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.

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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

Silk brooch in action


I have posted images of the watercolour miniatures which I love to do on silk so here is a way to wear them other than with the silk scarves which I paint to match. Here in Tasmania it is winter, with snow around some parts today, so I have opted for a warm jacket and a shrug kept neatly in place with a silk brooch. The brooch enables a variety of styling options and the shrug never comes undone or “misbehaves” causing unwanted bulges in an outfit or slipping down allowing the winter chill to creep in …… perfect winter accessory. Snuggly.

Warm shrug for winter..... with handpainted brooch featuring an original watercolour on silk miniature painting.

Warm shrug for winter….. with handpainted brooch featuring an original watercolour on silk miniature painting.

Back to silk watercolours… card and new design pendant/brooch


Continuing on my quick painting in under 20 minutes a day (day 11) I have returned to my love of the flow of silk paints on silk in watercolour technique (no resist or anti-diffusant). The card is painted on a thick satin silk and the paints do not move freely on that. They almost need to be scrubbed in, for example, by using a taklon brush rather than my usual goat or squirrel mix. The large brooch, painted on 10 mommie Habutai, I have managed to adapt at the back so it can also be worn as a pendant. Simply add a chain of your choice. It sits very well and the findings for the pendant adaptation are not visible when it is worn as a brooch. Yay! very versatile! I will have these for sale ($30 I am thinking)……including a long chain but of course you can use your own preferred chain/cord or wear on a velvet choker using the pin from the brooch fitting. I loved chokers in the 70’s so they must be due to be back in fashion.

Silk watercolour in a card $10 with envelope.  blank inside. postage free Actual painting on silk. Not a print.

Silk watercolour in a card
$10 with envelope. blank inside. postage free Actual painting on silk. Not a print.

silk watercolour original pendant/brooch combined. With chain. $30. Postage free. Treated with UV stain resist. 55mm diameter

silk watercolour original pendant/brooch combined. With chain. $30. Postage free. Treated with UV stain resist. 55mm diameter

Silk shawls and matching brooches/scarf clip finished


On Thursday I posted two silk shawls to Jennifer in Hobart. All organised online. After heaps of shared messages this is what I completed
Jennifers silk

………..packed and ready to be put in the post pack and sent to their new home.

packaged and ready for posting

And this is my reward (plus payment). A lovely text message the next day……
“Thanks Evelyn. I just received the beautiful shawls. Loved them booth and the brooches too…….” Jennifer

Silk painting..pendants and pins


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    I am gearing up for Deloraine Craft Fair. I really enjoy making the tiny silk painted items. I hope there will be a lot of customers who love them as much as I do. The rectangular pendants are 40 x 24mm. The larger circular ones are 40mm diameter, the smaller circular ones with glass cover are 24mm diameter. The small square glass covered pendants are 24mm and the rectangular pendants are 40 x 24 mm. The oval works are pins.

All are original one off handpainted miniature artworks. I don’t use anything to restrict the flow of the dyes other than a little control with a hairdrier. I feel this way the works are always excitingly different. They are hard to part with but I am glad they give others pleasure. It is so nice to have something unique. With the way I work it is not possible to repeat one even if I wanted to

Hats with silk embellishments


I went to another crochet session with Adrienne through Leven Regional Arts arising from the Hooked project and I too am becoming hooked. I used to do a lot of crochet many years ago and am rather enjoying making hats. I have added embellishments with my handpainted silk brooches/scarf.