Wednesday, 21 June 2017

A Winter Morning

I see that on the other side of the world they are having some very warm temperatures but here in South Australia we are a couple of weeks into Winter. We are having unusually dry conditions but with very cold starts to the day. I take my poodle Rosie for a walk after breakfast, I say walk she doesn't do much of it, mostly it is a sniff a thon. We live on the edge of the Murray river and have a jetty which remains unused as we do not do boating. Rosie has decided though that we need to unlock the gate and walk its length as part of our daily sniff a thon. One quick check and she is satisfied. I took an image on my iphone whilst we were down the bank on the way to the jetty gate and with the feeling of being towered over by the river reeds still fresh in my mind I set to creating this "scape" as soon as our morning ritual was over and studio time began. I am looking forward to including this in an August exhibition.

A Winter Morning

Sunday, 4 June 2017


Finding time to just play is not so easy when exhibition commitments mean studio time is taken up with more serious work so a purchase of new arty stuff I made whilst on holiday interstate back in March has been left mostly untouched.
This weekend however I had playtime so I had fun testing some of my purchases.

These are water soluble graphite blocks by Art Graf
Wet into Wet, drawn lines on dry paper, and used on the side for bigger shapes

I love to play with adding other water media with my watercolours, some work really well first time and others take some getting used to. These tailor shape blocks can be used dry on dry and then have water added or be used like pigment or ink and added to a wet area. This is how I used them in my play. I loved how they took off when they touched the water on my paper.
They can be washed away but will leave a but if a murky residual so they would not suit if a botanical, neat as a pin result was required.
With French Ultra Marine and Burnt Sienna watercolour added

They suited me just fine to create this abstracted work of Pink Magnolia at the end of winter patiently waiting for spring so their bare branches would give way to new lovely green leaves.

When Winter Ends
Watercolour and Graphite
unframed size 56cm x 38cm

Saturday, 6 May 2017


Using new colour combinations for favourite subjects is a way of creating something new and original even if you are using the same reference over and over.
Unframed size 43cm x 32cm
In week 4 of my current class the subject was painting black and white and for the white I gave everyone the same reference photo of a goose. I have painted this as a demo twice before back in 2016 but this time as I was about to start my demo one of my students ask that I use the two interesting colours she spotted on my palette and my thoughts were "maybe" this might work.
Cascade Green and Quinacridone Lilac both by Daniel Smith
I tested the new shade Quinacridone Lilac in a recent blog post here and really liked the colour. It is PR122 which is also sold by Winsor Newton as Quinacridone Magenta.
Together these two shades produce a beautiful soft neutral and I enjoyed creating an original work of my goose and know that I will enjoy using this combination again.

 Same Subject Painted in 2016

Take a Gander

Take Another Gander

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Too Fast

I am so surprised to see that I have not written on my blog since early March. You may think I am not painting or away on holidays but no here I am with so much arty things happening and the time going by all too fast. 
I have had a whirlwind exhibition program since January, am now a month into giving my second watercolour foundation course this year and still wanting to paint every day. With a little mini break away followed by Easter celebrations with family I now have my studio routine back on track.

Black and White in Watercolour:
Yesterday for week 4 for my class the subject was how to paint black and white. I painted my demo with just three colours - Permanent Rose, Burnt Sienna and French Ultra Marine Blue. This little Boston Terrier appeared in less than 40 minutes, seemed too fast, but no fuss just lovely colour fusions happening before our eyes. 
The most asked question in my classes is what should I do with the background. I normally advise that it be considered as a whole with the subject rather than a scary afterthought but here I was in that scenario as this was only meant to demo the subject colour but after falling in love with this little guy I wanted him to be a finished work.  I left it on my easel overnight loving its simplicity but knowing I wanted something for the background but puzzled what it might be. 
This morning I added the simple shapes and the puzzle was complete.

42cm x 32cm

I have changed the cover picture on my blog to my "Lest We Forget" in celebration of it being awarded a merit for a contemporary work by the judges in the Flagstaff Hill Rotary Art Show on Saturday.  Another of my entries - a large abstract "Key to Winning" was purchased by the Onkaparinga Council for its own collection so I have certainly been on a high this week.