Hmmmm, ok so I think its finished but now it feels a little heavy in the bottom left, I think I might adjust the shape of the left hand tree, maybe I need to put the whole painting out of sight for a few days :)...we'll see...I did sign it though...
Wednesday, 27 March 2013
This is the current piece I am working on, a house portrait. Its 70cm x 50cm on terracotta Colourfix sandpaper. As you can see its a bit all over the place at the moment...I have left out the Lillipilli tree on the left deliberately as an opportunity to demonstrate my method for painting green foliage. To begin with this was one of those rare pieces that just seems to paint itself but as I got more involved in the painting, as it does, it became more precious to me and when some little problems arose I found it hard to fix them, so hard I haven't tackled them yet!The pots at the front of the house have turned out slightly different and I am having a hard time with the perspective of the hedge, it should be smaller on the right as it moves away but when I painted it like that it just looked wrong, so it looks like this one will be on the easel a bit longer. Not too long I hope, I am already thinking of the next one :). Will post an update when its resolved...to be continued...
Sunday, 24 March 2013
Sometimes I walk outside my front door and I feel like I am surely the luckiest person alive. We live in such a busy, crowded world now, for our family to have our little slice of nature feels like such a luxury no matter how humble it is. This is my inspiration when I paint the landscape. When I have been out on the crowded roads and the busy shops and I come home to our little sanctuary it is such a relief and I just want grab it with both hands and capture that feeling on paper so its there on record. In the morning, before everyone is awake and going off to where ever it is they go during the day all you can hear is birds waking up and everything seems promising for a perfect day (it doesn't always turn out that way :)). So with that in mind I thought I would post some photos of our property and some of the surrounding walk trails...feel free to use them as references in your own art :) The one at the very bottom reminds me of an Elizabeth Mowry painting...
Tuesday, 19 March 2013
These are three older pieces, its funny how each piece reminds me of some part of my progress and I guess thats why I prefer them to some of my other pieces. Even though they don't necessarily represent pieces that I sold or won a prize with they have significance in other ways (ok I did sell the one on the left but I didn't really want to!). The painting on the left taught me the 'power of the pathway'...that is using a composition containing a pathway, road etc and how it involves the viewer personally as they join you in a journey along the path. The middle painting is a small piece I painted for my Aunty who always encouraged me in my artistic pursuits...it was the first painting I did after I purchased an entire set of Mount Vision pastels, the best money I ever spent! The third is the first piece I ever tried a wet underpainting on and gave myself up to the 'serendipity' as Richard McKinley says...sometimes I forget that lovely loose feeling and have to remind myself to let go and let the painting tell me what to do :)
Monday, 18 March 2013
Sunday, 17 March 2013
Recently I rediscovered some old photos on my computer (I have the worst filing system EVER). They are progress shots of the first painting I did in what has become an ever increasing series of paintings depicting the firebreak that is plowed around our property each summer. The subject sounds boring but it is the simplicity of the composition that keeps bringing me back to this subject. I have also taken some good shots on the camera and I am nobody's photographer! There is somthing special about the play of light across the sandy break, changing throughout the day and the tall golden grasses I just find irresistible. Anyhoo I thought I would post them here. As I look at these I realise how much my method has changed over the last couple of years. The underpainting is thinned, water soluble oils and before you ask, I have no idea why I left the actual firebreak unpainted!
Thursday, 14 March 2013
This is not a new painting I have done, but as I can't get my slideshow to work I thought I would post some of my older works. Sometimes we are satisfied with the outcome of a new painting, sometimes not. Sometimes they take a while to grow on us and we need time apart. This piece is based on a great photo of a wonderful dog called 'Taff' taken by Dale McDonell. She has slowly worked her way into my heart and now I know that she will always be 'not for sale'. I called the piece "Working Class" as the breed of dog it depicts is a well respected breed of working sheep dog here in Australia. Kelpies arerenowned for their hypnotic stare and sharp minds. This piece has been lucky enough to win two Highly Commended prizes, and is now happily retired in my family room :)
Wednesday, 13 March 2013
Ever since I started using pastels I have drooled over other artists beautiful fold up palettes and studio boxes but I could never decide on one set up. Also no-one ever sells them second hand and the new ones are pricey. I wanted something portable but easy to use in the studio too. Whilst looking on ebay recently for something completely unrelated, I stumbled onto this little treasure. Now I don't know how I ever did without it! I am not really a plein air painter but I do get around with my pastels quite a lot. Exhibitions, demos etc and this has been perfect. It also fits in all my little tools, pencils erasers, gloves, brushes etc. The only downside is its a tad on the heavy side when full but it is worth it. This cool little sewing box is over fifty years old but in great condition, what I really love about it is its quirky!
Tuesday, 12 March 2013
So this piece was a real challenge :)...I had this idea in my mind of what this painting should look like but it just wasn't happening. Its a large piece, 700mm square and I had already messed with the paper a lot, alcohol underpainting brushing parts off etc. It was on and off the easel for weeks and even ended up in a frame briefly! I called it finished but every time I looked at it it bothered me. For the most part I liked it but something was missing so out of the frame it came and back on the easel. I took a photo of it before I worked on it again and when I looked at the photo it became glaringly obvious why I didn't like it. All I changed was to add a few more lines under the leaves to separate them from their reflections and, using a technique I read onBarbara Benedetti Newton's blog, (one of my favourite artists) I sprinkled some dust across the lower right portion. For some reason it just lifted it out of the boring zone and added some sparkle to the piece. I have posted some detail shots and the finished piece below. It has now been put in for a juried show so wish me luck :)!
Monday, 11 March 2013
I don't know how many people will read this blog, if any, but if you do follow me there is something you will find out very quickly...I am a colour junkie! For instance, recently I painted a rhino. Now rhinos are grey right? hmmm, not this one. It was a great exercise in learning to make grey from compliments, that is layering colours that are opposite on the colour wheel. I used red and green, violet and orange, blue and yellow, to make lively interesting greys. Admittedly I did end up using some real grey over parts of it to tone it down. This piece was painted on black colourfix paper using mount vision pastels. As you can see this piece is called Laugh Lines :)