Thursday, January 24, 2013


If you looked at this painting quickly and I asked you "what do you see?" then I'm sure your answer would be "a white chook" and hence the title of the painting but in reality she has many colours other than white. White is one of the most interesting colours to paint as it reflects all the colours that surround it. Because of the backlighting effect her blue shadow colour is reflecting the sky and turning to violets in some places. The warm ground colour is bouncing back up underneath her in a lovely golden glow and her tail feathers are slightly transparent and letting more light through there turning them pale blue and gold... wonderful subject matter to paint!

         This little painting at 6" x 6" is titled "The white chook" 

Unfortunately it is not a really good photo of the painting and there is too much reflection showing on the background.

Monday, January 21, 2013


I have a passion for large animals and for that reason Australian animals do not feature strongly in my work as they are mostly small creatures but the Echidna is very special. Not only do I frequently see them hunting around the garden for ants but they are, along with the platypus, so unique in the animal world. Not only do they lay an egg that then hatches in a pouch, the young will suckle milk as it grows to maturity, the baby is known as a puggle. 
I had to be very quiet and sneak up on this one otherwise they drop to the ground and dig themselves in for protection if they feel threatened.

Friday, January 18, 2013


I recently had a comment made to me by another artist who said she had visited an art exhibition many years ago where the realistic art was criticized yet she felt that the mainstream public enjoyed the realistic art as much as the abstract art. During my high school years in the 70's, my realistic drawings were also criticized by my art teacher, who ended up telling me that I would never get anywhere drawing the way that I did and that I should abstract my work. I was devastated at the time but remained true to my passion and have never looked back. I think now it was all the motivation that I needed-to pursue my love of nature the way that I see it and to portray the natural beauty with my own artistic expression. I don't see the world in an abstract way and therefore cannot translate it through to my art. How we see the world and then translate our thoughts and emotions through to our art is very personal and neither discipline should be criticized. My mantra has always been to follow your passion whatever it might be, regardless of trends and your art will flourish.

Monday, January 7, 2013

HOT TIP- How to preserve your oil palette through summer

With the onslaught of the hot weather, I thought I would share an excellent way of preserving oil paint left on the palette overnight so that it doesn't dry out. I always remove the paint I have used throughout the day but have little piles of pure colour left on the sides that can be used the next day. I made a lid  for my palette out of cardboard and then glued a light piece of cotton cloth to the inside of it. I then sprinkle the cloth lightly with 'oil of cloves' which you can buy at a chemist. A small bottle will go a long way and keeps the oil paint nice and moist overnight.

Thursday, January 3, 2013


The commissioned portrait of 'Gus' is finished and was collected in time for a Christmas gift. After sending through the underpainting image, the client was extremely happy with the dog but requested a few changes to the background. She was understandably concerned about the redness of the foreground, which I explained would be mostly covered in the finished work, also the image was indeed redder than the original. She also asked for more sky to be showing which I had already corrected myself to balance the background. When the client collected the painting, she became quite teary and said that I had really captured a true likeness in the dog as he holds a very special place in their hearts. I was so delighted to see her response and is one of the most rewarding parts of what I do.
Here is the finished painting of 'Gus', 12" x 10".