Up in the Treetops

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.

treetops Working on up in the Treetopstreetops Finished the Tree Trunks

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.

Up in the Tree Tops

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?

in the treetops

 

New Etsy Shop for Children

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

AnimalFaces Etsy Shop

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.

Working on my McDuck Family

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.

McDuck Group pics

I look forward to your feed back.

Returning to the Studio

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.

studio-oneAs 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.

 

 

 

 

 

New work

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 I use 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.

Blackie the Black Parrot is Featured on the Shop Australia page on Etsy.

King ParrottThere are some fabulous examples of Australian art on this months Shop  Australia’s Board on Etsy.

Please visit and enjoy all the great work currently being displayed from my  fellow Australian artists.

I am delighted to say that my Blackie, the Black Parrot is featured in the Australia Day Board.

Just click on the ling below.

www.etsy.com/au/pages/shopaustralia/australia-day?ref=pg_index_23.

Three new residents at the Fudge Shop

Today I took three of my little driftwood pieces to stay at the Fudge Shop up on Springbrook Mountain.

Hopefully they will soon find a new home.

azure kingfisherAzure Kingfisher

Scientific name: Ceyx azureus

Alcedinidae

With its combination of royal-blue plumage on its upperparts contrasting with orange on its underparts, the Azure Kingfisher is one of the smallest and most dazzling kingfishers in Australia. This diminutive species inhabits the vegetation beside waterways and other wetlands, where it often perches on low, overhanging branches, searching for its prey of fish, crustaceans and aquatic insects, captured by shallow plunging into the water. Anglers on lonely rivers are sometimes surprised to find an Azure Kingfisher perched quietly on their fishing rods instead of a branch.

 

 

 

ringtail possum 1Eastern Pygmy-possum

Scientific name: Cercartetus nanus

Conservation status in NSW: Vulnerable

Eastern Pygmy-possums are tiny (15 to 43 grams) active climbers, with almost bare, prehensile (capable of curling and gripping) tails, and big, forward-pointing ears.

The Eastern Pygmy-possum is found in south-eastern Australia, from southern Queensland to eastern South Australia and in Tasmania. In NSW it extents from the coast inland as far as the Pilliga, Dubbo, Parkes and Wagga Wagga on the western slopes.

Feeds largely on nectar and pollen collected from banksias, eucalypts and bottlebrushes; an important pollinator of heathland plants such as banksias; soft fruits are eaten when flowers are unavailable.

 

treefrog 2aRed-eye Tree Frog

Scientific name: Litoria chloris,

Also commonly known as the red-eyed tree frog or orange-eyed tree frog, is a species of tree frog native to eastern Australia; ranging from north of Sydney to Proserpine in mid-northern Queensland.

This species of frog is associated with rainforests, wet sclerophyll forests, and woodlands. The call is several long, moaning “aaa-rk” sounds, followed by soft trills. Males call and breeding takes place mostly after rain in temporary ponds, roadside ditches, dams, ponds, and creek offshoots where the water is not flowing.

My very own Didgeridoo!

pandanus treeDonna's drift wood finished - Copy

 

 

My friends all know that I like to resurrect pieces of driftwood and natural pebbles

So friends often turn up at my studio with a piece of unusual driftwood or pebbles that they have found whilst they were out and about.

A while ago a special artist friend turned up with a long and interesting piece of pandanus tree that she had found washed up on Burleigh Headland.

It was bruised and battered and looked like it had been floating in the ocean for a long time, full of holes, but what an interesting and unusual shape and patina on the timber!

It was beautiful but the shape was so usual that I could not decide what I was going to do with it.

I placed it in a prominent position in the garden, near the pool, where I could look at it daily.  It took me over 4 months but I finally felt the piece ‘speak’ to me.

The Pandanus spiralis is an Australian shrub or small tree up to 10 metres in height. It has long, spiny leaves organised in a spiral arrangement. The plant bears a large, pineapple-like cluster of fruit that turn orange-red when ripe.  Wildlife including birds take advantage of the spiny leaves by living in the tree for protection. They also favour its fruit.

So I decided to continue with the Australian theme and I covered it with shapes and stripes in Australia’s earth colours of orange, yellow and yellow ochre.

When I had finished I found that I ended up with my very own didgeridoo.

Donna's drift wood finished a

 

driftwood close up