Category Archives: Earlier Artwork

A Question of Style

Hydrangea 2

Hydrangea 2

I have been pondering on what my style is and what is style and how important is it.

It has been a very busy few weeks, but so interesting.  I have been joining in the fun of my class with the Journalling Girls at Mermaid Circus which has been a lot of fun.  There have been loads of inspirational videos to download for this on-line course and a Facebook group where the members of the group have been posting examples of their work.  The Melbourne members of the group even got together to have a catch up in person and some art supply shopping.

While journalling is not something that I  usually do, (though I did have my journal for my trip to France last year.  Big sigh, to think I was in Sancerre this time last year) I have found this course really fascinating and insightful in other ways.


One of the best things from the course is when Jane Davenport and Teesha Moore, both spoke about style, and how you create your own style.  When I was doing art in high school and uni in the early eighties my lecturers where always on us to create meaningful art and develop a style.  While many of my fellow students had robust political ideas which influenced their art, I did not and began to feel that my art was not serious or worthy because of it and it really stifled me in what I did.  I also wanted to try lots of different kinds of art work and medium and felt because I varied it so much that I could not develop a style of work.  Although I worked my way through these issues they were still in the back of mind.


Both Jane and Teesha tell their students don’t worry about style, you naturally have a style and it will always come out, especially when you let go and just create.  How you make marks, the colour that you choose and the mediums that you use are all part of your style and you cannot but have a style when making these decisions.  Such a simple insight was so liberating for me, I knew that I had developed a style, but still the old ghosts hang around from the past to haunt you, but this one I have now let go and I feel freer in my art practice which can only be good.

So you never know what you are going to learn about when you do a course, but you always learn something and it just may not be what you thought.  Of course when I go back through my different art work that I have posted to this blog, maybe it is more than one style, and that is also ok.


My Relief Printing course has started and I will share some of the work I am doing in that next week.


Welshmans Reef Landscape 2 Oil Pastel

Here is another of my earlier works.  I painteded it around the same time as the Rosemary work, when I was experimenting with oil pastels.  It is a landscape of where I used to live in Central Victoria near Castlemaine.  It is a small painting about A2.

I enjoy this painting’s simplicity, just three main colours of green, blue and white.  It was painted on a clear autumn morning, when the sharp frosts seem to make the colours (as well as everything else) clear and sharp.

Taking Stocks

Taking Stocks

This is another of my earlier oil pastel works in the same series as Rosemary Twigs and Magnolia.  This is the most abstract work that I have done, which makes me fond of it.

I am wanting to push my work further away from realism.  While I admire highly realistic work, I would rather but more of my vision and how I see and interpret the object into my work.  I also like pushing coloured pencils into other areas as they are mostly seen as a medium for the realistic work.


Another of my earlier works.  It was done at the same time as the Rosemary.  It is from a photo I took of an amazing Magnolia tree while I was holidaying in New Zealand.  It is A1 size done in oil pastels.

Sprigs of Rosemary

Sprigs of Rosemary   Oil Pastel A1 size

This is one of my earlier works.  It is from a series of oil pastel works that I did in the early 2000.  I had not worked with oil pastels before and had a lot of fun with these works.  It is not so different from my pencil work as they are a build up of layers.  With the oil pastels I would add a layer of pastel then blend it together with turps then add another layer on top.  I loved the depth of colour this gave me and it was interesting to work with oil pastel as you had to work in a bolder manner as I was not familiar enough with the medium to gain much fine detail.

This is one of my favourite works.  I really struggled with the composition as it is just a mass of rosemary, but I like how it worked out.

Out from the hidden portfolio

I have finally got around to scanning a lot of my artwork that has up to this time been sitting in my portfolio at home.  It is interesting as I have kept most of my drawing since I was in high school and very few people have ever seen my work.  I am proud of most of my work, but just a little shy of showing it.  This may surprise some as I am not usually known as a shy or private person.  My art has been a separate part of my life, in fact not many people know that I do any artwork.

I have found the term ‘Artist’ a little overused and abused.  Some too readily take on the term artist and are busy talking about being creative without the discipline or hard work it takes to refine those skills into real quality.    I really struggle with the ‘A’ word and seldom if ever used to refer to myself as such.  As I have done little consistent work over the years I did not feel that I qualified for the title, it was such a small part of my life (though important) I was not easy in calling myself such.  I am gaining more ease with the term in the last few years and am comfortable with my blog name occasional artist.

So this year I am determined to make claim on the Artist term.   I am going to put it out there for the whole world to see and hold my breath and find out what happens.  But is my work good enough? As few people have seen it, it is a little hard to ascertain. I think it has merit and when I look around at galleries etc, I believe it is not too far off the mark.  My gaol is to hold an exhibition and start selling my work, but the journey has only just begun.

As I finish the scans they will go up on my Gallery and I will share them with you.  Be gentle but if you have time for feedback I would be grateful.