Saturday, 29 December 2012

Millhouse Gallery Sale

I sold a painting this week at the Millhouse Gallery in Milton and was asked to provide an additional painting. The painting sold was a Male Blue wren, leaving the female alone without a mate! So on my daughter's suggestion I painted another Male Blue Wren.
Male Wren on Post

New Products - Next Market

My next market is the Lady Denman Produce Markets on Saturday 5th January. If you're in the area come along, and have a look at the Randall Sinnamon exhibition in the gallery inside. Huskisson is alive with holiday-makers at this time of year which is just wonderful. 

After Christmas I was inspired to make something that communicated the texture and colours of the coast. I wanted to combine the feel of sun-bleached driftwood and the soothing tones of the beach, and also the naive charm of some patchwork and textile art that I've seen. It all sounds rather lofty and ambitious but I've made up a few buntings with just that feel and I think they'd add a very festive freshness, life and charm to a cracked paint background!
Rose Robin $40

'Castaway' Coastal Bunting $30
Patchwork flags with frayed edges, hessian edging, coastal palette.
9 flags, approx 2m total length, looped ends


 These are some commissions I worked on before Christmas.
Portrait on A4 - $70
Portrait progress photo

Pet Portrait on A5 - $40

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Tomerong Markets 15th December 2012

You can find me at Tomerong Markets tomorrow morning if you're looking for some birdy presents. 

Here are some scans of new bird watercolours, as well as a bigger gum leaf painting, and some photos of more salt dough hanging birds. I do love the salt dough, it is so natural and harmless. I tried painting some of the little salt-dough birds in bright colours, but much preferred them in their natural colour, with a little brown... these ones just remind me of having a peaceful cup of coffee while sitting quietly and watching the birds, and I dubbed them "mocha" as I painted all their little faces and tails.

I've also been working on some commissions this week. Portraits, birds and pets! These are all to be gifts so I can't say too much. :-)
Gum leaves A4 $70

Galah A5 mounted to A4 $40

Brown Goshawk A5 mounted to A4 $40

Eastern Spinebill A5 mounted to A4 $40

Superb Blue Wren A5 mounted to A4 $40

Superb Blue Wren A5 mounted to A4 $40

Mocha Hanging Birds $15
Brightly Coloured Hanging Birds $15

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Bird House Collages

3 collages, 4 x 6,
printed paper and black ink
$25 ea
A new set of collages centred around the idea of finding a home. The first one has a little bird seeing what it feels like to be inside, the second has a little bit of a garden, and the third is made from the printed insides of envelopes.

Andy made a bird box much like these, to install on a huge tree at the back or our house. The tree was cut years ago but the stump is still maybe 4-6m tall, so a perfect spot to provide a nesting site. Attempts to install it though, on a teetering, rickety ladder, on unstable ground, holding a heavy bird box, drilling in to hard timber... I did catch on video until it got serious. Luckily no ambulance was needed, just a bandage, but the bird box lingers in the garage.

I think the loveliest thing Andy has done for the birds at our house, is make a little shallow bird bath, positioned perfectly for me to see while i'm at my desk. It gets very regular use by finches, wrens, spinebills, fantails, robins, and we even watched a male tree-creeper reversing in awkwardly. This little puddle has transformed that section of the garden, which was a shaded, dead-looking bit, into a little oasis full of life, and is about 2m from my chair!

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Printed Greeting Cards

Printed Cards A5 with C6 white envelope - blank inside
$3 ea or set of 6 for $15
I finally had some cards printed, very simple, on 210gsm white flat. The colours have come up very vibrant and the detail is good. Eventually I'd love to find someone who can print on a nice watercolour stock, but for now these are neat and affordable.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Patricia's Birds

Patricia's Decorative Birds $5ea
These beautiful sophisticated birds were gifted to my stall by a very skilled seamstress. A quilt-maker and occupational therapist, you can feel the love that has gone in to these, and it is almost impossible to see their tiny post-stuffing stitches. Made from printed fabric, acrylic stuffing, and satin ribbon they make unique christmas tree decorations. I think they'd also be great in a child's room or hanging on a handle in just the right spot.

Monday, 3 December 2012

December 2012

I'm hoping to have at least one more market day before Christmas. Perhaps Pyree or the Twilight Markets at the Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre. I'll confirm next week.

I saw a wonderful nest in the Minnamurra rainforest on the weekend, it looked like a clump of roots hanging off a branch, but looking closer had some string and other things woven in. Teardrop-shaped with a side entrance, I have no idea how these things would be constructed, apparently by a Yello-Throated Scrub Wren if the bird-book has been our friend.
I found this quote which only fuels my curiosity about nests all the more:

'I can bear testimony to that part of Gould's statement which says that the pear-shaped, perpendicular, mossy nests are exceedingly attractive when observed hanging in the humid scrub. But the Sericornis does not construct its home within the mossy masses, but rather gathers the moss and masses it into a wonderful and beautiful nest, which is hung out in the "corridors" of the scrub, as if to attract the attention of passers by, or perhaps, more correctly speaking, made to assimilate the pendulous mossy ornaments of the forest in order to put the birds; natural enemies "off the scent." ' - A.J. Campbell 
Mini Christmas Bunting - flags are about 14 x 10cm
each bunting has 9 flags and total length is around 1.5m
$15 ea

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Wasp Galls

Gum leaves and Wasp Galls - A4 watercolour - $70
I find these very round lumps on the gum leaves fascinating. Apparently they are caused by a wasp which lays its eggs in the leaf. It is not clear how exactly the gall is formed, but it creates a safe place for the wasp to develop while it is vulnerable. I assume at some point the wasp emerges, as I have seen galls which appear to have burst open, and plainly there are several tunnels visible inside the exploded gall. I have a collection of these leaves on my sideboard...maybe i should put them outside!?!

Monday, 26 November 2012

Lady Denman Markets 1 December

Christmas decorations - hand-cut, stamped and baked salt-dough,
finished with matt varnish $5 each
Three new wren watercolours - the middle one is sold already. $40
New dove and kingfisher suncatchers.
The kingfishers are wired in to dangle in a little loop.
All suncatchers priced from $15 to $25
Bird paperclips - felt, bead & paperclip $1 each
3 new collages 6" x 8" - paper collage,
charcoal pencil and white ink on cardboard
$25 each

I've had some more mirrors printed,
the Rose Robin and also the Blue Wren $10 

Here are some new products for the markets this weekend, December 1 - summer! 
The next market will be in a fortnight later at Pyree on Dec 16 (to be confirmed).

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Friday, 23 November 2012


A5 Collages on cardboard $25 each
Some new things - collages utilising recycled good including notes from school, a notepad printed with the Australian $100 bill, window envelopes, and guitar string packaging. I can feel a mixed-media crush coming on!

More Gumleaves

Just some process pictures of a gum leaf painting on A4 size Arches smooth 185gsm. 
To begin I select a nice mix of leaves and lay them out. At this point if I take a photo I ask myself why I bother to paint - the leaves themselves are so interesting and vibrant there is nothing I can add. But moving forward regardless, I sketch out the shapes lightly with pencil. I work rather randomly depending what colours i have already on my palette, but generally trying to match the main colour of each leaf, wetting the section, dropping pigment in and adding soft details before the section dries. Then adding sharper details once the section is dry, and finally all the darkest little tips, stalks and marks. Very last I add a few light shadows to make the leaves look like they're actually sitting on the paper.

This painting is available on the weekend for $70 at JindyAndy Mill Christmas Market on Saturday (Nov23), and Pyree on Sunday (Nov 24).

Life Drawing

It is just fantastic that my local art supplier is now offering life drawing classes.  I'm a bit out of shape and these short poses are quite a workout for the arm and brain. I managed to make some sketches that i quite like, I have some canvases in mind down the track which involve figures and birds.
The classes are at Make Your Mark Art Supplies in Huskisson if anyone is interested.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Millhouse Gallery Summer Exhibition 2012 Dec 3 - March 2

I have submitted 8 pieces for the Millhouse Summer exhibition... I've chosen a variety of subjects and I'm not sure how well some of them will go given the popularity of landscapes at that gallery! We'll see. Anyhow here are two of the paintings which make a nice set. If you happen to be in Milton over the summer, drop in for a look as there are some very clever artists exhibiting there.
Watercolours for sale at the Millhouse Gallery in Milton
from December 3.  Framed size 400 x 325mm $190 each

Friday, 16 November 2012

Tomerong Markets 17 November

I made up a prototype "nest" ring from fencing wire & my daughter wore it all week and got a lot of comments, so I've now made some beautiful rings and pendants from proper jewellery wire which I have been assured will stay beautiful and shiny. They are very pretty with pale blue bead "eggs". 

Update: Now in matching earrings!

Sunday, 4 November 2012

New Products

Adding stripes to the cuckoo

Painting the kingfisher
I had some make-up mirrors printed with a Rose Robin for the Artisan Market this weekend - they are looking very sweet! 

Also here are some new pieces - the Gumleaves is big - a little too big for my scanner, and the rest are on A5 Arches Watercolour medium surface - 300 gsm.
They'll be mounted up ready to go for saturday morning.

This morning before school, my son and I saw a cormorant swimming in a little creek not 2 metres from us. The water was so clear we could see him perfectly beneath the surface, fishing like a seal.

Yesterday in the dunes at Nelsons Beach an echidna came crashing through the bush and we were able to watch him for ages as he travelled adjacent to the track. When the dog got interested he just stopped still and curled up, and we moved on, thinking how effective his defences were that he seemed to need no stealth!

It is really a treat to see wildlife so close to people and so freely enjoying their unspoilt natural habitat.
Tiny Makeup Mirror with print of Rose Robin $10 ea
Gumleaves - mounted size 350 x 300mm $70

Shining Bronze-Cuckoo A5 Mounted on A4 $40

Black Faced Cuckoo Shrike A5 mounted on A4 $40

Scarlet Honeyeater A5 mounted on A4 $40

Azure Kingfisher A5 mounted on A4 $40

Magpie portrait A5 mounted on A4 $40

Gumleaves detail

Black Faced Cuckoo Shrike detail

Scarlet Honeyeater detail

Azure Kingfisher detail

Magpie portrait detail

Who are we to decide what is small and insignificant

Experiment today with pencil and just a light wash of watercolour. This is a slightly mangled- looking strawberry from our garden. A warm up exercise for creating some pieces to go to the Millhouse Gallery for the summer exhibition.

Friday, 2 November 2012

Shoalhaven Artisans Market 10th November

Next Saturday is the Artisans Market in Nowra again, the month has gone very quickly! Today Andy and I were set up at the Lady Denman markets and although the weather started out a bit dreary, it fined up and there was a great atmosphere and lots of out of town visitors. 

This week I framed quite a few paintings up - a set of 3 New Holland Honeyeaters - I think I'll do  few more of these sets featuring one species of bird, this was a suggestion of my friend Mickey. Thanks Mickey!

Also a fantail in a plain white frame, a White Cheeked Honeyeater in a fancy white frame, and a nest in a brown frame. I found a set of four green lime-washed frames which work nicely with botanicals as they have similar tones.

Two new paper-cuts - cut from a single sheet of white paper and framed in white. These are sandwiched between two sheets of glass, so it is possible to see through them, to the shadow they cast. I so love paper-cuts!

And lastly, the christmas cards with paper-cut ornaments strung on silver thread. They are looking very nice in their cello bags.

New Holland honeyeater 3 x A6 framed 415 x 210mm $80

Rufous Fantail A5 framed 190 x 245mm $45

White Cheeked Honeyeater A5 framed 230 x 280mm $50

Honeyeaters Nest A5 framed 245 x 335mm $50
4 botanical watercolours each on A5 and framed 250 x 305mm -
Coastal Banksia, Banksia Serrata Leaf, Wattle pod, and Spotted Leaf
$50 each

'Tea' Paper-cut framed 295 x 245mm $50
Big Dreams Paper-cut framed 210 x 160mm $30
Paper-cut Ornament Christmas cards $8