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

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 :)

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Toot Toot!


The Poet's Garden 
Hi all! Happy St Pat's Day for yesterday! Wanted to share my news, last weekend was very exciting for me...Frankenfish picked up the Mixed Media prize at Gosnells Art Award and The Poet's Garden received 2nd prize in the open section at Wagin Woolorama...I have to tell you I had a 'couple' of sparkly drinks :)...will be posting some new work in a few days! Cheers

Saturday, 27 February 2016

It Is What It Is :)

This one is big and heavy! I had some antique frames in my studio and I have been wanting to do something with them for a while. The panels that my husband made for me are good and sturdy (even when you take to the with a hammer and blow torch!) This started out with the idea of being a 'Cabinet of Curiosity' but I had so much fun it just 'Is What It Is'! I still need to take some proper detail shots of this one. I made the Bracket Fungus (growing up the sides) from Aves Clay, it's the first time I've used it and I LOVE it. It dries really hard and is easy to paint...will take some more shots in the next couple of days :)

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Finished 'Nocturne' :)

Nocturne 1.2m x 1m

Hi all, finished this one today :) I think the image is a little on the dim side but I wanted the gold leaf to show up. Anyway, I've entered this into a juried show so wish me luck :)

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Still Drawing :)

Ok, I've added a Sugarglider and a Bush Stone Curlew...oh yes, and a Cicada, all nocturnal :) Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Greetings from the bad blogger!

I could make excuses about my husband being home on holidays, or the rotten heatwave that we have been enduring blah blah blah. But no-one wants to hear that, so let's not dwell on how far behind I have already gotten this year with new work! Let's talk about the best husband in the world who knocked up these fabulous cradled panels for me. Stretched canvas has reached it's use by date for my painting process. My pieces have become heavier with texture and assemblage elements lately and I need to move on to something sturdier. Fortunately my other half is a bit of a whiz in the shed and is now making these panels for me. It's great, any size I want and I don't have to give a weeks notice to have a canvas stretched! I managed to hunt down some premium grade ply panels that don't require sanding, just a bit of sealing before painting. Even that is optional with acrylic paint.
In typical fashion though, the first piece I started on panel is mostly assemblage or heavy texture (yet!). This mainly came about because of the fact that even with A/C in my studio, my kitchen is infinitely more comfortable to work in when temps are up to 42 degrees C for four days running! So I made myself comfortable and got out my trusty pencils. The drawing part isn't quite finished yet and there will be some colour and texture I promise! I'm hoping to spend the weekend finishing this one :) Thanks for sticking by the Bad Blogger! :)

Monday, 4 January 2016

Magpies in space :)

Cosmos - Acrylic, collage and Gold leaf 30 x 40 canvas

So right now you're thinking I don't understand...Magpies in space? Well there is a little story behind the inspiration for this one. We have a family of Maggies that frequent our backyard and they have become quite tame. They are all recognizable by their markings and so of course they all end up with nicknames :) The male Maggies have very clean sharp markings, their backs are always pure white. The females are a bit scruffier and instead of white backs they have black with various white markings. Mostly these look a little bit like lace, and some have less, some have more. Last year though, a new female turned up and she was almost pure black except for the usual white marking on the back of the neck that they all have and some tiny little white spots on her back which looked just like stars. So I started calling her Cosmos. She turned out to be a real character and would hang around whenever we where outside, almost like she enjoyed the company. Cosmos raised a couple of babies this spring and then promptly went back to wherever she came from (apparently it's not uncommon for females to move sometimes, I suppose to prevent in-breeding) Anyway, her babies now hang out in our yard and one of them has very similar markings. So she now has the very imaginative name of Cosmos' baby :) Hence...Magpies in space, I'm sure that really cleared thing up :) Cheers