Friday, 26 September 2014

a new page - More about me

There’s a new page at the top of this blog. There you’ll find me in all sorts of places - on my website, Instragram, Twitter, and Pinterest. 

Here's a detail of a new painting - just to liven up this boring page...

Spring Flowers detail - oil on canvas 

Now I’m going back into my studio to paint.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Brisbane Sketchers feature on The Great South East show.

Here is a link to a video of The Great South East . Brisbane sketchers were filmed on location in Post Office Square recently. A big thank you to Harry Ting who recorded the segment for our group.
I was one of them giving some drawing tips to presenter Blair Allsop. He's one of the Brisbane Greeters - a group of friendly folk who show visitors around our beautiful city.

The Segment opens with some of my sketches. The film crew went to a few locations to show the buildings and the sketches together.

Queensland Parliament House - ink and watercolour Zeta sketchbook

Queen Victoria and the Treasury Casino Hotel - ink and watercolour Zeta Sketchbook

While waiting for the TV crew I did a preparatory sketch using Noodlers #41 Brown and a waterbrush for the wash.

GPO preparatory sketch - ink and wash Alpha sketchbook

And here is the completed sketch done on the day. The text and buildings in the background were added after the film crew left.

Brisbane GPO ink and watercolour Zeta sketchbook

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Sketching in King George Square, Brisbane

Yesterday was a perfect day for sketching. I caught a bus into the City to join USK BNE sketchers in King George Square. As I walked along Ann Street and came to the square I realised that I had previously overlooked a small park to the side of the Albert Street Uniting Church, complete with benches and shade. It was a pleasant place to sketch. The sun came out from behind a building to blind me as I was almost finished the sketch so I moved into some shade higher up to complete it.

Albert Street Uniting Church Brisbane - ink and watercolour S&B Beta sketchbook

My process was to put down loose watercolour brushstrokes defining the main shapes of the church. As these dried I added the details with my favourite Noodlers #41 Brown ink in a Noodlers Konrad Flex pen - it's a good combination. The watercolour wash behind the Church is an indication of some of the modern high rise buildings that dwarf it.

This Church is one of a number of buildings in the City that will form part of Open House Brisbane in October.

I moved across to the square to chat to the others and as it wasn’t quite time for coffee, I did two more drawings. A sculpture of a Kangaroo family was done using a quick contour drawing with a wash of ink.

Roos in King George Square ink and wash S&B Alpha skethcbook

Brisbane City Hall is imposing and complex so I decided to concentrate on the Clock tower. After adding the blue watercolour for the sky I decided to leave the buildings unpainted. 

Clock Tower Brisbane City Hall ink and watercolour S&B Beta Sketchbook

After our break I wandered into the City Hall and went to have a look at the Brisbane Museum. This was renovated recently and is a wonderful space commemorating this beautiful city. My time there was too short but I did manage a quick sketch of the view through one of the windows. Green trees can be glimpsed through the intricate iron work that frames the window on the outside of the building.

Window,Brisbane Museum - ink and watercolour S&B alpha sketchbook

Monday, 15 September 2014

Sketching at Brookfield Garden Centre

Last week, artists from my Friday class met at Brookfield Garden Centre for a sketching morning. We wandered around and each found interesting things to draw.

I was struck by the orchids as I walked in the door so I went to those first. These were drawn directly in ink while standing. Since I haven’t mastered the art of holding my watercolour palette, little water bottle and sketchbook simultaneously, the watercolour was added later.

Phalaenopsis orchids - ink and watercolour Alpha Sketchbook

Rusty bells and butterflies on chains next called my attention. Again the colour was added later, random splashes appeared out of nowhere (who did that?) so I turned these into a purple wash.

Rusty Bells - ink and watercolour Alpha Sketchbook

Nearby I found this meditative group of statues. I used Noodlers #41 Brown and because it seemed to be taking ages to dry on this paper (S&B Beta A4 sketchbook) I decided to use the ink as a wash with a water-brush, later adding a little grey - a Cobalt Blue and Burnt Sienna mix. 

A quiet corner - ink and watercolour Alpha Sketchbook

Eventually, we were getting too hot in the sun, we gathered at WildCanary for coffee and cake. Drawing our cake was part of the deal. Since we had a lovely big table we had room to complete our sketches.

Strawberry Frangipani Tart - ink and watercolour Beta Sketchbook

It was such a lovely day.

Here are some sketches from my fellow artists:

 Renuka Russell

 Judith Rihm

 Vida Fiser

Lesley Jolly

It was such a lovely day!

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Exciting news for "Riverside Trees"

Last night I was fortunate enough to win the Norris Motor Group Grand Prize at the Nundah Village Festival Art Exhibition. Riverside Trees was the winning painting. I am so thrilled about this accolade - can't help myself but I'm posting the painting again.

Riverside Trees oil on linen 910mm x 610mm SOLD

My thanks to the judges Margaret Campbell Ryder from Redhill Gallery, and the artist Starr who awarded  this honour to my painting.
This exhibition is open today until 3.00pm at Northside Honda, Wood Street, Nundah

Monday, 8 September 2014

Riverside Trees and Reflections

There’s a special place close to my home that has provided inspiration for a few paintings. A while ago I spent a morning there with a friend. We arrived in time to catch the early morning light on the river. The river takes a turn hiding the passage of the water as it moves away. Trees hug both banks and the branches lean out over the water. 

I started with a charcoal sketch of this part of the river that I have photographed a number of times. This watercolour sketch came next - just washes of paint. The ink lines were added with a Noodler's Konrad Flex pen later after the watercolour had dried.

Riverside Trees ink and watercolour Moleskine watercolour sketchbook 

Back in the studio the painting took a different turn - portrait format canvas rather than landscape. I was also trying a new surface - the buff coloured Pebeo linen that has a clear gesso priming.

I changed the colour palette away from the muted tones of the sketch into clear vibrant colour, wanting to recapture the experience of the early morning brightness and the feeling of the enjoyment of the morning.

Riverside Trees oil on linen 910mm x 610mm 

Another new work is one that started from sketches and photographs taken at Mt Coot-Tha Botanic gardens. Here I wanted to focus on a small section of the water; the reflections and ripples - dark and mysterious with the flash of sunlight and the blue sky’s reflection.

Deep Ripple oil on canvas 610mm x 610mm 

These two paintings and two more will be exhibited this coming weekend at the Nundah Village Festival Art Exhibition.

Exhibition Hours: Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th September, 10.00am to 3.00pm
Norris Motor Group Workshop
Wood Street
Nundah Village

Monday, 1 September 2014

Fun with Flowers

Flowers are always fun to draw so here are a few more. And since it’s almost Spring here it’s a timely subject. I wish I could say that the Artichoke was from life but it is from some lovely photos I took on a friend’s farm some years ago.

I went to a local Florist looking for some flowers for a class. Walking into their cold room is a treat -such a feast of colour and fragrance. I was hoping for some sunflowers but no luck - all sold out. 
I explained that I didn’t necessarily need a whole bunch so I was kindly allowed to rescue some from the “leftovers” trolley

The Lizzianthus was part of the bunch .Love the double “zz” - when I googled the spelling Wiki came up with “s” which is so tame. Now my spellcheck insists on “zz” - too late to change my sketch. I used some FW Acrylic inks applying the purple first with a brush, then switched to a dip pen for the lines. The strange little smudge in the lower corner is a failed chop. I had it made years ago in Hong Kong. The red ink has turned into a weird sticky mess so thought I would break with tradition and try a pink stamp pad instead. I need more practise getting enough ink on the chop…

The Blushing Bride was a last minute addition. I was standing at the counter when I saw a posy with these flowers. I was so tempted to buy a bunch but then the assistant walked to the other side of the shop and brought back this little sprig - it was destined for the bin. 

All these sketches were done in a Stillman and Birn Alpha sketchbook, landscape format. I wasn’t too sure about the orientation to begin with but I must admit it’s growing on me.