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 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
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.
I have been out all weekend but it was lovely to get out into the garden with the camera after dinner….. that is until the mosquitos started feasting on me!!. The summer heat has set in and the ground is dry so I wanted to take a stroll and capture some of the beauty before the garden succumbs to the full impact of summer. …….Although after the summer blooms there will be the seed heads… a variety of shapes that always fascinate me
Between entertaining visitors and blogging 101 tasks and visiting other people’s blogs I have been in my studio creating. Here are 6 new pendants each containing an encaustic art original in miniature. The pigmented wax is so vibrant and the resultant image has real depth. My encaustic jewellery is proving to be very popular and I LOVE doing them
Encaustic art original wax paintings in pendant settings
…. these were scanned in using the printer scanner. I will try to get a better image with the camera… but in daylight.
My first artworks for the transition from 2014 to 2015 are these miniature encaustic paintings presented in little “frames” that you can wear. I love doing this with my art. Although I have done murals and enjoy doing works of all sizes I have always had a special love for the little. And as our walls are full, and modern design declares minimalism is the way to go, I am excited to be presenting my paintings as wearable art. No reproductions here. Each is a unique painting….. encaustic (pigmented wax), manipulated in its molten state, to form an interesting composition often suggestive (intentionally) of flowers from my garden….. iris, poppies, tulips….. And they are affordable (bracelets $33 includes postage in Australia, or I will pay half of postage overseas (customer pays the other half. At the rate these have sold they won’t hang around in my studio for long so let me know if you want one. bangle is lead and nickel free and is adjustable from small to medium/largish. The cover is a glass cabochon attached with E600 adhesive. The image is an original impressionist style painting using artist’s quality pigmented wax. Care instructions…… clean/polish glass with a soft cloth. Do not leave the artwork directly in front of a heater which is on high or on the dashboard of a car in summer unless you want to modify the image! Normal hot temperatures are OK… if your body can stand the heat, the artwork can too.
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.
Acrylic on canvas painted with a palette knife. “Not all Tall Poppies” Material Girl 2014 Finalist
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”.