Monday, March 30, 2009

I Think I Can, I Think I Can ...

Well I gave it my best shot to try and do all four paintings of The Little Miss Series in one week. I nearly got there but I've run out of steam. Long hours have taken their toll. They are so close to being finished but I started making silly mistakes so I thought I will give it up for tonight and see if I can finish them off tomorrow. I am still very happy with how much I got done in one week. It was a huge task and I nearly made it, yay!!!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

By Popular Demand

Ok just to wet your appetites a little I have posted some small details of my current series. Just a little tease to keep you interested and to make your wait more bearable hehehe hahaha hehe.

The texture of the background which is 'a wall' carries through from one painting to the next so when they are displayed it just flows from one to the other like one complete wall. Can I go back to the easel now??? Can I??? Is this enough to keep you going for awhile hehehe.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Hello World

I thought I'd better come out of my art zone for a little while to say hello. As you know I've set myself a task to finish the four paintings in the Little Miss series in one week. Usually it takes me a week to do one painting but I thought if I pushed myself I could do it. I'm spending longs hours at the easel and letting everything else go. No housework has been done and I didn't even go to the market this week for our groceries. I just grabbed a few things locally. I have to report that the paintings are going well. All the backgrounds were finished yesterday and today I started painting in the legs, shoes and socks. I am really enjoying losing myself in my art. Time to finish for tonight though. I'd better go and clean some brushes.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Had Some Fun But Its Good To Be Home

on the road again

watch out for kangaroos at dawn and dusk

Doreen, the lady who invited me to hold the workshop

we made a real mess

everyone is very busy

The River Murray near Murray Bridge

about 45 minutes from home

I had a really lovely time over the weekend. The ladies from Mt Gambier where an absolute pleasure to work with. They are textile artists so working with paper was something new to them but they all did a magnificent job. Doreen was kind enough to put me up for the night on Saturday night so I didn't have to drive back to my friend, Vanita's place in Naracoorte which is about an hour away from Mt Gambier. I don't like driving on country roads at dusk or dawn as that's when the kangaroos are out. They are prone to jump in front of the car. Not only does this kill or injury a beautiful animal, but it makes a real mess of your car and you risk injuring yourself to boot.

Although I had a great time I was itching to get back home and start on the dangling legs series. Its a series of four with each pair of feet doing something different like the toes pointing in or the ankles crossed etc. One of them will be with brightly coloured striped stockings, another with white little ankle socks etc etc. At the moment I'm calling them the 'Little Miss Series' with Little Miss Quirky, Little Miss Coy, Little Miss Prim and Little Miss Proper. These are just working titles and I may change it if I think of something better. They are of course larger than life size with each canvas being 91.4x60.9cm (36"x24"). For the background I am going for an old wall effect and it looks like the Little Misses are sitting on the wall. I've drawn them all and as soon as I draw the stripes on the stockings I'm ready to start on the backgrounds. I'm really pushing myself with these as I'm trying to get all four done in a week. Let's hope life doesn't get in the way as is usually the case. Today is eight weeks till delivery to the gallery so I'd better stop rambling and get back to it.

Friday, March 20, 2009


I'll be hitting the road in a few hours. Everything is packed but not yet loaded in my car. I've got that last minute brain scramble hoping I haven't forgotten something. I'm just going to do a quick trip into the market to pick up Jack's food. Then I will load the car and be on the road about lunch time. Be back Monday.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Do You Like Colouring-in?

I still love to colour in and have my own colouring-in book. Its got pictures of fairies in it and I like to sit in bed and colour it. I refuse to completely grow up. I thought it would be fun to do a painting of coloured pencils, larger than life of course to elevate their importance. To give you an idea of their size, the dark blue one is the length of my arm from shoulder to wrist. I had real fun with this painting as its got so many different colours in it.

Why Stay Within the Lines?
mixed media on canvas

60.9x50.8cm (24"x20")

I've set myself a goal of 30 paintings for the exhibition. That means there's 9 to go and 9 weeks to do them in. I will be working on a series of Zoe's dangling legs next. Again larger than life. There will be four in the series, each one with the legs in a different pose and with different socks or stockings on. That will leave another 5 and at this stage no ideas. I am thinking of another domestic painting, maybe with some washing on the line. I have visited washing on the line in an earlier work and have always wanted to do another. Maybe with a nice blue background representing a glorious blue sky. I also must ask April if she minds if I paint some cupcakes. She created some lovely collages of cupcakes and I would love to give them a try if she doesn't mind. Check them out on in one of the older posts.

I'm going away for the weekend. I'm leaving on Friday and back home on Monday. I'm giving a workshop in Mt Gambier which is about 5 hours drive from home. Its about an hour from Naracoorte so I'm going to stay with my friend Vanita on Friday and Sunday night (if she'll have me). I've bought all the materials so all that's left to do is pack and hope I don't forget anything.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Pumpkin Soup

Its coming up to pumpkin soup weather. Well, soon I hope as its still been quite warm and muggy the last couple of days. If you are going to buy a pumpkin to make soup why not use it for a painting first. This one is a Queensland Blue pumpkin and its my favourite type for soup. Funny thing is you do get to know the object of your painting so well that you feel rather remorseful when its time to cut it up :(. There is of course a story behind my painting. Many years ago Bob and I lived in the country. The locals put together a cookbook of their favourite recipes. The simple but extremely delicious pumpkin soup recipe in the top right hand corner of the painting is Barbara Pym's recipe and I think of her whenever I make it. She still cooked and baked amazing food on a wood burning stove even in the middle of summer, and took out a lot of prizes in the cooking section of the local show. Of course that's not the only pumpkin story I have. I remember endless drawings in art school with a pumpkin as a model. Tonal drawings, contour drawings, drawing on coloured paper adding the highlights rather than the shadows. Yeah well they do have interesting shapes don't they?

mixed media on canvas
50.8x60.9cm (20"x24")

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Exhibition Invitation

The exhibition 'Peeking Through Someone Else's Window' runs from May 24 - June 14 at Gallery M, Marion Cultural Centre 287 Diagonal Rd, Oaklands Park, Adelaide, South Australia. Its an exhibition of mixed media/collage, photography and paintings by Uta Mooney, Julia Thomas and Zoe Thomas. The official opening is Sunday May 24th 2pm. Come and have a glass of wine and some nibbles if you are in the area. Gallery times are Mon-Fri 11am-4pm, Sat 12pm-4pm, Sun 1pm-4pm, closed public holidays.

The artwork is a collaboration between Julia, Zoe and me. The window and collage is from a previous painting of mine called 'Walk Past the Open Window'. Julia, who is a magician on photoshop, changed the window to accommodate the photo she took of Zoe peeking. She changed the text to the title of the exhibition. I think its worked out great and I want to get a large copy of it framed as a memento of our exhibition.

We have got to start approaching some publications for some publicity. I think its quite a unique human interest story; three generations of females from the same family exhibiting together. Zoe might only be 7 years old but Julia and I feel she is an artist in her own right. We dislike it when people say to children "you are going to be a great artist when you grow up". Aren't they already artists? Aren't they already expressing themselves with art and craft? Why do they always have to wait 'to be' until they are grown up? Children's art is so free, expressive and innocent. We lose that when we grow up. Even artists like Ken Done can't really recreate exactly the way children capture things.

If you can't come to the exhibition or if you want a sneak preview of our work you can go to Julia's and my RedBubble sites

Monday, March 9, 2009

Full Days

I've been so busy I haven't been on the net for a few days. Number 2 grandchild, Evan had his second birthday party yesterday and number one grandchild, Zoe has chicken pox. Poor Zoe was quite upset that she couldn't go to Evan's party. She has changed schools recently and was invited to a birthday party of a new school friend but she couldn't attend that either.

I haven't had time to do a lot of artwork. My days have been very full. Going to appointments with Bob and generally helping him to recover takes more time than I imagined. Plus I'm trying to clean out the shed. We have a very large shed that's been used for storage for quite some time. It has got into a real mess and I'm trying to get a little control of the chaos in there. The aim is for me to have a real studio space and for Bob to have an organised area for his work. I say organised because Bob tends to be a bit of a mess and I'm determined to enlighten him on a tidier and more organised existence hehehe. That's a huge task in itself. I'm sure the older I get the less hours there are in a day. I don't seem to get as much done as I used to. Or is it that I'm just trying to fit too much into one day?

Julia has lent me a computer screen. Mine was getting impossible to deal with. It was so dark even on the brightest setting. Now I can see so much more and can't wait to look at every one's art. I will be able to see all the details, yay.

Well we've had our dinner so I'm going to spend some time at the easel before I get too tired.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

11 Weeks and Counting

I started a new canvas today. Its 11 weeks and counting till our exhibition opens, yikes! I found a picture of houses in Santorini. Ok I found the picture in a magazine in the hospital waiting room while I was waiting for Bob. I was so inspired by this picture I silently tore it out in a really sneaky fashion and put it in my bag. Its a picture of those white sugar cube houses with blue doors and window frames. I'm going out on a limb with this one. Its not my usual type of painting as I usually paint everything bigger than life size. I've got the usual fear happening. The fear I have at the beginning of every painting and I don't feel confident with the outcome. Anyhoo, like Laura says, I'm turning up to the easel and we'll see what happens. What's the worse that can happen? If the painting doesn't work out I can just gesso over it and do something else, right?

I'm also in the planning stages of work depicting Zoe's dangling legs. I have a series of photos where she's wearing striped tights, little white ankle socks with black shoes etc. In some she's got her ankles crossed, another her toes are turned in etc. I thought they would make a nice series of paintings. Children have really expressive feet and legs. Just by changing the position of the feet you get a whole different feel. Anyway its in early planning stages at the moment. I will have to see where it takes me.

With autumn here I also have the urge to photograph a big Queensland blue pumpkin. I can then paint it and make a batch of pumpkin soup too. That should keep me off the streets for awhile.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Pear Painting

I Like to Paint Pears
mixed media on canvas
40.6x121.8cm (16"x48")

Monday, March 2, 2009

I Like to Paint Pears

I finished the pear painting yay! Haven't got a photo of it yet as it was raining, yes raining! Its been so long since we've seen any rain. I had to go stand in it to feel it on my skin. The smell of it is just divine. Its freshening up the whole place. The Rainbow Lorikeets are back. The gum trees must be starting to flower. The pitter-patter of the rain drops on the roof and the squawking of the lorikeets is music to my ears. The seasons are finally starting to change. I hope we are over the heat for the time being. I'm looking forward to some good hearty winter food. I get a bit tired of salads as the summer is drawing to a close. I do love all the different seasons and look forward to summer at the end of a long wet winter.

Bob had an appointment at the hospital today. He had to have the stitches out of the spot that had no skin graft. Its a bit infected and so is the one on the leg. The skin grafts on his head and leg doesn't seem to have taken but the one on his hand is doing fine. They are still hopeful they will heal by themselves and he's now on antibiotics for the infection. He's feeling quite well and likes to thank you all for all your good wishes and kind thoughts.

Since reading The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron I have done morning pages. This morning I was so eager to start the day that I totally forgot about them. I just wanted to get stuck into the pear painting while I was fresh and full of energy. It was giving me some problems so I wanted to leave it last night and then just jump straight in today. It usually resolves itself then. I always have trouble when I get too precious with a painting. I'm scared to stuff it up and that makes me freeze. The background was giving me trouble but I really liked the pears and got rather precious about them. The motto of this story is don't get precious about your art!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Art and Bob

Bob is home from hospital. He's had the district nurse over to change his bandages and I got to see. All I'm going to say about that is, I wish I hadn't. Let's just say I'm not cut out to be a nurse. Some people are meant to be nurses and some people are meant to be artists. Since home, Bob has had some swelling. I think he's doing too much too soon and needs to rest more. He has an appointment at the hospital tomorrow so we will find out how things are going and hopefully my mind will be put at ease.

On the art front I have started another canvas. This time some pears I found in the local fruit and veg shop became my models. The colours were so interesting. Not your usual brown pear and not your usual green pear. They had the most beautiful shades of red, burgundy and green I've ever seen. I chose them carefully and bought 5. I chose ones with interesting shapes, ones that leaned over to one side when they stood on their bottoms and of course, needless to say they all had to have their stems in tact. I've photographed them all in a row and have a really long thin canvas on which to paint them. The canvas is 40.6x121.8cm (16"x48") so each pear will be roughly about the size of my head. Big is beautiful I say! I'm struggling a bit with the background. Not sure if its because Bob is home. I work better in total isolation when I paint. Oh well I will have another go at it today and hopefully I will resolve it.

p.s. The pears not only look good but taste good also. Very juicy mmm.