New… silk miniature in Tasmanian Huon Pine Porthole frame


Tasmania is an island. The first white settlers came by sea so a porthole format for presenting artworks seems to me to be connected with our history. I have chosen that shape for my latest creation, collaborating with an expert wood craftsman, Bruce Hays. I wanted Tasmanian timber surrounds in which to present my watercolour on silk miniatures. Originally they were to be pendants but I decided on brooches or, in this case, with a small timber back stand attached so it is free standing.

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This prototype,  inspired by the greens of our Northwest Coast of Tasmania (especially at present after all the rain), is in a Houn pine frame

Tasmania’s bushfires 2016… inspiration for paintings


Silk painting using watercolour technique. Watercolour technique on silk was the perfect  medium to depict the emotional response to raging fire.Tarkine Inferno

Winter days in the Studio…. “serious” painting, art play and quirky stuff


Winter is a time of runny noses, colds and ‘flu. But it is also a time to enjoy keeping warm inside, creating artworks without feeling guilty about all the time spent indoors.

I always keep busy creating but don’t photograph and post many of my works. Today I had a quick look around the studio, grabbed my most recent works and the i-pad and got photographing…… outdoors (it was a lovely clear afternoon).

Firstly, I intended to finish this acrylic on canvas………. I have added some of the seaweed but I want more texture in the front.

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I have asked a few friends what they think and, as expected, have had a few different responses. I have finally decided to go with what I originally thought (as I tend to do) …. I will add some sand from the location to give authentic texture, in addition to implied texture through spattering, dry brush, scumbling etc.

IMG_0095I take a few classes each week, usually in watercolour, and in the most recent we focused on tone while re-enforcing the importance of timing, and working with increasingly drier paint to achieve strength. We painted a winter snow scene in Sepia…. no other colours to distract….. purely tonal. Aiming for a sense of depth with softer distance and harder, stronger edges to the fore.

I have also been enjoying the colour and flow of dyes on silk, making more of my silk miniatures in a brooch which accompany my hand painted scarves. I have a couple of venues waiting for new stock of these and hope to get on top of putting some online on my handmade shop in the next few weeks. While taking photos of these I finally got around to taking a few pics showing some of the many ways these sets can be worn. I gave up trying to find a suitable willing model and used my dressmaking form and a head form (they were most co-operative). More ideas are posted on my Silk Watercolours blog (listed in my links)

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I have been asked by one venue to do some quirky, fun stuff… so that I did and, yes , it was fun. The card is from handmade paper (made at the last workshop I took at a local Tasmanian Regional Arts branch), and beautifully polished pebbles collected from local beaches. These my sister and I love picking up on beach walks when she visits, she takes them back to back to Victoria, tumbles them and posts some back to me for my STONE BIRD card creations. I spend ages playing with these beautifully smooth coloured stones to see what characters I can find.  Very meditative…. oh yes, that new thing “mindfulness”! The little watercolour and ink girl is just for fun…. colour and smiles.

IMG_0094                                              just for fun

Whenever I am in the studio for a few consecutive days I tend to experiment with something new. This time I  explored  a combination of a silk painting background under an encaustic artwork in a pendant. I am happy with the result … soft silk watercolour with the intensity and dimensionality of an abstract encaustic painting suggestive of a network.

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And last week I had a call from the local newspaper, The Advocate, asking about a forthcoming workshop I am taking at Tasmanian Regional Arts Sheffield on Making Little Boxes for trinkets, jewellery etc. They needed a pic so I gathered what I could find, made a couple of new boxes, put one of my handmade scarves in one and an encaustic pendant in another and sent them some images to play with (none of me with my red drippy “winter cold” nose and bloodshot eyes!)

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If ever I get artist’s block I just reach for a different medium…. my studio has everything at hand……. my most favourite place to relax, work and play. Such is the life af someone addicted to creating.

New artworks on silk


I have been busy lately, with commissioned works. Earlier in the week I posted, to the Hilton Hotel gift shop in Cairns, Queensland, Australia, 10 of my my handpainted sets….silk scarf with matching brooch which enable the wearer many styling options. Most of the brooches were my preferred landscape impressions but on two I painted images inspired by the colourful fish of the Great Barrier Reef.

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The Lobby Shop Cairns 1to4 copy

the lobby shop cairns 5to8 copy

Today I also completed another scarf (no brooch) on which I have been working as a sample requested by Griffith University, again in Queensland. The scarves they are considering are to have Queensland native flowers on them and the suggestion was the Waratah on a sample item. Ready to mail tomorrow.

Waratah scarf copy

A third commission completed is a blue wren on silk. What a novel idea from the couple asking for this as a special silk anniversary gift.

blue wren on silk, silk anniversary  copy

5 day art challenge… day 5, watercolour on silk


I have been very busy in the studio creating for our busy tourist season. At a wonderful venture initiated by a local Council, Burnie Makers Workshop, I am fortunate to have been selected as a participating artist. I am there as a watercolourist and silk painter. We “Makers” give our time, on a rostered basis, to sit and demonstrate our art/craft to visitors and to chat with them. Cruise ship visit days are especially busy. I do love it.
There is an associated shop and we are able to leave some items for sale in the gift shop area and on the days we attend we can bring in, and set up, a bigger display. I usually demonstrate painting on silk, small paintings which I later put into cards, frames or various jewellery settings.
People who are unfamiliar with silk painting enjoy seeing a different art medium being used and those familiar with silk painting are often intrigued with my preference for a watercolour technique using no resist or antidiffusant of any type. I love the flow of the dyes and the serendipitous aspect of the way the paintings evolve. No two are ever the same. I had been painting for days at MW when it was time to post my final artists’ challenge day so silk painting was a natural choice.

Tulip scarf and matching scarf brooch/pin. painted for the Tulip Festival in NW Tasmania (Wynyard) 2013

Tulip scarf and matching scarf brooch/pin. painted for the Tulip Festival in NW Tasmania (Wynyard) 2013

Free Spirits.... poppies are my favourite flower to paint on silk. Watercolour technique, allowing free movement of dyes but careful brush selection.

Free Sopirits…. poppies are my favourite flower to apint on silk. Watercolour technique, allowing free movement of dyes but careful brush selection.

silk pendant. Watercolour technique original miniature painting, bonded to 50mm clear glass dome cabochon. Wearable art.

silk pendant. Watercolour technique original miniature painting, bonded to 50mm clear glass dome cabochon. Wearable art.

New off the easel… waterfalls in watercolour, flowers on silk and a Bittern.


Tumbling (Pencil Pine Falls)JPGGeo-art, Guide Falls The edge

Put together recent trips to some waterfalls and the free, Zen style, semi-abstract watercolours and it is no wonder waterfalls have flowed onto the canvas (well, watercolour paper actually). My aim is to depict the feeling of the cool misty water spray and the movement. I do so love water…. painting with it swimming in it, watching it.

The nasturtiums is a  silk painting, mostly done in a watercolour technique but some of the primary flowers have a rich gold gutta outline. This work is about colour, the joy of life and the tangled webs we weave. The stems of nasturtiums do twist and entwine and the plants themselves are so tenacious… hence the title of this work “Tenacity”.Tenacity

Coast Guard (Bittern)The bird, (a bittern), was done in preparation for my bird exhibition in December but this painting will head to see if it selected to hang in the Tasmanian Art Awards, at Eskleigh, before being shown in Burnie. This work is more carefully drawn and hints to my original degree in Sciences (but so too does the geology of the vertical waterfall painting with its basalt columns and polygonal jointing… Guide Falls, Burnie, Tasmania)

SPRING is here in Tasmania… Spring Collection, watercolour printed onto a fridge magnet


It is still a bit cool of an evening but the days have been sunny and clear as we enjoy spring. The camellias and daffodils look so fresh and colourfulmagnet Spring Collection and I am enjoying the garden delights both in the garden and indoors. This watercolour shows some of my garden blooms. I have reproduced this painting onto fridge magnets (available for $4 post free) (size 50 x 90 mm)