Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Aussie Jingle Bells

Dashing through the bush,
in a rusty Holden Ute,
Kicking up the dust,
esky in the boot,
Kelpie by my side,
singing Christmas songs,
It's Summer time and I am in
my singlet, shorts and thongs

Oh! Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way,
Christmas in Australia
on a scorching summers day, Hey!
Jingle bells, jingle bells, Christmas time is beaut!,
Oh what fun it is to ride in a rusty Holden Ute.

Engine's getting hot;
we dodge the kangaroos,
The swaggie climbs aboard,
he is welcome too.
All the family's there,
sitting by the pool,
Christmas Day the Aussie way,
by the barbecue.

Oh! Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way,
Christmas in Australia
on a scorching summers day, Hey!
Jingle bells, jingle bells, Christmas time is beaut!,
Oh what fun it is to ride in a rusty Holden Ute.

Come the afternoon,
Grandpa has a doze,
The kids and Uncle Bruce,
are swimming in their clothes.
The time comes 'round to go,
we take the family snap,
Pack the car and all shoot through,
before the washing up.

Oh! Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way,
Christmas in Australia
on a scorching summers day, Hey!
Jingle bells, jingle bells, Christmas time is beaut!,
Oh what fun it is to ride in a rusty Holden Ute.

Friday, November 12, 2010

In the Groove
mixed media on canvas
101.6x76.2cm (40"x30")

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Art in Pyjamas

Do you ever have one of those days where you rush off to the studio in your pyjamas, only to do one thing, and before you know it its mid morning and you are still in your pyjamas? That's bliss on a stick isn't it? And just what I needed! We have had a little financial down time and that always throws things out of balance. Bob's work has been a little slow. It is however picking up now and things are getting back on track. There will even be a little money for some much needed canvas real soon.

I must take a photo of my retro wallpaper painting. I struggled with it a bit but its finished. If I were to do it over again there would be a few things that I would do different but over all it looks ok. I've started another painting today which will just have a hint of retro wallpaper in it. Well that's the plan anyway. Its going to have a set of three Beswick flying ducks. Yep real retro cheesiness. Don't get me wrong I love retro stuff. Hey, I grew up with it!

So picture three of these ducks in descending sizes with a bit of retro wallpaper pattern intermingled with my usual background technique. I think its hilarious! Imagine having a painting of the flying ducks hanging on the wall instead of the real thing, HA! Ok maybe its just my humour :)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Note to Self

Stop under estimating your own abilities and being frightened of failure and instead find ways to boost your confidence and being kinder to yourself. Once you start to believe in yourself, success and happiness will surely follow.

Friday, November 5, 2010


Zoe's teacher thought a celebration of a successful year of learning would be better spent sailing on the One And All and a lot healthier than having a party with a lot of junk food.

waiting to get on board

the deck

the captain giving some safety instruction
pulling on the jack rope or the halyard (can't remember which) to hoist the sail

yay! the sail is up

some of the 13 crew on board

aren't the portholes cute

I love the masts and took too many photos of them

Zoe at the helm actually steering the ship

getting rigged up with a harness to climb over the side of the ship

ready to climb over the side

scrambling towards the bowsprit

climbing over the bowsprit

and back along the other side

some ropes

more ropes and a pulley

aw its time to get on the bus and head back to school

I took way too many photos of ropes and pulleys and masts and other sorts of rigging. I love ropes. I must go through those photos properly. Maybe there is a painting in there somewhere. Mmm a painting of ropes with a nice wooden pulley .... yeah that could work ...

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

One And All

Zoe and I will have to be up very early tomorrow as we are going sailing on the One And All. I hope I get some good photos to share. Camera is packed as are the sea sick pills!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Countdown

Today being the 24th of October means I have exactly 8 calendar months till my exhibition opens in Melbourne. I am working on a whole new body of work for this exhibition and as you can already see the work will be with a 50s, 60s and 70s retro theme. I want 20 good paintings for this exhibition so I did some quick calculations. Allowing time for the festive season and organising the transportation and allowing travelling and hanging time etc. etc., I need to do 3 paintings a month. With all my other womanly duties (sexist I know :P) and commitments it means head down and bum up for this little duck hehehe. Its just a little mini freak out, nothing to worry about. Of course any retro ideas or memories you might have would be welcomed. In fact any inspiration at all.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

In The Groove

I haven't had much painting time but I thought I would show you my work in progress. Next week looks a lot quieter so I'm hoping for some much needed studio time. This painting already has the title 'In The Groove'. Another retro painting that's in the planning stages is another 'wallpaper' piece with a set of ceramic flying ducks on it. I hope I can pull that one off. I think it would look hilarious on a wall instead of the actual ceramic ducks. Maybe its just my humour hehehe.

I recently joined the Adelaide Art Society and they are having a members exhibition. I am delivering 3 painting today and I'm still undecided which ones to take. The exhibition will be opened on Saturday 30th October 2010 at 2pm and runs until Sunday 14th November 2010 at Adelaide Art Society, 112 Margaret St, North Adelaide. Come and have a look if you are in the neighbourhood. Check the website for opening times.

The other bit of news is the lovely postcard I got from my cyber friend Julie in the UK. I am a big fan of her work and she sent me a post card of one of her drawings. A lovely surprise and its sitting on my shelf where I can see it daily. If you haven't seen Julie's work its well worth a look. She is a warm hearted story teller and her work is sure to put a smile on your face. Thanks again Julie :)

Ok its time for me to get off the computer and work out which paintings to enter into the members exhibition.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Art Business

This art business is keeping me so busy. I hope to have time to do a proper post soon. Not much time spent in the studio although I have made a good start on my retro painting. More soon .....

Thursday, October 14, 2010


You know how Picasso had his 'Blue Period'? Well I am entering my 'Retro Period' hehehe. Well at least I hope I am. I recently found some images from an old calender that Bob's mum had kept for whatever reason. They were all of retro rooms and the main feature was the (ugly) wallpaper. Well that just set off my imagination. The last few months I have been playing around (in my head) with the idea of retro paintings featuring the (ugly) wallpaper. I've had work to finish for competitions and then travelling to Melbourne so I've not had time to physically do anything towards my 'retro period'. I have had a lot of time to think. I do a lot of thinking before any painting actually begins. When I was in art school we had to put all our ideas down in a journal. I always had trouble with that. I prefer to think and as the ideas develop I do little experiments like a mad scientist mwa-ha-ha. Yesterday was experiment day. And very tiring using my brain that much hehehe. I need to create a 'wallpaper' pattern without actually recreating it (if that makes sense). No point actually recreating it. If that was the case I might as well just paint on wallpaper. I wanted to hint at a pattern and create a certain mood rather than reproducing the wallpaper exactly. I thought for a long time that stamping would be the way to go and I thought those foam craft sheets for kids might make good stamps.

These all fit inside each other so each hippie circle can be a different colour. A little bit of tape for a handle so I don't get paint everywhere. The next thing is I wanted to extend my use of text. Text is an important part of my work as you know and its where most of my work starts. Years ago on my old computer I played around with layering text on Photoshop. I used the manual and followed the tutorial step by step. I don't remember how its done but I thought I could give it a try again. Trouble is my manual is for Photoshop 6 and my version now is CS4. I did give it a try but its changed too much for a computer illiterate like me to cope with, sigh. Brain started ticking over. I will just have to do it another way. I use the gel medium image transfer method quite a bit. Why can't I do different fonts, sizes and tones to create the text layering? I printed out some smaller text in black and then some larger in mid grey all in reverse so the text comes out the right way when you do the transfer. Bob was going to the hardware shop so I got him to do some photocopies while he was out (ink jet prints don't work).
Now remember this is a quick experiment and I didn't wait for the gel medium to dry properly so its a bit rough and all the paper bloom wasn't removed properly etc. What it revealed is the smaller black text shows through the larger mid grey text which was transferred on top woohoo!!! Dance of joy!!!
This is my stamping experiment using the new foam stamps I made. It gives the shape without it being a perfect application. I have a lot more fears and worries to work through. The catch word being 'resolve resolve resolve'. Fingers crossed I can get this all to work for a new body of work. What do you think of the colours??? Aren't they just deliciously ugly??? hehehe

Monday, October 11, 2010

Road Trip to Melbourne

We had a wonderful time in Melbourne. I went with my art buddy Mignon and her husband David. We left Adelaide at 2pm and arrived in Ararat, where we were staying overnight, at about 10pm. We left the next morning before 9am and arrived in Brunswick Street, Melbourne at 12 noon. I primarily went to check out Brunswick Street Gallery where I will be having a solo exhibition next year and also to check out some galleries on Mornington Peninsula. Mornington Peninsula is just out of Melbourne.

the landscape was ablaze with yellow canola fields in full bloom

Federation Square where there is an Australian Art Gallery

Flinders Street Railway Station

Swanston Street

Yarra River

Melbourne has a network of trams

Brunswick Street

Brunswick Street Gallery

Manyung Gallery on Mornington Peninsula where I hope to exhibit one day

Jenny Pihan Gallery on Mornington Peninsula

Anyone who knows me knows that my favourite artist is Jeffrey Smart. He is an Australian artist who now lives in Tuscany. Although born in 1921 before my time, he grew up in my area. I am reading his memoirs again and when he talks about places where he grew up I know exactly where that is as I grew up there too. Anyway I love his work and one of the highlights of going to Melbourne was seeing my first ever Jeffrey Smart original!!! I got rather emotional and couldn't look concentrate on looking at any other artwork after that. I just stood in front of the painting and took in every detail.

The Melbourne trip was a real blast. I met some wonderful people and did some major networking!!! I feel like I'm getting somewhere!

Monday, October 4, 2010


I'm off to Melbourne tomorrow to check out some galleries. Will have some pics to show you when I get back. That is if I don't forget my camera.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Spring is in the Air

I just love spring when everything in the garden is bursting into bloom. And the scents in the air just stop and make me smile. I am lucky I don't suffer from hay fever!

wisteria is my favourite and reminds me of the garden where I grew up

peach blossoms with the promise of summer fruit

jasmine outside our bedroom window smells delightful

orange blossoms and looks like a big crop this year

Now onto some work in progress. I am trying to paint white objects and I didn't realise how hard that is. Not only do you have to put in the shadows but white objects can't just be painted in white. They have to have quite a few colours to get them looking right. Below is a not yet completed painting that will be titled 'White With Two'. Its been a real learning experience and quite a bit of looking at books to see how others have painted white objects. Any tips would be appreciated. I have left the painting for today and will look at it again with fresh eyes tomorrow.

Time for me to stop thinking about art and think about cooking dinner instead. Don't want to though.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Revelation

Firstly I would like to announce that I was accepted into the Adelaide Art Society. Hip hip hurray!!! Last night was their monthly social evening so I decided to attend that and meet some people. It was just so great being with a group of fellow artists. I was part of a group instead of feeling the odd one out like I usually do. And on top of that they had home made scones with jam and cream and chocolate cake! It just couldn't get much better than that hehehe. On the way home I was feeling pretty happy with my world and I suddenly had a revelation. You know those moments where it seems the clouds part and there's a ray of sunshine and a chorus of angels singing (even though its night time)??? I will start at the beginning but be warned I am rambling. In August 2007 I read The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron for the first time. One of the tasks in the 12 step program was to describe your ideal life, to think about your goals or dreams, to really work out what you wanted. I had no idea what I wanted. I had this vague sort of dream that was way off in the future but that was all. Silly really. How are you meant to reach your goals if you don't know what your goals are??? I continued with the tasks in the book and little by little my vague sort of dream started to take form. I started to understand what I really wanted. Once I had the goal worked out I started working on ways to attain it. I started reaching for that goal, for my ideal life. Sometimes I strayed from the path, sometimes I stumbled and even fell but I kept on going. Somewhere in the future was my ideal life. I could feel it. Here comes the revelation part. Last night while driving home I realised I AM ALREADY LIVING MY IDEAL LIFE. Its not somewhere in the future, its here and now! Ok a lot of you will be saying "Der I could've told her that" but its something you can't be told is it? Its something you have to realise for yourself. The dream is not yet complete. The ideal life still needs a little tweaking. I still need to earn a good income from my art and I still want to be more 'known' in the world of art but they are minor details that will work out very soon as long as I keep on living the dream. Yep all is right with my world.

Small Work Number 5

I have now completed all 5 paintings that I want to enter in The Small Works Prize at Brunswick Street Gallery. I have enjoyed doing them but I still much prefer to do larger works.

Just a Couple o' Pears
mixed media on canvas
25x30cm (10"x12")

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Small Work Number 4

I had a great day in the studio today. I finished another small work. One more to go and I've already started it! Deadline for entries of The Small Works Prize isn't till Sunday 21st November so I am ahead of schedule. Still have to work out the most economic way to ship the work to Melbourne.

mixed media on canvas
25x30cm (10"x12")

I have decided to apply for membership to The Adelaide Art Society. I thought it would be a good way to meet other artists, to learn and share and network. I have my application form all filled out and I have an appointment with them tomorrow afternoon to show them some examples of my work. Fingers crossed I get accepted.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Studio Update

As my studio is a shared space with Bob's man cave, I had to come up with a way of hiding the man cave mess. I thought cupboards would suit Bob better than shelving to hold all his stuff. You can shut the door on cupboards and not see the disarray. I took over the whole organisation of his space much to Bob's horror hehehe. I sorted all his stuff so it is now easy to find everything. I put all the painting gear together and all the plumbing and welding stuff all have their own space. The power tools are all together etc. etc. Bob had to admit he liked it. I have put a lot of time and effort into this and it still wasn't quite right. I decided I had to make a clear division between the spaces. I plan to have open studio during the SALA Festival next year and didn't want the studio to look like a corner in a man's shed. I ended up buying some old wardrobes which I not only used to create a wall but it also gave Bob more storage space.

my space as you first walk in the door

in the distance is my desk

walk around the shelves towards the desk and this is the lounge area

the lounge area showing off my new 'wall'
beyond the wall is the man cave

the lounge area showing one doorway into the man cave

the back of wardrobes painted make a good wall to hang artwork

that's my desk looking from the lounge area

and back around to the door that leads into the garden

I still have the yard in front of the shed to clean up. That's where I have put all the things that I decided to throw out. That is my next mission.