Art Carts

Meet Suzi Poland – Mrs Red’s Artist of the Month!

Suzi Poland is August 18 Red’s Art Cart feature artist (that seemed like a mouthful)! The theme for August was Urban Sketching and with Mrs Red showing a lack of skills in this department it was time to bring someone else on board as the feature artist. After a quick hashtag search on Instagram I came across Suzi and her gorgeous work, both urban and other art styles. Her urban sketching is inspiring, and I had my fingers crossed she would agree to my last-minute request, which she did, and I am so happy to have met this talented Aussie artist, who helped me out of the hole I had dug for myself. I adore urban sketches and think anyone who can sit and draw what is in front of them are amazing. It’s not my strength but hey, we can’t be good at everything, so I was happy to ask for help. I hope you enjoy reading about Suzi as much as I have had interacting with her over the past month.

Suzi Poland

Profile pics SP

Tell us briefly about what part of Australia you live in?
I live on the northern beaches of Sydney, Australia, just over an hour’s drive from the city.

What style of art do you do?
Depending on my mood, location, the subject, or materials at hand, my work falls into different styles. Some are restrained, monochromatic, others colourful and playful. Some are journalistic reportage, others intuitive or imagined. Currently, I am working on combining everything I do, so if I had to define what I’m aiming for, I’d say whimsical minimalism, or simply, what makes us happy.

What influences your art style?
Sometimes when I create, I am designing/making for others, sometimes I am simply pleasing myself, capturing the essence or telling a tale. Working alone for five years, I developed a practice based on where I live, by the sea, the bush and the bay. Nature, the local seaside culture and cycles of the seasons and the moon are all influences on my work.

I am also influenced by my childhood, spent on the English coast and countryside, and my background in landscape architecture, tourism and design.

Northern Beaches SYD

What is your history with art (any courses, self-taught, professional or hobby artist)?
As a child I sketched and drew, but instead of art school, I chose to Landscape Architecture and learnt how to draw to communicate concepts and imaginings so they could be constructed as playgrounds, streetscapes, parks and gardens. I also learnt how to think in space and time. This, and my love of adventure, led to a post graduate degree in Tourism Management. Whilst it may seem a slight detour on the path to art, it taught me much about what we desire and allowed me to explore themes of attraction, happiness and story in my work.

After my Tourism degree and when my girls were still in primary school, I started a business selling tropical flowers at local markets in Sydney. It came after a trip to Nth Queensland where my husband and I have a close affinity to the reef and the rainforests. I learnt lots through this phase about creating in conversation with the marketplace, starting with flowers and ending up doing gigs for weddings and at the Sydney Opera House! Most of all I learnt, that in everything we do there is always a second meaning, so I wasn’t selling flowers, but rather messages of love.

Later, I did a series of creative courses, online and in-person in a variety of mediums both 2D and 3D and just last year I completed a Diploma of Ceramics.


Have you ever exhibited or entered art awards?
I will be exhibiting my drawings at the #100DayProject Global Meet Up in Sydney which I am hosting. My ceramics have been selected to Little Things twice and the Newport Art Trail and my printmaking was exhibited at Manly Gallery. I also have a sketchbook in the Brooklyn Library which I did as part of The Sketchbook Project.

Do you have any advice to anyone else who loves to dabble or is just beginning their art journey?
Don’t listen to the mob or succumb to the pressure of the mainstream art world as a way to pursue your creativity … keep searching, keep trying all sorts of things, set up little projects of your own to explore aspects of your creativity. Sure, go to art school, learn techniques, but throughout all of it, don’t search for fame as a measure of success, instead keep searching for what makes you come alive. If that is simply learning, beginning, trying, that’s enough, keep exploring. If through persistence you don’t give up and you get good at something, that may please you, keep going as you will get even better. Re-visiting old ways can be exciting, so too can teaching others, selling stuff or entering competitions. Please, whatever you do, don’t set such a rigid route that you become stuck and art becomes a chore, but if it does, start a side-project, you never know what might spring up!

Artworks SP

Away from the desk/easel, what are your other interests?
Haha! When is an artist ever “off the job” especially when you are a sketcher like me! Even on holidays, as well as my clothes etc, there’s always a small bag of art supplies that come with me. Just ask my family! I love walking the many bush and coastal paths around where I live and my husband knows almost every plant we see. He and I love visiting rainforests and gardens and places of natural or cultural beauty as much as we love visiting a pub! He loves to surf whilst I prefer to swim in summer, go to yoga or do WuTao, which is like dancing Tai Chi. I love hanging out with my family, watching movies or catching up with friends, but yes, art and creativity form a big part of who I am.

If you could meet any particular artist, living or not, who would it be?
I think what I love most is the ability we have to meet kindred spirits online, so they are the one’s I’d love to meet. If it was someone from the past, it would be my ancestor who collected wildflowers in Western Australia, or other female artists or anyone who told stories or found joy in their life by simply making art from what’s around them.

Do you have a studio space? Describe it (as in organized, chaos, minimal, can’t move etc).
This question always amuses me. I did have a studio in the village for several years where I could create and people could visit, but I am lucky enough to live on the edge of a big city and now I am doing more things that need equipment, it’s been great to be able to attend Open Studios and join other creatives in specifically designed spaces for printmaking, woodworking or ceramics. I also work from various parts of my home painting, drawing, sewing, writing or creating online and when the weather is good I go out filming or sketching or if I need solitude, I can retreat indoors to one of many local cafes. I admit, I do love the variety!

Where would you like to see yourself in 10 years from now?
Ten years from now, I’d like to be living lightly, somewhere peaceful, surrounded by nature, the sea and the city, close to my family and connected to creative people. Having a quiet cuppa or glass of something while laughing at how silly we can be. I’d love to be a prizewinning artist, but more importantly, I’d like to be creating beauty, contributing where I can and sharing the joy in the world that I see. I do love connecting and gathering, so maybe a beautiful studio where I could offer workshops and retreats would be fun, so too would traveling with a sketchbook meeting all sorts of people!

Click here to visit Suzi’s website and to find out more about the Sydney 100 Day project (in News tab)
Suzi Poland Instagram


Wow, such a great read and I really thank Suzi for taking the time to answer my questions and wish her well with the 100 day project coming up on 25th August.

This article has been written in regards to Red’s Art Cart, which is a monthly art subscription box, packed full of art supplies, YouTube video’s, links to online art classes and information on art supplies. For more info and to subscribe to the Art Cart please click here.

Mrs Red

Art Carts

What’s inside July Red’s Art Cart?

cropped frog

The July 18 Red’s Art Cart is a special one because….. Red’s Art Cart has turned 1 years old!!! Now that is something worth celebrating. And Mrs Red has not disappointed, packing the Art Cart full of colourful fun for subscribers to enjoy!


To be perfectly honest, this was not the intended Cart for July. It was actually intended for April 18 however when it came time to order the stock, Mrs Red was given horrible news in that the main art supply, Brusho, was completely out of stock! Why? Because Brusho is the best and everyone wants to get their hands on some!

frog wip

Skip forward to July and the Brusho was back in stock and I was able to get this Art Cart out there finally. I have also filled the Mrs Red’s Art Shop (.com) with the Brusho pots as well because once you try, you will be back for more colours.

So, what is Brusho? The correct name is Brusho Crystal Colour and it is a highly pigmented watercolour ink powder. There is nothing else like it around and its unique qualities make it unpredictable, fun and ideal for anyone wishing to create loose, impressionistic and vibrant art work. There are 30 colours in the range and they can be used for watercolour painting and design work, ink and wash, fabric decoration, dying, stenciling and printing. Perfect for the beginner who just wants to explore and also for children of all ages.

Not to be outdone, also in July’s Art Cart is two Derwent Graphik Line Painter pens. There are 20 colours in this range, the nib size is 0.5mm for all and they contain water-based pigment paint that is lightfast, opaque and permanent. The other great thing about this fabulous range of paint pens is that the barrel is frosted so you can see the paint moving inside and know when it’s almost time to buy a new one. They are completely waterproof as I prove in the YouTube video below.


And of course, to use the Brusho, you need a paint brush and not a fine dainty one at that. So also included in the Cart is a big Nuart round squirrel brush. This brush holds so much water and was fabulous to use and is at a really economical price.

Finally, Stonehenge have bought out a watercolour paper and a sample selection of these papers have also been included for subscribers to try out.

All stock in this month’s Art Cart can be purchased through the Mrs Red’s art shop which is

As always, make sure you check out the YouTube video’s below to see an explanation of how to use Brusho and to watch the frog artwork come together. If you would like to subscribe to the Art Carts, then please follow the links on this website. PLUS, Mrs Red now holds two online art classes per month where the Art Cart subscribers can come together for an art class, show their work, discuss materials, ask questions and get advice on their work, all in the comfort of their own creative space at home!

Red’s Art Cart is perfect for hobby artists, people who live in rural areas, artists who need that push to just get moving on something and is a great way to hold accountability for your monthly creative time. You will also use products that you would not normally purchase and some Carts contain samples of products that normally have to be purchased in larger amounts. The feeling you get from sitting down and having a dabble is such a wonderful and healthy way to spend your down time. Give it a go!

Finally, if you have purchased this cart, please show us your artworks via Instagram or the Facebook page which is mentioned on your information card inside your cart. This way we all get to see your beautiful oil paintings.

Happy Brusho month everyone!

Mrs Red

Art Carts

What’s inside JANUARY Red’s Art Cart?



Nothing says HAPPY NEW YEAR like a bit of shimmer! For a brand new year, we need to add a touch of sparkle to our artworks and included in this months Red’s Art Cart is a Liquitex Metallic Ink!  The Liquitex Ink! range can be used in so many ways including watercolour, stamping, calligraphy and pouring mediums.

Also included is a Winsor & Newton Cotman’s half pan watercolour to add a touch of colour to your artwork. And because of the ink and watercolour being so fluid, we have gone with a dagger tip brush because these brushes hold the fluid like no other brush can and if you are someone who can paint swirls or calligraphy then you will love this brush.

We have also included a fine and brush tip Faber-Castell PITT artist pen which are lightfast and waterproof, although I found they need a bit of time to become waterproof, possibly 24 hours. And for the calligraphy touch, included is a Sakura Pen-touch calligrapher in white which sits perfectly on top of the PITT pens.


Make sure you check out the YouTube video’s below to see the Metallic Balloon artwork being created and if you want to subscribe to the Art Carts then please follow the links on this website. The contents of each months cart is a big secret that only my suppliers and myself know about. For you, it cuts out the decisions of what art materials to buy, finding the time to buy them and to explore products you would never select yourself. There is never anything wrong with having too many art supplies!

Finally, if you have purchased this cart, please show us your artworks via Instagram or the Facebook page which is mentioned on your information card inside your cart.

I look forward to seeing what everyone creates with this metallic themed month!

Mrs Red

Creating art

New Year Resolutions for Arty Types

Photo by David Zawila (Unsplash)

Does anyone successfully stick to their new year’s resolutions? Mine for this year was ‘Meatless Monday’ and I loved it and looked forward to our vegetarian meal every Monday. My kids on the other hand were less than impressed. My reason for Meatless Monday was saving a bit of cash. Meat costs a lot of money and I have 2 teenage boys in the house and they can eat! By having a meat free meal once a week, was a saving of $15-25 every week. I managed to pull this resolution off until mid-September and my reason for ending it was very valid. My uncle owns a lot of land and keeps cattle to mow the grass. Problem being, the cattle love their home so much that they decided to all have babies and it got out of control. So, I was told to buy a chest freezer because I was about to get steer and lamb and it was coming every couple of months. We now have an endless supply of beef and lamb so was saving more on meat than when I made the resolution.

Do you make new year resolutions AND do you stick to them? What about an ‘ART’ resolution. Who has said “I’m going to draw/paint every day for the year”? And did you pull that off? There doesn’t seem to be any available statistics on this but I am going to say that it is less than 10% success rate.

Photo by Nik Macmillan (Unsplash)
Photo by Nik Macmillan (Unsplash)

I do believe it is important to make some sort of new year resolution for us creative types. We need to check in on ourselves and understand that apart from the enjoyment and outcomes of our creating, that it is actually incredibly valuable to our mind and soul to be creating.

Here are 6 easy steps for ALL of us to follow and get through the next 365 days.

  1. Set ONE long term goal for the new year. This may be as simple as enter one art award/competition in your local area. It may be to look at setting up an online shop and begin to sell your creations. What about attending a local art market twice a year? The goal doesn’t have to be big in itself, it just has to have a good few months to plan and prepare for it. Join an online challenge, Inktober is a good one, every October. This is also where a 30/30 could take place – 30 drawings/paintings in 30 days – just choose the month and plan ahead. I wouldn’t recommend that month being December (just sayin’).
  2. Set ONE monthly goal for 12 months. Again, keep it simple. For example, do one journal entry in the month, complete one artwork by end of each month, theme the month so any artwork you do in that month is based around that theme ie/items I wear everyday like glasses, earrings, shoes.
  3. Buy Red’s Art Cart! You know I had to mention this one! Doesn’t have to be a monthly subscription, could be a one off. But it is a great way to explore materials you wouldn’t go and buy yourself and does help you sit down and just do something. Click here to find out more!
  4. Visit an Art Gallery. Depending on where you live will determine how many times in the year you can do this, of course. If you live in a city area, then perhaps 4 visits in the year will work. If you are more remote, then this needs to be included in a holiday or cityscape getaway. The importance of a gallery visit is invaluable though as you get instant inspiration from the artworks and then there is usually the Art Gift Shop and if anyone gets away from them without buying something arty then you have more control than me!

    Photo by Ryan Stefan (Unsplash)
  5. Be accountable. I love this because as soon as you let others know, the pressure is on to make it happen. But don’t be one of those ‘go-na’ (Aussie slang for ‘going’) people. I have a family member who is always on a new diet. Her facial expressions are always very certain that this new diet is going to work. I have lost track of how many diets she has now done but I can guarantee every time we catch up she will be on one. She holds herself accountable but fails to deliver. Don’t fail to deliver. If you say you are going to do something, DO IT!
  6. Finally, do it for YOU! This is the one I suffer with. I am so busy doing my artworks with a purpose, possibly for one of Red’s Art Carts or one of the Student Carts that I never sit and draw or paint just for me. If we go camping, I will sit and draw, if on a flight I will draw but these don’t happen every month so in a year I probably have 2-3 goes of drawing for myself. In order for me to get ‘my time’ I am going to be setting myself a long-term goal. It won’t be a huge one but it will be something that can be achieved with a bit of planning.So now we have a clearer plan to head into the new year. BUT, and there is always a but! Please don’t set your art goals too high and unless you already draw or paint 4/5 times a week, I do not recommend jumping into a year of daily artworks. You are setting yourself up to fail. Start with a 30/30 if you have to and if day 31 rolls around and you are still going strong then go for another 30/30 and build from that. I personally would love to do a 30/30 but I know it is not going to happen so I will set a monthly goal of completing one drawing in my journal by the end of every week, for a month and if that works I will head into the next month.
Photo by (Unsplash)

I have set up a Facebook group page, called Mrs Red’s Art Accountability, which anyone can join and share their yearly, monthly, weekly goals and also share their artwork. This will help with the accountability of our art goals. I look forward to seeing and reading about everyones new year goals for the year ahead!

Happy New Year!
Mrs Red


Art Carts

Meet an Art Cart’er – Wendy Patterson

December’s Art Cart’er lives in Kingaroy, Queensland and jumped on board a couple of months after the Carts launched. I began following Wendy on Instagram when she purchased her first Cart and love all of her posts about life, work and creating. Wendy jumps in head first with each new Cart and is usually one of the first to post her artworks on social.

Wendy is a busy lady and I appreciate her taking time out to be interviewed. Enjoy this great read through the life of another fabulous Art Cart’er!


Describe yourself in 5 to 10 individual words (ie/fabulous, married etc)
Wife; Mother; nurse; creative; unique; friendly; caring

Where do you reside and who do you live with?
I live in Kingaroy, Queensland.  3 hours northwest of Brisbane.  I live with my amazing husband of 22 years and two incredible girls (14 and 15)

Where would you like to reside?
Sunshine coast…..  dreaming and planning to move there after the girls finish school.

My pup, “Isa” (short for “Is a dog”) is always begging to sit on my lap when I’m ready to paint!

Describe your ultimate holiday escape.
I’m a bit boring in this area.  My idea of an ultimate holiday is glamping somewhere isolated within Australia with my family.  No TV, no phone, no connection to the outside world, but I MUST have a box or two of art supplies.

Describe your art style.
This is something I’m working on.  I’ve only started to get back into art work this year and I’m playing with many different styles and trying to push myself.  I’ve joined a local mixed media art group which has introduced me to so many different products and techniques.



This year I’ve started trying my hand at whimsical characters.  A class I completed from LifeBook (

I love painting landscapes.  I work primarily in acrylics, but starting to play with oils and watercolours.


Did you do art at school?
I did art in years 11 and 12.  Now this was 30 years ago, so the memories are a little fuzzy.  I can’t remember the teachers name, but I know they started a little fire for the love of art that has continued burning throughout the years.

Do you have an actual art space at home?
I’m lucky, do I have an art space at home.  I have one half of the old garage.  My husband has a gym in the other corner.  I think I need more space though 😊


Do you earn any money from your creative talents? If not, do you want to or just happy doing it for yourself?
I have been asked to do commission work before, but haven’t felt comfortable painting for others.  I am my biggest critic and always worried about what other people will think about what I have painted for them.  I’m starting to feel a little braver lately and I’m considering beginning selling some of my paintings.

Where do you get your creative inspiration from?
I have to say I love YouTube, it has been an invaluable tool in learning assorted styles and techniques.  In the last 18 months my biggest influences have been Toni Burt; Sabine Belz (abstract painting), Jane Davenport, Lamara Laporte; Cinnamon Cooney and Jane Font.

At time of this interview, please note down the last photo taken on your phone and describe why you took it.
Currently in the process of making Christmas decoration for our work unit.  An acrylic pour come Christmas bauble.


What was for dinner last night? Did you make it? Are you the main cook? Do you like cooking dinner?
Last night was left overs night with tuna curry bake and veggie soup. As a shift worker, I’m very lucky to have a husband that is a partner in house work and cooking.  I would consider the both of us to be very good cooks.  My favorite meals are those where all the family is involved.  Somehow it tastes just that little bit better.

Scroll forward 10 years. What is life looking like?
Living on the Sunshine Coast, working less and painting more.

How are you going with the Art Carts?
I really am thankful that I found Mrs Red via Facebook.  To have these amazing boxes of goodies turn up on my door step each month is just like Christmas for me.  I have received products that I normally would not consider buying and have ended up really enjoyed learning to use them.  The tutorials that have been provided have been great.  Looking forward to seeing more.

Do you have art galleries and art shops where you live? What about art style markets?
We do have a local art gallery.  Sadly, with my crazy busy life I still haven’t been.  On my bucket list for next year.  My favorite place to visit is Two Sister Scrapbooking and papercraft, in Kingaroy (   Tania holds mixed media art classes every Friday.  While the name suggests scrapbooking it is much, much more.

To check out more of Wendy’s creative talent please click on any of the links below.







Art Carts

What’s inside DECEMBER Red’s Art Cart!

Gelli print

The festive month has arrived well and truly and the Art Cart had to have a festive feel to it. So Mrs Red went for something a bit more art & crafty and nothing says fun like some Gelli Printing!

Gelli printing has been around since 2011 but really only became popular around 4 years ago when the art journaling movement went up a notch. The actual Gelli Plate is made from mineral oil and is a hypoallergenic polymer material, not gelatin as many would think. The Gelli plates are easy to clean and as long as they are looked after, will last many years to come!

Dec17 contents

The Student Gelli Kit comes with 5”x5” gelli plate, 2 x stencils and a brayer/roller. Then, Mrs Red has included a concertina art journal and 3 samples of acrylic paint. I imagine most of my Art Cart’ers already have a stash of acrylic paints but still wanted to include some paints in the Cart.

Art Journal
I drew this portrait over the top of one of the printing pages in the concertina booklet. A combination of oil pastel, zest-it blend and black marker pens.

Make sure you check out the YouTube video’s below to see the Gelli Plate in action and if you want to subscribe to the Art Carts then please follow the links on this website. The contents of each months cart is a big secret that only my suppliers and myself know about. For you, it cuts out the decisions of what art materials to buy, finding the time to buy them and to explore products you would never select yourself. There is never anything wrong with having too many art supplies!

Finally, if you have purchased this cart, please show us your artworks via Instagram or the Facebook page which is mentioned on your information card inside your cart.

I look forward to seeing what everyone does with the Gelli printing!

Mrs Red

Creating art, Uncategorized

Learn how to draw a Tonal Scale


Tonal ScaleThis week I wanted to show you a quick exercise to try if you are about to draw something in pencil or about to sketch something up, like a painting for example.

A graphite tonal scale shows how heavy that grade of pencil can go following through to how light it can be used. In the YouTube video, I used a 2B which is a fairly standard weight. Ladies, if your own weight is somewhere between size 12-14, the next time you are asked what is your weight, just say 2B, merely to see the reaction!

Tone is a critical part of any drawing, painting or mixed media artwork. Why? Because without tone, your artwork will look flat and 2D. By doing a tonal scale in just one weight pencil for a graphite sketch, you can then check if your sketch includes all areas of that scale.

Artist: Norman Lindsay (1878-1969) Title: Study for Marriage Medium: Pencil on paper Image Size: 64.5 x 51.5 cm

Australian artist, Norman Lindsay (1878-1969), is a great example for tonal sketches. This continues in his pen sketches, etchings and also paintings. Imagine the lack of choice art supplies available around the turn of the 20th century yet the quality of the work of these artists is simply outstanding.

Enjoy watching this quick video of Mrs Red doing a tonal scale in 2B pencil and then have a go yourself. All you need is a pencil and a piece of paper, too easy!