Have you ever been to Noosa? I used to live there once a long time ago and have been back a few times since I left but when my friend Tina told me about Dina Wakley visiting there and having a class or two last November, I couldn’t wait to get on a plane and get back.

Noosa holds a very special place in my heart so even though I didn’t know much about Dina at the time, my friend Tina did and who can resist an art retreat? Especially when you get to spend time with this crazy beautiful lady.

We went to a venue organised by Lisa from Lulu Arts for 3 action packed days of mixed media fun with collage, drawing, gelli plate printing, stamping, swapping, art journaling and composition lessons . There was even a shop to indulge the ever growing fascination with art supplies!

I’ve had a bit of experience with faces over the last 3 years so when it came time for the faces class, Dina challenged me to draw with my non dominant hand and this is what I came up with from the reference which is a piece by Di Pettit.

I was pleasantly surprised and remembered that when I lived in Noosa 25 years ago, I had tried my left hand to draw once and it worked out pretty well at the time. It was a picture of two hands holding a crystal ball. I probably still have it in the drawer under the bed. The best thing about drawing with my left hand was the feeling I had doing it. I was all nervous and excited at the same time and it was the same feeling as when I started on my art journey 3 years ago.

So I did another one but this time in paint. Not as great but it was fun to have a go.

We also tried some things I have never thought of such as using free images available from the internet and printing them out and collaging with them or using stamps to make something new which you can stick in your journal and I used Neo Colour II’s water soluble crayons to add colour to the black and white image. Really liked this! It’s quick and easy and I don’t have to think too much for those times when I can’t decide what to do.

After that I had a go at an abstract piece. Well, abstract for me anyway. I’m not really into abstracts but I really like this page. I haven’t wanted to draw or paint anything on top of it yet and Noosa was 6 months ago already. This was all about layers and I used a few stencils too.


Dina had fun introducing a few of us to some new things including her paint range which I love, the Gelli Plate for printing and the Queen of pencils, the black Stabilo which I already knew about and have been using for some time but I hadn’t tried the Gelli plate monoprinting very much at all. Even after 3 hours or so of Gelli plate printing back in November, I still haven’t got my head around it. I think it’s a wonderful tool and I can’t wait to get some time to play with it again.

After all that arting, a girl can get hungry and Noosa has some great cafe’s and restaurants which I dragged my friends along to and we had a great time eating nachos and taco’s and burgers. Hi Geri and Cathie xxx


Dina is so much fun if you ever get a chance to go to a class of hers, grab it with both hands. She is a great teacher and I hope to see her again in class one day.