Monday, 16 December 2013

Roses and poppies

I was given some beautiful roses yesterday by my daughter in law Sue.
Today I have been trying to capture their beauty in a  less structured freer way using a lot of water and lost and found edges . Some  I think were successful.You be the judge.
I have posted a few recent flower paintings which are over worked.Hope fully I will learn to be less controlled as I paint on.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

A Lesson Learned

I found out rather quickly while overseas that to travel lightly is so important.
I had read and heard this so often but did not follow these wise words.I thought I would be able to manage oils and watercolours so took both mediums plus an easel and all the paints,papers and canvases that I thought I would use.My oil painting lasted one day only!While out in a field on a very windy,wet day ,my easel,palette and painting blew over,not once,but five times!!!I had weighted it down with rocks but to no avail.After the fifth time ,after grabbing all my gear and heading for a nearby shed to get out of the rain ,I made a more oil painting on this trip ! Out came the watercolours and another lesson was learnt.I had taken a very comprehensive palette with about 30 different colours...quite unnecessary and even annoying as the block palette did not have much room for mixing and one colour was running into another creating mud.  After discarding a lot of shades of colours I coped much better.I did not use my easel again but sat on the lightweight stool I had taken (one thing I got right) with my water container on the ground or a rock or whatever and my small block watercolour pads and a few brushes and felt more in control.
I have some wonderful memories of my visit to Umbria.The scenery was beautiful,the little walled towns fascinating to walk through,the people so charming and friendly and the food!!! I managed to eat truffles,porcini mushrooms,and Porchetta for the first time.I have tried to make bruschetta like we were given there and I think I am getting closer to the way it tasted.
My case was too heavy but I will know next time !!!

Back from Umbria


Across the fields

It is about time!

Here are some of my latest quick sketches from Umbria and Rome.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Painting in oils

A Croatian scene

Nearly Ready for our Trip To Umbria

A week to go before we leave for our trip to Umbria. Everyone is quite excited and messages are flying between group members with last minute ideas,questions,thoughts on what to pack and what to leave behind .I have re packed my watercolours three times ,discarding to cut down on weight.I am now taking a larger case as well as a back pack which has wheels. My art gear is being packed in my suit case,including a light weight stool and pochade box plus a tripod to which the box will attach.Our tutor,Trevor Newman is preparing and modifying our easels so that they can be used for all mediums.After attending a wonderful and inspiring workshop by Colley Whisson recently I have decided to try oils too.Because of all the restrictions when flying with oil paints and mediums we have arranged to buy our paints and mediums in a nearby town to where we are staying.I have packed oil brushes and pieces of canvas all cut to various sizes...not too big.
I finally decided to take my pans of watercolour and two pads of paper,300gmArches medium and rough.,plus a few tubes of paint to top up most used colours if need be.I am going to be working with a restricted palette of colours too.
Once we are settled into where we are staying my art gear will be transferred into my backpack  with whatever I decide to use on a particular day.We plan to have some visits to nearby towns to take photos and to sketch so I have packed my sketching gear separately.I have bought different sized pencil cases into which I have packed and sorted my things.
I must remember sunblock and a hat too.
I have a long list of things to take and do and I am ticking them off as I go.
Six more days.

Thursday, 11 July 2013


Fruit and flowers

Blue jug with lemon

Rosehips and roses

The old brick wall

Autumn vineyards


Blue on blue





Pen and wash

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Recent paintings

In preparation for my trip to Umbria in September I have been trying out various watercolour palates and travel sets.I really like the Schminke paints so will probably take them.As well ,I have been experimenting with crayon and oil pastels as a resist and an ink pen.  The possibilities are enormous.I have some  "inktense "pens also and may add these to my gear.Our workshop will be "Plein air" and there will be opportunities for sketching as well.Eight weeks before we leave.It is so exciting!

New paintings

Sunday, 7 July 2013

problems with passwords

Problems with passwords!

I have spent hours over the weekend trying to get into my blog site and finally had to call on my grand daughters for help.I think we had to change my passwords at least six times  but at last we seem to be getting somewhere.Thanks Georgia and Alice.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Preparing for Umbria

It is ages since I last wrote in my Blog but I have been preparing for our September painting get-away to Umbria in lots of different ways.I decided to try oils again after a long break but after having trouble mixing colours and waiting impatiently for the painting to dry I have decided I really love water colours.So...I have been experimenting with both block colours or pans and tube colours ,all artist quality  but from different makers.I have Winsor and Newton,Schminke' s,St .Petersburg,and some mixed ones .I want to travel with as little as possible and without too many hassles,so whether to take a palette with a lid and spaces to mix using tube paints or one of my pan palettes with limited space for mixing is the question at the moment.
At the Friday group where I spend a few hours every week I have been trying them out.As yet no decision has been made except I will take watercolour .I have been using just a few brushes too and will only take a limited number.I love my Escoda brushes.Some people say to take old brushes in case I lose them in grass but I have decided to put down a light plastic sheet under my easel and to take my favourite brushes.
As for paper I like Arches and particularly medium or rough cold pressed in a block form as no stretching is required so I have bought a few different sizes, but not the largest.I intend doing some Plein-air  painting in the next few weeks if the weather permits as I haven't done any recently.I have bought a couple of sketch books in different formats and not too big either as Trevor (our Tutor) has told us we will be travelling around and will do some sketches too.Isn't it exciting!
I have tried my various easels ,some being much heavier than others and more cumbersome and at the moment Trevor is working on a design using a photo tripod which he is adapting so that it will be light,easy to carry in our bags and which can be used with some sort of attachments for both water colour and oil.We still have about 9 weeks to go before departure day and I know this will be worked out soon.I have a light weight trolley with wheels which can be used as a back pack too and this will be my on board luggage.
I am not sure about taking a seat yet.I have a couple which I use here when I go outdoor painting but I am considering the size and weight.More thought needed.
We had a meeting recently at Trevor's which was great as we were able to meet the other participants and it was a chance to ask questions,hear how Trevor envisages each day panning out with set times for meals.painting,watching demonstrations,relaxing,wine tasting,Italian food,touring to nearby towns for sketching  etc?We are raring to go.....and I think I am slowly getting prepared.

Monday, 20 May 2013

Thoughts of Umbria .

I have spent the past week reading some fascinating articles about Umbria ,the beautiful countryside ,the many small towns,its ancient churches,art works,buildings,the people living there,the traditional food and wines and so much more.
I have been corresponding with some of the artists who are also going on the planned art tour.What fun to share their discoveries too and to express our thoughts about where we might go and what we might do.Of course painting en pleinair is our main aim but there are so many decisions to be made before we go.
I have been reading up on other artists who have written about travelling overseas to paint,what to pack and more importantly what to leave behind.Taking oils overseas by plane caused a problem for one of my friends a few years ago....they were seized by one of the airline companies.An expensive incident.I believe now that as long as the paints have the required documentation from the makers to prove or state that they are safe it should be alright.Our tutor Trevor Newman is researching this for us.He is also working on a lightweight easel and pochade box which can be used for either oils or watercolour .We are of course anxious to see what he recommends.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Thoughts of Umbria

I am currently recovering from shoulder surgery and consequently am not allowed to paint.With my arm in a sling and not being allowed to drive either I am becoming very bored and frustrated.I am so grateful for the internet as I have been able to follow some previously unheard of <by me>artists on their blogs.It is amazing ! I have only recently purchased an Ipad  and of course I am still trying to find my way around it.I wait for my grandchildren to visit to find out what I have to press to go further in my search for information.Some wonderful friends have provided sites as well.
I am planning to go to Umbria with a painting group in September and am eagerly awaiting this event.It is to be plein air and using oils which I haven't used for years....very challenging I think.Luckily I hope to attend a couple of oil workshops before then...provided my right arm and shoulder are recovered.John Lacey in June and Colley Whisson in August.

Sunday, 31 March 2013

More daisies 

I love the background in this one.This is watercolour.

Saturday, 30 March 2013


I loved painting these daisies in water colour

Blossoms from a Tree in a Park near Home

I always carry my phone when walking and I captured a photo of these pink blossoms.
It is a water colour.  


I used water colour for this painting'
My second attempt and I am still not happy with it.

Near The Barossa.

This was painted in acrylics.My usual medium is water colour but occasionally I like to try other media.



Rainy Day In The City

I had fun with mixed media to create this work.


 The Shearing Shed at Woorumba near Hawker S.A.

Sunlit Cliffs on the River Murray