Friday, December 12, 2008

Shopping Bustle

Merry Christmas to all of you who celebrate Christmas and with only 15 days to go it is total madness out there on the roads and in the shops, so be safe and have fun.

This picture was created this week and based on a city street scene from Melbourne. I wanted the hustle and bustle of the city street, combined with the darkness from the city lane ways. The bright lights and reflections in the shadows were another aim of the picture. Darks and lights, along with interesting shapes captured my imagination when painting this picture. I also enjoyed the colors that I picked to depict the scene.

This week had some good and bad. My heart goes out to my cousin Michael and his wife Belinda and their daughter Holly after their little son Nicholas passed away last Sunday with the funeral being today. He had a brave fight against cancer. Too young to die at the age of 21 months.

I hope everyone enjoys the festive season with their loved ones. Merry Christmas again and take it easy. Oh and next Saturday is my 40th birthday in which I am celebrating with a party. I am looking forward to this and catching up with family and friends.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

St. Mark's Square

This picture was taken from a photo reference from a friend who has recently spent time travelling Europe. It is of St. Mark's Square in Venice. I was interested in the many pigeons and people all going about their business. My friend is in the foreground feeding the pigeons, which is apparently the thing one does in St. Mark's Square. I have used creams and blues. The light appears very bright. I had fun depicting the buildings in the background and was tempted to keep adding detail but I wanted the viewer to look at the pigeons and my friend in the foreground.

I have become part of a group of artists called INNOVISION who plan to exhibit together. We have a small exhibit at a cafe called Lakeside Cafe, Ringwood commencing this Saturday the 6th of December. It is going for a month or two. Then in the beginning of March we are exhibiting up the Dandenong Mountains at Lady Hawke Cafe. This will be a much larger exhibition. There are about ten of us participating in these exhibitions. We hope to continue to have further exhibits together.

My other news is that I won a first for the overall General MEC Awards for The Pastel Society of Victoria. Each month at the meetings you can bring a picture a long and during the break all members of the society can look at the work and vote on the work that they like the best. At the end of the year the votes are totalled for the year and I happened to win the first for the general section. Unfortunately I was unable to be at the meeting, but my friend Wendi was able to accept my award for me.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Camp Fire

I love the smell of smoke from a campfire. I love the heat from a campfire. I love the atmosphere created by a campfire. i just love them. I guess you can tell. I wanted to create the glow and the heat of the fire in this picture which is not quite finished.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


We went to a friend's farm recently for the AFL Grand final. A group of families spent the day watching the footy, drinking, eating and then spent time around the camp fire. My girl friend and I managed to consume vast quantities of champaign which we both suffered for in the morning. The next day the kids went motorbike riding around the paddocks and my children decided that they too wished to live in the country. This is a picture of two of the children at the farm, hand in hand walking up the drive. I was inspired to try my hand at another landscape with this charming act of friendship.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I painted this picture today from a sitting. His name is Aurelio and he is a native American Indian. He brought all his native dress in for us to see and wore a lot of it and this is how we painted him. Aurelio at break times would eleborate on parts of his dress and their meaning and told us a little of his culture. He comes from a tribe that is medicine based and so a lot of the designs on his clothes were of plants that are used for medicinal purposes. It was great fun and very interesting.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Workshop with Raelene Sharp

Today I attended a workshop with Raelene Sharp. Amazing painter. These gum trees were from a photo image from Raelene. She demonstrated as we worked through the picture. You learn so much from other artists watching them work and from their instruction . I found this piece very frustrating initially as a; I am not used to doing landscapes and b, I am not used to working in her method. At one point I was nearly ready to throw the picture in the bin but I'm glad I didn't because I learnt a lot and I am happy with the painting.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Busking in the City

This is the same person from the picture called "City Buskers". I decided that the last one didn't really work and have depicted the drum playing musician protrait style. I tried to capture the movement of the hands to establish the energy of the music. This person fascinated me with his cool look and fun music.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Artists in the Round

What an interesting day today with my art group! Everyone started their own picture and we had 10 minutes to begin our picture. Then we all rotated round one painting and worked on the next picture with that persons pastels. We kept rotating and finally finished back at our own painting to complete the picture. This picture "Tip toe through the Tulips" is the end result. It was great fun and actually taught us each a lot about each persons paintings and their styles etc.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

What makes art sell???????

I have been on nights for the last two weeks, which has meant my art work coming to a stand still. I have to just try and survive the two weeks and any creativity is gone. On a happier note, I have sold these three paintings at different places over the last month. A great feeling selling your art work because you know somebody really loves it enough to buy and treasure it. They appreciate it bydisplaying it on their walls for family and friends to view. But why do people buy your art and what is a winning formula? I have no idea. Do people buy art because they admire the painting, or is it because the colors suit the room they wish to display it in, or are they reminded of a feeling, an emotion that is captured by the picture? A friend of mine has a theory that only paintings with orange in them sell. After this I went around to art shows checking out the paintings that had sold. Sure enough most of them did have orange in them. All I know is that I will keep painting things because I like them. The subject needs to appeal to me, inspire me and bring out an emotion or a thought. Once art is no longer enjoyable I think there will be no point in continuing to paint.

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Wedding

I was with my art group on Thursday and one of the members had been to a work shop by Agata Latek. I hope I have written her name correctly. They painted black and white pastel pictures on brown paper. The image was blocked in and then methylated spirits was introduced on the paper to produce some interesting effects. Then the picture was reworked with detail. Well Janet in my class who had been to the workshop had produced a masterpiece and this inspired me to try something myself. It did not quite go to plan. The metho didn't run the pastel as well on colorfix paper and I was a little disappointed with the results. I am going to attempt again but on different paper.

The image for my painting came from a trip to the city on Sunday where some models were having thir photos taken in wedding clothes presumably to advertise the gowns. I caught these two looking on at the photoshoot from behind.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

City Buskers

I decided on a really loose style this time. These two buskers were in the city when I photographed them. They were sitting much further apart then this picture depicts. I then had some issues with ensuring they belonged together. To solve this problem I made the painting extremely impressionistic. I am not sure what the instrument on the right is. I should have asked.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A group of Sketches

I haven't had any finished paintings to publish lately and I thought I would share some of the sketches I have been doing. You may see some of them as finished paintings soon.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Koko Lime

If you are ever in Melbourne Victoria, then visit Koko Lime, shop 20A Alchester Cres, Boronia. My art is now hanging on their wall for sale.

The big night out

I am reading a book by Carole Katchen and her work inspired this piece. I wanted to illustrate the fun at this dinner. The emphasis is on the glasses and the bottles of alcohol. I hope you find this piece as fun as I did painting it.

Sunday, September 7, 2008


This picture is one I did last year and it surprises me every time I enter it into a competition. I had a few things in a show and I had other things earmarked for another show. I was running out of framed pictures (plenty of unframed pictures as can be seen in my blog). I thought I will put this picture in Mont de Lancey. This is a historic homestead in Wandin. The artists had to be living in the shire of Yarra Ranges and I purely came across the show by accident in the RACV magazine. Well I received a phone call today to say I had won an encouragement award for this picture, which also came with a monetry win. Very surprised and very delighted. This makes the last week a good one for me as I acheived a first at the Pastel Society for "What about me?" My good friend Wendi received a second. Check her blog out under the blogs I am watching.
I just found out this painting sold this week at the Mont de Lancey art show.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Salamanca Buskers

Everyone seems to know how much I enjoy drawing buskers. Linda from my art class went to Tasmania and visited the Salamanca market. She was kind enough to give me a photo of these buskers. They look extremely cold, all rugged up in their tartan blankets and berets. They look like they are concentrating hard and enjoying the music. The colors I have chosen are to help create the cold environment. I believe they must be siblings as they have a similar look.

On a roll this week. Went to Ringwood art Society last night withthis picture and won first prize in the ABC competition in the B section. The judge was Robyn Schubat. Robyn demonstrated palete knife painting. She depicted a laneway scene. The painting was portrayed in brilliant oranges and blues and completed within 1.5 hrs. Amazing demonstration.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Healesville Sanctuary-What's that? WIP

I went to Healesville sanctuary on a school excursion recently to see "The disappearing froglet" with my son. There were a variety of schools involved. The kids had to go and learn about the environment and how pollution is affecting the frogs habitat. Great day but freezing cold. I didn't warm up until I went to bed that night.

Preliminary sketch to the left with ?finished work on right.
The focus is the boy in yellow and I have incorporated some of the yellow in the grasses. The children are all looking at a wallabie that is hiding in the scrub. I liked the pose of the yellow boy, with all the children looking for the allusive wallabie. I had lots of fun with the grasses. I added blues, and purples to create movement and interest.
I have revised this picture thanks to pastle guy's comments and have muted the background.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Flower shop

When I went into the city with friends, we stopped off in Richmond. We were going to see an amazingly expensive contemporary art show where all the paintings were in the 20-30,000 dollar mark. The only problem was it was Monday and the gallery was not open on a Monday. We had fun getting there and saw some beautiful places. This was a florist shop in Bridge road Richmond. It caught my eye. We saw lots of lovely shops. We also came across a little art shop on our travels which I hope to get back to. The style is different to my normal one, more illustrative.


I went to life drawing yesterday. I haven't been in simply ages. Note to self I should go more often. I had a great time. The model was fantastic. We did five two minute warm ups and then she went into this pose for the rest of the time. Amazing her arms didn't drop off.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

What about me?

I've changed the name of the picture from "Friendship" to "What about me?"It is about the feeling of friendship created by the four children on the right and then the sad feelings portayed by the space of the little child on the left. It's hard being the smallest. This picture has been uploaded through various versions of finishedness. I think I have finally finished it. Last week I was so angry with it that I whacked my rag at it and the pastel dust flew into the air. I wiped off a lot of the pastel and started again. I think this is it. I will continue to contemplate the end product.
Lucky enough to win the September Generalist MEC awards at the Pastel Society of Victoria with this picture. My good friend Wendi was second with her lovley little girl pushing the pram. You can view her blog under blogs that I am following.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Horse and Carriage

This picture is in the centre of Melbourne. The two horses are waiting passengers and are tied up to the side of the road.. There is a tram in the background and the light highlighting the church in the background.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Degraves Street

I went into the city with a group of friends and found the people and the streets inspirational. Degraves street, full of the hustle and bustle of the city but with a touch of Europe. The shops all open out on to the street and the inside and the outside are all mixed together. I can't wait to get back there.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

On the way to the beach

My daughter and her cousin are captured walking up the sandy trails on the way to the baech. Purple and greens are on e of my favourite color combinations. I like the soft romantic look of this picture. The shadows prance across the paths. There are soft tufts of grasses in the foreground.


This is one of my favourite pictures, unfortunately I have sold it and miss looking at it. I fell in love with the look of this man playing the double bass. The colors work really well together, the green of the jacket against the warmth of the instrument.

The Chocolate Shop

The chocolate shop is a lovely coffee house in Montrose, nesteld amongst the trees. The building was a perfect backdrop for the tea party taking place.

In the backyard

This picture was done from an old sepia photograph. It is of my mother and her cousin playing with the dog. They have turned to stare at the photographer. It was fun to work with tones of brown.

The Circus has come to town

When I began this picture I loved the idea of the circus. The ferris wheel and the merry go round evokes many images of fun. I wanted them to appear slightly mysterious. The ferris wheel is in full flight. The people in the foreground are marching up the road to particpate in the fun of the circus. The lady in yellow turns slightly to her campanions.

White Cockatoos

Here you have two white cockatoos sitting amongst the gum trees. I tried to capture the sun shing through the feathers and the many colors present in the feathers.

Musical Blues

The picture on the left was my first attempt at this man playing his horn. The problem with him was that he was to close to the top of the paper but I really liked the movement of his jacket. I then started him again on the right at a later date. This time you miss out on his jacket and the movement created by it.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Batman Avenue, Melbourne

We went into the city the other day and I was taken with this lamp post in the foreground. I hope this is your focal point in the picture as that is what I was attracted to. The two people meandering along were my friends that I went into the city with. It was a cold day and overcast. The sky was threatening to rain but we still had lots of fun.

Piano player

I love music. This is a picture of my daughter playing the piano. I attempted to capture it in sepia tones and then added purple to the mix. It is a calm picture in contrast with the enrgy of the guitar player

Guitar Player

This is a picture of my son playing the guitar. I was trying to create lots of energy and movement in the picture. He is concentrating on his music, absorbed in the moment.

The Watchers

I was lucky enough to be lent a photo form a friend, who is an avid traveller. She snapped these children in Cambodia. I always wonder what they are thinking. I called this"The Watchers" as I feel they are quietly observing everyone. They seem to be wise beyond their years and rather than capturing them on camera, I feel they are observing the camera person and us. They are quietly evaluating surroundings and are maybe a little bored with the whole thing.

At the Beach

One of my favourite places in the world is the beach. I love to watch the antics of all the other people on the beach. These two dogs captured my attention. They were frolicking in the water with a ball. Even now when I gaze at this picture I wonder if the lady walking along the beach has anything to do with the dogs or the owner is somewhere out of the picture.

Belly Dancers

I created this picture after watching these amazing ladies belly dancing at a local event. Their costumes were gorgeus. The oranges and blues work well together. The movement of their bodies is what really attracted me to paint them. I hope I have captured some of their grace and elegance.