Acrylic paintings with texture (rocks)


I love geology and looking at patterns in rocks, their colours and textures. As well as the scientific observations I do enjoy doing paintings of rocks. Tasmania’s  (Australia) North West and West Coast are wonderful spots for inspiration for rock based paintings. These 3 are all painted in acrylic (Atelier Interactive) on Canvas board (10×14 inch = 25.4×35.6cm). I have used Matisse modelling compound (my preferred of the many texture media I have tried) to achieve textural effects in the 2 Tarkine works.

To apply the paint and medium I have used both brushes and palette knives.

Top left: Kings Run, Tasmania’s Tarkine Wilderness  (SOLD)                 Bottom Left: Goat Island , Penguin Coast Rd, NW Tasmania ($100)        Right: Red Lichen, Sarah Anne Rocks, Tasmania’s Tarkine Wilderness ($100)

Encaustic paintings


I have been thoroughly enjoying exploring encaustic art both in teaching the basics to others, experimenting more myself and attending a workshop with a fabulous encaustic artist, Mo Godbeer. So much to discover…. more pics to come

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Mixed media paintings… the playful artist


wilderness track

wilderness track

For those of us who like to play with art materials and explore new avenues without boundaries, mixed media is wonderful. Above, “Wilderness Track” is a large work painted in acrylic which was applied from very dilute, like watercolour, to thick impasto painted on with a palette knife. Pencils, oil pastel, soft pastel sumi ink and white pigment ink were all applied at various stages. The ground was an Art Spectrum Colorfix paper in a rich terracotta colour, hence the warm overall glow. The inspiration was a coastal walking track on Tasmania.s Tarkine coast. Walking between the towering angular rocks is amazing.

Raw

Raw

On one of the days over Easter 2015 when I was, with about 70 other artists,on Tasmania’s Tarkine Coast, I was taken on a 4WD expedition down past the sealed tracks. To get to such remote and wild places was unforgettable. It is the geology of the area that continually attracts me…. and of course the ever changing ocean and sky.This work is also painted on Colorfix paper, this time in a warm grey. After working with very wet acrylic paints and a spray bottle of water, I used  the side of the wet solid Sumi ink stick  and  a little liquid ink applied with a rigger brush to keep the stokes fluid and loose. Finally linear marks with charcoal and a touch of pastel completed the textural effects for which I was aiming.IMG_8994This third painting was about the intensity of the colour of the red lichen so it was started with oil paint stick and oil pastel on a very rough Fabriano watercolour paper. Light watercolour washes were applied to the sky and sea as a foil for the heavy texture of the rocks. Watercolour was also applied as glazes over the rocks, with the previously applied oil based media acting as a resist, thus retaining the intense colour.  Finally Sumi ink was added in three ways….. dragging the broad end of the wet stick across the paper, drawing some crevice lines directly with the wet stick, applying the ink using 2 brushes to direct flow for tonal areas, and varied ways of applying with a rigger brush. Wonderful textures resulted.  
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This small,  quick work was completed primarily with acrylic applied with a palette knife and fingers. Final touches were added with Sumi ink and a little oil pastel. It captures the drama and inspiring natural forms of this threatened wilderness area.

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.

Paintings from the Tarkine Coast (Tasmania’s wild west)


These are some of the works that were painted on site or have been evolving since my visit to Tasmania’s Tarkine Coast over Easter. More to come. Working on a larger acrylic using texture medium because I love the texture of the rocks there, but I am out of white and so is my supplier!. Frustration! I have to wait for an order from another supplier to arrive…. can get other brands but I likeAtelier Interactive.

The lichen on the rocks is amazing. this is a mm work using oil resists with watercolour and ink on rough paper to refelct the coarse textures of the subject.

The lichen on the rocks is amazing. this is a mm work using oil resists with watercolour and ink on rough paper to refelct the coarse textures of the subject.

Nelson Bay watercolour

Metamorphosed strata protrude from sand and surf

on site watercolour and Sumi Ink. Kings Run. JPG

Painted quickly on site on a bright but overcast day. The rough Langton paper helped with suggesting the pebbled shore

WC and ink, on site, Kings Run

The first work painted on site… watercolour and sumi ink…. setting the mood and getting into the flow. Sitting in this location grinding ink on a stone and letting watercolour float over the paper’s surface is so meditative.

Material Girl entry …..2014 finalist


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

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.

Water Ways Exhibition Tasmania 2013


contrasting texturesDuring the My State Australian Wooden Boat Festival in Southern Tasmania in February the Art Society of Tasmania holds an exhibition of artworks on the theme of water. I am pleased that my entry Contrasting Textures has been selected to be hung in this exhibition at the Long Gallery in Salamanca Place. This rather large painting is an acrylic on canvas incorporating texture paste to accentuate the solidity and rough texture of the forground rocks which echo roughly the shapes of the dolerite slopes of iconic Cradle Mt. The relective waters of Dove Lake glisten where the light strikes and look mirror like in the foreground pool. Water is also evident in the sky in the delicate thin mist… another contrasting texture suggested through the method of paint application. Drybrush scumbling was used here while for the rocks palette knife work added boldness and substance. In the water’s reflective area smoothly brushed glazes achieved the desired effect.