story as art

Whenever someone says to me, “I’m so not creative” or “I haven’t got a creative bone in my body” as happened again recently, I wonder how that narrative first emerges in a person’s mind and why it takes such hold in the stories they tell about themselves. In life, we all make creative choices every day, from what to wear through to how we can best navigate a difficult situation. Although my sister would say that her wardrobe is purelyRead more

Art workshop for Canberra Tree Week

On Wednesday 2 May, I will be introducing the “STEP into plein air” event on behalf of NatureArt Lab, as part of Canberra Tree Week at the National Arboretum. My artist talk is followed by a three-hour art workshop held among beautiful local endangered trees and flowering plants of the Southern Tablelands Ecosystems Park (STEP), Forest 20. “STEP into plein air” focuses on a creative appreciation for our natural environment, especially the gorgeous array of plants from the Southern TablelandsRead more

Sketching trees at Earth Festival

What’s not to love about painting trees? Even better, painting trees in the beautiful surrounds of Canberra’s Australian National Botanic Gardens. I was invited to demonstrate acrylic sketching techniques as part of NatureArt Lab’s course promotion event on Saturday 21 April at the Earth Festival – celebrating sustainable living with a great vibe, music, good coffee and healthy food choices on the shady Eucalypt Lawn. I introduced the acrylic demo with a statement about our relationship with trees and my appreciation,Read more

HMAS Adelaide commission

From birds to ships! When HMAS Adelaide commissioned an original painting to showcase the capabilities of a Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) ship, I was thrilled. I’ve painted ships before but not quite at this scale so I was absolutely determined to enjoy the whole experience. As usual, I took a deep-dive into the detail and worked closely with the Welfare Committee to create a painting that reflects a “typical day” of amphibious operations. I have portrayed HMAS Adelaide docking down, with threeRead more

art workshop

Tomorrow I will be hosting a one-day art workshop at Jerrabomberra Wetlands for members of the Wildlife and Botanical Artists society. Earlier this year, I was invited to give a presentation to WABA members in the beautiful surroundings of Canberra’s Botanic Gardens. I spoke about my approach to art, techniques for gaining inspiration, significant influences and philosophies, and the hard work that is a necessary part of any creative process. I’m looking forward to continuing the conversation with other likeminded people in nature’sRead 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

red-rumped parrots

Love on the Line Red-Rumped Parrots (Psephotus haematonotus) Size 61 cm x 30.5 cm Oil on canvas board SOLD Birds on wire is a recurring theme in my work. The challenge of creating a truthful portrayal of the gnarled surface of old fenceposts, oxidisation of wire and delicate plumage brings great satisfaction, not least because I draw upon the remembered sensory experience of each texture. Also, I find the contrast between human-made forms and natural forms is very appealing in an artistic sense. IRead more