Friday, 24 January 2014

A spot of spotted pardaloting

During a stay at my mother-in-laws place in Sydney I became quite obsessed with Spotted Pardalotes. My obsession started due to a number of artworks she has at her house. This print of two pardalotes has always caught my attention as did a perfectly sculptured and painted pardalote she recently bought in Tasmania. 

I had a few hours to myself over Christmas which I used to do a watercolour painting of the sculpture. I also referred to a field guide of birds to check on some of the details.

I then thought I would use a bit of artistic licence and do a similar painting with the bird in flight (similar to the field guide). This then led to me having a go at designing some fabric from my images.

Just waiting for the test swatch to come now......not sure how the repeat will work, but hopefully the colours will come up well. Hurray for Spotted Pardalotes!

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

getting my bottlebrush on...

A month or so ago the bottlebrush was in bloom throughout Canberra. We have a really bright bottlebrush shrub growing in our backyard which managed to produce some flowers even though we only planted it a year ago. They are very delicate flowers- with an enormous amount of detail. They don't make very good cut flowers, although I did try to add a bit of colour to our kitchen with them...

I've always loved naturalist paintings, however have never really been that interested in flora. However, I was inspired one day to have a go at painting a bottlebrush as I love delicate, intricate things. So, this is what I came up with...

I have since turned it into a fabric print through Spoonflower and I am waiting for my first test print of it. Will see how we go!

King David

About 6 months ago I decided I would do a painting of a King Parrot for my father in-law. I hadn't attempted much painting since high school, but wanted to give something personal and special to David given he (and my mother in-law, Lyn) had been so welcoming to me since I had become their daughter in-law. During one stay at my parents' in-laws place I photographed the king parrots while they fed on the seed David had put out for them. I used one of these photographs to do a watercolour painting.

It took at least four goes to complete it- mostly in short spurts at night while my girls were asleep. I did get there in the end!

I named the painting 'King David'. Seeing a King Parrot always reminds me of David as he used to feed them every morning on their balcony at Lindfield. Sadly he passed away suddenly just over two months ago. We miss him so much. He had such a wonderful, big personality- another reason for why I called my painting 'King David'. I am so glad I did this painting for him. It will always remind me of him and the fun we all used to have when he was around. I recently took another photo which I might use for inspiration for another painting in memory of David. It shows his hats which still hang in the front entrance of their house. He was definitely a hat man!!  Below is also a sketch of David which I did a short time ago.


With this first entry I'd like to add that I am hoping this blog will help me organise my ideas and keep track of my little projects. I am going to use it as a kind of art diary- with an aim to share many, many more paintings, drawings, photographs and projects!! 
And with the risk of being a little bit corny, I would like to dedicate this blog to David. He was very inspirational, and when he spoke to me about the painting I did for him I remember him saying "You've got it Jen."- which to me was such a compliment, and having that thought in the back of my mind has really given me the confidence to share my art with other people.