December Calendar Free Download

I enter the last month of the year with excitement and anxiety all at once. December is the month where I’d love to finish all the things that I had planned back in January, a time to tie all the loose ends, but it is also a month with lots of expectation, preparation for the holidays, family gatherings, presents to buy. I wish I could slow down this time of year to just enjoy the season and savour the Christmas spirit. But it takes a lot of self discipline to say “no” to things and avoid being hit by the Christmas craziness.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my monthly planner and I’m hoping to create something similar for next year (talking about things I’d love to do in December!).
Enjoy the holidays, and thanks for stopping by.
Happy December!


November Calendar Free Download

And so come November! We start the month here in Italy with a public holiday called All Saint’s Day. I don’t recall any particular tradition while growing up, except we were home from school and work and  we would have a big family lunch. Nowadays, my kids are more into Halloween as they get to dress up and eats candy and chocolate. But I’m hoping to bring some kind of family tradition for the day this year.
But past the holiday, we tend to start thinking about Christmas already, which is both exciting and stressful at the same time. We also have two family birthdays coming up which require planning and preparation.
So this year I’m making a conscious effort to live the month of November day by day, not making the Christmas/birthday rush getting the best of me and enjoy the small things everyday.
I have a little project coming up for this month which is getting me excited. I will tell you all about it in the next few week….it will involve little time and trees, so stay tuned.

In the meantime enjoy the calm of November before the December storm hits!
(click on the image below to download)

Wild Rose // botanical collection .01

Working on a new series of botanical subjects. I have chosen to step away from true botanical illustrations for a while, to see how it feels to tackle a painting without having to worry about correct proportions, colours and details.  I have found this new style liberating and the entire process a bit more enjoyable considering the limited time I have available for painting these days. And truly excited about having both flora and fauna in the same plate. What do you think?

Sketchbook #1 // blossoms

March has all been about blossoms! The trees are full of delicate flowers, whites, pinks and reds dominate over the greens of the new leaves and everything seems to be awakening from the long winter sleep. This is another of my favourite botanical subjects, but for this subject I went for a more illustrative technique using a black ink pen besides my watercolours.

My main source of inspiration has been this book, but I also enjoyed flicking through my many botanical art books. And that is one of the reasons why I’m very tempted to tackle a proper botanical painting of a branch of cherry blossoms or prune for my April’s project, but not sure I will have enough time to get it done!
Looking forward to illustrate birds or butterflies this month (I still haven’t made a decision), either way it will be a real challenge.

Camellia sinensis


Back in November last year I got a request from a potential customer, and tea shop owner, to draw an outline of the Camellia sinensis, whose leaves and flowers are used to make tea. I wasn’t quick enough to respond to the email and didn’t get the job, but had at go at it anyway. The outline is based on an old illustration by Franz Eugen Köhler.

Sketchbook #1 // Roots

This is a sneak-peak at my sketchbook from February. I’m carry on with my intentions of choosing a subject a month. Last month I went for roots, being fascinated by the many bulbs and tubers sprouting around this time of the year. It is very much a botanical subject and probably not really in line with this sketchbook (and its thin paper), but I loved it and regret I didn’t have much time to paint some more. My inspiration book was an old botany book that was used in the seventies by the pupils of the local grammar school. It’s full of inspiring illustrations and descriptions.
I’m currently working on a slightly related painting and hoping to get that done before spring arrives!

Taxus Baccata

On a bright sunny day, a little branch from a massive yew caught my attention. I brought it home, I looked at it closely, then made a little watercolour out of it. So simple, and so complex at the same time. And next you know it, I got to use my calligraphy set for the first time.


Trees illustration – watercolour
Valentine’s card – red ink pen on Bristol board
Topiary textures exercise – watercolour
Flower dooddle – black ink pen on Bristol board
Daffodils – black ink pen and watersoluble pencils
I have been neglecting this space a lot lately, and was wondering if I should really try and keep it alive. 
And my answer is YES. 
I have the intention of CREATING a lot this year, together with enrolling in at least one art class. And this where I want to share my work, whether it is a work in progress, a finished painting, an evening doodle or a simple exercise. 

Sketchbook #1

Despite the numerous unfinished sketchbooks, this January I started a new one. I had a new project in mind, and the current deal “no new sketchbooks until all the others are completed” wasn’t really motivating me anymore, if not holding back my creativity.

Moreover, my brother and his girlfriend bought me a new sketchbook this past Christmas, so really that was just an excuse to use it!

I’ve also decided to start labelling my sketchbooks. At first I thought of numbering them all, including completed and unfinished ones, but as I’m giving myself a new start this year, I went for starting afresh and begin from #1.

I’ve written a bit about this little project before (here), but I will be using Sketchbook #1 for themed drawings/illustrations/watercolours, mainly taken from two little books I recently bought: 20 ways to draw a tree and 20 ways to draw a tulip.

Over the past month, I focused on trees shapes and illustrations, covering various styles and seasonal palettes. The idea is to get practising on nature subjects that I like, and to make a painting at the end of the month using what I’ve learned.
I’m still drawing sketches for the final piece, but given the fact that I don’t have much spare time to paint, I want to make sure that I’m actually creating something that I like, rather something just because.

This month I will be focusing on flower bulbs. The subject is actually not covered in any of the books I mentioned above, but I was really inspired after seeing my flower bulbs starting to sprout. And I already have a plan for the final painting. It is true when people say the more you create, the more you get inspired!