life, love & demise sold at birdlife exhibition

Feeling happy that another painting has found a forever home! My painting of Hooded Plovers has sold at BirdLife Australia’s “Birds + Us” exhibition. And I’m thrilled that the sale will help raise awareness about the plight of Australia’s birds. As indicators of our planet’s health, birds are so important! I have donated the sale price to the Threatened Bird Network (TBN). The exhibition celebrated 20 years of TBN, showcasing its focus on threatened birds with a wide range of brilliantRead more

sketching pixie

Sketching a tree is simple. Other subjects are more difficult. Pixie was a very obliging subject, dozing in the late summer afternoon following a hard day’s work hauling a gypsy wagon along country roads in farmland near Bendigo, Victoria. I haven’t turned those sketches into a painting yet, but I might one day. Sometimes the act of drawing is just another way of engaging with the subject, paying close attention to detail, reverencing the form, observing the way light shapes theRead more

colour palette

   I find that I’m inspired simply by looking at my wooden box brimful of paint tubes. No matter how scuffed, squeezed, contorted, holed or shiny new they are, I love them all. My basics are Payne’s Gray, Titanium White, Burnt Umber, Burnt Sienna, Hooker’s Green (acrylic) or Terre Verte (oil), Cobalt Blue and Yellow Ochre. I really can’t do without these heroes. All my paintings start with a Burnt Umber sketch, and some stay that way. But if it’sRead more

Reading Tolstoy

Size 11 cm x 6 cm Acrylic on Arches paper SOLD Exquisitely framed prints available $290 This portrait was inspired by observing the subject sitting quietly under a lamp one winter’s evening, reading. The scene brought to mind the serenity and timelessness of a bygone era where literature and the appreciation of art, fine words and philosophy were lauded pastimes. This little portrait deserved a suitably evocative title which can be interpreted as referring to either the book or the sitter himself. Reading Tolstoy received a HighlyRead more


Size 35.5 cm x 45.5 cm (14 in x 18 in) Acrylic on canvas Private commission – SOLD Whenever clients seek a portrait of their pet, I consider it a privilege to portray their much loved companion. I usually ask for several photos – high resolution is best – and where possible, I will meet the subject. I ask about character and other idiosyncrasies such as favourite toys or special places. This gives me a true sense of the animal asRead more

work in progress: miniatures

Working on two miniatures for this year’s Sydney Royal. I’m using Hahnemuhle paper – postcard size, since this keeps me under the 100cm-square worked area limit. Although the palette is the same for both paintings, I have emphasised stronger, cooler colours for the boy with a heavy background to draw attention to his hands and expression of concentration. Looser brushstrokes and lighter hues evoke the enthusiasm of a little girl’s impromptu fashion parade.Read more

zebra finches

Brisk Zebra Finches (Taeniopygia guttata) Size 20 cm x 15 cm Oil on canvas board SOLD Inspired by birdwatching near Orange where Zebra Finches gathered in a noisy crowd among trees bordering a railway line. Gregarious birds, they form a lifelong bond between pairs. On this particular day, each bird had its plumage puffed out to ward off the midwinter chill. I kept the brushstrokes loose and background hazy to imply the light breeze rustling the branches. This painting hung in my exhibition “Feather and Ochre”Read more

flock bronzewing

Desert Flight Flock Bronzewing (Phaps histrionica) Size 51 cm x 20 cm Acrylic on canvas SOLD Outback Australia is the definition of vast. And the Mitchell Grasslands are an amazing part of this impressive landscape. Characterised by open grassy plains with few rivers and gorges, the Mitchell Grass Downs bioregion extends from central Queensland into the Northern Territory and is an important part of Australia’s pastoral heritage. It takes a long time to drive there from the coast but it’s worth the effort.Read more


Harmony in Green Red-backed Fairy-wrens (Malurus melanocephalus) Size 91.4 cm x 91.4 cm (36 in x 36 in) Acrylic on canvas SOLD Inspired after birdwatching in far north tropical Queensland, where verdant hills and rainforest canopy enfold lush grazing pastures, cane fields and banana plantations. A family group of Red-backed Fairy-wrens had taken up residence in the long grass near Camp Creek, sheltered from heavy monsoon rain by the sprawling passionfruit vines and shady trees. I have always sketched trees – each speciesRead more

work in progress: amulet

One of my favourite mediums is pen & ink. For several days, I have immersed my art table in found objects as part of the creative process to develop an amulet design for the cover of a fantasy novel. I use found objects as references for form and colour, and the way light caresses the surface. Handling the real object means I can portray it more convincingly in my illustration. For the accompanying knife sketch, I borrowed a leather-handled US Army knife to see howRead more