Discover for yourself how easy & enjoyable painting can be !

..... as you come exploring ART materials and ART techniques with me.

30 April 2010


Here is the final image of the Eastern Yellow Robins in Bouganvillia for the dvd "Welcome to My Garden".  If you compare it to the first 2 images you will see there is a noticable colour change. This is because I decided that I wanted to stick to the limited palette I had used in the acrylic paintings. No problem I thought, I have taught students to mix green and purple with their pastels before. Anyway I did a practice with the butterfly picture. That was all good until I got to the tree trunk....then...O.M.G...I haven't made brown before!! Now what do I do? Compromise and introduce a stick of brown pastel? No time to practice now...I was shooting film and the painting was almost finished! NO! JUST DO IT! Just goes to show.....You CAN mix brown with soft pastel and I think I like it better than the browns on the other versions of the painting!

19 April 2010


Today I have been practicing Magpies to add the finishing touches to the "Welcome to My Garden" paintings. Next time you see me demonstrating a magpie and you think "wow I wish I was gifted to be able to paint them like that" just remember it's not really the gift - practice makes perfect.

15 April 2010


I am working on the pastel robin lesson for the "Welcome to my Garden" dvd today.
This is my 2nd image  I have added a 2nd bird and if you compare it to the previous paining I did last month you'll notice I have altered the background a little. This is due to the fact that I found some footage that I had forgotten I had even taken of the sunlight glowing through the foliage and glistening on the waterdrops. In the previous painting I had been working from imagination and memory - boy was I happy when I actually found I had some reference material.

13 April 2010

Thank God for facebook.....I have discovered that if I concentrate hard enough and hold my tongue just right I can make photo albums and add videos and all fairly quickly. Now Blogger and Youtube, well, that is a bit different. Just when I think I have it all figured out "it" changes. All this trying to keep up with technology is cutting into my painting time. Any way that is probably enough complaining for one morning besides there is a kookaburra outside the kitchen window who has been hopping from one piece of the kids playground equipment to the other and now he is in the closest tree just asking for a he's gone....yes he is back.

11 April 2010


This beautiful Palomino lives on the property next door to me. The neighbours tell me he is 27 years old and was sent to their place to retire. He caught my eye when he first moved there last year and  I took loads of photos of him for painting reference. I love horses and am especially partial to Palominos. Despite his obvious beauty, getting good portrait worthy shots was not an easy task.....Due to his age, he is very docile which makes it difficult to catch him looking interested in anything. I had to sneak up without letting him see me, have my camera already turned on and zoomed, and then jump out from behind the tree or fence post and take the shot before he recognized who I was. I had about 5 seconds of good pose before he would completely lose interest in me and go back to grazing or sleeping. And if that was not challenge enough, his paddock mate was an inquizative youngster who wanted to be the star of the photos and would continually get between me and the palomino.Still perseverance paid off, I just kept going back morning and evening (in the middle of the day the sunlight is too strong for good photos) day after day and after a few weeks I had collected enough shots to give me a reasonlable portfolio.  I just completed this pastel portrait this morning.


This is the last picture I managed to paint from life of my pink roses before the flowers lost their inspirational beauty. The entire painting was executed with a sponge and the same 4 colours as my previous garden paintings. I have taken many photos for future paintings. It rained last night and I took some photos of the wet flower and leaves this morning, all the waterdrops will make for a great subject.


I managed to find time to paint my roses again. This picture was painted in oil like the first one. This time I used a little more artistic license. I wanted more of a boquet effect rather than the pot plant that it actually is. I used the same 4 colours as I have been using for the "Welcome to My Garden" dvd paintings - Titanium White, Ultramarine Blue, Cadmium Yellow and a "magentaish" pink.

08 April 2010


I simply HAD TO paint this rose yesterday. It is quite a special plant to me - My Dad grew it from a cutting and gave it to me for my Birthday a few years ago. He passed away last year from cancer so this rose is a great memorial. Anyone who has Roses will know, they change dramatically each day once they start opening so there is no putting off till next week if you want to paint from life. I hope to paint them again tomorrow - there should be 3 full blown flowers then. It's not part of the "Welcome to My Garden" dvd  program but I did film the progress so if it edits okay you may get to view it.

05 April 2010


I know I am supposed to be working on the dvds but it was holidays so I have been practicing my pet portraits instead. I did manage to film a successfull take of the Flowing Fountain painting yesterday so I am back to the grindstone editing the film today. I would love to show you a video preview but I am having a battle getting any videos onto this site since youtube decided to banish the simple transfer video to blog application a few days ago. If you haven't seen the photo yet go to my previous post FLOWING FOUNTAIN.

BRIARD pastel

Milli is a BRIARD who visits my shop regularly. The Briard is an old French sheepdog breed. She is quite big and as you can see very black and very hairy. I found it challenging to portray the vast amount of hair while still retaining the blackness.
I used mainly pastel pencil. I tried some soft pastel on the chest but then decided to remove most of it in favour of the pencils. The hair on her face is more hairy while the fur on the rest of her body is more curly and fluffy.
The purple background is a mixture of a couple of soft pastels. I first did a white background but it was too harsh. She was wearing a purple lead when I took the photo so I opted for this - I think the purple suits her.


This cute little face belongs ot a "Bichon Frise" who visited my shop recently. I forgot to ask for a name when I asked for permission to take some 'photos for my pet protrait painting practice' (try saying that 5 times fast)

I started off with pastel pencils then moved onto soft pastel. I mainly just used a stick of titanium white letting the black paper provide the shading.


This was the first painting I did using a sponge instead of a paintbrush. Actually it was the 2nd original painting that I did after a 20 year break from art. The reason I chose to use a sponge was simply because I was so inexperienced at painting (at art college we were mainly taught drawing with charcoal and pastel, design, history.....never how to actually use a paintbrush) I couldn't manage to get a smooth portrait finish so I cut a piece off a new mop sponge ( it had been sitting in the cupboard because I have a 2 post mop and  accidentally bought a 4 post sponge)
I painted this in 2005. Like I said it was only my second real painting after a 20 year break. When I study it now I see so many mistakes but I will never part with it. The doves are actually glued on real dove feathers and the bible pages are photocopies from 3 different tranlations of Isiah 53.  -Old King James ,New King James and Good News -
The gold writing says "JESUS OF NAZARETH KING OF THE JEWS" in Greek Latin and Hebrew. This is what was on the header of Jesus Cross.
I hope one day to paint an entire exhibition of Bible Images.....but for now.....lets get these dvds done.....


JESUS close up


Hi there

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Gympie, QLD, Australia
I love to paint and draw and I often teach to share my passion with others. Currently I am focussing on producing some step-by-step painting lesson dvds.