Initially I painted this large contemporary piece to brighten up our rumpus room. The room was already full of quirky figurines and pieces of art but I felt it needed a large piece for the wall. I love birds as they are always so happy and busy flitting around and singing, so what better subject to paint?
Everyone loved the finished piece, so I thought I would include it in my shop. It is a bright and happy artwork and I’m happy to announce that it has been sold and is going to Melbourne.
This piece was my entry in the 2020 Border Art Prize.
Background to the piece:
We each have a Spirit Animal that guides or protects us on our life journey and whose characteristics we share or embody. The Spirit Animal helps us remain true to ourselves, our voice and our vision.
My woman’s Spirit Animal is the Owl which does not tolerate illusion or secrets and allows her to become far more observant. The Owl gives her “new” eyes with which to see, she looks into your soul and sees the real you.
With her Spirit Animal on her shoulder their eyes look straight at you, you cannot hide from their gaze.
Oil with cold wax medium on board.
Measurements: 81cm by 81cm by 5cm
This contemporary piece was created using myriad layers of oil paint to create the depth that I required in the background and the piece is filled with symbolism and meaning.
Australian Animals, Ink and acrylic on camphor laurel.
I was lucky to rescue a collection of camphor laurel off-cuts from the local Woodcutters Shop bin. Camphor grows wild throughout eastern Australia and Australian-grown camphor laurel has a strikingly appealing colour and grain, often honey-coloured. It is its beautiful, strong, dark grain against a yellow wood that makes it so interesting to me as an artist. I was determined to find the inner soul from within each of these pieces and after many hours studying their unique grain, the following pieces were the result. Below are photos of the timber pieces prior to my painting to show you how I get my inspiration from the grain. I enjoy this part of creation, seeking what the timber is telling me it is.
I like to paint with a limited pallet as it allows me to concentrate on composition, value, lighting and encourages me to focus on the image as a whole. Line, shape, and color are what creates a pleasing composition.
I have always felt that communication between artwork and viewer is crucial. If my art is able to elicit a feeling from the audience, if I have been able to evoke a mood or idea, then I am happy.
‘Palm Tree Grove’ is a black and white contemporary botanical image. We have a grove of Palm Trees in our back yard. They provide wonderful shade and privacy as well as being a safe environment for native habitat. It houses lizards and other creatures and birds who love to gather in the palm fronds. They love to eat the berries when the trees are in fruit.
This piece was painted in acrylic on eight individual 40x40cm cradled boards. Whilst each 40 x 40 board is a painting in its own right, I painted the pieces in such a way that the 8 boards make the large artwork of the Palm Tree Grove.
Each individual painting highlights a more personal closer view of the individual parts that make up the whole Palm Tree Grove; lizards, birds, coconuts, fruit, palm fronds. I particularly love the growth rings on the trees and their wonderful textured trunks with beautiful algae.
Always makes me happy when someone appreciates my art and purchases a piece – or two! These were my latest pieces.
The first one is of Humpback Whales which are drawn to the Gold Coast every year as a winter playground. The large shallow bay provides an ideal location for the whales to rest and mingle during their annual 10,000 kilometre migration journey. Over fifteen thousand whales pass close to shore near the Gold Coast as they round the easternmost corner of Australia on their way to and from the feeding grounds of Antarctica and the breeding grounds of Tropical Queensland. Humpbacks are the most inquisitive and playful of the great whales and therefore a favourite with whale watchers. They are also famous show-offs and acrobats – often leaping clear of the ocean or slapping the surface with giant fins and tail flukes in awesome displays of grace and power. We always keep an eye out for these guys throughout our winter.
The whales were painted in acrylic on a piece of discarded wood when I visit the local Woodworkers Workshop. They are happy for me to select pieces from their discarded bin.
Nature is wonderful and I love the widely differing timber grain that can be found in each piece. This grain usually influences what I am going to do with each piece. I saw a seascape in this piece and I have allowed the raw timber grain to show as the headland and island seen in the background. The second piece is of a red-tailed black cockatoo also known as Banksian- or Banks’ black cockatoo. It is a large black cockatoo native to Australia. Adult males have a characteristic pair of bright red panels on the tail that gives the species its name. It is more common in the drier parts of the continent.
I paint Australian fauna and flora to raise their awareness as many species are declining and this is a disturbing trend.
My driftwood wood pieces are found whilst walking the shoreline and when I see a beautiful piece I can’t wait to hand paint an Australian Bird upon it.
When I find a piece I put it on a shelf in my studio and wait till I can visualise what I am going to do with that little piece of nature. Each piece of work is unique and there will never be another piece like it as no two pieces of wood are ever alike.
I paint Australian fauna to raise their awareness as many species are declining and this is a disturbing trend.
This piece is a red-tailed black cockatoo also known as Banksian- or Banks’ black cockatoo. It is a large black cockatoo native to Australia. Adult males have a characteristic pair of bright red panels on the tail that gives the species its name. It is more common in the drier parts of the continent.
The particular piece of driftwood suggested a parrot sitting on a tree branch. I always attempt to work with the grain of the wood when placing the animal in position.
This little fellow has been sold to a customer in Perth, Western Australia.
Playtime in the studio. I had two small pieces of timber each measuring 32cm x 32cm that have been hanging around the studio for a while so I decided to do two small Picasso influenced works as an exercise.
As everyone knows, women and birds always seem to find their way into my work. Therefore the result of my Picasso playtime was:
Both were painted in acrylic paint. I used old 1970’s wallpaper designs as inspiration for the backgrounds of the two pieces.
The Art Deco Era was a glamorous time for womens fashion. My ladies are both elegantly dressed, they wear beautiful jewellery with either an elaborate hat or a chic hair style.
When the “social distancing” edict arrived I naïvely thought: well, this won’t be that different from what I normally do as I usually spend time in my studio each day; but once I took out all the things that I usually do every day – going shopping, visiting family and friends, going to the gym, visitng art galleries, eating out, etc, etc. suddenly there was now a huge amount of time to fill in.
Initially I was not fazed by this fact, in fact I thought great! I will have time to do some of the things that I could never fit into my day before. To this end, I’ve begun experimenting with different styles of painting, exploring new methods, channeling my favourite Artists – its been great fun but it dawned on me today I’m now finding that I miss the stimulation of social connection, I miss the interaction with my fellow artists and friends, the swapping ideas etc.
So we must find ways to keep us together, symbolically, as we are physically apart. We need to sustain each other for the long haul through this period of necessary seclusion while maintaining a sense of common purpose. We must get better at socialising remotelyinstead in person:- make a phone call, a video call (which I don’t normally do but will have to get used to), use Whatsap. It will take a little getting used to these but I’m sure we will all become expert at it, in time.
I also decided that I would also bring my Blog up to date, chatting about things I have been doing over the past six months. Normally I find I am too busy to blog, yes, slack I know, but now I have no excuse.
So you will see a lot more coming from me. Hope I don’t wear you out with all my blogs!!!.
Meanwhile I hope to see everyone out there being creative. Please share what you are doing with us all. Socialise remotely and very importantly KEEP SAFE.
VW Kombi, surfboard on roof, mattress in the back. Live the Dream – VW Kombi by the ocean
Kombi vans are beautiful and have a timeless iconic feel. The ability to venture off into the rugged wilds around Australia’s coastline, find a beautiful spot and create your little home, how wonderful! In the 1970’s and 80s, it was everyone’s dream to live the life traveling around Australia in a kombi.
This piece painted on recycled timber is my tribute to that dream. It comes with D Hooks and wire on the back ready to hang.
Measurements: 545mm x 210mm x 10mm deep Weight: 1.6kg
This wall hanging reminds us of the good old days when we went chasing the waves and beach life. Can you remember those days when we chased the waves and spent our time sunbaking whilst the guys went surfing.
A great image for around the BBQ area, a man’s den, study or living room. Would make a wonderful gift.
Base: 20cm x 8cm made out of Cedar Weight 2.3/4 kg
Natural resources are being depleted and landfills are being filled at an increasing rate. Our current system of production, consumption and disposal has become unsustainable. It is imperative that we all try to re-use existing materials that we no longer need.
When I see discarded timber, I always save it with the view to give it new life as a piece of art. I have found some lovely pieces of timber by ‘bin-diving’ at the local Woodworkers Centre and by finding driftwood on the shore. I also save all sorts of odd things, materials, paper, old screws, washers – whatever!
My Boats are a result of my assembling pieces of odd saved timber, old washers, bits of dress material, and a dash of my imagination.