Monthly Archives: December 2012

Picture Revisted for Christmas

Looking down on Sancerre

Looking down on Sancerre

Grace one of the lovely people I met on my trip to France earlier in the year asked me to paint a picture from my journal for her Mum (who I also met) for Christmas.  What an honour and what a lovely gift idea.

I wanted to do Looking down on Sancerre, as it was taken from a photo that Grace took after I had left.  I have never re-painted a picture before and I was nervous about it.  But I finally took the plunge and thought this would be a good occasion to use some of the paper I found in my oh so favourite French Art Shop Sennelier.  (Yes it has been sitting in the paper portfolio, waiting for a special occasion to be used, mostly it just get taken out, admired, petted and put back as being too special to use).

After much nervous waiting, thinking the picture had been lost in the post somewhere between Australia and Florida, when I got a lovely email from Tomi with a photo of my picture framed and hanging on her wall.  I can’t tell you how happy that made me, to see one of my paintings hanging on a friends wall so far away.  That bit of paper had travelled so far from its origins in Thailand, to France then to Australia and finally to America, it should get frequent flyer points.

Here is the original painting, I think I have captured its freshness, while giving it a little bit of polish.

Sancerre

Sancerre

 

 

 

Karen

My Latest Love (in Art Materials)

Sennelier Inks

Sennelier Inks

Santa was very clever this year (well really my brother and sister-in-law took the none to subtle hint) and I received a bunch of lovely Sennelier Inks for Christmas this year.  Oh bliss and many bright, shiny, colourful things.  Actually it was an Artistic Christmas with my sister, niece and nephew giving me many A1 Plastic sleeves to protect my completed art work. (not sure if they are dog proof.  See August Post)

It is ironic that when I visited Sennelier Art Store in Paris in May (See Paris Art Shop May), I did not know about their inks.  It was not until I did a drawing class in November that I found out about these fabulous inks.  They are a traditional shellac based ink with a transparent satin finish, with colours that just glow.  They blend and dilute beautifully and when put on neat they even have a slight shine to them.

Sennelier Inks

Sennelier Inks

I am thinking of using them for the backgrounds for the pencil drawings as well as with black ink outlines.  So much opportunity, don’t you just love new art materials, they are such an inspiration.

Karen

Merry Christmas

Australian Native Swag

Australian Native Swag

It is the morning of Christmas Eve and I am writing this blog before I get going for the day, still some baking and last minute shopping to do.  It is Christmas in Australia and that means it is hot. Yesterday was 38c (100f) and it didn’t get below 28c (82f) last night.  The cool change is due sometime this morning so it will be cooler for Christmas.

We are having a mixture of traditional and typical Australian Christmas fare.  There will be turkey, ham and plum pudding, but also seafood and ice-cream.  We will be drinking Champagne and mango daiquiri, plus some of our great Australian wines.

I love Christmas and the excitement is building in the house.  It smells of pine from the Christmas tree, shortbread baking and there is the rustle of presents being wrapped.  The dogs are excited, but they are not sure why and getting under everybody’s feet.

I hope all of my readers have a lovely Christmas wherever you are, however you celebrate and your day is as fun and full of family love as I know mine will be.

Australian Christmas Wreath by Matthew-Watt

Australian Christmas Wreath by Matthew-Watt

I had to share this picture with you, it is our native parrots who formed themselves into a Christmas wreath while eating some seed.

Karen

Hollyhocks

Hollyhoks

Hollyhoks

These are Hollyhocks that I grew in  my garden a few years ago.  I took a number of photos of them as I love the way the flowers are so cavernous when you look at them close up.  They seem to go back for ever with the lovely spotted trail to follow.  Two years ago I started this drawing, just in coloured pencils, but it was taking so long to get the colour laid down dense enough that I gave up and it has been hiding in my portfolio ever since.

I was looking through some of my old work the other day and decided it was time to complete some of the unfinished works.  So I took the brave step of painting over the pencil and restarting it.  So glad I did, with the underpainting it went quickly and smoothly although it is a large work A2 size again.  I have not done such large areas of shading before and it has a more painterly feel than some of my other works, though of the same size are made up of smaller shapes.

It is on the same soft mystery paper as Vibernum, I will have to take it to the art shop to find out what it is, I really enjoyed working on it.

Karen

What is inspiring me – Cressida Campbell

Paperbarks

Paperbarks

Cressida Campbell is an Australian artist who does the most beautiful wood block prints.  She has been producing art for many years, but I have only just discovered her work.  Each artwork is carved from a piece of plywood using a small engraving tool after a detailed drawing straight onto the wood. After the carving is complete watercolour paint is applied, in two layers, to each area, the colour is freshened up and a single impression is made – a mirror image of the carving.

Nasturtiums

Nasturtiums

I love her choice of subject matter, she has done a range of Australian natives, still life flowers, interior scenes and kitchen still life.  She has taken the ordinary and shown it to us as something special.  Her clear and muted colours are beautiful and there is a lyrical quality to her work that I love.

Margaret Prestons Home

I have saved a range of her images and am using them as my background on the computer, so while at work I can contemplate each picture as my slide show of her paintings slowly changes through the day.  It may not do wonders for my work productivity, but it keeps me inspired all day.

Olive Oli and Fennel

Olive Oil and Fennel

Xanthorrea, 2001

I hope these inspire you as much as they have done me.

Karen

Grevillia 4

Grevillea 4

Grevillea 4

A few weeks ago I went to the Australian Garden, which is part of the  Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, located in Cranbourne, a recently established garden which features Australian Native Plants.  It was really beautiful with great ideas on how to use Australian Natives in the garden.  While still a very young garden it was well worth seeing.

Lily Pad Bridge

Lily Pad Bridge

Display Garden

Display Garden

Needless to say I took a lot of photos of all the gorgeous flowers, and have a great store of images I want to paint.  You will see some in the coming weeks/months.

For my first image I choose another Grevillea. I really love the composition of this image, the colour of the leaves and the bizarre shapes of the Grevillea flowers still intrigue me.  This is another A2 size painting, I do love working at this size.

Karen