Monday, 13 April 2020

Mastering Watercolours online course



I've been teaching a 12 lesson online course via email, using PDF files with step by step instructions, for many years. I've seen fabulous results from many students. However, I have always intended to create videos to make it so much clearer.

It's taken a long time, but I launched the course last week, starting with an introductory lesson, with Lesson 1 popping into mailboxes tomorrow and then another each week for a total of 12 weeks.

I've sent out invitations to join to those who have been on the waiting list but also wanted to share it here. I'll be very active during this first run-through, checking comments, answering questions and adding more information if needed. Once this is complete, I'll set up the option for people to enrol in the course as an on-demand version.

I've used the Ruzuku platform, as I think it has a great interface for students to clearly see where they are in the course and what they have completed. It also has lots of options to enable students to post their work into galleries or participate in chats.

Here is a page of information and FAQs. https://www.janeblundellart.com/mastering-watercolours-online-course.html

Here is the information link  https://app.ruzuku.com/courses/18381/about

You can join any time, and take your time to work through the lessons, up to the 1st of July. After that I'll set up a new version that will be available on demand, and start working on getting my Travel Sketching course on the platform :-)

Sunday, 5 April 2020

Where will you put your hopes and dollars?

I wish everyone well in this difficult time of Covid-19 and isolation at home. I hope you and your loved ones are able to stay home and stay safe.

For many of us, such as myself, working from home is not a new phenomena. I've been doing it for 27 years. For those getting used to being at home full time, I hope you are staying calm, enjoying a gentler pace to your days, a shorter commute (!) and perhaps getting a chance to try some great cook-at-home recipes?

One of the issues we are all facing, with limited businesses open and having to depend more and more on the internet to get hold of supplies, is who do we want to support?

I would like to see some positives come out of this very difficult situation. I'd like to see companies with morals thrive. I'd like to see the more environmentally friendly products become mainstream. So I thought I'd add a link to some I've found in Australia or who ship to Australia, and I'd invite you to add your own favourites in the comments, with the country you are from. I can update this post with information from all over the world if that would be helpful.

I haven't necessarily bought from all of these companies, but have noticed them and would like to see them thrive.

Seed & Sprout is a totally women owned Australian company, producing plastic free products that are built to last. I've ordered their solid shampoo and some kitchen food wraps so far, with more on the way. I really like the ethos of this company. https://seedsprout.com.au/



Who Gives a Crap sources sustainable bamboo paper towels and toilet rolls, and donates some of the proceeds to build toilets for people in need. They are currently completely sold out, but worth keeping in mind. Great sense of humour and humanity. https://au.whogivesacrap.org/ and in the US https://us.whogivesacrap.org/collections/all








No Issues is another company using sustainable bamboo for tissues, toilet rolls and paper towels. Wrapped in biodegradable plastic, they are new on the market. https://www.noissues.com.au/




Subpod is a company based in Byron Bay, Australia, who have produced an impressive composting system to save vegetable waste from going into landfill. https://subpod.com/













Ethique has been running for some years in New Zealand and shops internationally. They have prevented over 6 million plastic bottles from being made and disposed of through the sale of solid shampoos, conditioners, and other personal care products. https://ethique.com/

There are many companies delivering fresh fruit, vegetables or meat to your door. These may be too local to list, but they can use our support so the $ don't all go to the huge supermarket chains.

The Bread and Butter Project provides 100% of profits to help shape the lives of those seeking refuge and asylum with training and work. http://thebreadandbutterproject.com/ The bread is wonderful.

Citizen Wolf is a Sydney-based clothing store making made-to-measure clothing with zero waste. https://www.citizenwolf.com/

Manrags takes all your old or unnecessary clothing and either re-homes or recycles it, diverting some of the annual 501,000t of textiles from landfill. https://manrags.com.au/ You can donate unwanted clothes and shoes. Credits can be used to buy clothing from the store, made from the recycled fibres.

Eco and Basics stocks a range of eco-friendly products for food storage, personal care. https://ecoandbasics.com.au/



Activated Eco sells stainless steel clothes pegs (I love these) to reduce the need to replace plastic pegs over and over.
https://www.activatedeco.com/











Another company trying to eliminate plastic is In our Hands https://www.inourhands.com.au/ with a range of kitchenware, reusable bags, metal pegs and so on.

https://ecostainable.com.au/ is very similar.



Dirt. Buy an environmentally friendly laundry liquid and get refills for your empty laundry bottles in reusable refill bags, reducing the use of plastic. https://thedirtcompany.com.au/collections/shop 50% of profits go towards cleaning the oceans through The Oceans Cleanup. (I've ordered but haven't yet tried this product).








Another Australian company, ZeroCo, is attempting to stop single use plastics with a range of personal and cleaning products, in refillable recycled plastic bottles. It is currently a Kickstarter prelaunch.
https://prelaunch.zeroco.com.au/
If enough Aussies use this system, we'll make a huge difference to the amount of plastic that goes into landfill.






Onya make a great range of re-usable shopping bags https://www.onyalife.com/eco-friendly-products/ I've been using the large shopping bags and the produce bags for a couple of years. They pack down into a very small attached bag but hold a huge amount.







Consider also worm farms, bee hives, vegetable gardens and solar panels. There are many other companies doing this job and they need our support.

There are also companies like 4Oceans cleaning up the mess of plastic and rubbish in the oceans all over the world. The sale of bracelets helps provide the funds to clean the oceans. https://4ocean.com/

Now is a great time to support your local brick and mortar store, if they have made online ordering an option. Australian stores such as Art Scene in Sydney https://www.artscene.com.au/, Pigment Lab in Sydney, Larrypost https://www.larrypost.com.au/ for all things sketchbook related; the Sydney Art Store; Parkers in the Rocks https://www.parkersartsupplies.com/ and Seniors  http://www.seniorart.com.au/ in Melbourne.

If we put our thoughts, energy and money into the things we want to see rather than complain about what we do see, we may create a better world.

Please add your favourites in the comments below. Let's please really look for positives at this time.

Stay safe. Stay home.