Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Taking a Break

Many Hearts
38cm x 28.5cm
This will be my last post for a couple of weeks. I am off on Saturday to Tasmania on a 14 day painting holiday. The tutor is John Lovett  from Queensland whose work I admire and I am looking forward to learning some new tips and techniques and assistance with landscape painting. There are about 20 painters on the trip and being with like minded people should be great.
I have only found time this  past few days to fuss around a bit in the studio as I spent time considering my supplies for the trip and how to actually transport my art supplies in an easy way to travel with each day.
Here are two paintings completed. The first, something for my edible series - artichokes and it was painted in my favourite way- no drawing just straight in with water and pigment.
The second is my very first human portrait. Whilst it has a lot wrong with it (overworked for one, lost it on the eyes etc) I can see that the skills I have been using for my animal portraits (mainly the observation) over the past year has enabled me to at least end up with something that does resemble this African boy swimming in a murky waterway. It has given me some confidence to have another try.
I hope to be able to keep up with seeing your blogs and commenting if I can. Till next time - happy painting
Passing the Time
28.5cm x 38cm

Friday, 14 February 2014

Busy, Busy

If I thought January was busy with taking part in the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge February is shaping up just as busy but in other ways. I have found time to paint but must admit my pace is much slower but I am really enjoying taking my time over pieces and it is not as if I need hundreds more to add to my growing pile so slow and steady is good.
Kimberley Terrain
38cm x 57cm
mixed media
This painting was an experiment - I poured with thinned, fluid acrylic in Cerulean and Ultra Marine Blue for the sky. I then used some oil pastel on the rock face and then used watercolour to complete the sandstone rocks and the trees. I am fairly happy with the result, my husband loves it but I think it doesn't feel like me. More experimenting needed and a looser approach I think. Inspiration came whilst watching a DVD included with my latest Australian Geographic which was all about keeping the invasive Cane Toads out the Kimberleys in Western Australia.

Seductive Spice
38cm x 57cm
This painting I really enjoyed. It took me two painting session to complete. I was going to mask out the flowers and lily pads so I could do another pour but in watercolour. I really didn't relish the idea of all that masking fluid so opted for painting the flowers first then carefully paint the water which did take several glazes and last of all the lily pads. I took this image on my visit in December to the Adelaide Zoo. It was lightly raining at the time and I tried to capture the ripples in the water. The title eluded me so when I need more info I google and I read about the seductive perfume these blooms can have and also how having a pond with these in your garden can add some spice.

I made a trip to Adelaide to deliver three wildlife paintings that are included in an exhibition opening on Sunday. I have also found time to visit three exhibitions this week. So all in all a pretty full on time.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Inspiration Everywhere

Spot the Difference
Watercolour 38cm x 57cm
This morning I was reading a fellow artist and bloggers post about handling the whirlwind of subject matter and inspiration that fills her head. This is just the same for me and I have blogged about this before. I have a number of ideas first thing in the morning and by the time I get to my studio one just is so strong I go with that. Many get put on the back burner until they fight for a chance again.
Yesterday the mail included a request for a donation to the Seeing Eye Dogs Australia and the latest seems to be to send you cards, address labels and notepaper enticing you to be inspired to donate. I was so taken with the gorgeous images of the Labrador puppies that I recalled my intention of creating a painting of Dalmatian puppies. This idea goes back to last year after I was commissioned to paint Karma a beautiful Dalmatian. Another acquaintance has one too and they certainly have personality.
I needed some puppy shape reference as mine are only adults so I googled and used a variety to make individual drawings and then arrange them in a composition that pleased me. I used my imagination to paint the spots and marks as no two Dalmatians are alike and any random marks could be done making each puppy unique. The composition and drawing process took some time and it was a while before I got to painting the dogs. I was memorised with my mark making and pigment flows in the background that the excitement of this painting became as much about the busy wallpaper background as well as the puppies.
I used a bright white Saunders Waterford 425gsm paper as I thought this would help with the the dogs white fur. By the time you add spots, shading etc I think I could have used natural white and it would have worked too.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Not Alone

Not Alone
57cm x 38cm

I didn't think I would already be posting a new painting before the end of the first day of February but I really wanted to share this whilst it is "in the moment". The Adelaide Zoo said farewell yesterday to its Greater Flamingo. It was the last one in Australia and apparently the oldest in the world. He was known to be 83+ as he arrived in Adelaide already mature in 1930. My painting is not a photographic likeness of him but my way of capturing the grace and loveliness of these magnificent birds. I decided to call this one Not Alone as I used the textured background created with cling film to find two more birds.. I came to the studio to play and this is on 1/2 sheet Saunders & Waterford 300 gsm Hot Press Paper. Probably only my second ever hot press painting and I enjoyed using it.

I am also including a collage of the last months challenge paintings.