Category Archives: nature

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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Mini story cards.

I recently made some new linocuts and decided it would be fun to add a little story to them for the back of the cards I planned to use the prints on. Here’s what resulted.

 

 

“The Birdwatcher’s Club”

The cats met every Tuesday around lunchtime for a spot of sedate birdwatching. It was quietly thrilling as they took up position on the windowsill, never knowing what they might see through the dining room window that day. Perhaps it would be a baby Blue Fairy Wren so tiny and vulnerable as it took its first tentative flights, or maybe an endangered Swift Parrot attracted by all the ripe Irish Strawberries lying on the ground, or the first of the winter  Robins with their bright crimson breast so easily spotted as they perched on the low wooden fence. The possibilities were so deliciously varied … 

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The Birdwatcher’s Club

 

“Harry the Hairy Nosed Wombat”

“Harry was debating if he should get his hairy nose fixed. He felt sure it was hampering him in his quest for love. Maybe it was as simple as investing in a good razor?   “

 

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Harry the Hairy Nosed Wombat

 

“Tassie Devil”

Tassie was sure that now he had finally made it to the front cover of a greeting card he would be spotted by a talent agent and make the big time. Maybe a wildlife documentary or even a cartoon of his own. “

 

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Tassie Devil

I enjoyed this so much I think I might try some more…..

 

 

 

Mountainscapes

I shared the desert with you, now we’ve been in the Rockies for 2 weeks so here are a few photos from our travels. (the internet has been a bit dodgy hence my limited posts).

 

Snowy Mountains
The Snowy Mountains- our first venture into the snow.
Frozen lake
It wasn’t that cold though- us Aussies are tough!
Dream Lake
Dream Lake in the Rockies NP – a great short hike with a beautiful view.
The Tetons
Bison and the Tetons – from our cabin window!
Maroon Bells
Maroon Bells – perfect reflections.
Icefields Highway
A grey day on the Icefields Highway – loved all the spring willows.
Painting at Mt Robson
A quick painting of MT Robson 
On the way to Hinton
Beautiful view from the Jasper- Hinton highway.
North Cascades
Love the colour of the water- Cascades NP

It’s been a great trip through the Rockies – I’ve got lots of material for future paintings!

Desertscapes

How can I not love the colours and patterns of the desertscapes of America? Here’s a smattering of photos from our first few days. All exotic to a woman from a green and verdant island.

Desert evening
Desert sunset
Fire Wave
Fire Wave- Valley of Fire
Rock patterns White Pocket
Rock patterns. White Pocket
Valley of Fire
More rock patterns. Valley of Fire
Wildflowers
Desert wildflowers
Death Valley 2
Death Valley
cactus
Amazing purple cacti

Mini canvases.

I have a mini exhibition coming up in 4 weeks and am totally enjoying painting my small canvases for it. I plan on finishing 20 mini paintings over the next four weeks and have already completed six of them.

Bay of Fires. The Dunes.
Bay of Fires. The Dunes.

There’s something about small paintings that’s very liberating. They don’t take up lots of space so I can hang two side by side and work on them simultaneously- while one sky is drying I can paint the other. Somehow this makes me loosen up and at the same time pay more attention to each subject as I switch back and forth between them. I didn’t expect this and I think the paintings are better for it.

Two by Two! In the studio.
Two by Two! In the studio.

Although they’re small I can still pack a lot of detail, or suggestion of detail, into a 6×6 inch canvas. It’s a great way to try out an idea for a larger work, painting two or three versions and refining the composition before I commit to a 100 x 100cm canvas. (Yes… I know I’m mixing my units!)

Lupins and Reflections - Huon River.
Lupins and Reflections – Huon River.

Because there’s only a tiny area to cover I find it relaxing using a fine brush to pop in detail. I don’t tire as I can do when I’m working on large canvases. It seems more like play.

Cosy Corner.
Cosy Corner. Acrylic on canvas.

I have so many potential subjects waiting to be brought to life and working in a small format let’s me experiment at little expense of time, materials and heartache if it all fails miserably!

Spring Beach Pathway.
Spring Beach Pathway.

Not least of all I end up with a collection of affordable mini paintings perfect for someone on a tight budget who wants an original work of art, a traveller with limited space to carry a painting home or an avid collector who has no more wall space. ( I know about all three of these!)

Reflections on the Huon
Huon river reflections. Small acrylic on canvas
The Creek
Small acrylic painting – The Creek

 

Transparency

Some things are easier than others when it comes to painting and trying to get water to look transparent is not one of those easy things. Still – I ‘m fairly pleased with my latest painting – I think I’ve managed to settle the seaweed under the water . I could find fault but today I’m just going to celebrate the parts that worked!

Here it is as it progresses:

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Blocking in the mountains
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Adding some trees and the beginnings of the water.
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In with some seaweed masses
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Seaweed refined

The finished painting  ” Underwater World at Freycinet”

 

Underwater World at Freycinet
Transparent waters, Freycinet

Today’s art project

Day 8 at the exhibition was a busy day. I made another small handmade watercolour book, did a little pastel painting and tried out a daisy design on a white lamp shade. & more days to go so a few more art projects to go!

Art shade and handmade art book.
Art shade and handmade acrylic sketch book.

 

Bay of Fires pastel painting.
Small pastel painting. Bay of Fires. Tasmania.

Some boats…

Only 16 days to go and I’ll be hanging these paintings for my exhibition. Time is really flying now! I’ve been working 8 plus hour days in the studio and this last week boats have featured on the easel. I’ll be posting a catalogue page on Monday for those who can’t get to the exhibition.

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Two Boats 
10a
Clear Water
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Bicheno Fishing Fleet
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A Good Day for Fishing