, so strong, vibrant yet NOT over-powering. LOVE them all!!!!!!!

05-18-2010, 05:00 AM
Vivien-your sketchbook is just wonderful! I love the pastels especially... the dawn sky and the gorgeous shell. The stag drawing is amazing... definitely one to paint on canvas! Well done!

05-18-2010, 01:23 PM
Vivien, lovely tomatoes! I like the wet and dry combination. Washing the shadows gives them a softer look, makes the shelf look shiny and mirror-glassy. Keeping the fruit textured dry gives them a lively look as if sunlight is pouring over them, you've got good modeling shadows on them too. You not only drew the tomatoes in their variety of stages, you got the sunlight of a bright day flowing over everything. Wonderful drawing/painting!

I love doing that sometimes with sketch and wash, either color or not -- combining the wash texture with the dry can be so dramatic. As you've perfectly demonstrated.

05-18-2010, 02:58 PM
I can see the appeal to sketch the tomatoes in the window. Just beautiful. Enjoy the last of your harvest. :)

05-18-2010, 03:24 PM
We're enjoying a rather late spring - it seems odd reading about autumn :) this book is going well

Vivien Maloney
05-20-2010, 02:50 PM
Thanks for everyones very positive comments.

05-20-2010, 03:06 PM
Viv I love those tomatoes.
And it's so funny, but while you were collecting your last tomatoes for this year, we have just planted ours for this year :D. Although we all know of the opposite seasons on the southern hemisphere we tend to forget about it, until we are occasionally reminded of it . :thumbsup:

Vivien Maloney
05-21-2010, 01:14 AM
Silvia - Thank you. Yes it is strange, the completely different Seasons within the Northen and the Southern Hemisphere, but we're used to it. That's why I decided to do a "Changing Seasons" Journal as it's very interesting to think of the opposite Season (and what's happening in it) on the other side of the world.

05-21-2010, 02:59 PM
That's one of the fun things for me too... seeing you do autumn while I'm enjoying spring ... it's awesome. Reminds me I live in a big and beautiful world.

05-21-2010, 04:00 PM
Great idea for a sketchbook and your sketches and words are super!

Vivien Maloney
05-22-2010, 01:22 AM
Robeert and Judi; thank you. I am enjoying portraying our early Winter while you are having Spring - as you say Robert it's a big beautiful world, and so many beautiful things in it!

05-22-2010, 02:14 AM
V iv,these are really nice! Love the tomatoes!


05-23-2010, 11:01 PM
I love the soft blending of colors in the leaves--so very pretty. It looks like you use just a touch of cool blue on the edges to bring them out? Very subtle and nice--

Vivien Maloney
05-24-2010, 12:30 AM
Page 7 - "Bluff Oyster Festival"

C & Cs welcome

05-24-2010, 05:28 AM
Oysters? I admit I hate them, but then again I'm the only one here who hates them the rest of the family loves then :D.

I hope you were enjoying some fresh ones :thumbsup:

Jo Castillo
05-24-2010, 09:32 AM
Great drawing on these. I can't say I like oysters except for Mountain Oysters. Ha.

05-24-2010, 09:55 AM
What a lovely idea for a sketchbook. I particularly like the leaves in the very first post. Also you handle those pencils very well! Great colours :D

05-24-2010, 01:20 PM
Don't like oysters. But your sketch/painting of them waiting on the plate is fantastic.

Vivien Maloney
06-03-2010, 03:21 PM
We are well into Winter now, here in the Southern Hemisphere and the garden is beginning to look very bleak, as the days get colder.

I thought I'd draw our "Spreading Elm" tree. Without its Summer leaves it looks very dramatic and the whole structure of the tree can be seen. It's about 30 years old and we keep the hanging-down branches pruned off, so we can mow the lawn under it more easily.

C & Cs welcome

06-03-2010, 03:33 PM
Nice plate of oysters, very attractive painting. Beautiful spreading elm with bare branches, I love those tangled and interlaced branches. It looks so lively, caught in motion like this. Wonderful!

06-03-2010, 05:08 PM
what a beautifully drawn tree!! I love trees in winter!

WC Lee
06-03-2010, 08:39 PM
wonderful sketches :) I wish I could draw trees like the one you did ..

06-03-2010, 10:53 PM
That is a stately tree, even in winter. Interesting the way the branches twine around. Great drawing.

06-04-2010, 01:30 AM
Very challenging tree, and well done!

06-04-2010, 07:05 AM
Viv the oysters are nicely done. That tree is amazing. I love how you can so clearly see the branches intertwining. So much detail. Great work. Your journal is certainly a winner, will keep watching for more.

Vivien Maloney
06-08-2010, 02:22 PM
Thanks to everyone for your comments on my latest sketches. I had to sit outside to sketch the tree. There had been a frost and it was very cold. But I liked the final result even though I had frozen fingers!

Vivien Maloney
06-13-2010, 12:35 AM
Last night, as it was getting dark, I saw this rainbow out of my kitchen window. It was magnificent, outlined against the dark stormy rain-clouds! I just had to grab my pastels and get it on paper. And yes, we woke to snow this morning.

I hope you like it. It was difficult to get it down quickly as it was gone in minutes.
C & Cs welcome

06-13-2010, 12:37 AM
Very dramatic. I can imagine it was only a fleeting thing. Enjoy the snow.

06-13-2010, 01:16 AM
Vivien, that's beautiful! Dark clouds and all. What a perfect moment. Wonderful landscape with an incredible sky. Hope you like the snow! Sometimes it's fun especially when it's the first of the season. Wonderful pastel painting.

06-13-2010, 03:08 AM
Wow Vivien...this is really great. Hmmmmmm...gives me an idea of maybe starting one myself...we have 3 seasons in Asia...and each one so different! I love the colours of your leaf!

06-13-2010, 08:05 AM
Viv the stormclouds and rainbow are awesome. So dramatic. Love it. Snow hey, must be really cold. I'm glad we don't get any here.

06-13-2010, 11:06 AM
Great rainbow and storm clouds! I really like your elm tree too!


Vivien Maloney
06-13-2010, 02:37 PM
Thanks to everyone who commented on my "clouds and rainbow" pastel. It was a hectic one to do as I had to get it down very quickly before it faded, but I'm glad it turned out ok.

06-13-2010, 05:05 PM
moody :) working fast is fun isn't it?

Vivien Maloney
06-13-2010, 10:48 PM
Thanks Vhere (another Vivien!). Yes working fast is fun but the heart races as you know you don't get a second chance at it.

06-13-2010, 11:15 PM
Nice to see the Inktense pencils used. I have some but have neglected them. You've done a beautiful job.

Vivien Maloney
06-15-2010, 03:21 PM
After the dark sky and rainbow on Saturday afternoon, we woke to snow on Sunday morning.
This is a sketch I did last Sunday of my Miniature Horse Royal Surprise (Missy) in the snow. I sketched this from the warmth of my bedroom window, so I felt sorry for Missy out there in the snow.

Hope it's not snowing where you live.
C & Cs welcome

06-15-2010, 03:36 PM
Wow, I can just feel the cold radiating out of the picture. Poor Missy indeed. Hope she has a good winter coat grown in.

06-15-2010, 04:56 PM
Oh thats beautiful Viv! Love miniature horses (and big ones!). Great job!

06-15-2010, 05:17 PM
Wow! Viv, this one is amazing. It's so true and accurate, I am shivering just seeing it. The snow on her back is part of what makes it so powerful. The composition's incredible too and her pose is original, very effective. Beautiful painting, it's blown me away. Reminds me of one of the great Western painters of the 19th century, the one that did buffalo out in the snow or in the dust.

Carole A
06-15-2010, 10:23 PM
Missy probably doesn't feel the cold like we would. Still, it looks freezing in your painting.

We were in NZ and Australia a few years ago in late Feb and early March just as you were heading into autumn. Played golf on the South Island on a cold, windy morning.I'd have to go find my memorabilia but seems like it was near Queenstown(?). We were staying at Millbrook Resort. From there we went to Auckland for a tournament. Great fun and I love both NZ and Australia. I would go back in a minute, even though I didn't much care from that long airplane trip.

Carole A

06-15-2010, 11:12 PM
I'm sitting here sweating, with the air conditioner running, and looking at your beautiful sketch of your horse in the snow. Excellent sketch!

06-16-2010, 07:07 AM
poor Missy - you've caught the cold and the pose beautifully

Vivien Maloney
06-16-2010, 03:08 PM
Thanks for everyone's comments on "Missy in the snow".

Carole - You are correct about where Millbrook is. It's between Queenstown and Arrowtown, but nearer to Arrowtown. Arrowtown is my favourite place in the whole world and we are there lots. I intend to sketch the snow on the mountains there shortly.

Vivien Maloney
08-26-2011, 05:26 PM
Wow, I've just realised I hadn't posted (or used) any of my Sketchbook/Journals for some time, but didn't realise it was quite SO long!
The previous drawing of "Missy" was done last year, and we've just come out of Winter for this year. Time I did some more I think, as we're now in Spring 2011.


The text reads; Spring 2011 - Thank goodness, after 2 falls of snow in the last 2 months, the weather is gradually warming and the daffodils beginning to flower at last, which means Spring is finally here!

C & C's welcome

08-26-2011, 09:44 PM
Beautiful daffodils, Viv! I love the way they welcome spring when it finally arrives.


08-26-2011, 10:09 PM
Daffodils definitely say "spring". Lovely sketch.

08-27-2011, 12:42 AM
Nice daffodils, Vivien! Your spring is a reminder our fall is not all that far away...and we've had a very short and cool summer.

08-27-2011, 07:16 AM
very fresh and springlike - as we head towards autumn with the first colours creeping into the trees

09-05-2011, 09:13 PM
Viv beautiful daffodils! Now I dont feel so bad for not posting since last year also lol! Look forward to seeing more of your lovely pieces :-)

Joan T
09-06-2011, 11:44 AM
Always good to see your sketches!!! The daffs are a breath of color on a rainy, dismal day here in NY.