Ive been working on some of the pieces of driftwood from my collection in my studio. These pieces of wood are collected whilst on my daily beach walks. Unfortunately the number of pieces that I find are diminishing at the moment. It will take another huge storm to provide me with fresh stock.
It has been quite a while since I have got out my oil paints – maybe years! I had always loved painting with the rich and creamy oil paint but the length of the drying time was the reason I went to acrylic paint. I was always in a hurry to complete my works.
Don’t get me wrong, I love acrylic paint – they are so versatile and fast drying but OILS are just wonderful and the oil colour is so vibrant and the texture is so silky and organic – I have fallen in love with Oils again!
SO I will just have to get used to taking life at a slower pace when I work in Oil. Naturally I will continue to paint in acrylics as well.
Below is the first large oil painting I have finished since my return to this medium.
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.
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.
I have decided to indulge my fascination with texture. I use whatever feels right at the time, pieces of paper, material and whatever else catches my imagination. I have been having such fun and look forward to where ever my new journey in this style takes me.
My new works are full of texture, depth and colour and my new pieces are all abstract in nature.
A lot of these pieces have been painted on recycled timber. I love to recycle wherever I can and Iuse pieces of found driftwood and old pieces of furniture. I also use pages from old books, pieces of material, broken zippers and whatever odd pieces I discover.