Validation is good for you

Don’t worry about what others think, carry on regardless, be true to yourself – cliche basket empty (for now).  An artist is hit with these relentlessly, and sometimes it’s all you’ve got to cling to as you watch another screwed up ball of paper fly through the air towards the bin – a bittersweet score. …

Happy Accidents – painting becomes drawing

Don’t you just love them? Not all accidents are bad, this one was almost comical as I carefully selected my watercolour paints that would create the stripes you see. My guardian angel and mentor, Anne, saved me with only seconds to spare – you see, I’d drawn the picture in what I thought was a…

Day Eight – Wandering Weave

Weaving is one of the oldest surviving crafts in the world, and even before textiles were discovered, branches and reeds were used to make fences and baskets. Weaving today, is a task for all – some use words, relationships, appointments, schedules, art, digital media, textiles (still!), chemicals, food and more – a recipe is woven…

Day Seven – Break the Drought

He said of Tropical Cyclone Stan, ‘it was bitter sweet, even though destruction was imminent, so was RAIN.’ Since the year dot, water has been the life-giver, so why, after thousands of years of knowing this, why are we still struggling? Day 7 is a bird’s eye view over drought stricken Queensland; through the clouds,…

Day Six – Remembrance – Keep the faith

Red poppies for remembrance; keep the faith with those who died on Flanders Fields and all soldiers lost in battle. In this painting, an Englishman saw a red poppy watching over Flanders Fields between the white crosses of fallen soldiers. A Scottish suggestion was ‘an angry eye over a landscape’, which might be the centre…

Day Five – Reflections of Innocence

‘Reflections of Innocence’ is an amalgamation of two suggestions; the first (from Scotland) – Graves of Innocents, blood red lands with pure blue crosses depicting  wars killing those who cannot avoid them; and the second (from Australia) – Autumn lake reflections in the Mt. Lofty Botanical Gardens. These ideas have the ability to disable each…

Day Four – King Arthur’s Berth Pool

Day four depicts ‘King Arthur’s Berth Pool’ in Baschurch, England. However,  Bodmin Moor and Cornwall often come to mind when thinking of Excalibur and King Arthur, but, according to authors, Graham Phillips and Martin Keatman (King Arthur the True Story), the Berth Pool  near Baschurch is where the real ‘Excalibur’ was cast. True or not,…

Day Three – Blizzard in Spring

Day Three named ‘Blizzard in Spring’. Unusual weather events inspired every entry to name this painting – global warming is a hot topic. Thirteen squares left to name, it’s not too late to add your interpretation to the list. Click to see the full painting, Chilli Chocolate.

Day Two – Sunburnt Country

Day Two named ‘Sunburnt Country’. This suggestion came from a talented textile artist in Sydney, Australia, who was inspired by Dorothea Mackellar’s classic Australian poem, My Country, click here to view the whole poem on the official Dorothea Mackellar website. Fourteen squares left to name, it’s not too late to add your interpretation to the…

Day One RESULTS – Chilli Chocolate

Day One named ‘Two Moons on Mars’. Chosen because Mars has two moons, Deimos and Phobos, it’s extremely cold and is often referred to as the Red Planet. Happy accident for this artist, but a keen observation from a blogger in the USA. Fifteen squares left to name, it’s not too late to add your…

Chilli Chocolate activity – please join in …

A six year old in Scotland saw 16 pictures of the daily view from the same window – how marvellous to have completely missed the chocolate theme! The faith in that innocent interpretation is endearing, grounded and sustainable, as opposed to the consumerism that birthed the original   gourmet chocolate theme. The window idea is about…

Paint what you see – show don’t tell

As a painter, the phrase ‘paint what you see, not what you think you see’ binds and cuffs my wrists until I ask ‘what do I think I see?’ As a writer the phrase ‘show don’t tell’ gags the creative  synapses until binary thought is shattered and realization dawns. Two simple phrases, both about presentation…

The question of stopping

  Each stage of this painting was photographed and at its first exhibition those photographs were also on display. Two questions were asked repeatedly, ‘why didn’t you stop then?’ & ‘why did you stop then?’ The answer being the same for both, ‘it’s hard to know when to stop, but when you’re on a deadline,…

Mentally Difficult

She was described as ‘mentally difficult’, a description that could apply to parts of my own life and maybe yours too? But, was she already mentally difficult or did she become that way because they wouldn’t return her children? I first read the phrase ‘mentally difficult’ on my grandfather’s 1924 Victorian State Ward Card only…

Abandoned original artwork

This gave me much more freedom than expected, having so many copies of my own art to work on I found myself taking risks because I wasn’t worried about losing the original drawing. Artwork exercise: The study of a face – I drew the original picture of my grandfather in pencil and charcoal from an…

Blue Chocolate – are we done yet?

  Is this finished?  I’ve hung it up to dry, but every time I walk past I get the urge to tinker some more. It’s hard to stop fiddling, which is possibly habit over intuition – if I have some paint left over from something else, I find myself wondering, ‘will this go with Blue…

Blue Chocolate – a work in progress

Oil on canvas, a commissioned painting near completion . It’s taken 6 months to build up the energy to begin, and now it’s just plain fun. Hard to know when to stop or to trust the fun factor to back down at the right moment in order for me to see the finish line. Palette:…

Forgotten Australians – a biography

We left him to rest, or so we thought. In the hospital lobby I realized my youngest was missing and upon retracing our steps to my grandfather’s room we spied a memorable picture; an 89 year old man chatting to his 5 year old great-grandson. Noticing me at the door, Charlie quickly whispered in his…