Sunday, 11 September 2016

Another Nocturne :)

Another piece in my Nocturne series. I tried something really different this time. I used Canson Printmaking paper which I have never tried before. I'm not sure if I like it or not, it's very smooth, but once I got used to it, it started to grow on me :)I then fooled around with my Liquitex inks and Pitt pens with a little white Gelly Roll thrown in, oh and some micron of course. Then I felt like it really need something else so I went to town with my wood burning tool. I've been wanting to play with this tool for ages but I didn't really know what to do with it. Well now I know it's really good at burning paper...that's opened up Pandora's box for me! I then mounted it on a starry background, I really like how all the little holes make shadows on the under layer. Any way, I'm so excited as this piece won 3 prizes at the Newdegate Field Day Exhibition last week - First prize in the Drawing section, the Rural Bank Prize and the Lake Grace Shire Acquisitive Prize! I couldn't believe it, this has been a really exciting year art wise. I've really enjoyed trying new things and playing with new materials...I LOVE Mixed Media :)...cheers for now!

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Toot Toot :)

This is a detail shot of the first painting I completed this year. At the time I was really happy with it, but the background bothered me a little. So up it went, back onto the easel and had a really successful rework, but in my usual style, I sent it off for an exhibition without taking a photo! I really need to organise my photo taking properly, a few weeks ago this piece, which I retitled 'Australian Song 2', won the open aquisitive prize at the Morawa Art Awards. I was so excited, the Aquisitive awards are really special as not only do you get a really nice cash prize, but you have the satisfaction of  your painting going to be hung in a public forum where it will be seen by many for years to come.  Now I'll have to try and wrangle a picture of this one somehow! Cheers for now :)

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