It’s been a little while since my last update, and there’s been quite a few things going on since then!
Heart Felt Exhibition
In August I was lucky enough to be involved in an exhibition called Heart Felt at the Mezzanine, Entangle Living art. What a fantastic space! The gallery space (the Mezzanine) is housed in an old butter factory, and is located above an amazing store which sells live plants (including unique indoor plants grown using the Japanese art form Kokedama), handmade homewares, gifts, and small artworks. For those who haven’t visited, it’s well worth the trip up to Dayboro. We took the family up for the day during the exhibition, had a lovely morning looking at the Dayboro markets, and the kids were very impressed by the little lolly shop a few doors down from Entangle: Living Art!
I was thrilled to be able to participate in this exhibition alongside some amazingly talented artists, and was able to sell three paintings to a lovely lady who viewed them at the exhibition and contacted me afterwards to purchase.
Ipswich on a Palette Exhibition
In September I participated in another exhibition. This one had a unique concept – it was called ‘Ipswich on a Palette“, and invited artists to create a scene representing the city of Ipswich on a wooden artist’s palette. I chose to represent a Jacaranda tree – it’s one of my favourite trees and is very iconic to the area of Ipswich (even though it’s not a native plant!) Every year in Goodna there is a Jacaranda festival, and I just love seeing all the trees in bloom!
Toy to the World
Another project I’ve been working on is decorating a Popobe Bear for the Toy to the World charity exhibition. This exhibition has been running for several years, but this is the first time I’ve had a chance to participate. Creating my bear was fun and challenging! I am very proud of how he turned out, but I don’t think he compares to some of the other artists’ entries I’ve seen. It really is an amazing group of artists! All proceeds from the charity auction go to the Victorian AIDS council. Opening night for the exhibition is tonight, and the exhibition runs for 4 days. For those of you (like me!) who are unable to get to Victoria to see the bears in person, there will be an online charity auction held through Facebook. I strongly recommend you to check it out, because I’ve seen a sneak peek of some of the bears, and they are INCREDIBLE. Seriously proud to be involved in such an amazing exhibition alongside so many great artists, and for such a wonderful cause.
Apart from the projects mentioned above, what else have I been up to? Well, I’ve been working on a commission and a new series of works. More to come!
This week’s prompt over at Illustration Friday is ‘Hair’. This is the perfect opportunity to show you two of my newest paintings! Both of these paintings include figures with long, flowing hair – at least, that’s what I see!
As I explained on a previous blog post, I’ve been experimenting with a new abstract painting technique. I start with an image that is purely abstract – I work wet-on-wet on the paper, use lots of paint and water and allow the paint to ‘flow’ in the direction it wants to go (sometimes I help it along). I add textural elements such as gauze, and then I allow the first layer to dry. After it has dried, I start adding more layers, and then an image begins to form – almost like a Rorschach test! As the image begins to form, I help it along by adding in details with a fine brush. In the end, I find the painting isn’t so abstract anymore.
In this first painting, I saw a female figure, floating on her back in the water. I imagined her as some kind of sea goddess, and gave her long, flowing hair. My 3-year-old son still says it looks like a jellyfish though, and points out the ‘tentacles’! I like that about abstract art – people can see in it what they want to. We all bring something of ourselves to the art we view.
In the second image, I also saw figures in the water. This time, I saw two figures and imagined them having tails – so they became mermaids. I added some scales, and like the sea goddess, long flowing hair.
What do you see in the images? Do you see the figures that I see? Do you see a jellyfish like my son does, or do you see something else?
This is the first time I’ve been involved in an exhibition since before my daughter was born, and I think the theme fits perfectly with my painting style. Many of my paintings, especially my ‘family tree portraits’, feature hearts and convey feelings of belonging, love and connectedness.
I really enjoy being involved in exhibitions. Not only do they give me an opportunity to showcase my work, but they also allow me to see the work of others. My husband is staying home with the kids on Friday night for the opening, so this exhibition will also an opportunity for a kid-free night out!
If you enjoy my work, I really hope you’ll take this opportunity to come and see it in person. I do my best to scan or photograph artwork carefully, but seeing it in person really brings it to life. There are also 6 other artists showcasing their work, and from what I’ve seen of their work so far, I’m extremely honoured (and maybe a little intimidated!) to be showing my work alongside theirs.
I’ve never been good at meditating. Most of the time I have trouble switching my brain off to be able to sleep, let alone meditating. But I do find that creating art is a form of meditation for me, especially when I’m creating more intricate pieces and lots of little swirls. I get lost in the painting.
Two of my most recent painting are great examples of this.
For these two paintings, I was initially inspired by Linda Melvin’s abstract watercolours. I started working wet-on-wet and letting the paint flow and do its own thing. I also used gauze as a textural element, as she does with some of her work. But that’s where the similarities end.
As you can see, my work is very different to hers. In her tutorials, Linda talks about the importance of coming back in and enhancing an image after it dries. This is the stage at which I get carried away! For both of these paintings, I began to see a shape emerging from the abstract patterns – in one I saw a humanoid figure, and the other, a dragon-like shape. As I went in with my fine paintbrush to enhance the images, I accentuated the shapes I saw. In both cases, I did not know what the shape would be until the initial layers of paint dried. I used swirls and patterns to add details to the images.
I really enjoyed creating both of these paintings – I loved the way I could switch off my brain and get lost in the small details, and the way that an image emerged from the painting seemingly on its own. When I paint, I feel calm and peaceful, and it’s the closest thing I get to meditating.
This week’s topic over at Illustration Friday is ‘love’. I haven’t participated in one of these prompts in a really long time – I think the last one was back in January 2011 (and ironically, that post is all about how my new year’s resolution was to participate in prompts more often. Whoops.) I decided to participate this week because the topic is one that really suits my painting style.
One of my favourite things to do is represent people as trees, showing the relationships between the people using colour, size, spacing and other elements.
In one of my most recent paintings, I used two trees to represent the love of a couple. I represented the theme of ‘love’ in a variety of ways. Firstly, the trees themselves are shaped like hearts. You will also notice many hearts in the swirls of the leaves if you look closely. I painted the trees very close together, overlapping. I also deliberately allowed the paint to run and mix at the point where the trees touched – I wanted to convey the way that in a close relationship, people become part of one another. I used the a mix of the red and blue in the colours of the sky to also show this connection.
I’m having a competition over on my Facebook page, where you can win a $50 voucher to spend on any of my paintings. You can even use it to commission a brand new personalised painting! Supporters over on Patreon get a bonus 5 entries. I will draw the competition on Saturday 1st July. Best of luck!
Many people are looking for interesting art for their walls to represent their families. I myself have grand plans for a family feature wall in our next house.
I can create a work of art for you that represents your family in a unique way. In my family tree portraits, I represent the family using a number of my signature swirly trees.
In the portrait, I represent each parent in a different primary colour. I then represent the children as a secondary colour that is a blend of the two parents’ colours, to represent that the children are a blending of the two parents. I also use hearts to represent the love the family shares. I can do any variation on this theme you like, including creating a portrait for blended families with stepchildren. It is a great way to have an artwork on your wall that uniquely represents your family. These paintings can be created as anything from small watercolours on paper to large acrylic paintings on canvas.
Another way your family can be uniquely represented on your wall is in a painting like this:
In this painting, only a couple are represented – however, smaller birds could be added to represent children. Once again, a painting like this can be commissioned as anything from a small watercolour to a large canvas. I have plans to create a painting like this for my own family – but I think I might make the background more like this one:
If you’d like to commission a painting that represents your family in a unique way, please contact me!
I love painting in watercolours – it’s definitely my favourite medium. My watercolours are a bit unusual compared to many I’ve seen, as many of them are abstract or naive in style. I love making abstract watercolours because it gives me a chance to let the paint have a ‘mind of its own’.
Many of my favourite abstract watercolours are inspired by science, like my ‘Moons of Jupiter’ series:
Some more ‘space’ inspired works:
From the very big to the very small – some of my other abstract watercolours are inspired by microscopic images:
But I think my favourite overall is this one – it’s only a tiny painting, but it has a lot of detail:
I’ve been enjoying doing some paintings with lots of little details lately. The first is one I started a LONG time ago, but only finished recently, entitled ‘Growth’. This painting includes lots of little details, including some embroidered elements, which is a first for me.
The next two paintings were both inspired by ocean waves. One was done primarily with watercolours, with some ink drawing done afterwards. The other was inspired by zentangles, and I did the patterened sections with a sharpie first before adding the colour with watercolours later.
I’m not sure which one I like best yet, but I’m leaning towards the last one – what are your thoughts?
So I haven’t posted here in a while, for a lot of reasons – I haven’t had much time for creating since I had my kids, and I’ve had even less time for the more tedious aspect to having an art business: promotion. I’ve completed a few paintings since I last posted, but just didn’t get around to putting them up here. I’m also hoping for a long-overdue overhaul of this website, but I’ve decided not to wait until that’s done before I start getting organised again.
My latest painting is called DFTBA, and I think it’s very fitting that this is the beginning of my creative revival. I hope you like it!