Saturday 30 November 2013

More banksias

Have just finished another banksia painting. I adore these flowers - they are so earthy and unique yet can be so colourful and exciting. Detail is my thing - so nothing more enjoyable than to sit for hours (with short breaks) and work on the fine detail. It is all about Observation.
Finished painting
Banksia menzieseii and Banksia prionotes

Detailed drawing and first washes

 Am now anxious to get started on another few paintings as I have personal deadlines for "before Christmas" . Things will be really hectic from then on. Starting work very early (up at 4.30am today) gives me more hours in the day.

Sunday 17 November 2013

Norfolk Island

I will be taking a small group to Norfolk Island on 24-31 March 2014 for a plein air pen and wash sketching art tour. This is an exciting new venue with amazing sketching and painting locations. Having been there before, I am really looking forward to sharing some of my sketching experiences and very varied subjects with you.
There will be the opportunity to draw and paint flowers, architecture including the buildings of  the original penal colony, many different scenes of beach, mountains and more.
Slaughter Bay, Norfolk Island

Not only is this beautiful island steeped with wonderful history of convicts and mutineers, but it is a strong community where many of the inhabitants are direct descendants of the original people that came to the island.
To learn more about this Holiday Sketching opportunity, see my Holiday Sketching website and follow Destinations to Norfolk Island.
Would love to see you there......

Visiting New Caledonia

Just having spent a totally relaxing time visiting New Caledonia and Fiji, and sketching along the way, would like to share just a few sketches with you.
Since returning home I have not stopped and have produced another magazine article for 'Back to Basics' art magazine on Beyond the Pale - White on White and written another issue of my Holiday Sketching Newsletter, along with other aspects of my work. My life balance feels good - just the right amount of pen and wash sketching followed by intense bouts of botanical art and of course lots of teaching.

This is not a finished painting. It is an instructional painting showing (from
left to right) the various stages from line drawing to finished flower of
applying shadow colour for a white or pale coloured subject on white paper.

Read the article in the next Back to Basic quarterly magazine to see how to make various shadow colours and how to apply them, without having a dark outline.
I am now working hard on producing a new body of work for the Botanica exhibition at the Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens in 2014. I have to finish the paintings by Christmas, as I am then officially on holidays and will be overseas, returning just before submissions are required.
I am sure some of you will relate to the amount of disruptions and distractions that occur when working to deadlines. My art business necessitates not only close email correspondence but phone calls, and student work to be critiqued from my Botanical Art and Natural History External Courses (distance learning). These are all aspects of my work I love doing - but sometimes I just need to lock myself away and paint.
Will leave you with a few sketches from New Caledonia and in particular the Isle of Pines (Ile des Pins), which was my favourite place. The islands around the South Pacific remind me of the Caribbean islands - glorious azure blue/turquoise green water and soft, fine sandy beaches. So when the Americans cruise from Fort Lauderdale to the Caribbean Islands, Australians head off from Sydney to the South Pacific and Fiji, to enjoy very similar beaches and sunshine.
Lifou, Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia


Off to do some painting now.......