Monday, 29 July 2013

Another little one

Hello all...this is a little piece I have called "Light Through the Reeds". I will post the timelapse of this one when I have edited it. It is 40cm x 40cm on white Colourfix with Art Spectrum and Mt Vision pastels. I have used an oil based understain this time, I first read about this technique in Richard McKinley's great book "Pastel Pointers". He is such a master of atmosphere, colour and of my all time favourites. It was a lot of fun. I have kept the design simple so I can use this as a demo, I wanted to rely on colour, design and atmosphere rather than detail. :)

Monday, 22 July 2013

Lost and Found

Hopefully a potential 15 minute demo in lost and found edges (why oh why can't I take a decent photo? :() ) Challenging myself to work smaller, and daily, this one is 20cm x 12cm on colourfix with alcohol underpainting.

Monday, 15 July 2013


This one was finished in a mad rush this morning, signed, photographed (poorly), framed and dispatched to a show before I even had a chance to properly asses it. I know I will stare at these photos for a week now, picking out all the parts I could have improved, the one positive about it is that I can't fiddle with it even if I want to! Even if no-one else likes this piece my heart was full when I painted it, I have painted this scene before and it is just a joy to weave a tapestry of little lights and darks, tiny shapes making up bigger, simpler shapes. It is one of my favourite ways to use pastels, letting the colours play off each other and letting things organise themselves. Now I have three weeks to prepare for a workshop, and if I get time I am going to dig out my oils, reading Julie Ford Oliver's blog has really inspired me :)

Tuesday, 9 July 2013


That wasn't actually that hard, the Aboriginal name for Mt Nameless, used by the Eastern Guruma people...there you go :) you learn something new everyday.

Monday, 8 July 2013

Clear skies ahead

Well my other half looked at my painting last  night and said, "did you get bored and just stick some badly painted clouds in?" and he was right. I had no interest in the sky and the clouds I painted were all over the place value and perspective off they came this morning and this is the next effort. I think I will let this one percolate for a couple of days and then frame it. I have been looking for the right subject to put in a moon and I think this one just needed something simple to balance out the negative space in the sky and the raging colours of the mountain. The tentative title is 'The moon and Mount Nameless' (a lot of imagination went into that...not) This is a painting of a mountain in a little mining town in North Western Australia called Tom Price, and yes the mountain is actually called Mount Nameless! Although I think the Aboriginal people already had a name for it and I must try to find out what that is. The mountain forms part of the Hamersley Ranges and the area is heavily mined for iron ore...which explains the predominance of red and orange. :) Once again the photo does not reflect the values accurately, the foreground highlights are actually quite subtle...sigh

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Gettin' there

Next instalment...enjoying the process but not necessarily the outcome...:) Still can't get good photos of the colours, the values are much closer in real life and the greens are much less saturated...

Friday, 5 July 2013

Third time lucky?

After two scrapped efforts I have started a new piece. I think in the interest of helping other artists through their own rough patches, when I am finally clear of this one (still to soon to tell) I will be open and honest and post the dismal failures that I have been producing lately. When you think about it, mostly you only ever see an artists successes and sometimes it can feel like you are all alone with your failures. It helps me to have a close knit society of artists that I belong to that are all to willing to share their ups and downs. Anyway, I hope this one is a keeper, I am only about 2 hours in so still early days but I definitely feel better about it already...

Thursday, 4 July 2013

More Looking Back...

What a week its been. I have a painting that needs to be not just finished but started before next weekend. I have started it twice now and scrapped it twice. Our house is for sale and we have had people through for the last week, all my gear is packed away except the bare essentials and even that gets shuffled out to the shed every time we get someone through. I am really missing my studio, it has been converted back into a bedroom while we are selling :( I hope it sells soon so we can move on and I will hopefully get a 'real' studio...yay, we can all dream right? Anyway, I thought I would post an old piece, I was recently reminded of this one when someone commented on one of my youtube videos, having seen it in a magazine from over a year ago and on the other side of the world. They had successfully done the demo from the article and were really pleased with the results. What a nice bit of feedback that was! This was a large piece, 1m x 70cm on colourfix with a dry underpainting. I am having a blast looking back, some parts of my technique have changed for the better, some I think I will revisit. The composition on this one is definitely not the best, but I do like the colours and the strokes on the tree.