Category Archives: Acrylic paintings

Scam or glam?

I found this sitting in my Draft bin and realised I’d never posted it – so here’s a little story form Dec 2017.

Early December amongst the manic finishing of Christmas commissions I got a very professional and pleasant email from someone purporting to work for Etsy in Australia. She asked if I would agree to loan a small painting for a photo shoot at Australian House and Garden magazine. I just needed to send it the next day to reach Sydney in time for the shoot.

The Wave
The Wave- Acrylic on canvas.

My first reaction was that it was a scam. Someone was trying for some free Christmas presents! The email looked legit but I knew that Etsy had closed it’s staff office in Australia earlier that year so my suspicions were fueled. The IT Geek checked it out and assured me it was definitely a scam.

Donning my figurative deerstalker I started my own little investigation. First I asked around on the Etsy teams if anyone knew of a Sarah who worked for Etsy. Straight away someone replied that there used to be a Sarah who worked in PR – maybe it was her? Next I googled the company name on her email and that seemed to be a legit PR firm. I google earthed the address she’d asked me to post it to and that was a photo studio complex. Lastly I phoned up reception at the PR company and asked them to put me through to Sarah , and they did.

With all the evidence in I decided to send off the little painting, the IT Geek was still sceptical.

Two weeks later it arrived back, well packed and a thank you note included.There was no mention of when or if it would appear in the magazine and I assumed they didn’t use it.

Then a couple of days ago I got tagged in an Instagram post and there it was, my little seascape sitting on a bedside table in a beautifully styled bedroom. And 1 day later the painting was sold!

Maybe I wouldn’t have sent it if it was a more valuable painting but I’m glad I was willing to take a small gamble, do a bit of due diligence and cough up for the post. Now to go and check out that legacy I just need to send my passport to collect…..

A day out

We had a wonderful day trip down the Tasman peninsula this week for a spot of photography and some snorkeling.

Our first stop was at Remarkable Cave at low tide . This is a double entrance sea cave with spectacular views out to sea through one of the entrances.

Remarkable Cave at low tide.

Next stop the Tessalated Pavement which has such interesting rock formations.

I managed to scare myself here by snorkeling right over the top of a huge stingray which had just been disturbed from his hiding place in the sand by my husband who was swimming ahead. I saw what I thought was a strange piece of drift wood a few inches under me and almost reached out to touch it as it looked so smooth… then I saw it was the stinging tail of a ray and I back pedddled very fast. A few weeks ago at a local beach a man died from the sting of a stingray and I did not want a repeat !

I really wanted to remember this day so got straight into the paints when we were home again. Here’s my effort to capture the clear water and sunny day.

if Acrylic on canvas

If painting on site isn’t an option then painting from a very fresh memory is the next best thing. I’d taken a lot of photos, swam off these rocks and lunched looking over the view so when it came to the painting I really only needed these memories to get me started and didn’t have to refer to the photos at all.

Immersing yourself in your subject is a great way to get that emotional content we should always be aiming for, and swimming is a great way to immerse yourself if your subject is water!

Looking back on 2018….

As the sun rises on a new year ( just used that so I could tie it in with my feature photo!!)I looked back at some of my arty adventures during 2018.

I joined a artist coop early in the year and have had a lot of fun sitting in the Quoll Gallery. It’s always nice to meet the people who buy my paintings and they love to meet the artist! I’ve also met a lot of other artists who , like me, love to check out galleries wherever I travel.

Sharing an idea from the Gallery on my Patreon page.

My Patreon page was a bit of a risk because I knew it would eat up my time. It’s been artistically rewarding as I’ve met wonderful people from all walks of life with a love of art in common. I have a small bunch of subscribers which has allowed me to interact with them more and really get to know them and their artistic aspirations and I’ve enjoyed the exchanges we have. Because it’s small I can spent time critiquing their paintings for them and answering their questions which I think would be impossible with a really large group. As I prepare the lessons and exercises it’s made me reflect more about my own art practices and I think it ‘s improved me as a teacher and an artist. Each month I concentrate on a theme and here’s one of the painting demos and lessons I did last month for our “Using Darks Effectively” theme.

Using black paper with pastels

I travelled to the USA, Canada, Italy, France and Switzerland and had a blast. Got a lot of painting done, hiked, swam, snorkeled, ate, photographed and soaked up the scenery. Don’t ask me what was my favourite place because I just can’t narrow it down! Here’s a few paintings I did while travelling.  

Also a video of me getting into a bit of palette knife painting in the Vanoise region of France while Trevor did a hike.

Palette Knife Mountain painting.

Then there was the Etsy Christmas Market that I was on the organising committee for. It went fantastically but sure took up a lot of time.! Here’s a photo of one of the happy stall holders taken by Raven Jay Photography.

I’ve also been teaching a pastel class at one of our local art groups, Colour Circle.  It’s been great seeing the students try new techniques , experiment, move out of their comfort zone and improve their skills. This year I’ll be adding a mixed media class which promises to be great fun!

A lesson on how to choose the paper colour
Some of my pastel collection for the class to ty.

Then there was all that busy , busy commission painting for Christmas.

One of my fave commissions this year.

It’s been a great year and now I’m looking forward to seeing what 2019 will bring. What did you do in 2018? What are you looking forward to in 2019?

Some travel art….

Here’s a few paintings and sketches I’ve done this trip…. I’ve enjoyed every one!

Mountains
Vanoise Region, France.

This is a small palette knife painting in acrylics. I like the touch of colour amongst the green here.

Plein Air Gorge de Restonica
Gorge di Restonika – Sardinia

Lot’s of wonderful rocks I tried to capture with the palette knife again. Spent a few hours on this one and didn’t even notice The Writer had returned from his walk even though the smell of his stinky cheese snack should have alerted me!

Clouds
Autumn in Val D’Orchia – Italy

Love those Tuscan clouds and spent a happy evening chasing them with my acrylics.

Sardinia Pastel
Sunshine in Sardinia

Done with my  travel pastel set from the front lawn of our house in Sardinia. Lovely orange lantana offset the clear blue sea- the snorkeling was fantastic here!

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Swiss chalet- Boden

Yes- those doors are a bit askew. It was windy as anything when I did this and the paper  kept blowing over. Reminds me of all those green meadows, the early morning smell of cow country and the ceaseless and musical tinkle of cowbells.

It’s been a lot of fun but I’m back down to earth with a thump in a few days when I arrive home to a list of 6 commissions to get done! Will enjoy the last few days here in the glorious Aosta valley with trips to the Gran Paradiso National Park for some hiking.

Some small plein air paintings

A few small paintings – all done at Podere Pietrata near Radicofani in southern Tuscany. I just walked out the door and turned in a new direction every evening. They’re simple and not perfect – but they capture the feeling of the place  – which is the whole point of plein air painting for me.clouds pastel tuscany

 

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I had a diverse month…

July was a busy month for commissions with a really diverse lot of subjects. This is my classroom where I get set new challenges and learn a heap whilst making someone’s vision of a painting come to life.

This one is of a famous hiking trail in Japan. I loved the challenge of getting the mist to look look mist.

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Here I got to grow a garden in a couple of days!15319638343379

 

And how could  I resist this cuddly twosome!

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…and a chance to try out some of those quintessential American red barns in a lovely panorama format.1

 

and lastly, a tugboat going about its work. Lots of detail here but that was offset by the loose sky and reflections.final 3

Hope your month has been as varied and interesting!

Pre holiday planning – Patreon posts.

We’re off to the US and Canada next Thursday for six glorious weeks of national parks , painting and walking and I’m knee deep in pre holiday planning. It’s not my usual pre holiday planning though. Having just started up my Patreon page  last month I’m really keen to make sure that my wonderful patrons get their monies worth while I’m away so my evenings are spent on the couch with my laptop editing videos, writing up Skill Builder worksheets and scheduling a whole raft of posts for the next 6 weeks.

Usually I’ve packed my bag by now but I haven’t even sorted out what art supplies I’m taking! There are a few piles starting to develop around the house and in the studio so maybe it’s time to fish the suitcase out from under the bed and start piling the piles in!

Just a little overview of what I have scheduled to post this month.

May is  Colour Mixing Month!

May will focus on colour mixing and I’ll be talking about colour, demonstrating techniques and  giving you lots of ideas to try out!

1st Monday – reference images for the demos later in the month + the Skill Builder and Art Inspiration copyright free reference photos.

2nd Monday- Pastel lesson– this will be a mountain scene with a focus on planning, colour mixing and creating texture.

Mountain landscape in pastel
Mountain landscape in pastel

3rd Monday- Skill Builder worksheet – I’ll be simplifying the idea of using a colour scheme and talking through the pros and cons. There’s a couple of easy but effective exercises with this Skill Builder.

4th Monday – The Acrylic demo and lesson which is an evening scene of an old jetty and some rocks. This will be in 2 parts over 2 days and will build on April’s acrylic lesson. We’ll be exploring graded washes, painting clouds and adding sunset colours to our clouds .

The Evening Jetty Acrylic painting
The Evening Jetty Acrylic painting

Last Friday – Art Inspiration rewards– I’ll be sending out the hi res images of this months demo paintings for my patrons personal use.

Hints and Tips– there’s a series of hints and tips related to colour mixing sprinkled throughout the month. Mixing neutrals,making greens, avoiding mud and how to get interesting darks will all feature. Also a feature on 5 way thumbnails can really help your art.

Neutrals mixed from Mungyo student pastels
Neutrals mixed from Mungyo student pastels

A few surprise posts– I hope to post some snippets from my US Canada holiday as my internet connection allows.

Art Challenge– yes there will be another art challenge or two during the month!

 

Drop by and see how the month unfolds…….

 

How much is that doggie in the window?

This was an unusual pet portrait commission but a lot of fun to do. I love the little wooden bird in the window . Looks like he’s having a chat with the dog. I don’t paint many interiors so I enjoyed the challenge of making interesting colour washes for the shadowed walls and capturing the highlights on the edges.

A few new paintings

I’ve been painting flatout to get a multi paint I ng commission finished before we leave for our US Canada trip. It wasnt heloed by delays in getting my canvases and then accidently using the wrong reference for the first painting!

Anyway I’m almost done. The first two are awaiting varnish and the third is still on the easel and just needs a bit more texture on the rocks. The very first will now be looking for a new home!

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Oops…

If you’ve never edited an hour plus video you probably don’t realise how long it takes……forever! By the time you cut out all the “lost for words” moments and the “totally wrong word” moments not to mention the ” absolute drivel” and ” sheer babbling” there’s a whole lot of virtual video tape littering the lounge room floor.

Then there’s all the dead time when you had to leave the room to go to another smaller room for a moment. Or when your other half walks in waving your mobile at you as it shrilling tinkles out it’s little tune. All that joins the rest of the dross in the cut bin. Then there’s a little bit of zooming in and recentering and a title and end card to make. You probably get my drift…it’s very time consuming.

My new Patreon page is up and running and a few people have found there way to it and actually signed up. So I have some paying supporters who I’ve promised to deliver video lessons to and I’ve done the painting demo, videoed the whole thing and then posted a photo of the painting with a promise to deliver the completed video lesson shortly. All good so far, until I find out 40 minutes into the edit that one of the clips is corrupted and I can’t recover it. Well, I don’t find out about the not being able to recover it until an hour later when I’ve exhausted all the online advice I can find ( and let’s be truthful here- all the online advice I could find and understand).

Now the thing with doing painting demo videos is that you can’t do a retake of a painting. If the video doesn’t work it’s pretty difficult to unpaint a finished painting. It can be done- with a tub of white paint- but I didn’t feel like doing the whole thing over so I gave it some thought.

That’s when I came up with the idea to paint another version on a very small square  right up to the spot where the video file cut out on me. I filmed the missing bit of the painting and then patched that into the existing video, zoomed it up and another 2 hours later….yes there was another problem!….I finally finished the edit and sent it off to renderland.

I have earned my sleep tonight… and am very glad I’ve only committed to two full videos each month!

PS I did enjoy both paintings. If this Patreon thing works out maybe I can hire a video editor!!!