Thursday, April 25, 2013


I have had a lovely day today, a day when I have made a commitment to myself to paint, to experiment, to follow the whim of the moment. And this I have done....and the day isn't over yet!
Recently I discovered Jean Haines and this wonderful book, Atmospheric Conditions. She has amazing use of colour, freedom and excitement in her paintings. I absolutely love her work, her subjects and her hints of more. I have always felt I have needed to loosen up with my paintings and have been endeavouring to do so. Jean adds another dimension for me. Using colours that I can't see, but when she uses them they bring all the excitement and freshness so that I just want to keep looking at them....what else am I able to see!
Jean is coming to Australia soon but her workshops are booked the time I knew about her, the workshops were booked. I'm hoping she will return in the future and it might be possible to be amongst the attendees, here's hoping!
So this is my work today, a long way to go but can already see a freshness that wasn't there...perhaps! Maybe it is wishful thinking!
Also I think I have nearly all my favourite bloggers back on my sidebar. If you can't see your blog and know that it has been please forgive me and let me know. Sometimes my senior's moments take over!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


I've been feeling a bit bedraggled today, not sure what will make me zing, yes, I meant to say zing. So this morning I toddled into the garden, weeded and fed the chooks with some newly pulled green grass, picked some roses and then it was lunch.
I find I have lost my favourite reads from the sidebar which upsets me...and now I am missing all the news from theses lovely people. I'll give it a few days and hopefully the gremlins will sort things out or I will seek some help from one of my helpers.
I didn't feel like painting but went into my playroom... And began sorting out my paints, putting dollops of paint into my stay wet palette. I'm so often too precious about putting too much paint out, I don't want to waste the paint, making it last and of course it shows, not enough paint being used.
I had picked some lovely Angel Face roses this morning and had these beside me as I worked. Their scent is delicious, quite spicey and so sweet. My brother who died many years ago, had given me this rose for one Christmas and it has come with us each time we have moved house. I now have two, the second from a cutting and this year plan to strike some more. Painting just wasn't for me today but decided to sketch these roses.....the paints were sitting there and a wash just 'happened'. The whole exercise probably took twenty minutes, at the most. It really has shown me that I don't need a lot of time to paint, it only needs to happen!
Back to my roses, I have always loved having flowers of some sort in the house, a tiny bunch or even one special flower. It could be a bunch of something or just the raggletaggle bits in winter when there seems to be nothing in the garden ....when actually there is. I read one day about someone always having fresh flowers in their work space and I love the idea. There are often flowers on my kitchen bench or window sill. Flowers are a wonderful connection for me to nature, to my family including those that aren't with me any more.


When I am cutting watercolour paper to size with a scalpel and a steel ruler, the ruler often slips as I cut, especially with a full sized sheet. I just can't seem to hold the ruler firmly enough, keep everything in position. One of those occasions three pairs of hands would be helpful...or handy! Then I had a break through...maybe others have been doing this for years but not this little bunny! I put masking tape along the ruler, sticking it to the paper and bingo it worked beautifully! The ruler stayed in place and I was able to cut the full length of the paper.
Masking tape can be a good friend but sometimes a bad enemy. I use it to stick my watercolour paper onto an acrylic board when I am painting. If I leave the masking tape there for too long, it tends to bring some of the surface paper off, ruining the 'mount'. Well, my second hint is to heat the tape with a hair dryer and then carefully peel off the tape while it is warm, it seems to melt the sticky enough to let go, again others may have known this but it is a new idea for me.
I am so enjoying this Autumn, the different light, the cooler nights...and days, and of course the colours appearing in the trees. The morning light photos were taken one morning, padding out into the garden in bare feet and pyjamas to get the best shot. The grass was covered with diamonds....dew.... fairly chilly on the toes but worth it! And seeing the diamond laden grass!

Sunday, April 21, 2013


It,was the big one who said this morning, 'look at the perfection of nature as he held the open lemon in his hand.
He set me thinking.....

Friday, April 19, 2013


I'm sad for America. There seem to have been so many tragedies..all the shootings, poor Boston and now West. When will it stop. No violence. Just respect for one another. No matter the colour, the faith, the race.
Later.... I am ironing and have just been listening to the radio...hearing of more trouble in Boston. It seems as though a policeman has been killed and the radio station is trying to find out more. What is happening to our world.
I had also been thinking of all the other areas in the world that are going though chaos. We think of the countries we know best but there are so many more trouble spots. Aggression, evil acts, natural disasters. It is not just America's suffering. So many other countries are suffering too.
Again I ask, what is happening to our beautiful world.

Saturday, April 13, 2013


I haven't had as much time as I would have liked painting and drawing this week, probably not too much either next week as I am going to Melbourne for two nights. Fun things too, including a pub lunch with a group of friends to celebrate two birthdays. This group always lunches for birthdays and the only presents allowed are op-shop purchases. this causes a great deal of hilarity as you can imagine! My presents are marble eggs, made in Italy...the label was still there, for one dollar each! The presents are either kept or donated back to the op-shop...good fun!
The garden has been calling me as well. I'm learning to balance the gardening better..I need to! Once I start I do find it hard to stop...just another bit, and another. By this time my bucket of energy has been used up and there is nothing left for the rest of the day

As for the painting...I have finished the pomegranates, probably should have finished sooner than I did. I am just about to start another, just sorting my mind out to get it better this time. I am also drawing but so carefully that it just looks stilted. So have been drawing, hearing the words of a dear artist friend, more looking, less drawing. Keeping the pencil on the paper and looking at the subject.
I sometimes like to 'scribble draw', using a black pen. I have tended to think it isn't proper drawing, that I can draw like this because I can't draw 'properly'. The gum tree sketch is just that... A 'scribble drawing' with paint washed across. It is only a sketch but I like the looseness so it was a good exercise for me.

I received a parcel a few days ago, two things I had ordered on line and forgotten about. it seemed like a present, a present to make me smile...I guess you could say I had given myself!

A new ironing board cover...

and...a spider web catcher!
I have to be happy using these don't I!

Monday, April 8, 2013


This morning I woke to the most beautiful choir singing to me, just me! there were more than I can show you, maybe 5 or 6 more but I couldn't get around the corner to get them in a photo. As soon a sthey saw/heard me they were off in a flurry. What a way to start the day!
My blog today was to be about the flowers I picked yesterday, and the vases....

 Sometimes a jar is just right....this time for some late Elena roses and a large coffee jar!

 My divinely scented double Delight in a white jug I found in NZ

And a vase with a rose I think may be Bonica, also very scented.
So any container may be just perfect, how I feel at the time is what is important....and of course the ROSE! Every time I walk past my Double Delight I get the best whiff, I'm sure it helps me get through the day! 

And an Elena rose in the morning light this morning.
Maybe God made dogs AND roses for the warmth they spread through the world!
Have a lovely Autumn day....or Spring day.

Sunday, April 7, 2013


Unfinished, maybe an update later.

Saturday, April 6, 2013


A lovely day today. Perfect temperature again. Autumn is so beautiful with the milder days and cooler nights. Gardening this morning and planted,some seeds, Asian greens and some kale. I keep hearing about the qualities of kale and will have to find some good ways to cook it. As the big one would say it is a bit heavy duty! Meaning a bit strong and maybe too healthy. We'll see.
At the back of my mind I had been thinking of pomegranates again and decided to be a bit more adventurous. And so I have begun.....more tomorrow hopefully!

Friday, April 5, 2013


Easter is over, family back at home and we have quietened down. I was expecting a friend this afternoon to pick some flowers for the church and so we had a cleanup. Great excuse to have a tidy and a surface clean! She then rang to say she wasn't coming, much as I was sorry not to see her, it did give me more time with my paints. By the time she did ring I had also cleaned up the weeds etc that had been pulled out and left, even sweeping where I had raked! And of course managed to fit in a bit of transplanting and watering. Gardens are addictive, just don't have the energy I need for all I want to do.
I did say to the big one that my friends' houses all seem so neat, tidy and clean compared to ours. But then they don't have two big dogs who live inside. They don't have a golden retriever who sheds hair if you look at him. And they don't try to paint and crochet or even knit. They don't have the size family as we have and so don't have the comings and goings we have. So you can imagine the different lifestyles and homes we have! Luckily they all seem to enjoy coming here as I enjoy having them. I just wish I were more organised but suppose that will never happen!
Two paintings, poppies and then pomegranates from the garden. There have been lots of blogs from the other side of the world with poppies, bright and cheerful. Well, I loved the idea so began on Wednesday, a total failure but as I had used some 300 gm Arches paper I scrubbed, literally, as much as I could off and returned to it yesterday when everyone had gone. The colour that was left from the day before gave me a good start and off I went. I'm reasonably happy with it and will do some more.
Then I found these three pomegranates on the tree. Gorgeous colours and only one having been discovered by the birds. So good to have something from one's own garden to paint. I'm pleased with this attempt and will do more studies over the next few days.
I can't believe it is the weekend, where does the time go?!