I have been having great fun working with pieces of driftwood that I find on my daily walks on the beach.
Each time I find a piece I can usually visualise what I am going to do with that little piece of nature – however sometimes it takes a little longer to get the feel of the piece. Every piece of work is unique and there can never be another piece like it, as no two pieces of driftwood wood are ever the same.
First I take the necessary cleaning and pest control procedures to ensure the wood free and clean of any unwanted pests. Then comes the shaping and preparation. I find it very enjoyable whittling and shaping the wood into the shape that I can ‘see’ within the wood. Next the sanding and preparation of the surface to ensure the paint will adhere.
Once painted and finished each piece is completely sealed with a clear heavy duty sealer.
I often paint Australian fauna to raise their awareness as many species are declining and this is a disturbing trend.
I have been working on a very large canvas to go on the living room wall in our home. Our living room opens to the front balcony which is up among the treetops of a beautiful leopard tree and lovely poinsettia tree. It is such a lovely retreat to sit on the deck and be surrounded by waiving leafy branches away from the rest of the world.
So when I was trying to decide on a suitable subject matter for this large painting, it took quite a while. Did I want to do a colourful abstract? I wasn’t sure and as I don’t paint in a traditional style, a landscape was out. One day whilst reading out on the deck, it finally dawned on me, paint my treetops!
I took some photos looking upwards into my treetops and then played around with them in Photoshop until I settled on a suitable composition.
First sketch the tree trunk and branches.
Then I had to paint in the tree canopy and all of the leaves. This took quite a while until I was happy with the composition.
It was quite a task to hang this large painting as it had to be hung in a very high position above our staircase. This involved ladders, tressels and the help of a builder; however it is finally up and looks great. What do you think?
I have just opened up my new AnimalFaces Shop on Etsy which will feature animal art aimed initially for children’s nurseries. When you have a moment please visit and let me know what you think of it, just clink on the link below
As everyone knows I love painting animals, especially Australian flora and fauna. My friends are starting to call me the bird lady!
So for fun, I thought I would invent a Family of Australian Wood Ducks. Where we lived on a canal, in our last house, we had these cheeky little fellas who used to swim up to our boundary and we greatly enjoyed feeding them and their little babies.
So I have created the McDuck Family.
Please meet Mr and Mrs McDuck and their 3 children – Tilly, Ellie and Liam. Mum and Dad are very proud of their children; Tilly loves to shop (she particularly likes shoes and is always adding to her collection), Ellie loves the beach and is wearing her new polka dot bikini and Liam spends all his free time down at the skate park.
As times goes I imagine that I will introduce more members of the family eg Grandma and Grandpa and I’m sure that as the children grow, they will and have boy and girlfriends, get married, have children!
Over the years I see myself adding to these family portraits and maybe maybe writing a story about their lives.
I hope that children become to love them and would like them on the walls of their bedrooms.
I have continued with my experimentation with geometric patterns in my art. It has been interesting and a little fun.
I just completed this piece called Organic Geometric. I attempted to mix my organic style with geometric patterns. The subject is is based on items found in the garden – ferns, flowers and wood. I decided to use different sized pieces of small branches from my own garden to create a pattern down one side of the artwork. This I did by dipping the ends of the twigs into the paint and then stamping them onto the canvas. The resulting orange circles show the growth rings inside each of the branches, which I felt made a nice touch.
I found I had to hold my self back to ensure that my organic style of painting did not take over the geometric patterns however I am quite pleased with the end result.
I will definitely continue to include geometric patterns in future work.
I have had a client asking for a large black and white geometrical piece for their front hallway, to match their front floor mat! What I have always called this type of art is ‘Interior Decor’ art and I haven’t been a fan of this type of work but it seems growing in popularity.
I must also admit that I don’t usually do geometrical as my art is more organic and flowing but I chose to rise to the occasion and accept the challenge.
The customer wanted a very simple pattern so initially I was not able to include any embellishments. Being large and all the straight lines and corners, it took ages! However I found it a lesson in concentration and precision and great practice in painting straight lines. The repetition I found to be mind relaxing as I was simply following the pattern and filling in the spaces.
I was however able to convince the client to allow me to include a quirky addition to the painting to give it some soul – a climbing man.
The reason I haven’t done geometric in the past is that I have always thought that it wasn’t artistically exciting enough. However I was slightly surprised hat after finishing the piece that I am now incentivised to try to experiment with some geometric patterns in my work. It will be interesting to so where it eventuates over time.
It has been a long time since I have been able to spend time in my studio.
And it has been a long time since I have blogged; however I am now back.
After our travels it took a while to settle back into the swing of life. We had to catch up with all our family, get the house and garden back to how we like it, visit friends, etc and just be.
Whilst I absolutely enjoyed the travel we did last year with all the fabulous experiences, all the interesting people and the exceptional art that we saw; it feels so good to now come back to my special place, my studio.
As with every craftsman, whilst inspiration and innovative ideas are necessary, your work is only as good as your tools. Therefore I have undertaken a huge revamp, repositioning my workspace and the public Gallery space in my studio. It now works so well and I think I have got it right, my perfect working environment!
Peter has been wonderful and a great help to me with everything – cleaning, moving and updating equipment, offering suggestions of placement to achieve optimum results, etc.
Let me know what you think of my revamped studio.
I have so much inspiration and I feel the need to commence.
I also have to start making more pieces for my retail outlets again.
So I will have much to blog about along the way but first I must PAINT.
We are currently travelling overseas and the weather of the last few days has resulted in our being inside, rather than out exploring the country.
It has always been my intent to try my hand at digital art. Therefore I have spent this spare time investigating and playing with my old PhotoShop digital art program that I have on my laptop.
I have had this program for over 10 years but to date have only used it to improve my photographs.
I obviously have a long way to go before I get any good at this method, it is fun but much more complicated than I thought. As I have only a mouse to use at the moment, I envision it will be mush easier once I get an up to date program plus proper equipment such as drawing tablet, pen etc.
Digital art is indeed an interesting medium and one which will sit along nicely with all the other mediums of art that I currently play with.
Anyhow here are two of my first efforts. I went with birds as they seemed the easiest without a tablet and pen. Having only a mouse makes it difficult.