Wednesday, 10 August 2016

The Bird in Borrowed Feathers

The Bird in Borrowed Feathers 1m x 1.2m Mixed Media on panel

I don't know how many people are familiar with this old's been attributed to several authors but it's generally thought of as one of Aesops Fables. The short explanation of it is that the crow spots the fancy peacocks struttin' their stuff in the King's garden and thinks he'd like to be one of them instead of a boring old crow (personally I love crows). So he picks up some of their fallen feathers and puts them in amongst his own, he then joins in with the general strutting and showing off. The Peacocks quickly spot the imposter and promptly pull out the 'borrowed feathers' and some of his own to boot. The crow flies away in shame, back to the other crows, who decide they don't want him around either if he thinks he's too good for them! Originally it was a cautionary tale about not reaching beyond your station or 'punching above your weight' or something along those lines. To me though, it feels more like the Peacocks are the bad guys in this, too insecure to share the limelight. I feel like all the 'crows' out there should remember that it's what's underneath those feathers that is your true measure :) I placed the semi hidden eyes in the background to represent myself  and all the other 'crows' out there, Cheers!

Monday, 18 July 2016

Big Red

This one was so much fun to paint, I went away from the bright background of the last kangaroo piece and really enjoyed using earthier tones for this one. These new boards that I'm using now give a really substantial surface that can take all the scraping back and vigorous brush work. I'm also enjoying experimenting with my new Caran' dache water soluble crayons, which I used to make the fine marks on top of the paint...and some great news...this piece won the City of Belmont Aquisitive Award yesterday. Needless to say, I was very excited and honored :) I feel very lucky for the recognition that I've had in the past couple of years and a little embarrassed, cheers!

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Odd Bird 2

As usual I apologise for the terrible photo! Odd bird 2 was finished a while back but I have been sooo busy. He/she is made entirely from recycled materials (except a little acrylic paint and some air dry clay)...vintage frame, clock pendulum, keys, wood scraps, clock parts, our old door lock and a sardine can :) There was a nice old candlestick and melted candle on the top but I accidentally broke it off the night before the exhibition it was entered in so I need to glue that back on. When the old door latch in the top right hand corner is turned, the phases of the moon reveal themselves on an old clock face. The nest is made from old cocos palm seed fronds and some fake lichen sprayed liberally with varnish and the egg is air dry clay. The keys in the surround of the frame came from a mysterious box of keys that were left in the house when we moved in (not one of them fitted a single lock in the house!) Anyway, it was fun trying to keep the materials within the range of recycled, I entered it into the recycled category at the Canning Art Award...I didn't win that section, but I got the Mixed Media Prize instead! :) Cheers!

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Odd Bird 1

This one was FUN! I've included two photos because it was hard to take a photo without glare from the picture frame with glass insert that I glued down to look like a vintage hand mirror. These photos don't actually show the finished painting because I added a few doo dads like a vintage pressure guage, some antique castors and a cupboard handle (you can actually roll it along the floor like a suitcase if that's your thing). These all sound a bit strange so I will have to post a photo when it gets back from the show it's in so you can get some context! The bird is loosely based on a Secretary Bird and the spider is a Golden Orb :) I really enjoyed just having some fun, goofing around with some new ideas, the support I used is one of my new panels turned over...cheers!

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

The Story of the Thylacine

One of the world's saddest extinction stories. The last captive Thylacine, commonly known as the Tasmanian Tiger, died in 1936 in a concrete and wire cage at Hobart Zoo, far away from the beautiful rainforest.  The last known wild Thylacine was shot by Wilf Batty under the mistaken assumption that they preyed on livestock. While they probably took the occasional chook, it is now understood that the sheep losses were due to wild dogs (introduced by the settlers). In response, the government of the time placed a bounty of 1 pound on their pelts. The Thylacines were eventually hunted to extinction, although their are still reported sightings of them in remote areas of Tasmania, I think this is more due to them having attained a kind of mythological status over time. The Tiger also existed on the mainland but suffered an extinction that some attribute to the introduction of the Dingo around 4000 years ago, however they survived and thrived in isolate Tassie.  Australia is a beautiful place, diverse and filled with strange flora and fauna isolated for centuries by water. Sadly it is also fragile and has seen more than it's share of extinctions since European settlement. As a result we have some of the toughest importation and quarantine laws in the world. I don't know how many of you were unlucky enough to see Johnny Depp and his partner give a sarcastic apology and laugh it up on talk shows recently when they got busted trying to bring their dogs into Australia under the radar. Some people just don't get it, and it made feel a little sick hearing people make light of the situation...I guess it's nice to be rich and influential! He really is just a dirty old pirate...cheers

Saturday, 28 May 2016

New Work with a side of excuses :)

Nocturne 2  Graphite, collage, acrylic and gold leaf on cradled panel

Hi there strangers :) Yes it's been a well as the usual distractions of life add copious amounts of solitary painting, then dump an entire cup of tea on an almost new laptop and what you end up with is a media blackout! But I'm back now and I have some new work to post. I am still experimenting with combining drawing with my other mixed media style lately as well, and I have been quietly fooling around with my pastels again as I have some beautiful landscape references that are inspiring me...hopefully I will produce something worthwhile from them soon (I'm a bit rusty with the dusty!) Anyway, just a quick post tonight :) Cheers!

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Impressionist Wannabe :)

Sir Walter 

At the moment I am in the middle of some large projects, but sometimes my way of working with mixed media can get a little tiring. I get that spontaneous and relaxed feeling from pastels and I wanted to be able to transfer it over to acrylic. It's not that easy! So yesterday I took a break from my current projects and pulled out a used canvas that already had a couple of false starts on it. I had a great time painting this Red Kangaroo with no pressure to have a good outcome...I was so happy to have a breakthrough...I nearly managed to translate my pastel style into acrylic. It was really exciting for me. I enjoyed the texture that was already on the canvas and added some more...I used the colours that I felt like and when I was finished I liked the result. Things aren't always positive when I pick up a brush, but I'm calling this one done...even if it's only me that likes it! Cheers :)