Thursday, 30 January 2014

Australia Day Weekend

Snap Happy - acrylic on board 15cm x 15cm (6" x 6")

I painted this today from a photo I took in December while on my morning walk. I took over 70 photos and thought I had some great shots amongst them. But when I got home and downloaded them, I discovered to my horror that there had been a smudge on the lens which had blighted most of them. At least I can ignore the smudge when using the shots for art reference. 

I rather liked the colours of the palette near the finished painting and couldn't resist photographing it. Also, I thought people might be interested to see how I am now storing my most frequently used paints. I commandeered one of my acrylic greeting card stands which makes them so much easier to find. Usually I'd have to scrabble through a messy pile of them just lying next to the easel. 

We recently celebrated the Australia day long spending several days in a fishing town north of Perth. There are some huge and spectacular sand-dunes to be seen on the trip up. As the years pass they march slowly across the landscape. You can understand how they get around when you see the sand blowing in the strong winds. If not for the heat and the vegetation you could be forgiven for thinking they are smacking great snow drifts. They made me think of all my fellow art-bloggers who are getting a lot of snow lately.

The beach house where we stay is authentically 1970s and I love it! It still boasts most of its original decor. This macrame owl wall-hanging is just like the one I aspired to making in the 1970s but never did. Back then it seemed like the last word in style - haha! I did however make a mission-brown pot-plant hanger which I was very proud of at the time.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Dreaming of Escaping the Heat

Pen and watercolour on paper 13cm x 13cm 

My dear art blogger friend Michael Perchard recently posted some stunning snowy scenes that looked very exotic to my heat addled eyes. While his part of the world was getting extreme winter temperatures, we were getting extreme summer temperatures. It reached 43.3 degrees Celsius (110F) the other day in Perth and a snowy landscape seemed a rather appealing place to be. But of course, in reality it would be far too cold for comfort as my pink and grey galah discovered. 
It was the combination of Michael's great photos and the extreme weather conditions from one hemisphere to another that inspired me to do this quick illustration. It was a quicker option than painting too! The writing is still winning by a long way at the moment. 

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Time Flies!

watercolour illustration circa 2006

Please excuse the quality of this reproduction. I just took a quick snap of it with my old camera. My new camera has turned it's toes up, but hopefully someone will be able to resuscitate it for me.

My youngest daughter recently received the good news that her exam results will enable her to go to her university of choice. So we are all very proud and excited for her.

It's the end of an era! By March I will have both of my daughters going to university. Here in Perth most kids live at home while attending university - mine included, so it is nice to have them living with us for several more years at least. A few of my friends and I were marvelling at how recently it seems that we were going in to their pre-primary classes to help out, and here they are (seemingly 5 minutes later) all grown up.

I did the above illustration when my daughter was around 9 or 10 years old (again, it feels like 5 minutes ago!). She is in the middle with her special friends of the time. I tried to keep all their heights in proportion to each other and they all described to me what they wanted to be wearing in the picture. It was so much fun to do and the girls all loved the finished picture. I sent it to a greeting card publisher in the UK in the hope of selling it - but no luck!

At the moment I'm still in a writing frenzy and I had to pull myself away from the manuscript to post this. I had a moment this morning when I thought I might rear up and do a painting, but the moment passed and the writing won. Hopefully the paintbrushes will be called into action by the end of this coming week.