Tag Archives: joy

Artist at play…another puppy



I couldn’t resist some further play, when a friend of mine, Jo, recently showed me some photos of her latest addition to her family.  Very cute.  Another puppy… “Jet”.
As an animal lover, pets are so important in a family.   While we lost our beautiful dog, Lucy, just over a year ago, we still have a cat, a rabbit and two chooks.  Our life is richer for their presence and so it is a joy for me to do portraits of these loved ones as well!
Playing with the charcoal, pastels, the watercolours and the coloured paper is also all a bit of fun!
To see more portrait drawings, click here.

Artist at play…little boy with a puppy

Little boy and his puppy

Little boy and his puppy


I had been searching through my mother’s photos on my last visit to Victoria hoping to find a couple of images, only to discover we had scanned them some time ago and they were on our computer.  Taken on her “box brownie” camera, they were of my brother when he was a little boy.

As we head off to Victoria tomorrow for my Mother’s 80th, I am excited to be giving not only Mum’s portrait but also a surprise for my brother, Graeme.  I do hope he likes it!  I can see his son, Jason, in this image…
To see other recent drawings click on this link.

Inspired by Rosetti: Girl with Red Hair…

Inspired by Rosetti:  Girl with Red Hair

Inspired by Rosetti: Girl with Red Hair

This painting was inspired by the work of  Dante Gabriel Rosetti and our beautiful new model, Laura.  I loved her long red hair and chose to limit my palette to terra rosa, raw umber and a touch of naples yellow.  I wanted to capture the timeless, classical beauty of Laura.  It is such a joy to paint from life and I loved what was inspired in this painting session.

Click here to see more portraits.

What began as a portrait of two…

As a special gift for my Mum’s 80th birthday in January, I decided to do a portrait for her from a photo taken of her and Dad at Mum’s last birthday.   With elderly parents, and my father’s health declining, I really wanted to capture this moment for her in a very special painting. 

I have been working on the painting now for the last couple of months and what began as a portrait of two has been extended to a portrait of eight! In the background, set out on their sideboard, I have added other family portraits along with vases of Mum’s beautiful roses.  Initially I was challenged by the idea of painting two portraits in the one painting, however now the bar has been raised to a new level and I am so glad I took up the challenge.   I know that Mum will love this painting, that it will bring a lot of joy to her and it has already become a very special family treasure.    

And as my journey as an artist has found its way, I am just so happy that I have pursued developing my portraiture skills as it means so much to me to be able to create this painting for my Mum.

Exhibitions and resilience building…

Although it has been some months since my last diary update, life as an artist just gets busier.  Painting is my joy however there are all the other aspects that go with the the territory; preparing for and entering exhibitions, tracking paintings and timeframes, deliveries, pick ups are all part of what is required and yet at the same time managing your energy and emotions in the process.   While you may be selected for some exhibitions, then there are the rejections and if there is one thing you need as an artist apart from persistence, is resilience.

Flicking through the Sunday papers this weekend, I was interested to read an article about Tom Keneally on donating his personal library of 2,500 books to the Sydney Mechanics School of Arts (The Sun-Herald page 18).  Apparently the publication of his first novel “The Place at Whitton” supposedly “saved his life”.  Keneally is quoted as saying “I think if that book hadn’t been published I might have become a psychiatric patient or a drunk or a homeless person in time.”  Whether a painter, writer, musician or any creative artist, the moment you put yourself and your work (not always easy to separate!) out in the public arena, then it is a real test of your resilience in the face of rejection.  

In my case, I will continue to paint, to develop my skills, build my resilience and for those exhibitions I have missed out on, will have another attempt next year!

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.