Monday, 16 January 2017

My abstract mixed media art

Early this month I went to the Summer Art Experience in Canberra.  It was a 5 day summer school run by the Artists Society of Canberra.  Tracey Creighton was the teacher of my class called "Organic Abstracts."  She was a great teacher and pushed us, so it was a challenging time and we were all exhausted by the end of each day - making gelli prints, using binder medium for collage, acrylic paint, string, cardboard - anything and everything to make our abstracts on canvases.  Between the layers we ran outside to dry layers!

We began with a series of exercises on three small canvases using one colour and black and white.  We kept turning them around to see how they went togther .  Here is my result

Abstract Mixed Media

Using a larger canvas 60 x 60cm  we had the theme "Circles and Lines".  We had to keep to the same colour we had used in the exercises but could add either a complementary colour or an analagous one.  And of course these could be mixed.  I added red-gold which I love as a contrast.  Some more gelli printing gave me plenty for collage and layering but I had trouble making it unified until I glued rice paper over much of the work, scratched some away and added details in pen/paint.  Here is the result

Abstract Mixed Media

Another 60 x 60cm canvas was used to paint several layers, scratching them back etc. We divided the canvas into 4 and could use similar colours to the last one.  I added red for the big circle as I always like bright colours!  We also learnt about the use of apps such as "Diana app" to contribute to our art.  But we didn't actually use them in the class as there was no wifi available and not everyone had a smart phone.  But the demo showed what could be done. and sure gave some inspiration.

Abstract Mixed Media

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

My book on Vietnam

Here is another of my photo books which I make from scanning my colour slides from my travels.  Click on the cover picture to access the link to Blurb. I hope you enjoy looking at the book - use fullscreen mode so the text can be read easily.

Friday, 25 November 2016

Semi-abstract paintings

For some time I have been wanting to develop a somewhat different painting style.  This semester I was doing a course with Malcolm Utley,  a Canberra painter who encouraged the class to try new ideas.  These paintings are the result.  I like some more than others, and found it quite challenging as there was no copying from photos - it was all interpretation.  It was refreshing to get away from realism as photography gives me that.

I suspect most people will not like these paintings so don't feel you have to make positive comments. I'm just putting them up as the art I am doing.

Abstract paintings 

This was one of the early small canvases (20x20cm) when I was playing around with lines, shapes and transparent acrylic paints used as glazes.

Semi-abstract paintings

I have always loved colour and design so I interpreted a landscape photograph from the Flinders Ranges to show these.  I think this has been the most successful so far.


Last May I visited Oman and did a trip by 4 wheel drive through the sand dune country.  This is my interpretation of this trip.


I made this painting of rocks in Namibia using a palette knife.  It was a lot of fun to do as colour and texture were the only real concerns.  It also did not take too long to paint.


I have a photograph of a large escarpment in the Grampian Mountains in western Victoria.  I have used this photo before and hoped to show this in an interesting way but I'm not especially happy with it.  I was stressing the sandstone layers in the rocks, and the darker areas in brown squares with trees etc in the front.  The sky seemed boring with no centre of interest so I put some angels in it!!

Friday, 28 October 2016

My garden in spring

It has been a long time since I posted photos of my garden but decided now is the time as I have walked around in the last couple of weeks and taken lots of photos.  With a wetter than usual winter many are flowering well but of course the weeds are growing too and my mobility is so poor that I have had to have someone in to do some gardening for me.  There is still a lot to do.

Monty is near the rhododendrons in this photo.

Monty, my Pomeranian in the garden

My garden in spring

My garden in spring

My garden in spring

My garden in spring

My garden in spring

My garden in spring

My garden in spring

My garden in spring

My garden in spring

My garden in spring

My garden in spring

My garden in spring

My garden in spring

My garden in spring

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Sunday, 24 July 2016

A Class Act - art exhibition

Many of you know I have been doing art classes on and off for several years with Michael Winters at the Strathnairn Homestead Arts Centre on the outskirts of Canberra.  Last year it was proposed that we have an art exhibition showing some of the work of Michael's former students.  30 of us rose to the challenge and Michael asked the Centre for Continuing Education at the Australian National University to organise it.  His classes are the only off-campus ones run through the CCE. Others are at ANU Art School where parking is difficult and there is no bush environment.

It was decided to use the old woolshed at Strathnairn which had been somewhat restored and was up the hill behind the main building. Arrangements were made to put up several partition walls for hanging and last Sunday we all brought 5 artworks that had been made in the last 4 years in one of Michael's many semester classes.  We only expected to have one or two each hung but yesterday, which was the opening, we found that all our work was up. Great!

Here is the invitation.  Bronwyn King took the photo from a recent class.

We all agreed the exhibition looked great, surpassing our expectations.  The next three photos were taken at the opening.  Michael gave an excellent speech and was in full flight with others, including me in the mauve jumper.  I was with family members David and Kara Martin from Sydney.  The exhibition was very successful and very colourful, showing off our various styles and reflections of some of the famous artists we had studied.  Two of my paintings are in these pictures.  I think all are somewhere on this blog over the last four or so years. The huge paintings on multiple canvases put together are still on my walls at home! A few brave people brought theirs.  I will take more photos when I am on duty minding the exhibition in the next three weeks.

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Strathnairn Squares Exhibition

I have an entry in this exhibition which is on every year.  All entries are on a small canvas 30 x 30cm.  I put one of my linocuts on the canvas.  Usually I make a collage.

I am in another exhibition in the old woolshed later this month. Details later.



The 2016 SQUARES People’s Choice Exhibition is Open for Voting Now!

The Woolshed Gallery | Strathnairn Arts Gallery
The Woolshed Gallery | Strathnairn Arts Gallery
Vote Early Vote Often!
With so many fantastic entries – it may take  more then one visit to the Gallery to choose a favourite!

With nearly 100 entries this year – it is a great reason to visit Strathnairn Gallery this weekend!
As always, the Cafe is open, so make a great day out and have lunch after you visit the SQUARES.
The Shop at Strathnairn Arts Gallery is open Thursday to Sunday, 10am to 4pm, the Juice Cafe situated within Strathnairn Arts Gallery is open Thurs 10 – 4; Fri 10 – 8; Sat 8.30 – 8; and Sun 8.30 – 4.
To reserve your table please phone the Cafe direct on 0410 270 663  Walk-ins are always welcome, but bookings are highly recommended to ensure you don’t miss out!

Friday, 10 June 2016

Sicily April 2016

This was a trip I did with others from my art group.  I had seen other parts of Italy and had always wanted to go to Sicily where Val and I were headed in 1973 but unfortunately were robbed and had to return to Rome to get a passport.

We briefly stayed in Catania after our flight before joining the small group in Ortegia (part of  Syracuse) on the Art Incontro trip.   We stayed in apartments and spent a lot of time sightseeing, visiting galleries & museums and doing printmaking - lino, woodcut and collagraph.  And some small artists' books.

I made some slideshows of my photos and decided to try and put them on my blog but soon found I had to first put them on You Tube.  So you can see them there or on this blog.  I posted the first two a few days ago and here is the larger of the three slideshows which I have saved as a video.

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Slideshows of Abu Dhabi and Oman travels in April 2016

This is my first attempt to post my slideshows on You Tube and then to this blog.  It has taken a lot of trial and error but I think I have got it to work.  Watch them in fullscreen (little square with arrows) as the images are too small as set out here.

Abu Dhabi  was only a  night and day stopover mainly to see the huge mosque and carpet. There were three of us on our way to Sicily - Ann, Robyn and me.

Oman was a five day trip on the way home from Sicily where Ann and I spent nearly three weeks doing art and sightseeing.  We met an American woman at our first hotel and shared a rental car with her to see some of the country, especially the sand dunes which were stunning.