Tag Archives: colours

Latest portrait 3: Inspired by Xenia Hausner’s work, “Steffi”…

Steffi, Acrylics on canvas, 61cm x 46cm

Steffi, Acrylics on canvas, 61cm x 46cm

Inspired by the work of Xenia Hausner, I have been playing with colours and loving this new way of working. 
 
 “Steffi” is painted in acrylics which I have found quite challenging being more familiar with oils, however it is certainly teaching me to work faster.   While I still love my oils and they are my first preference, in making the shift it has been great fun to play with colours in this medium given the flexibility created with the faster drying time.  
 
Was curious to be back on canvas again after painting on boards now for the last year or more.
 
Watch this space as I am keen to do more of this type of work and have another painting almost completed.  Love the colour and drama of it.
 
For more portraits, click here

A happy New Year…

New Year’s day began with painting and has each beautiful day since.  What better start to the New Year!  I have already completed another triptych in my “trunks” series and am on to my next project. 

I have been enjoying the healing power of painting and my latest “trunks” captures this all for me.  I had begun this project just prior to going into hospital in December and had prepared the canvasses with impasto.  On my return post-op they sat and looked at me, ghost gums, until I began to feel my strength returning and until one day I just knew that I needed to begin their painting and that in the process it would help my recovery.  So although feeling somewhat fragile and tender, I stood before this triptych and began to wash in some colours and as the turpsy mix dribbled and seeped its way into and down the canvas trunks, I could feel the blood running back into my veins.  Beautiful burnt sienna, permanent crimson, french ultramarine blue all of these transforming the ghost gums in front of my eyes and at the same time working their healing powers on me.  Away for the Christmas period, it was not until 1 January I was able to return to my trunks and to working into the colours, deepening their strength and richness, again enhancing on previous trunks in the series.  Pure joy!

The other delight on January 3 was to deliver a “surprise” portrait gift to my friend/lecturer/coach, Donna.  We met for breakfast at the Pavilion, Balmoral Beach, with her son and in this exquisite surrounding, I presented her with her gift.  I had said that I wanted to do so “face to face” unbeknown to her so I could see her face (when she saw hers!).  After the initial shock, she was then overwhelmed and I was able to share with her the story of “Donna”.  To my surprise and delight, Donna modestly said “it was better than real life” which was encouraging for me as my new portrait teacher had said that this was the first “rule” for portraiture.  And her son has given his stamp of approval…”Mum it really does look like you”.

Time for reflection and dreaming…

Having recently returned home from hospital, I am under strict doctor’s orders to do absolutely nothing for at least two weeks.  On first arriving home, I had forgotten that our carpet was being cleaned in my absence so I returned to find our home topsy-turvy with our lounge spilling into our dining room and my studio.  How often life reflects where you are at.  My whole body had been through a major upheaval with surgery and how befitting my surrounds seemed to me.  I had even painted the bottom of a canvas before leaving for hospital and had turned it upside down to dry while I was away, so that particular portrait was also staring at me upside down.

I could either fight my surrounds or succumb to them, and with so little energy I opted for the latter.  I was curious to see my world from a different view.  A lounge newly positioned facing our dining room wall allowed me to lie down in comfort and ponder the scene in front of me.  And in this case there were many.   Fortunately I have a number of completed canvasses  of varying moods, colours, and images and just before entering hospital I had changed all the paintings on this wall.  It was now filled with beautiful trees: triptychs, gentle, ethereal highland gums and rich golden gums.  I could now rest in their comforting energy and draw strength, at the same time observing where I had achieved what I had set out to do in each painting.   There were also a couple of portraits of dear friends smiling at me and reminding me of their friendship.

So while grounded by the specialist, it has been a time for reflection and dreaming.  Reflecting on the efforts over the past year and dreaming of new projects for the coming, at the same time with my body reminding me very much of the present.  I have been noticing and enjoying the difference a painting can make to a room, to a soul for had those paintings not been there, the wall would have left me quite deplete rising up blandly and abruptly in front of me, however with the highland gums, haunting beauty and others a sense of perspective, of distance and depth has stretched out before me.  

And it reminded me of a beautiful piece written by Leonardo Da Vinci, which I often think of around this time of year…

 

“Every now and then go away,

have a little relaxation,

for when you come back to your work

your judgement will be surer;

since to remain constantly at work

will cause you to lose power of judgement.

 

Go some distance away

 because the work appears smaller

and more of it can be taken in at a glance,

and a lack of harmony or proportion

is more readily seen.” 

 

Universal themes and communion…

It has been two weeks since my website launch and I have been heartened by the wonderful feedback I have received from those who have visited my site.  I appreciate the kind words and thoughts of those who have taken the time to share them with me.  

I was particularly touched by a woman who had read one of my “stories behind the paintings” and who had been moved to write to me and share a similar experience she had had to the one that I had experienced relating to “Orphan Rock”.  While hers wasn’t about a painting experience, what it showed me is when something is shared of a deep experience and when our vulnerability is opened, that universal themes are touched on and others find the courage to share their touching stories.  I see this as the real union in communion and the essence of communicating.  I am most grateful to the woman for the sharing of her story and do feel richer for the sharing.

Only one week until our exhibition and I have been busy with last minute preparations.  All very exciting.   This time remembering to photograph my work, as I realise now that over the past I have let pieces go without photographing them.  I like to be able to keep a record of my work and see how it has developed over time, including the subject matter, my style, the colours and what I have been drawn to. 

And, much to my joy, I have also been painting.