Orela Vokes

Category: travel

Happy New…Zealand!

A few days ago I returned to Sweden from New Zealand, where I spent three weeks visiting my sister and her family. I watched breathtaking sunsets, felt a storm howling around me, gazed in wonder at the night sky, was bitten by a hedgehog, pecked by an ostrich, saw giraffes and monkeys, petted alpacas and goats, was entertained by my niece’s tall tales and dances, and charmed by my nephew’s smiles. I  swam in the sea on Christmas day, found masses of beautiful shells, drank loads of coffee and red wine, and ate the most delicious seafood.

Here’s hoping that 2015 brings even more joyful times. Happy New Year!

Waiheke from plane window


A Flying Visit

Last week I managed to squeeze in a short trip to England for some much-needed family time. I had the good fortune of being in Banbury at the same time as the fair, something I went to every year until I moved away. Nothing had changed in the ten years that had passed since I was there last; it was still the same grotesque, dizzying, exciting experience. I ‘hooked-a-duck’, ate candyfloss, and even went on a ride called Star Flyer (twice, because I enjoyed it so much!) And I’ll be doing lots more flying soon, as I’m going to New Zealand in December!

Fair - Galloping Horses

Fair - Hook A Duck

Fair - Star Flyer

Fair - Star Flyer 2

Fair - Desperate Dan's

Fair - Wilson's Fast Foods

Fair - Nightmare Express


I spent the weekend in Copenhagen with my friend (and fellow Parched Artist) Hayley. It was a only a short trip but it was long enough to completely fall in love with the place! We stayed in super-cool Versterbro but also explored Christianshavn, Christiania, and the city centre. There was so much to see that I barely opened my sketchbook but it felt good to just soak up the sunshine and surroundings.

Copenhagen 1

Copenhagen 2

Copenhagen 3

Copenhagen 4

Copenhagen 5

Valentine’s Day

Love is a wonderful thing. Love each other and love yourself.

From Russia with Love (detail)


The falling leaves and cold, cold nights show that Autumn is definitely here again and the last twelve months seem to have passed particularly quickly. This time last year I was painting naked trees in coppery colours but thanks to a late Summer holiday in Portugal I still have sunshine, blue skies and sparkling seas on my mind.

Faro 1

Faro 2

Faro 3

First exhibition of 2013

This weekend I was at Veterinärmuseet in snowy Skara setting up my work for the Uzbekistan-inspired exhibition which opens today and runs for two weeks.

Mir-i Arab, Tilya Kori, Gur-e Amir, Barak-Khan

Goose, Stork, Peacock

Mountain from a Train

Unbelievable Blue

Uzbekistan Inspired

A miniature watercolour, a collage inspired by a stained-glass window, and a quick sketch of a man in a hat.


I haven’t posted in a while as I’ve been so busy writing and travelling. This was my second time in Uzbekistan and it was even more wonderful than I remembered. We stayed in Tashkent, Bukhara and Samarkand, saw mosques, madrasahs and minarets, watched potters and paper-makers at work, took a night train, picked cotton, went to a wedding, ate huge amounts of delicious food and drank endless cups of green tea. I’ll post some Uzbekistan inspired sketches and paintings soon but in the meantime here are a few photos from the trip.

Memory Lane

I’ve just started the second week of the semester and I’ve already written 4000 words. These courses are wonderful but intense! My first major assignment is a memoir, and as I decided to write about an event that took place in my final year at uni I’ve been looking through my journals and sketchbooks from that time.