Thursday, September 29, 2011

Illustration Friday _ Ferrocious

Have you ever had much to do with Alpacas? They look all docile and sweet but they can be quite mean when they get their dander up!
We first learnt this when we went on a holiday with our pooch and stayed at an Alpaca farm. "Make sure your dog doesn't go near the Alpacas" he said, "they will rip it apart" (might have been nice to include that in the brochure....)
Alpacas are used quite successfully on some farms in Australia (and worldwide) to protect the animal herds like sheep or cattle. I've placed a little info and some links below if you are interested.

Meet Al "Paccino" Pacca

This was my first one until I realised I was wrong... but I still like it! Sorry Mr Paccino, Sorry Mr De Niro...
Alpacas -
Apparently they have an aversion to canines and foxes, coyotes etc. Can rear up on their hind legs and stomp them
"Screaming and neck wrestling are behaviors alpaca males display when trying to establish dominance. They try to bite testicles and run at break-neck speeds around the pastures." - Reference article here:
"Alpacas are very alert, with excellent eyesight. A loud distress or warning call quickly sees the adults in a herd encircle the young to protect them from approaching danger. Much to the
intruder’s surprise, the assertive leaders then approach with great speed, stomping, kicking,
spitting or biting which soon gets the message across and sees the aggressor fleeing for cover." Reference article here:
Another article:

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Creative Tuesday - Morning

Well Mortimer Mouse has trouble getting up early and so do I! I love mornings but find getting out of bed on work days to be quite difficult some times.

What a day I have had with computers today. I did my initial sketch this morning during three consecutive waiting periods for my work PC to reboot after three major crashes (resulting in that awful blue screen that has such a bad reputation!) Then tonight I was colouring it at home earlier and - you guessed it - crash! I hadn't saved so lost it all. This is a really quick colouring I have done before I take myself off to bed. If I stay up much longer it will be even harder to get up in the morning than usual!

Please 'do yourself a favour' and check out all the toasty treats for the theme of "morning" at

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Moving forward

Well I am going to soon move into a new stage with my work, I will attend my first market within the next few months... I haven't narrowed it down to which one yet :-) - perhaps that had better come first, but I haven't been completely without preparation or research, I have been scoping the best place for me to start for a while now. I just want something small and intimate as I just want to see how my work is received out there, plus that is more my style. My ultimate path is to do children's book illustration but this might be a nice entry point. I would love to get a little money from what I do to fund more of what I want to do. It would be great if my art paid for my equipment, some new art goodies - there are so many things I want to try  in terms of products and do in terms of techniques-  and even get me some of the reference books I have been craving but haven't gotten to yet and some online courses I like.
Wow ... I don't want much do I?
Anyway, Ill keep you posted.
This is a little card front I have developed today, a reworking of one of my sketch book illustrations I liked. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Illustration Friday _ Mesmerizing

Puss had been taking some online night classes on hypnotism,
he couldn't wait to see if they worked!
Only trouble was - he hadn't thought about the fact he
hadn't learnt how to undo the process yet...

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Illustration Friday - Boundaries

Well hello everyone! Sorry I haven’t been on here for ages, we have had a busy week with family celebrations, work, normal routine and house guests... I’m being a little rude tonight I guess by setting myself up in the computer room and getting this little image done for illustration Friday but I didn’t want to miss a week if I could help it, I enjoy the challenge and I’m sure our visitors understand, they are very supportive of my art.

The boundaries I am depicting here are the ones that come purely from the wonderful colours in the country side, from the different shades and shapes and spaces that are defined by the crops or landscape that fills them. You don’t need fences, the divisions are drawn by the essence of that for which each area is being farmed. I was inspired for this image by my trips ‘home’ through the NSW country side; I love to travel the country roads, flanked by the rich tapestries of colour that always seem to beckon and welcome me back .

Friday, September 9, 2011

Feeling blue... or should that be green

Well I have the flu - again- but this time marked with a really nasty insistent and tiring cough.
I tried to do some painting yesterday and everything I set out to do kind of worked out wrong, it was like my artistic eye was off. that set me to thinking, I wonder if just as we are physically off when we are sick, we may also be artistically impacted as well?
I don't know but it was disconcerting. Ive had days like that before of course but now I wonder if I might have felt under the weather then too... ah I'll have to ponder it a bit more...

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Illustration Friday - Mysterious

Alana had heard the stories of the mysterious big black cats that had been terrorising towns and taking cattle but when this little fella rocked up on her doorstep she was sure he was just an ordinary kitty... wasn't he?

There have long been tales of mysterious big cats roaming Australian bushland with stories of escaped zoo animals or freed mascots that had gone out and bred with the feral cats in the wild. There is even talk of the big cats being ferrals and that have genetically engineered themselves over time to be bigger and stronger to deal with a life in the wild.
Whatever they are, I've seen one, years ago, out with my brother and cousins and a friend on a farm, we all saw it and all were stunned and amazed at the size and speed of the animal we saw. All we do know is that it wasn't a domestic cat.

Seems lots of people have seen them. Here are a few links about the mysterious big cats. Fact or fiction, you decide! (fast forward past the football)

my entry in the London Art College 2011 art competition

Well its that time of year again and the Art College I study with are having their annual art competition. I have chosen to use this piece for my entry, inspired by an early morning walk through the botanical garden next to my workplace when the lovely water lily pond was in full bloom. It truly was sight to behold and imprinted on my memory so I wanted to capture that in this little piece. You need to be a student of the college to enter and entries have now closed, I only got in by the skin of my teeth as I have been away from my course work for a little while.
I love this college as I have done a prior course, straight into my current and have plans for more, for me its like getting my BA but being able to pick and chose exactly what I want to study and work on my personal limitations and strengths. The true learner centred adult learning environment! Of course I won't hold a BA but for me its more about the knowledge and skill I achieve and once I finish I hope to hold a few Diplomas and Advanced Diplomas.  The other great thing about it are the wonderfully helpful staff and supportive learning environment. Being an adult educator myself I value what they provide.
Water lily

All images on appear on this blog are copyright Janet Trotta

Thursday, September 1, 2011

I'm bonkers for bunnies!

I told you I had a thing for bunnies at the moment! Expect to see more!
I also have a thing for experimenting but that's not new, maybe I am just more confident about putting my artistic musings on my blog now :-)

Sunny day bunnies in love!

I find a lot of my work is quick, but that's often so I can get some done as I don't have a lot of time to paint and draw, it has to fit around the rest of my world but it is such an important part i need to maximise what time I do have. Maybe I will work these up into a "proper" illustration one day

I actually have several projects I need to start working on so better start focusing on them.
xx Janet