Tag Archives: portraits

Portraits of Italy…from a happy client

Paintings from La Serenissima exhibition in client homeAn image from a happy client of her new paintings in her home…these were some of the “portraits of Italy” from my recent “La Serenissima” Exhibition at Mamma Mia India, North Bondi.

To see more of these works that are still available, visit the “For the love of Italy” Exhibition now showing at Yuga Café & Gallery, 172 St Johns Road, Glebe.  Exhibition runs until 18 May.

Cherry Hood Workshop…May 2013

Have just signed up for Archibald prize-winning artist, Cherry Hood’s workshop in Towrang May this year.  After so many “portraits of Venice” painted recently for two upcoming exhibitions, I am looking forward to some “portraits of people”!

Artist, Cherry Hood, and her studio in Towrang.

Artist, Cherry Hood, and her studio in Towrang.

So what does a portrait artist give for Christmas?…

Well you will have to wait and see! 

Although it has been a while since my previous artist diary note, I have been busy working on a couple of portraits for Christmas gifts and will upload these in the New Year once they have been given.  Always a delight to see the response or in once case, as it is remote, to hear about it.  

Have a happy Christmas and images to follow in the New Year! 

Best wishes, Marion


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.

Difficult pleasure…abstract fun

Having recently returned from visiting family in Victoria and a challenging time trying to work through arrangements for aging parents to establish the best care for them in the circumstances, I was relieved to seek refuge in my art class.  I was in definite need of some art as therapy.  Too exhausted to even think of lugging canvas and paints to class, and to stand and create, I chose to sink into a chair and just doodle. 

My sister and her husband are building a new home and I offered to do a painting for them.  She is keen on abstracts so with that in mind I began browsing through various magazines and art books allowing myself to do some research and see if anything sparked an interest.  After some time, some shapes in one image caught my eye and I started to just play with them.  Not experienced in abstracts, I welcomed some gentle guidance from my teacher on how I could work up the image and using pastels began to play with colours.  Perfect.  Just what I needed.  Whether this would ultimately end up the painting for my sister, for now I just wanted to experience the process.

 A week later  I returned to class, this time with canvas, paints and renewed energy and enthusiasm to take my mock up and transform it onto canvas.  I had already prepared the surface by building it up with impasto.  And so began my “Difficult pleasure” as Brett Whiteley had once described painting, or creating art.  Moving into the abstract area was challenging me and yet at the same time, it was great fun.  All the more so given my recent work in portraits and the precision required there.  While the painting still needed to work, to have balance and all the elements required of a good painting, there was also quite a lot of freedom particularly in the process of rendering this painting.  To see the outcome of my “difficult pleasure” or “abstract fun” visit my new Abstract gallery and “Sea Bed”.  This is what flowed from a day that began with some old fashioned doodling.

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.”