Category Archives: Uncategorized

More Lists and Free Images Too


I realized two things when I came to post this morning – firstly that I DIDN’T press ‘publish’ last week when I posted AND – my post read like something that is probably rambly introspective trash that people imagining themselves to be insightful (minus an editor) writes.  (also a hazard of posting infrequently – you don’t know where to begin to catch up your readers – if I have any of those any more!)

In several forums of my life at the moment, I am being encouraged to thankful and there really is LOTS…………one of the significant things that kept coming up on my lists were my ONLINE art friends & forums that I belong to…….you all have made such an impact on my artistic journey.  SO – my list is at the bottom of this post – but to start with a THANKYOU – I wanted to gift you some of my ‘altered’ images – to use in your own art work.  I retain the copyright, they are images I have taken myself & altered – however, I release them to you to use in your own work & your own work for publication (BUT NOT for redistribution or resale).

Unfortunately – they are not very big as I have used iphone apps to alter them, and it kept crashing the larger sized files.  They print up nicely at 6 x 4 & 5 x 7’s or even better sized as ATC backgrounds.  They will increase with a double click – then right click to save.

For those that don’t know – I am  participating in Misty Mawn’s Open Studio Workshop.  There are many adjectives that could be used to describe it (I COULD write a list!!!) but in short its the best I have ever been exposed to.  She has certainly sorted ‘the men from the boys’ as we say here in Oz and set the bar high for online courses. It is affordably priced, content rich, beautifully presented (name me one thing of Misty’s that isn’t!) – both challenging & achievable………..and YES – I am in love with her all over again!

The course covers both anticipated & unexpected inclusions like sculpture with paper clay, writing poetry, mark making with interesting mixes of materials, & other fun things.  You can certainly notice the difference between someone formally trained in art & and those that are not in the depth & intensity of material included.  If you have the chance to participate at some point – can I highly recommend it?

Having said that – and noting my post from a few months ago about ‘soooooo many faces’ – I am back to painting faces!  Of course I have returned to my first love (the start of my ‘learning to draw’ adventure began with faces in July 2008)  HONESTLY – they are 100% better than where I started……BUT I am not sure that I’ll ever get really good at this – even IF I paint them forever! LOL! (although, I must admit when ‘altered’ with my iPhone apps [as above] they look better) here is some of my work I have done throughout the 5 week course.

3 lino cuts (bud, blossoming, bloom) printed on vintage text. Pen & ink & watercolour drawings on page

inspired by summer beach trips to 90 Mile Beach, Victoria. Pen & ink w. watercolour

GHOST GUM - a linear abstract

myself - as a shape

i AM grateful…………………
for healthy children & grandchildren
for sky canvas set out before me daily (any one who has read my blog for any length of time will have seen one of our beautiful sunsets – for new readers – I have added one below as a treat!  Taken a week ago from our front verandah)
for freedom to worship
for my home
for the gift of creativity
for pristine beaches
for the clean environment we live in here
for dear friends
for the online art community
for accessible, affordable education
for the wonder that is creation
for the smell of newborn babies
for the joy of a toddler laughing
for the wonder of childhood discovery
for the pleasure of sharing a life
for the privilege of growing old with someone you love
for the freedom to choose

there are plenty of other things…………..but they will be for a list…..another day




MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE.  I pray you have a safe & blessed festive season & a 2011 filled with artful adventures!

I KNOW this is a little ‘cutsie’ for my normal style – I made this little ATC for our Princess tomorrow from the ‘door’ images from earlier in the week.  She is just starting to enjoy ATC’s & had fun playing with my cast off bits of paper on chipboard.  I love this little range – it’s from the Prima  Jack and Jill range and it’s SOOOOOO sweet……..

AND……..the news you’ve been waiting for – the winner of the handmade journal IS – CINDY!!! Congrats Cindy – email me privately with your details & I will have it on the way to you straight after Christmas.  thank you for your support & kind comments about my work and my blog……….& thank you all for being a part of my art journey this year.  I appreciate you all.

from the guilt box


I have something that I am sure NO OTHER ARTIST has in their studio!!   It’s kinda ‘the elephant in the room’ – I know it as my guilt box! My guilt box is something that kinda evolved gradually in the year before I began studying.  For anyone who knows what this means, it was the year of living with a black dog in the year that our business collapsed & we lost two little grandblessings.  A corner started to evolve,  that I avoided, it contained a growing pile of  beginnings of projects had become ‘stuck’ for one reason or another. 

I became paralyze and stopped beginning things, because I didn’t think that I was going to be able to finish them, so it wasn’t worth commencing.  I DO read my own advice to others! LOL!

The following year, (2009) I began studying art full time as a kind of therapy to ‘jolt’ me out of the ‘dog kennel’…………..but still the pile in the corner remained, and expanded.  It kinda happened as projects for leisure ongoingly took a back seat to the need to endlessly ‘produce’ artwork for one timeline after another for college, on subjects that I really didn’t have a great deal of interest in, but was obliged to complete & go through the process.  Works in Progress (WIP’s) were frequently packed up to ‘clear the decks’ for the current ‘SCHOOL’ project & WIP’s soon became Projects of Waiting (POW’s – waiting for inspirations, supplies, time, help!!) gradually slipped into the Unfinished Objects (UFO’s) & and then, as inspiration & momentum was lost along the way, gradually joined a growing list of things on my ‘guilt list’. 

GUILTY because
– I had bought/hunted out supplies especially for this project & now it was languishing, I have wasted time & money
– It is outside the expected time line (postage date, agreed timeline)
– I can’t think of an idea that doesn’t seem to lame to even begin to complete the task of completing
– The work I have already done isn’t what I want it to look like & I don’t know how to make it better
– I have completed/are doing other things instead of the thing I ‘SHOULD’ be doing/completing

OK!!!! IS THIS SOUNDING LIKE A PSYCH CONSULT?  AM i ALONE HERE????  Does YOUR studio have a ‘box of guilt’ in a corner or a drawer???? or do you all just begin & complete projects in one hit, and THEN move on to the next thing???  As we will be moving house soon, and I am going to have to literally pack up EVERYTHING and PAY to have it stored……… will cost me money to retain these projects.  I MUST MAKE  A DECISION & I am a shocker when I don’t know what to do – I do nothing – it has been both my personal & professional undoing – but it is painfully true!  SO – here’s my plan – one month at a time – on the first of the month (I HAVE EXCUSED DECEMBER for pending Christmas projects) I am going to get something out of my guilt box or my pile of UFO’s.  I am going to give myself the whole month to ‘deal’ with them – ie make progress, send it back, complete it, decide how I am going to move forward……….at the end of the month – if it is still in the same state as the start of the month – it will be taken apart as ‘salvage’ – cut up, torn up, supplies separated, etc.  THAT’s my plan anyways!  SO the pictures you see here are October’s contribution.  I have had this journal (GULP) for about 18 months – sitting in my drawer, with the page below semi painted.  I wasn’t happy with my ‘Lady of the Lake’, I wanted her to be regal & kind of stately, without being pouty – I have painted & painted this mouth about TWENTY-SEVEN times!! LOL!!!  She still seems pouty to me!  Anyways, it’s done  & I had a delightful couple of late nights painting the ‘midsummer night’ pages at the top as penance (do an extra spread) before the darling little book goes home to it’s rightful owner.


also the article in CLOTH PAPER SCISSORS
Dec issue article ‘Artist Heal Thyself’ by Lorretta Bendetto Marvel

we made lovely things


at the recent retreat.  Gorgeous Stephanie Lee & DJ Pettit let us into their secrets and we lapped it all up.  I guess it is a mutual admiration situation – we love what they do and are eager to learn, which makes their teaching and visiting experiences all the nicer.  The nice thing for me was that I didn’t have the same suffocating sense of inability that had overwhelmed me with the fabulous Misty Mawn’s class last year.  I have worked hard on my face structure and shading, and felt (although Miss Contemplation here is STILL NOT my Mona Lisa) ok with the day and the outcome.  She is a lot more lovely in real life of course, because I have used gold and Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold (simply edibly delicious paint), which gives it all a deep & mysterious look.  I REALLY worked at a soft biscuit colour like the rest of the class – but some how, the colour just kept beggin’ to be seen……I didn’t add the ginger hair till after the work shop – mine already looked like the odd one out – but hey – I like her – and that’s what counts!  LOL!!!


Artists at the retreat were very kind in their support of my altered offerings…..I just about sold out of the luscious ribbons and DJ just about single handedly sold the 50 hemp wraps I bought with me…….she was a fan!



It's all busy busy in our house, cleaning, cooking, visiting and having visitors, and tonight we are off to visit all of our local Christmas lights with The Princess.  No time for arting, or really even blogging, however, here's something digital I prepared for today, with my best & warmest wishes to you.  The background image is of Melbourne city skyline, a photo I took last summer at dusk. 2008 CHRISTMAS CARD 

Thanks for being a part of my art journey this year – I pray you have a happy and blessed festive season, surrounded by people who love on you!



Samfira-web Meet Samfira – it's been a bit of a full on week & she is a mirror of my reflective & contemplative thoughts this week.   Although I know I am not TOTALLY 'gettin' it' yet, I am really enjoying exploring other ethnicity's facial structure.  Poor Samfira – she has a nose that you could use for a trumpet it's so big!  Not my intentions – it just kinda evolved that way.  I have used chalks, acrylics and gold leaf on this piece and I tried to use my silly Krylon pen – I swear – every time I post a bad thing about this stupid pen, I have heaps of people message me to say how much they love theirs – I don't whether they send Krylon 'lemons' to Oz or whether It just doesn't like to work in the various ways I want to use it….. so save your emails on that one – I get it lots of people love them – I tolerate it hoping a better alternative will come along!  LOL!  I am exploring a book by Jean Pederson called Expressive Portraits.  It's really great.  The thing that I especially like about it is how it encourages you and works through how to use 'non traditional' colours for faces – I am TOTALLY hooked on mango & diox violet as a palette – fabulous results with that……. but for now, I am working on my African faces, & will see how that goes.  This book gets 10/10 from me if you are past the inital – I don't know how to draw faces thing