“Those Trees.” 5 panels, each 19 x 57 cms.

Prismacolor pencils on Canson pastel board. Own reference.

My favourite coloured pencil drawing for 2019 was a series of 5 that I’ve had mounted and framed as a  single entry for an art prize when I return to Tasmania. I completed a total of 16 drawings of different views of Hyland’s Flat in Tasmania’s Midlands region. Last month I posted the 5 drawings on the coloured pencil Facebook groups that I belong to, only to be rejected by one group because I apparently broke one of their rules of only posting one drawing per post. Maybe I didn’t explain it clear enough! I’ve also included some of my other favourites for the year.

2019 has been a productive year for me with a solid folio of drawings being produced, some sales, trips interstate, being featured in 2 books, a series of successful workshops and I’ll be judging the Mid North Coast Art Prize, here at Port Macquarie at the end of this month.

Things though are about to change.

Firstly, my wife, Val and I are moving back to Tasmania next month, arriving on January 31st. On the way I am conducting a coloured pencil workshop  for 5 days at the Grampians Summer School near Horsham in Victoria. It will be nice to have one more workshop before heading back to Tasmania. I have some plans and goals that I’d like to  achieve once back in the island state, following the re-establishment of my Launceston studio which I’ve sorely missed for the past 4 years. ‘Pop-Up’ studios are fine for the short term, but they are never really one’s ‘home base’. I’ve already joined Tasmania’s 3 major art groups and there’s been genuine interest in me conducting workshops around the state. I’m hoping to keep showing my art in 3 galleries, although one in Hobart is in doubt at this stage. I may have a solo show next year as I certainly have enough work. When and where have yet to be decided.“Tasmanian Daily Bread?”

Prismacolor pencils on Canson pastel board.

I’ve decided on a lower media profile next year. I’ll maintain my Instagram page and this blog that you’re currently reading, but I’m cutting back on my use of Facebook. I don’t like its restrictions, so I intend to leave all the groups I’ve been involved with, remove my art page altogether and a further 2 pages that I am admin for. In their place I will have a new page called ‘artkleko’, or similar. I may join some groups at some point in the future, it depends on where my art is headed.

“Dorrigo DNA.”

Prismacolor pencils on Canson Mi Teintes paper.

And speaking of art, I intend to work less in coloured pencil and return to painting and digital drawing. The latter has been my sole creative outlet for the past month and I must admit that I’ve enjoyed the change in direction and I’m pleased with my results to date. My hands have enjoyed the change too, having suffered from arthritis (severe on occasions) for several months, due I’m sure to excessive coloured pencil drawing! I’m not sure if my digital drawings are commercially viable even though they are single editions. They can’t be any harder to sell than my coloured pencil drawings, that although have realised some sales in Tasmania over the past few years, have failed to be even noticed here on the mid-north coast of New South Wales.

“Kempton Sugarloaf.”

Digital drawing.

I’m unsure if my hands will cope with the cooler Tasmanian climate, so a return to painting is certainly on my ‘to-do list’. I’m interested in a major art project that I’ve been tentatively planning for the past few months (with the help of a second party). If all goes well, I’ll have enough ‘grist’ for my art mill to last me up to 12 months. I also want to enter large paintings in several major art prizes. Coloured pencils simply won’t do the job, nor will they be accepted. The reality still exists that CPs are well down the rung of accepted mediums for art awards (except in Drawing). There’s always been a medium-bias when it comes to coloured pencils and I fear it will always be that way.“Dry Landscape.”

Digital drawing.

I’ve been working with CPs for the past 33 years. Maybe it is time for a change.

Thank you to everyone who has supported me throughout the year on Facebook,  Instagram and my weblog. Your encouragement is very much appreciated and highly valued.

A Merry Christmas to you all and may you have a Prosperous and Creative New Year!!


About artkleko

artist, art curator, art teacher, art judge, art critic
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  1. Virginia Valentino says:

    It sou ds like the coming year will be full of change and challenge for you both! All the very best for a happy Chrustmas and New Year, a smooth transition back to Tasmania, and great success for your new directions. Very best wishes, Virginia and Gary.

  2. A merry Christmas to you and your family Richard.
    I enjoyed reading what you have been doing with your art and coloured pencils. All the best with your digital and painting. Yes coloured pencils I love too but you certainly when older
    can’t keep doing it for a lengthy time, your body reminds you!!
    I have 6 units to go with my Fine Arts Degree and my daughter is the same so it is nice being able to talk art with her. My favourite I would say is paper mache – working with cardboard as a mould and vitalising the paper which makes it a versatile medium (adding acrylic etc plus collage and beads wool you name it)
    Also did a hands on course this year at TAFE Certificate 111 mainly so my daughter could catch up and we do the degree together and graduate together.
    Well enjoy Tasmania!! Depending what is offering I will be there mid year to enjoy another class at University of Southern Qld. Will you be there? Thank you for making the class so enjoyable.
    Roslyn Hamilton

    • artkleko says:

      Hi Roslyn, thanks for your comments and interest in my blog. I wish both you and your daughter well in your studies. Yes, I hope to be back at Toowoomba next Winter.
      Merry Christmas!
      Warmest regards,
      Richard 😀

  3. Edna Broad says:

    A merry Xmas to you and Val and it will be great to see you and your work back in Launceston

    • artkleko says:

      Cheers, Edna. Looking forward to catching up with you. Merry Christmas to you and Steve!

      • sharonsskow says:

        Oh Richard, it’s a mix of sadness and happiness when I read this particular blog of yours. Happy because you’re now heading towards the direction which you’re sure of with your artworks and sad because you’re giving up on cp. I totally understand why and you have a very solid reason on why you do what you have to do. I’ve always love you’re creatives sense with cp, it’s really one of a kind, unique.

        Anyways, I wish you all the best with your new ventures and I’m very sure that you’ll succeed in what you’ll be doing.

        Do keep in touch.

        Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!


      • artkleko says:

        Hi Sharon, I’m not giving up on coloured pencils altogether. I certainly intend to run a number of CP workshops next year and produce some drawings from time to time, just not as many as I’ve been creating for the past 33 years.
        Merry Christmas to you and your family and a Prosperous and Joyful New Year! 😀

      • sharonsskow says:

        Oh what a relief to know that Richard. I was feeling a bit down when I read your blog this morning and now that I know you’ve not given up completely on cp, I can smile a bit….

  4. Madine Donald says:

    Always enjoy your thoughtful blog, insights and banter Richard. Wishing you and Val a lovely Christmas and return to Tas and your beloved studio, kind regards, Maxine

  5. John Lownds says:

    I’m saddened by the news that you are leaving Facebook as I have been pleasantly surprised and inspired as I have come to your frequent posts. I will miss them. It is unfortunate in the extreme that cp are not taken seriously in the art world. You are a master of the medium and you will leave a great legacy in your body of work and the lives you have touched for good through your workshops and blogs etc. I have been following and admiring your creativity and the humour in many of your drawings for about 40 years. I wish you every success with your move and the new direction your art is taking. I’m sure Renoir would have embraced digital art over his latter years had it been available. Merry Christmas and a productive new year.
    Fondest regards,
    John Lownds.

    • artkleko says:

      Hi John, thank you for your kind words and support. I’m not leaving Facebook altogether, just removing my existing pages and starting a new one that will have a lot more variety including workshop updates and a broader variety of art work. This blog will remain.
      Merry Christmas to you and may 2020 be creative and joyful for you! 😀

  6. Sounds like 2020 will be a big year for you Richard! So good to have so many plans in place. I sympathise with the Facebook situation, I no longer participate in the CP groups as they really don’t cater for (or understand!) the kind of work I do, I love Instagram and find it the most appropriate platform for me. I like your digital work very much, and it is something I am intending to explore too. I think it is very healthy, artwise, to change media every now and then, I’m looking forward to returning to oil painting next year. The one medium I can never let go though is graphite. The 5 drawings at the top are great, I wish you every success exhibiting them! A very happy New Year to you, enjoy cool Tasmania!

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