Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Monday, 24 November 2014

Ten days in Port Fairy

I have recently returned from a workshop in Pt.Fairy with Ev Hales as tutor.What a wonderful week it was.I left Adelaide after picking up a friend and we drove through to our destination with a quick stop at Tailem Bend for coffee then another at Naracoorte for lunch.I used my recent birthday present,a TomTom which directed us on a quick and direct route .We arrived much earlier than we predicted
Another two Adelaide friends,Lesley and Marj had travelled over two days earlier and had settled into the house we had rented for our stay...only a short distance from where Ev.based her workshop.It was good catching up with Lesley and Marj who told us about the first day of the workshop which Marg and I had missed as we had stayed in Adelaide to attend Jean Haines 'workshop at the Adelaide Art Society.What a feast of art we have had this month.Two incredible Watercolour artists within days of one another.
The first two days were taken up with attempting to paint cloudy skies,rainy skies,sunny skies with seas and waves and fore shores also.Not forgetting the black volcanic rocks either as they were in great supply around the coastline.We battled wind,sunburn and even rain at short intervals but we always had Ev's house to retreat to if needed.One day we spent in the town quickly attempting to paint or sketch people as they walked,moved,sat and so on.Ev manages to capture the movement of each person so quickly with just a couple of strokes.Some of us sat outside a coffee shop for a couple of hours ,painting,sketching and discussing movement of people passing while drinking cups of coffee.We are sure we bought lots of custom to the shop .Ev meanwhile was walking around the town looking for her students and managed to help us with our attempts on a couple of occasions.Another task that day was to find a doorway of an interesting building in the town and to paint it.I loved that exercise and even managed to put people in the doorway.It was a very hot day and Marg managed to find an ice cream shop with a queue leading out to the street.She returned with some amazing ice creams!
Another day we travelled to a garden belonging to one of the participants,Rosemary.It was incredible and Ev showed us how to do a flower painting on hot press paper.I loved this demo and the way the paint flowed.We all started our paintings of whatever flower or flowers we liked.There was such a variety .Barely had we started  when the rain came down so we retreated into Rosemary's house for coffee.No time was wasted though as Ev did a crit of what we had done so far then continued with the next stage of her painting.
Most days we started at nine ,had a quick lunch then worked till around four before we met for a crit session.A shared barbecue one night at Ev's was a fun night.Back at our house we shared the cooking or bought fish and chips for tea.We tried a couple of the towns restaurants too.
The day we did splodge paintings was fun.Prior to going out we had prepared our painting surfaces with splodges of paint in two colours then we travelled to a beautiful spot with boats,water,trees and buildings where we drew onto our splodges using black pens.It was most effective.Another day we painted boats and reflections.Of course Ev demonstrated beforehand but I found this subject difficult.So difficult that I had another attempt at night from my earlier effort and photos.
I loved our day in Warrnambool as we spent the whole day at the maritime museum painting whatever we liked.
There was so much to choose from.It would be easy to spend a few days there.when the final day came we all gathered at Ev's where each of us put up our week's work and discussed it.A real learning experience!We were given so much advice and ideas to try.I am determined to succeed with hot press paper as I find it a real challenge.A week with Ev Hales as tutor is a wonderful experience.She is such a lovely lady,a fantastic teacher,so full of energy and so willing to share her knowledge and expertise.

Friday, 31 October 2014


Poppies in Acrylic


Acrylic Fun


Fun with watercolour and gouache

Recent Paintings

Recent Events

Since I last wrote some great things have happened.I was asked to do a demonstration of flower painting at the RSASA ,I have sold three paintings ,I have been to stay in the Riverland with my brother and his family and spent three wonderful days painting, exploring the area and collecting photos for future reference.We watched a couple of inspiring DVD's on watercolour and mixed media so I have been using oil pastels in a few paintings .Yesterday I unearthed my acrylics and had a fun day at the AASI with my friends attempting acrylics again. Now all I have to do is put them all together in one painting .Looks easy when somebody else does it!!!!
This week promises to be a good week as Jean Haines arrives from England to conduct watercolour workshops using her amazing loose style.Can't wait to see how she does it.Then on Friday I am driving to Pt Fairy with a friend to attend Ev Hayles watercolour workshop.  10 whole days of painting in that wonderful area of Victoria.I am sharing a house with 4 friends and another 2 are coming for the second part of it.Not looking forward to the long drive but Marg is sharing the driving which is good.
I must read up on painting sea,rivers,boats,skies,clouds etc.over the next few days.Ev is an amazing teacher and I know I will learn a lot from her.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Photos from yesterday

Flowers and More Flowers

Yesterday I went along to the Art Society where I paint with friends on Fridays.I had picked some geraniums,a couple of nasturtiums,an Australian native flower from the car park at the shopping centre,a few sweet peas and a variegated pink and white flower from a bush I passed on the way.I had also taken my watercolours,some ink ,pastels and oil crayons.I was prepared to try anything to make my paintings more exciting.My trolley was quite heavy heavy to drag along behind me.
I set up my table and got busy .I had placed my flowers in water in a jar on the table and for the next six hours I took the flowers out one by one and attempted to paint them.It is great being able to paint with friends as we help one another by suggesting where a painting might be improved or listen when someone says "stop,don't do anymore" .
We stop for lunch and the highlight of the day is to cross the road to a shop called Perryman's which has been there since I was a child and we buy something to eat.It is only a small bakery but there is always a line of people stretching out onto the footpath waiting to be served.The food is delicious.One of my friends remarked yesterday,"I have been waiting for this all the week".While we eat lunch we discuss a variety of subjects but usually art comes into the conversation.
By about 3 pm I had attempted to paint the character of each of my flowers but I had forgotten to use my pastels and crayons.I used a little ink in one of my paintings.
I had concentrated so hard all day without feeling tired but when it comes to pack up and clean up time the tiredness sets in.However last night some of us were involved in a combined exhibition called the "wet and dry " exhibition,where members of the Sth. Aust Watercolour Soc and the Pastel Soc of S.A. Could enter their work...so after going home and getting ready we drove to Gallery M for the opening .It was a lovely night.The exhibition was really lovely,the speeches were great and we were able to meet up with lots of other artists.To top it off I sold a painting of a single rose!!
It was a really lovely day!

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Concentration and Time

I have come to the realisation that I am not using enough water and I am not letting my washes dry thoroughly before adding more colour.
I threw out two failed paintings yesterday...Too heavy ,not enough white paper left and muddied washes.So...back to the drawing board!
I spent a few hours going through  some of my reference books.I love Jean Haines ' flowers and loose washes.I am intrigued as to how she manages to get so many transparent colours in her paintings and I am eagerly awaiting her visit to Australia in November.I am booked into one of her 2 day workshops at the Adelaide Art Society.Before then I will persevere and try to be more patient.I also read two of Shirley  Trevena's books.Her paintings are so complex ,colorful and bright.I really like her work too.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Friday, 12 September 2014

My photos

I love Fridays as this is the one day of the week when nothing interferes with Painting.I always wake early and leave with my art gear by around 8:30 .It is just a short walk over to the Adelaide Art Society so I find it easier to walk with a trolley rather than having to shift my car every two or three hours.A group of us meets regularly to paint and we all do whatever medium we prefer on the day,so it is quite likely to find   oils,acrylic,pastel ,watercolour, sketching or planning  being done.We are great friends,we meet socially,we celebrate special occasions,we sometimes go on painting get - a-ways and we support and help one another as we paint.
Today I decided to finish off a few watercolour paintings and as I did I pinned them to the wall where I photographed them with my iPhone .A short time ago I was looking at the pictures and I noticed that the photos I took today with my phone are so much clearer and true to the real colours than when I took some previously with my IPad.
Therefore I will put them on my Blog .

Saturday, 6 September 2014

White flowers

Loose flowers


Painting Watercolours

I have really been trying to improve my watercolour painting by practising constantly,reading articles,watching YouTube productions and discussing my concerns with friends.My main emphasis has been painting flowers while seeking to express them in a freer way.Using more water seems to me to be one of the many solutions.
Sometimes I toy with the idea of just dropping colour onto a sheet of paper ,spraying it,moving the paper carefully while watching where the paint goes.I have tried that,then let it dry and then worked back into the various colours with my pencil.
I have tried drawing out very sketchily where I want my flowers to go then put background colours in,let it dry completely,and worked each section carefully .
I will continue practising.
I love the freshness of watercolour and the beautiful effects that can be made when colours mingle on the paper.It is exciting and at the same time maddening  when it doesn't always work out.However,I keep telling myself"It is only a bit of  paper"

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Watercolour sketches done in New Zealand

The old boat, Queenstown.


Lunch at Arrow town

Mountain Scene

The Poplars 

Clouds are gathering

Yellow roses

Beautiful Mountains

Across the Bay

At Arrow Town

In the Bay at Queenstown

More poplars

More mountains

At the farm out from Queenstown

More mountains