Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Can you see the forest?

Perhaps that title wont immediately make sense in the context of this mixed media work, one of my abstract collages, containing assorted painted and collected materials.

However, the point I'm trying to make is that sometimes 'we can't see the forest for the trees'... well in this case the reverse.

The above 'forest', when dissected in many various ways, contains innumerable 'trees', some better than others.

It is always worthwhile running a cut mat around your work, and selecting different areas, and different formats, in isolation.

You might find a small piece that is infinitely better than the large work.   At the very least you'll find compositions that can be used in other pieces.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

ATC trading

Many of you are probably wondering what's happening to these Art Trading Cards that are appearing on my blog in response to various challenges.  It is all new to me too, but I've begun trading them Internationally.

To show you the sort of miniature gems I've been receiving in exchange here are some examples:

'Don't Look Up' - Sanna - USA
Sanna has a wide range of talents....

'One Little Mac' - Sanna - USA

... but I also like the work of this artist, from Serbia...

'A Blushing Flyer' - Bilja - Serbia

... who also does zentangles.

'Tangled Houses' - Bilja - Serbia.

By far most of my trades have been from the USA.

'First Inchie' - Ty - USA

'Tea Time' - Carol - USA

'Desert Cats' - Jan - USA

But, so far, I do have one other Aussie:

'Pods' - Pam - Australia
'Sun And Surf' - Pam - Australia

If anyone wants to indulge themselves in this sort of trading, the groups I belong to are:



It is free to join and trade.  All you need pay is postage to send your work.

Hope some of you are interested in adding to the mix.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

In The Picture.. Reflections

July's theme for 'In The Picture' is 'Reflections'.  Self-portraits are much easier with a camera than with a brush, but they still require a lot of self analysis.  Looking at myself in a mirror, or through a lens, is not really something I'm comfortable with but the monthly challenge is helping me to overcome any qualms.

Mind you, I can be very careful not to look too old (tho' I am bordering on 'elderly'), as this carefully arranged shot shows. Yes, that is my bathroom floor and the mirror is very tiny. (well done, me). All but the mirror has been put through Photoshop.  I can't resist mucking around with my photos.

The Tree Mirror
The lovely carved mirror was a farewell gift from a friend when we left Sydney 12 years ago. It hangs opposite my bookcase. Those books are ALL art books... and there are more... everywhere in the house.

Inside Out
You can see that my house is surrounded by trees in this photo, taken on my back deck looking through the glass doors and through the house.

Well, a person has to end on a glamorous note.  Love my hat!

Don't forget to visit Urban Muser to see everyone else's self-portraits.


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Last Week - Summer Of Colour

This six weeks has flown and a lot of ice-creams have been dealt with... in more ways than one.  Kristin's 'Summer Of Colour' challenge, based on ice cream colours, is going out with a bang.  Watermelon Ice is the colour, and who doesn't like red?

My beads 'stash' is huge... not too difficult to find some 'watermelon' beads.

Coral, Lava, and Crystal Quartz.

Is there enough to read 'watermelon' in this.. including the skin?

Red Sky - digitally altered photo
The garden can always provide a range of colours...

... and, to take the subject literally, an ATC.

THANKS KRISTIN !!!!  It's been fun pretending it's summer down under... and you've introduced me to a whole new world of ice-cream.

Head on down to Kristin's blog to see everyone's wonderful work. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Collected... Internationally

While I LOVE to paint, I REALLY love mucking about with bits of paper, and my collages have ended up in a few reputable international collections.

This one in  the Ontological Museum, Colorado, USA.
Rust - 5" x 7"
The museum is collected by internationally renowned collagist Cecil Touchon, and is located in Pagosa Springs.

The next collage is in  New Zealand, in the permanent collection of The Learning Connexion, a comprehensive Art School in Wellington.

Moon Earth #4 - 5" x 7"
The following collage is in Aotea Utanganui, the Museum of South Taranaki in New Zealand.
Bound - 8" x 10"
I find it amazing how far I've come artistically in the past few years.  Perhaps because I spend more time 'practising'. 

When I began my journey I had no idea that my works would travel the globe and be part of collections in any other country.  Now, apart from the above serious collections, I can truthfully say that I have work in private collections from Serbia to the UK, Australia, USA, and many points between.

Now, I've been chosen as one of 12 international collagists to participate in this year's 'To The Power Of N : When N Equals 12' run by Joel Lambeth. 

Each year he chooses a number of artists to be given a package of identical materials comprised of different elements, and each will be asked to create a single collage artwork using the pieces provided... with the hope that, despite using the same components to create their work, each artist's individual style and personal vision will result in vastly different artworks.

The first year of the project, When N Equals 10, was a huge success and the finished artworks can be seen by clicking HERE.  They are catalogued into a printed, or downloadable book, and I imagine this year's works will be too, eventually.

This year I am one of only two Australians in the mix.  The other is Jude Worters of Melbourne.

You can find the rest of the participating artists HERE.

The finished works  completed for this year’s event will be held in the exhibition archives in order to be displayed in future exhibitions. If the artworks submitted are to be used in an exhibition, all artists will be contacted and notified.

Who'd've thought?

Friday, July 13, 2012

Commission Complete... hooray!

On Friday, June 1st, I posted this image as a work in progress.

I worked on it infrequently in the intervening time, between other stuff that distracted me.

Last weekend my friends Marie and Wayne came and picked up the finished work...

Marie's Fish
Not great photos but you get the idea, the texture shows up quite well.  I'm quite happy with the movement and light... but I'm no Caravaggio. 

It's less abstracted than I'd like but doing commissions is not always what you'd do for yourself.  It sometimes makes a chore out of what you normally do for fun. 

Still, it fills the brief, and I never do a painting without learning something.  That's the important thing.

Thursday, July 12, 2012


Congratulations to:

Joanna  who won "Squall"

Linda who won "Under The Sea"

Nancy who won "Moon/Earth"

Poor Richard was so concerned about his role as judge of this that he took AGES.  Loved Nancy's comparison to the screen door damaged by her grandson.

Doesn't he look serious?!

He's hoping that there will be no repurcussions from his decisions.

Please email me your snail mail adresses to :


 so that I can get your prizes in the post.

Buried Treasure

Seth Apter is looking for Buried Treasure.  That is, he's requested us to repost a favourite page from the past..  I've chosen this one from September 2011. 

I love doing miniatures, and one of my favourite themes is  the rainforest. These four sold before the opening night of the exhibition for which they were painted.


I have always been interested in small works and have won a few prizes for miniatures over the years.

My latest are these mixed media/collage works on 4" x 4" canvas.

Rainforest Remnants I
Rainforest Remnants II

Rainforest Remnants III
Rainforest Remnants IV

Now that I see them in photos I feel I need to 'muck up' the edges of the collaged bits, and will do so forthwith.

The words are on inkjet transparency and, as a whole, read thus....

"We are losing Earth's greatest biological treasures just as we are beginning to appreciate their true value. Rainforests once covered 14% of the earth's land surface; now they cover a mere 6% and experts estimate that the last remaining rainforests could be consumed in less than 40 years.

One and one-half acres of rainforest are lost every second with tragic consequences for both developing and industrial countries.

Rainforests are being destroyed because the value of rainforest land is perceived as only the value of its timber by shortsighted governments, multi-national logging companies, and landowners.

Nearly half of the world's species of plants, animals and microorganisms will be destroyed or severely threatened over the next quarter century due to rainforest deforestation."



Tuesday, July 10, 2012

'Wild'n'Reckless' Icecream?

Kristin's Summer of Colour challenge this week is the ice-cream  'Wild and Reckless Sherbet', an insane mix of green, blue, and purple.  I'm sure I couldn't eat it because of the artificial colours, but it IS beautiful.

For my contribution I first looked at playing with Photoshop.


This began as a simple photo of a horizon, then passed through several filters and cut'n'paste processes.

The colours are actually favourites so this painting is next, inspired by a photo I took at a local jazz concert.

Emma Sings The Blues - acrylics

....hmmmmm..... pastels come in these great colours too....

Forest Floor - pastels
.... and so do beads... yummo...

 ... but Photoshop is really the way to go for this one....

The Blues Singer
I'm a little fond of the blues, as you may have gathered, but that icecream is beyond belief.


Only one icecream to go... stay tuned

Monday, July 9, 2012

Recognise this wench?...

Yes it's my friend Kim Schoenberger !!!!  Kim, a potter/sculptor, who goes from this...

... to this..

... with equal expertise, also does these amazing mediaeval pots once a year.

Here, standing guard over them is Glen Jeavins, Sunshine Coast FMs gardening expert, and Kim's partner in crime.  Well, perhaps not crime exactly, but certainly her once-a- year commitment to the largest Mediaeval Festival in the southern hemisphere.

Let me share some photos, just to give you a little idea of this amazing annual event.  The whole area is set up with various encampments, open fires, people in mediaeval dress, all behaving as if we are back sometime before the15th century.

I loved the Gypsy encampment...

...with all its wonderful colours and characters...

... and the Vikings too...

There were birds of prey...

 ... and ladies with dogs...

... henna painters...

tool and fur merchants...

... even a mediaeval lathe... who'd believe it? (for you Barry)

There were assaults on castles...

 ..stilt walkers...

  ..kissing booths (I don't think so)...


 ...mediaeval music (complete with modern technology, for which they are forgiven)...

... and the thing that everyone wanted to see....JOUSTING...

This was the most difficult to photograph... but I'll try harder next year.

Thanks for inspiring me to go see this fabulous event Kim, and for collecting some collage materials for me.

A great day, and a great mate...

Don't forget O loyal followers... you have two days to leave a comment on my recent '100 followers' post to be eligible for a give-away.