Thursday, 30 May 2013

Souffle Inspired

Painting size 15" x 11"

This painting of Mulberries was inspired by reading on a menu last weekend "Mulberry Souffle". Whilst away on our gastronomic getaway I mentioned to my friend Judy that this was another fruit I had yet to paint. She told me about the Mulberry trees that were somewhere on the vineyard property where our restaurant was located and also how she had used Mulberry leaves to feed silkworms that were studied in her Science classes she taught at high school. We did not order the souffle as we were all too full by the Sunday afternoon to eat another mouthful. I have tried here to add a little abstractness into the otherwise loose interpretation finding new ways to add interest to my edible series that I have been creating over the past 12 months.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

A Weekend for the Soul

We have just spent a long weekend away with friends feasting on scrumptious food, relaxing and having some great conversation. Not only was I enjoying eating all the delicious edibles but I was also making sure I was feasting for my soul. I took a few photos, not many, but made sure my eyes were open wide to take in the vineyard scenery and local wildlife and that I would return home with lots of inspiration and new ideas for painting. To top off a thoroughly enjoyable R&R I was pleased to receive over the weekend an email from the man in the USA who at Christmas time saw a painting of mine on the web and wrote to me to ask my permission to use it to renovate his elderly mothers letterbox. This was an unusual request to me as in Australia we do not have decorated letterboxes.  He explained how she just loved purple but her decorated mail box was long faded and tatty. I was impressed that he sought my permission as we all know how easily our art can be used once we put it out on the web and I had no reason not to say yes. He attached a lovely image of his Mother and his family and one of the newly decorated mail box. Here is my original painting and the photo of the mail box covered in my Wisteria.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Quince still going Strong

Fragrant Quince
Painting size 15" x 11"

Earlier this month I posted my first quince painting and detailed my process using one fresh quince. This strange to me fruit has really surprised me because nearly three weeks later he is looking as strong as ever but now has a really lovely aroma. I have been struggling this week with my mojo so I turned to Quince and once again he modelled for me to create another painting this time in portrait format. We are going away for just a few days and I hope the change to my routine will recharge my batteries and I will be right back into creating next week.

Friday, 17 May 2013

Commissions Completed

Painting size 15" x 11"

Meet Karma. Following my exhibition opening where I had several animal portraits on show I was asked to paint this Dalmatian in watercolour that is to be a gift from her owner to a special person as a birthday present. Not having done "to order" before I was a little worried about the importance of capturing Karma well enough that her owner would say - yes this is my dog. I need not have worried as her owner is well pleased.
I have also been concentrating on completing some paintings requested by my son and daughter in law to decorate their newly renovated home which they are moving back into this month.This commission really challenged me in every aspect as they were firstly HUGE 90cm x 90cm, secondly in ACRYLIC, a medium I am not experienced in and thirdly required a lot from my imagination as the brief was definitely BRIEF -just  big, colourful and bright and they need to be hung together. After putting my thinking cap on for quite sometime I decided to go semi abstract, base them on their recent overseas travel and call them a series name "Postcards" 1,11,111. They represent holiday memories from Nepal, Italy and Kenya. I delivered them on Tuesday and they have now been hung on the wall and the new owners are thrilled with them. Getting out of my comfort zone in doing all of these paintings has enabled me to realise that if I plan well I can do it. It has however left me feeling a bit drained which I know my fellow artists will understand as we give so much more of ourselves than the physical work in creating art, the emotional input is immeasurable.
Here are the 3 paintings (these photos are not true to square but the best we could capture due to their size) and also how they look on the wall in their new home.
Postcards 1

Postcards 11

Postcards 111

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

On Canvas

Old Eyes
Watercolour on Canvas

I have had a very distracting few days that have kept me from my painting anywhere as much as I love. I have however finished a birthday gift for my son (it is a surprise but as he doesn't read my blog it is safe to share). This is Kleo his 13 year old German shepherd who I know will not be around for much longer and I wanted him to have a memento. I tried to capture her "old eyes" and hope he will be pleased with this. I have painted this on a Fredrix watercolour 16" x 20" canvas and have added some coats of varnish. I have only tried painting on this surface a couple of times and it does take a bit of patience as adding layers easily disturbs the underneath. The appeal of course is it does not have to be framed.

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Opening Night

Its early am the morning after and I am just about down from the high of last nights opening of my first solo exhibition which now runs until June 11th. I had a tension headache all day but threw myself into a painting on a watercolour canvas (really different to use) that is to be a birthday gift and the concentration must have helped as the headache vanished in time for the hours journey to my opening. It was well attended with about 70 or so coming through during the two hours and I am very grateful for the numbers that made it because like us, a huge detour had to be made to get there because of a bad bushfire and road closures making the trip really long. Four paintings ended up with red stickers so I am so thrilled. Thank you all too for your kind wishes and support this past week
Hagen Arms Hotel, Echunga
May 3rd 2013

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Quince the Model

Quinces- SOLD
Painting size 15" x 11"
Have had a few days where I have not done a lot of painting but have made deliveries of my paintings for exhibitions that open tomorrow night and on Sunday afternoon. It sure feels strange to not have any deadlines to meet and I intend spending time now experimenting and finding new ways to capture my subjects. Not this week though, I am anxious about my solo exhibition tomorrow and will feel better after the opening (well I hope I do!). To try and relax I decided to use a familiar process and add to my edible series. I have never cooked with Quinces in fact I think I have only ever had them once in a crumble made by a friend some years back. Quince the Model (see photo below) came home with us after lunching in a favourite french style cafe last week where a basket of them had been put on the verandah for display I guess. I asked to take one home. Quince the Model has been patiently sitting in my studio begging to be painted. Behaving really well Quince twisted and turned so I could imagine him hanging on the tree along with lots of his friends.
Quince the Model