From my garden today.
Today, with a little welcome sunshine, I took my mirror-less, full frame camera into the garden to try out the macro lens (FE2.8/90). The poor flowers were a little worse for wear from the recent rain, icy weather and winds and some parts of our garden/jungle are so overgrown I did not venture to capture all my gorgeous camellias.
I did not use a tripod…. not really a good idea with macro shots, but being impatient, I wanted first to see what sort of photos lazy play would give. With the use of a tripod and more manual adjustments the results should only get better.
Even with this quick episode I am pretty happy….. those potato vine flowers are 3 cm across the widest part of the biggest one and the tiny forget me nots are 9mm (less than 1 cm) or less across the widest part of the bigger one!!!! (in summer I find they grow larger)
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.
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.
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.
I have too many paintings for the walls and I have always enjoyed “small” so increasingly I am doing tiny works to put into jewellery settings. Many are silk paintings but I have also been exploring my own unique way of painting with pigmented wax,encaustic paintings, as wearable art. Encaustic paintings are beautifully vivid and under the glass cabochon the 3-dimensionality is accentuated. These are selling so well locally and to cruise ship visitors that I am finding it difficult to keep up with demand. Many, like the set, are based on flowers in my garden but some are abstract ocassionally suggesting a scene.No two can be the same as it is not possible to get that degree of control with the way I work. But that is how I like it … each unique item to be paired with a unique wearer.
Today I bought a mini tripod and remote shutter for my mobile phone so I can take photos of my work quickly and without any camera shake. All I need now is to make up a tent to get rid of the reflection of the studio windows.
These will be availabble on my handmade shop at a later date.
I was given some iris flowers from a friend and last night managed a watercolour before they died… just a few flowers and buds left but enough to capture their “personality”. The big, soft, droopy petals make me think of dogs’ ears…. only more colourful. I have “manufactured” my own colour combinations, as is permitted of an artist if not working rigidly in a botanical illustration manner. However, no one would doubt these are iris. I do hope you agree that I have captured the essence of the elegant, garden favourites.
I did a little light, compositional drawing, but primarily employed freehand painting in a brush painting style on a very unforgiving, smooth, lightweight (120 gsm) Fabriano drawing paper. Challenging, but what a fresh finish it yields.I deliberately chose the paper to ensure I did not go back and “fix” anything…. no overpainting as the soft surface cannot handle that.
I do so love the brush painting style, with the variation of pressure and pulling a twisting a multi-loaded soft brush across the paper surface. Pure meditation!
Our nasturtiums have been grown in large pots and an old wheelbarrow this year and they are overflowing their containers. A profusion of greenery speckled with some colourful flowers, they look very healthy, even in our cold winter months. For this reason I have called this painting tenacity as they are truly a tenacious plant.
10 mommie Habutai pure silk stretched onto a wooden frame for working
iron fixed paint for silk (various brands),
gutta resist outline for some flowers, leaves and some squiggles (rich gold gutta applied through a metal tip on an applicator bottle)
watercolour technique in the background
completed and fixed work mounted onto pre glued foamcore then framed behind glass
I am really pleased that for the third consecutive year my entry in Tasmania’s Material Girl Exhibition has made the finals. This year’s theme is Tall poppies…. late bloomers. I pondered a portrait of “tall poppies’, Mother Moses being a favourite “tall poppy, and very much a “late bloomer”. I love painting poppies, especially on silk, so did contemplate maybe a literal interpretation. Then I thought of doing a very minimalist contemporary style work…. a single (actual) poppy seed glued onto a large canvas (medium: “collage” I suppose). That would be titled simple “Potential”.
After listening to Jane Lamont talk at the launch, where the amazing woman described herself as rather a short, yellow,daisy I started thinking along another line. I love the variety of friends and family in my life, tall poppies or not. I love the variety of flowers in the garden and that they reveal their full glory at different times. So my entry is “Not all tall poppies” the acrylic painted with a palette knife, an image of which I posted about a month ago.
Accompanying Artist’s Statement
Variety is the “spice of Life”. Genetics, environment, life’s circumstances…. all contribute to what something is and when potential will be maximised.
A world full of only tall poppies would not have the colour, interest and variety of “my” world with all it’s magnificent individuals.
Daffodils are peering out. Daphne sending its scent through the garden. Camellias with full heads coming in quick succession now. The promise of spring…… only a couple of weeks away. Then searching my files for something else I came across this photo of a previous commission…. “spring collection”. Watercolour, painted in a free style with no preliminary drawing. Reflective of the free (and a tad untidy, admittedly) nature of our garden. I can feel more flower paintings wanting to be “born”.
My favourite flower painting subject ….. poppies on silk. this is the first of a triptych for Maureen. (image size 70 by 50 cm). To be framed. Serti technique for main flowers with watercolour technique for background flowers/garden. 10 mommie Habutai silk, iron fixed silk paints/dyes.
Yesterday I worked on a watercolour of one of my favourite subjects… the energy and movement of the sea as it impacts on rocks… a painting which always makes me feel alive as I do it as I “feel” the movement of the wave and the solidity and strength of the rock. The people present did not see the finished work as we had several activities going. Theo and Arthur explored Inktense pencils…… both visiting Tassie in motorhomes, the medium is perfect for those on the move. Arthur also discovered the advantage of a solid sumi ink stick and stone…. no spills and it lasts “forever”. Being a good at drawing, ink and inktense wash suits the style of these men.
Lynne did magnificantly vibrant bookmarks, full of colour. Not having done art before, she bravely explored wet in wwet watercolour with koh-i-noor intense colours.
Sue, an experienced artist, bravely painted the sea wave explosion on Fabriano torchon extra rough paper. She came to learn about the textural effects which can be obtained on the surface. So different to her usual Saunders Waterford paper.
The slide show is of some other students’ works in oil pastel, Inktense (including one on silk) and Watercolour (using the pouring technique for the background). Unfortunately I am usually to busy to remember to phtograph work. at classes and workshops.