Friday, August 15, 2014

From chaos....more chaos?

Whenever I'm working I get in a mess......sometimes even when I'm not working.

On the easel at the moment is this painting -

Where's it going? the moment I haven't a clue, but I'm thinking about it.

Here's what my painting trolley looks like most of the time.  I do clean up, but that doesn't last long.  Almost every moment in the studio I need a new colour, or to find some tip in a book (or just inspiration).

Occasionally I retreat backwards to an older style, often just to work out a problem.....

...but this isn't satisfying at all.  My frustration is a sure sign that I'm about to make a leap  Let's keep faith in that concept.

Saturday, August 2, 2014


Each year, in the US summer, Rinda of Gallo Organico has a photo scavenger hunt challenge. This really appeals to me, as some of the necessary 'finds' are quite quirky.  Usually we are on holidays somewhere interesting, but this year we are at home.   It has been an opportunity to look at my surroundings with new eyes.

Here's this year's list...and my finds :

1. A sign welcoming people to your home town (or a nearby town)

The CALOUNDRA sign is in the centre of a roundabout on the highway into our city. While it doesn't actually say welcome, it is the welcoming indication that you have entered the city's perimeter.

2. A garden gnome

I found this little chappie in the grounds of a local pre-school. Well-worn, and worn well.

3. Birds on a wire

This was easy-peasy.  We walk every morning and there are always birds on wires.  They often remind me of musical notes.

4. A group of tourists

Tourists are a part of life here.  We have a fabulous coastline that attracts visitors from all over.

5. A rack of post cards

Kangaroos, koalas, beach scenes...that's what this place is all about.....the lucky country.

6. An urban street scene

Warm nights mean al fresco dining in a beachside suburb.

7. A rural landscape

The hinterland is ten minutes away. From these hills the views to the coast are fabulous.

8. A tattoo on a person

I was watching henna tattooing at a local fair.  This photo replaced one I had of a 'real' tattoo.  The real one was on the thigh of a young friend and is the names of her much-loved children.

9. A bakery

An assistant with 'L' plates!  What next?

10. A photo bomb (someone found lurking in the background of photo; the lurker may have intended to disrupt the picture or may be doing it unintentionally, but the background lurker is a surprise to the photographer)

I wanted Brenden to wear the chandelier as a hat, and was oblivious to his wife hiding behind him.  Believe it or not!

11. A horn

Well, they ARE horns.

12. A mascot

Not being a great sports follower I despaired of getting this one.  Eventually, while browsing around an op shop (as one does), I found a pack of playing cards with our mascot (Matilda) from the 1982 Commonwealth Games on the back. Needless to say it is now part of my 'stash'.

13. A sunrise

The view from our barbecue deck VERY early one recent morning.

14. A parade

Parades are relatively hard to come by in Australia. I thought this parade of cattle came close.

15. A juggler

While dining in a restaurant near a park I saw this young man juggling various things.  It's the only juggler I've seen. Leaving my meal, and to the astonishment of other diners, I grabbed my camera and hurtled off to the park to accost him.  He was very obliging, and I returned to enjoy my excellent meal.

16. A sign in a language other than English

The window of a local Japanese restaurant was the only one I could find.

17. A lamp post

This is the promenade along one of our magnificent local beaches.  It must've been cold that day as there's not a soul in sight.

18. A waterfall

A man-made waterfall is at the entrance to a local resort.

19. A public garden

These days all our newly developed suburbs include wonderful walkways and gardens.  We visit this one quite regularly on our morning walk.

20. A bus (not a car, truck, lorry, camper or RV) with a picture painted on its sides.

A dash of patriotism....a bus with our flag.  I'm still looking for a more fascinating picture.

21. A photograph of you with something representing the season

This 'beanie' and pashmina only come out of the cupboard in winter.  It's quite cold early in the morning (walking time), but by 9-9.30 am almost warm enough to swim.

The following photo is specially for Rinda.  One of the things we had to find LAST YEAR was a cloud in the shape of something. I had such a difficult time finding one and this year they are everywhere. 

This one is unmistakable:

...a running obvious!

It's been fun...thanks Rinda....see you next year.

Monday, July 28, 2014


These are part of my work done for Laura Lein-Svencner's workshop.  Small sketches are as important in collage as in drawing.  It gets you 'in the zone' and is great practice for larger work.

Now all I need do is remember what I learned, every time I assemble a collage.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Where have I ask?

Well I've been up to my ears in online workshops.  Doing TWO at once. Perhaps I'm a little manic.

My first was with Carla Sonheim.  Fun, fun, fun.  I was drawing 'Imaginary Creatures'. 

We began by doing contour drawings of 'real' animals, to get into the swing of it...

Then on to turning watercolour 'blobs' into critters.

Here are some of my results:

My next workshop, more serious, was a 'back to basics' collage workshop with Laura Lein-Svencner.

We went through the various aspects such as Line, Texture, Emphasis.  Some of my results (remember, they are 'exercises') were quite interesting.

It made me really think about where each piece went in the various exercises.  Let's hope I remember when I'm getting serious.

By the way.....we were restricted (mostly) to using magazines for images.  I think I'm now hooked on Fashion mags....they have such dramatic photos.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Teensy Weensy Works

I really LOVE trading ATCs (Artist Trading Cards).  It fills in time when I'm waiting for paint to dry, or when I only have a few minutes to spare.

This was for a 'wabi-sabi' theme with the group Paper Traders.  The haiku is my own and transferred using a product called Craft Attitude.

Generally I am more frivolous, and love combining postage stamps with images unrelated.  I called this 'This Ol' House'.

Other combinations might be a little more obscure, but tell a story.

Behind The Wall

I Love Paris

It's all good fun...and keeps my imagination in working order.


Saturday, June 21, 2014

Busy...but isn't everyone?

I've had a mad week, and it'll get a little madder as I've signed up for TWO online workshops. The first is a six-week class with Laura Lein-Svencner, one of my very favourite American collagists.

Leaning Towards Tomorrow - Laura Lein-Svencner

Oldfield Oaks - Laura Lein-Svencner

Don't you just LOVE her work.  At the moment I'm doing the first week of basic collage design, but expect to see all sorts of interesting stuff from me soon.

My other class is only a week long, but an intensive mixed-media class with Carla Sonheim called 'Imaginary Creatures'. 

Imaginary Creatures - Carla Sonheim

Tape Creature - Carla Sonheim.
This girl really knows how to have FUN!  I have two of her books...both perfect for taking on holidays.  I LOVE 'The Art Of Silliness'.  To quote: "Fully interactive and illustrated with Carla’s charming drawings throughout, The Art of Silliness will delight the child in everyone."....and it does.  It includes fun and creative drawing exercises that make you smile.
So...I'm going from the sublime to the gor'blimey as they say.  It's good to have balance.
Speaking of win some, you lose some.  At the moment I'm winning!  Just won the $1000 Open Prize at the Lions Art For Leukaemia show, for my painting 'Firefront' supply shop here I come!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Seth's Buried Treasure Hunt

Every so often the ultra nice (and talented) guy, Seth Apter, requests of his followers that they dig deep into their blog archives for some 'Buried Treasure'. Mine comes from my first year of blogging.  I sometimes forget how much I like taking photos, and digging for treasure reminded me.

From December 7, 2011:

While I am a painter, and former potter, I take many photos wherever I go. These are often inspiration for future work. 

I don't profess to be an expert with the camera but, occasionally, an image grabs me enough to want to share.

This appealed to my patriotism on Australia Day.  I did ask permission to take the photo.

City reflections are always fascinating.  Perhaps it will inspire an abstract painting?

Up close and personal at Dubbo Zoo.  Those teeth are really dangerous!

A friend's two granddaughters looking at images on a camera. I just loved the obvious connection between them, and the way they are totally absorbed.

What Americans call a carnival we call a show... and who doesn't love one.... all that colour!

We walk each morning past this pond with its abundance of birdlife.

These are called 'bridal veil' funghi, and grow occasionally below my mango tree.

It is absolutely necessary for me to occasionally have a 'city fix' where I can be found ogling clothes I will never wear, and trying on shoes that will never see the inside of my cupboard.

Sunset is a magical time.  This one is from my deck...

... and THIS (my pick of the year) is in the famous Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory.

It would be possible to go on, and on, and on but hey, enough is enough right?