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.

Burnie Shines…. Silk fashion and Silk Painting workshops


As part of Burnie Shines annual celebrations in Burnie I have some silk garments in a fashion parade…. Art 2 Wear.
http://www.burnieshines.com/Date/10-October-2013
Exciting. One night only. I will post some pics after the event on October 10. Hopefully showing the maodels wearing the garments, if not the items on coathangers (not quite the same).
Also 2 WORKSHOPS
on Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th October at Burnie Makers Workshop. Have a go at painting on silk and create a special handmade Christmas gift while enjoying the flow of dyes on silk. If you love colour you will love this.
http://www.burnieshines.com/Events/Workshop-Silk-Painting-Watercolour-Technique
Click the link for the Sunday workshop details… watercolour technique (put the image in a card or do a slightly larger one to frame.
FOR THE SATURDAY WORKSHOP… MAKE A SILK BROOCH USING SALT TECHNIQUE
http://www.burnieshines.com/Events/Workshop-Silk-Painting
Busy, busy with Deloraine Craft Fair fast approaching too.

Creative art WORKSHOPS at FORTH ART STUDIO, June/July 2013


CREATIVE ART WORKSHOPS…….. JUNE/JULY

Forth Art Studio, 51 George St, Forth
class size limit 6
tea/ coffee provided. Soup and bread for lunch if you want it, or bring you own
Phone 64282675 or 0419282673 No art or drawing skills/ experience necessary. Good drawing skills do however do give more options as to what you can produce but sometimes they can also be a bit restrictive re allowing oneself to work freely. Either way you will be encouraged to work in a way that suits your skills and to find your genre and style.

SILK… SATURDAY 15 JUNE Choose either techniques for beginners, jewellery and cards or paint a panel or scarf. $40 full day (10 am to 3 pm or stay later if you wish). Materials extra from about $5 depending on how large you work and how many items you make.

CREATIVE WATERCOLOUR…SUNDAY 24JUNE Experimental and intense colour. Colourful silhouettes, Bob’s blobs, exturing with glad wrap, spray, blow and spatter . Full day , 10 till 3, $55 includes all materials.

ENCAUSTIC (PAINTING WITH MELTED WAX) …. SATURDAY JULY 6th 10 till 12. $30 includes materials.

Also at DEVONPORT REGIONAL ART GALLERY on JULY 4th, 6pm to 8pm. PAINTING. $18 non-members and $15 members. Materials provided. Ph 64248296 to book. (aimed primarily at beginners).

Brush painting


Based on principles of sumi-e at my recent workshop the aim was to encourage participants to make varied brush strokes and create works that were fluid.  I did show some traditional Sumi e strokes but with the limited time of a single day workshop thought “giving permission” to develop their own was valuable… and more creative. Numerous brushes were tried (including the one all loved which I made some 10 years ago from part of a feather… it is brilliant!) and loading of a soft sumi e brush  was demonstrated. The advantage of solid ink stick and grinding stone was experienced. We also played with ink and water on yupo after watching my dvd of freestyle Sumi e from a Japanese master. Looking back we covered a lot in a dayIMG_1611 IMG_1612 IMG_1613 IMG_1614 IMG_1615 IMG_1616

Jane eperimented with working on wood. She had even prepared the surface with different finishes. This is a meditation stool.

Jane eperimented with working on wood. She had even prepared the surface with different finishes. This is a meditation stool.

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Stephen made some lovely free flowing marks... just beautiful

Stephen made some lovely free flowing marks… just beautiful

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Caught on camera... and I was holding the brush low as I concentrated

Caught on camera… and I was holding the brush low as I concentrated

we had lots of variations on bamboo... practise needed to perfect ... but these are creatively different

we had lots of variations on bamboo… practise needed to perfect … but these are creatively different

dragonfly and iris Cockroach

using the rake brush can create echidna spikes. Not really Suumi e but all about exploring brushmarks

using the rake brush can create echidna spikes. Not really Suumi e but all about exploring brushmarks

Ink on yupo

October Workshops


BURNIE SHINES workshops. Drawing and Painting….. Beach Combers Collections. Including using Inktense Pencils. Draw and paint shells, rock, seaweed with tutor Evelyn Antonysen. Sunday October 7th. Book at the Makers Workshop. Also on Saturday September 13th Free flow wet-in-wet watercolour (beach) and Sunday 14th a little bit of Zen doing Sumi E (Chinese brush painting). Learn how to handle a brush with sensitivity to make a wide variety of marks. Grind your own Sumi Ink.

Paint on Cermaics JUNE school holiday art


Due to requests I decide to run a creative workshop for children in the school holidays. This is also suitable for adults as you will create your own design to paint on a plate or mug (which will be supplied but you may bring your own to make sure you have the size/shape you want). Wonderful for parent/child or grandparent/child shared fun.  Oven cured ceramic paints will be supplied. You will have a great personal artwork. The morning session has only one vacancy. (Image included is of a piece painted by Helena in 1997….. age 9). For info click on the following title.

Paint on Ceramics

Oil pastel session.


Only two peolple at the oil pastel workshop today. We had a good time working with the vibrant colours and you can see the results here I still think that a field of flowers is the best subject for this technique where the oil pastel is softened in the heat of a candle to apply luscious spots of

colour in relief on the surface. I have found oil painting canvas paper the best surface for this technique