Thursday 28 February 2013


When I woke this morning I thought it looked quite dark, so ventured out to see what the weather was doing today. This is always a surprise!
I could hardly believe the spectacular sky that had welcomed the dawn, and wanted to share this with you. I always keep my camera handy for such photo opportunities.
To all of you who are not morning people - these early morning hours are like another world.
My beautiful sunrise. What a start to the day.

Thursday 14 February 2013

Painting Finished

After working frantically for the past 5 days, my painting is finished and ready for selection for the Botanica exhibition.
When is a painting finished?
When you look at it and nothing jumps out at you.
If there is something not right, which may just be an inconsistency of tone, and you think "it wont matter, no one will notice". That is extactly the first thing people do notice, as it would be bothering them as well.
When you have made some adjustments and know there is nothing else to do to make it any better.
I like to leave it for a day or so, and not be in such close contact with the painting. Then look at it with fresh eyes.

It is interesting just how much you can get done when you are not doing anything else!!! I worked on other projects early morning and until quite late at night, just to be able to paint in the day.
Now to put this project to bed, and perhaps even relax for a while.

Wednesday 13 February 2013

Strelitzia reginae

The selection deadline looms for the Botanica exhibition at the Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens. In fact, it is on this Saturday.
Since returning from overseas, work has been hectic, but I had an urge to do another painting for the exhibtion. While in Mt. Tambourine, Qld last year I collected an incredible dying Strelitzia reginae specimen. The gnarly, dried flowers and sepals form a twisting web of movement. This is what attracted me.
I did the initial drawing and colour study on Sunday, then began painting on Monday. Work has progressed really well and I am excited about the progress. Not finished yet, but here are a few stages of the process.
The flowers and sepals
Seed pods and seeds

I hope to finish this painting today. More washes and focus on tone. But before I do that, must do assessments on my External Students assignments.........

Friday 8 February 2013

Home at last

After travelling for five weeks, exploring so many different places and experiencing different cultures and climates, it is really good to be home. I spent a week in New York and nearly a week in San Francisco. Stayed in Palm Beach, Miami and Fort Lauderdale in Florida. I cruised through both the eastern and western Caribbean where other tourists seemed to focus only on "going to the beach", while I explored each island. I would hear people say "I have been here many times before. Seen one island you have seen them all". Which simply proves they may have physically been to the Caribban but obviously looked no further than the port or the beach.

St Kitts, West Indies, eastern Caribbean
Christmas street parade with reggae bank on a float

I no longer wake up at night wondering where I am. No matter where I travel to, there is no place I would rather live than Sydney. Despite its hustle and bustle, there is also its beauty, its superb climate (although a little haphazard at present), an element of serenity and of course it is a comfort zone. Even in Sydney there is always something new to see, or somewhere new to go. I also like being a tourist in my own city and discovering something new.
I had some amazing experiences, wonderful memories and met some fabulous people. And am now well into my work and have even started a new painting. Will post some images later. I decided at the last minute to try to have another painting finished for the Botanica exhibition at the Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens. Selection is tomorrow week, so I have just less than a week to finish it.
Absolutely ran out of time to blog while away, and often the internet connections left a lot to be desired. So would like to share a few sketches from my trip with you.
Bonnet House, Fort Lauderdale, Florida USA

Every picture tells a story. As most of you would know I love architecture, and also the stories behind the construction, cicumstances or the people who live or once lived there. An artist built Bonnet House in a classical Caribbean plantation style in the early 1920s. His legacy of  paintings, sculptures and various other artwork and collections are evidenced in this house, which has not been changed since his death. If you are interested in more history on Bonnet House see


Cozumel, Mexico. St Gervasio Mayan ruins

This site has been beautifully restored. There are no complete buildings, but sign boards show what the buildings were, how they were laid out and their purpose. Exploring ancient sites is something else I love, and Angkor Wat is definately on my bucket list.
Lababee, Haiti, western Caribbean

The colour of the waters was extraordinary, just like in the sketch. The time of year (January) I was in the Caribbean was perfect. Temperatures were atound 28 degrees C with a lovely breeze. I saw it all at its very best, as they have severe cyclone seasons and severely hot seasons. No wonder December and January is a favourite time for cruising the Caribbean.
Watch this space for the development of my botanical painting. The sketchbook will have to be put away for a short time, as I have a deadline for the painting.