Greece - Jane Askey

Artist Jane Askey loves drawing on location and her sketchbooks are a wonderful source of reference. We asked her to tell us a little more about her experiences...

  "For the last twenty years or so I have visited a different Greek island each year and every island is so different but at heart very distinctly Greek. I love drawing on location and a holiday in Greece is the perfect place to work in a sketchbook and work through different ideas about manipulating drawing and painting media and questioning the many different ways one can respond  to a place.


I like to take two small hard backed books filled with lots of pages nothing too fancy just good quality cartridge paper.

Two books are ideal because whilst one page is drying another sketch can be done in the other book. I find clothes pegs are esssential to keep the sketchbook open if the hot Meltemi winds are blowing which in the summer in the Cyclades is all the time. In addition I take a smallish selection of coloured pencils, graphite pencils, watercolours and some key colours in gouache. A good range of brushes and a small palette all stuffed into a rucsac and I’m ready to go.



This summer I returned to the island of Skopleos staying 300 feet above sea level in a remote villa above Glossa with spectacular views out across the Aegean looking out to layers of islands and every night a spectacular sunset. The nearby dusty lanes were lined with wildflowers, olive trees and so many beautiful butterflies.




Working in a sketchbook rather than the studio often throws up unexpected results. Working more quickly, not being comfortable or simply only having a few minutes means the drawings have an energy and a scruffiness I really like it’s not the time to be overly precious or prissy. I try and work out what I like about the view or the object in front of me and attempt to capture that in one or series of observational studies.




My sketchbooks are full of lots of different types of drawing and painting experimenting with a range of approaches and mixes of media.  Whether a two minute pencil line drawing or a full coloured detailed observation using mixed media I really enjoy experimenting gathering information that may or may not inform a more resolved piece back in the studio.




More often than not I don’t develop my drawings into bigger paintings I simply enjoy drawing on location for the sake of drawing, it’s all about practicing, asking questions and searching for variety of answers".



 Enjoy more of Jane's paintings here



Bali - Catherine Rowe

Yellow House artist Catherine Rowe's travels to Bali have inspired a new body of work and we wanted to find out more! We invited Catherine to write a guest blog on her experiences.

"From the food, culture and people, to peaceful hidden beaches and breathtaking wildlife, Bali is by far the most inspiring and gorgeous country I have ever visited. 


The better known parts of the island are fast-paced and party orientated, as well as being famous for 5 star hotels like you have never seen them before.

We opted for a more basic, rough and ready experience of the island. The Southern most point of the island on the Bukit peninsular is Uluwatu, renowned for its beaches perfect for surfing. 

The vibrant tropical colours in the sun are breathtaking, everywhere you look there are interesting plants, trees and flowers - perfect for some pastel sketches! 


Traditional landscape paintings are popular in Balinese art culture and I decided to give one a go! My subject was the Balinese starling, a very rare and endangered bird on the island. 


Although I didn’t get to see much wildlife bar monkeys and geckos, which was fascinating, it was great fun to learn about some of the wildlife seen elsewhere on the island. Jungle cats and Egrets inspired two of my latest patterns, and sights of some of the biggest lobsters I have ever seen inspired a third pattern! (including the most amazing rainbow lobster I didn’t even know existed..) Other designs in the running inspired by my trip are some monkeys and lizards…"