I want to fill books with good drawings and turn the Stones up real loud and drink on my back verandah and light a fire and howl at the moon and not be afraid of anything. But most of all, I want to remember to do the things that make me feel like doing those kind of things. 


It's been a long time since I've shared what's in my sketchbook, so here's a huge collection of ideas, musings, work and play. And some photos of my dad in the seventies, which were used as a colour reference in the 'Out of this world' pages. 

Also, last week I finished up my full-time job as a writer/associate editor/general communications human, and this week I started an intensive three-month graphic design course. Quite a strange and scary thing to do at this point, but I thought I'd get it out of the way so I don't wind up cranky and regretful later on. 


I've been having a bit of digital-magic fun ... these were created for my latest Volcom blog post, which you can check out here if you want to see more in the same vein (or if you're keen on tattooed cockatoos and kookaburras).

Also, I've printed a couple of A3 posters of these works, which you can shop here (along with a lot of my older limited edition prints, which are on sale at the moment!).

Lots of exciting life-change moments are happening right now ... but more on that soon. All this life-changing is making me incredibly busy and kind-of frantic.


Things I loved in April:
These Valley Cruise Press pins; Eden adventures on Australia’s south coast – that means dolphins, penguins, squid, diving, octopus, waterfalls, beers, and the best vegie burgers at the pub; celebrating five years of good years with my partner; winter vegetable gardening; Easter daisiesand flower collages; sunny days with threatening afternoon storm clouds; making crazy variety salads to fend off winter sickness; forcing others to listen to the B52s and MJ in the car; Lester Bangs’s biography; lemons slowly turning yellow on our tree; Woody Guthrie wisdom; fireside drinks with friends; CobraCult pieces like this; back-veranda-studio days; and scary future plans. 


A bit late with this one, but some of my favourite things from the past month ...

Lerderderg camping, wandering, night sky watching; Humble’s warm breath on my feet on cold mornings; meeting my lover at the skatepark at dusk; this paisley-and-velvet number; catching up with travelling musician friends like Timberwolf and Morgan Joanel; Mexican and movie nights with an old friend – talking energy and light and life paths with a new one; putting together one of my favourite installments for the Volcom blog; planting winter vegetables and propagating my mum’s indestructible succulent strain; Idylwild’s ‘Wild Horses’ thermal; (slowly) learning Cripple Creek and Foggy Mountain Breakdown on my banjo; clean sheets on winter nights; the artwork of Edith Rewa; and my new Moth Vine Moon print.


Things I loved in the past far-too-short month:
Melbourne finally having a few summer days Δ playing banjo, still, maybe forever Δ Dexter reruns Δ Lester Bangs and Ken Kesey biographies Δ camping under the stars in the Murray River borderlands Δ this Watershot housing for taking photos of Humble trying to swim Δ daylight savings evening swims Δ these Souvenir Sabbath jewels Δ quitting commission work to focus on personal projects Δ hungover foodtruck dinners in the park with friends and dogs Δ throwing our first house party in the new place Δ wild rice and mushroom soup Δ collecting wild everlastings and cockatoo feathers Δ Loving Hut vegan food Δ Pretty in Pink/any John Hughes films Δ drinking games around the campfire Δ Jeffrey Eugenides Δ finally purchasing this Flynn Skye Eterie maxi Δ and the work of Australia artist Rachel Newling -- I'm a sucker for a beautifully drawn osprey Δ


We landed in Brussels half-delirious and totally over it … the 30-hour long-haul flight from Australia was replete with all the usual horrors: loudly airsick person across the aisle, hysterically crying child a few rows back, water doled out in tiny drink bottles begetting perpetual thirst, weak sleeping pills, weird food options, bad rom-coms …
But looking out the window on the way down and seeing all the funny neat houses with their austere-middle-management-type architecture, all the green fields and white wind turbines, all the crisp early light, was a new kind of radical. That’s fucking Belgium down there! We’re going to be in this place, the opposite side of the world, where we don’t know anything, and hardly anyone.
It was probably seven or eight in the morning by this time, and we were met by two friends in a turquoise-green van, papered with DIY skate company stickers and harbouring a case of warm Jupiler tins. This van – along with another of the same make and model, only red, and with a better built-in fridge – would be our home for the next week, as our gang of eight drove from Antwerp to Malmo, questing for skate parks, sunny days and strong beer.
All of which is a fun idea until you’ve built up five days’ worth of hangovers, food poisoning and skating sweat without any showers.
But whatever, the highlights were things like …


Antwerp was one of my favourite cities on our whole trip – the first place we went into was a shop with skulls and urchins, but I didn’t buy any because I still had to pass customs in five or six more countries. And the last place we went into was essentially a beer café. I have never drunk so much beer in my life. I also didn’t drink beer again for the rest of the trip, and probably not for another three months once we were back in Australia.  

Doel is an abandoned town/doomed city in East Flanders. It’s supposed to be demolished en masse to expand Antwerp’s harbour. But it’s got this beautiful thing happening where colourful street art is climbing the walls of all the empty houses and shops like rough Ironlak ivy. There was also Roa artwork and a windmill, all of which I was impressed by. And no venomous snakes or spiders in any of the overgrown houses (natural Australian instincts were in overdrive).

Things like driving on the Autobahn, spotting deer and buzzards, keeping an eye out for wolves, collecting wild poppies and acorns in a vacant lot, photographing nature collections, finding the odd jellyfish, the best spiced whiskey I've ever had (can someone in Europe send me a box of William Lawson Super Spiced Whiskey?) …

The DIY camp in Hannover, Germany gave me a taste for year-round Christmas decorations in outdoor trees, as well as fortresses made of pallets, fake plants, and plastic jewels.
Hamburg was colourful, dirty, scary and cool – we parked the vans in the parking lot, got drunk and barbecued bratwurst … I probably laughed the hardest I’ve ever laughed in that city. I was also the second-most scared I’ve ever been when I was trying to sleep in the van while a homeless man circled outside, muttering and yelling into the night. And in German, no less.   

In Copenhagen we slept in the vans on the outskirts of Christiania, a ‘free town’ that to my Australian mind was just completely incomprehensible. And before we slept, we trekked out to a little beach on the shore of Christiania’s lake – past beautiful handmade houses and strange rambling constructions – built a fire and drank beers and laughed until the early hours.

There was a festival in Malmo, Sweden, when we got there – we caught the end of a Graveyard set, ate burritos and drank Coronas, somewhat culturally inexplicably. We walked for miles through the rain to some scary-loose pub to find two ex-pat Australians, who would lead us through the city and the bars and eventually get us so dead-lost we ended up on the grounds of what was possibly a mental hospital, carrying a cardboard cut-out clown, all arguing about how to get back to the hostel. I also remember laughing a lot playing a weird board game in a pub in Malmo – I think it was called Caromse or something, going by the drunken scrawling in my notebook.

And after all that, we waved to the guys in the vans at Copenhagen airport and turned our sights to Iceland … with the hope of a big of rehab and rest, and whatever the strangest place in the world had in store for us. 


Lately I’ve been drawing cats and lobsters, seahorses and skulls; I’ve been camping on strange riverbanks and staring at the stars, reading in the shade and practicing the banjo.
Good times indeed.

Also, there’s 25 per cent off everything in my online store here, using the code PRINTSALE at the checkout. 


 photo rachelurquhart_necklace2_zps8b46663d.jpg  photo Rachel-Urquhart-illustration_zps7eebdfd6.jpg  photo Rachel-Urquhart-illustration-pony-gold_zps43baa16e.jpg  photo rachelurquhart_necklace_zpsa3c5620f.jpg
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Vintage turquoise necklaces, Asos shirt, rings: vintage and Rejoice the Hands.

Things I loved in January:
Fireworks from rooftops Δ quitting drinking for a month Δ driving lost through bushland listening to Alabama Shakes Δ surprising a wedge-tail eagle drinking from a roadside pond Δ new soles on my Harley boots Δ more Millie Savage silver Δ finding new local florists vs. stealing flowers from gardens and roadsides Δ Tom Robbins autobiography (Tibetan Peach Pie) Δ this cute Lykke Wullf shirt Δ forcing Weenie Mutt to swim in icy southern waters on 40°C days Δ ginger ale (sans whiskey) Δ banjo playing and my black Tanglewood beauty Δ painting native Australian birds and plants in vibrant colours Δ re-watching Arrested Development episodes Δ these coconut goods Δ B52s and Jackson Five Δ long floral 90s dresses with chunky boots and Harley tees Δ crisp summer mornings in southern Australia Δ new Three Arrows Leather goods made of the softest magical leather Δ daydreaming up plans for our future home of wood and glass and solar and plants …

King Crimson, again.

So I had this big sketchbook plan about how the parrot was going to be an exotic type -- not the King and Crimson parrots and rosellas I grew up with -- and it just ended up looking exactly like a King Parrot with a Crimson Rosella's colouring. Anyway. This is an Instagram/sketchbook peek, hopefully I can pin down a second to scan/fix up/maybe even reproduce in larger format.
More fun later.
And there's always fun happening here: Instagram: @raychponygold, Tumblr