Saturday, February 12, 2011

Summer Garden


This week l've been out and about in the garden. Mainly just weeding and deadheading the roses, but even that has been so time consuming. Usually this time of the year is quiet out there, but with all the rain we've had it's an endless (but necessary) task, (especially if l don't want to have to machette my way to the front door).

The garden is quite large (about half an acre) and is divided into sections, not rooms as such, more just large beds planted in differing styles. There is a native garden, a tropical garden as well as English/cottage style areas, amongst others. The garden provides much inspiration for my paintings and given the choice l will paint flora above anything else.

Below is another of the  Australian native paintings l've done. It's a flowering gum and you may also notice the butterfly in there.

The full length of one fence line of the garden is covered in ivy, although it's a noxious weed and should be removed, it comes from our neighbours yard so there's not a lot we can do about it (l think if we removed it the fence would fall down). Having said that, it looks rather pretty and to enhance it's appeal, we've placed a row of lion heads half the length of the fence about 2-3 metres apart, (kindly gifted to me by a friend).
In this pic you may just be able to see the second and third head in the distance. l couldn't get them all in as the ivy is very dense.

Since there is little of Summer left, l wanted to do another outside shoot, so l took out some bright summery sarongs and vintage chinese lanterns (from the 60's). l've then hung the sarongs casually around the gazebo and strung up the lanterns. In the Winter l'll (hopefully) be able to remember what Summer felt like. Of course the minute l stepped outside it began to drizzle with rain, but l persevered none the less....

l had to put my peacock in the pic as he matches the end sarong so perfectly.

The garden chair holds a faux geranium in a terracotta pot, the beautiful pink sari is adorned in gold thread, wish l was brave (and tanned ) enough to wear it.

Below my Oriental Lilly is really putting on a show.

In the tropical garden you can see "Tropicanna Gold" canna lilly,(with the purple leaves in the background), and the common yellow type in the foreground. 

Thanks for dropping by


Saturday, February 5, 2011

From teatowel to cushion


I'm sure it's been a busy week for many of you with kids returning to school and trying to restore routine after weeks of chaos, ( l remember it well).

l have been trying to finish a couple of paintings for the local Art Show which takes place in March, but although l started about 3 weeks ago l haven't even finished one yet, so l have been trying to get cracking. l find myself distracted by so many, and the smallest of things that l can't settle and concentrate for long. Being an artist has very little to do with talent and a lot to do with concentration and work. Just as well as l don't have to support myself with my art .....l'd starve.

Below is a couple of sketches of famous people (l hope they're recognisable) and l do these every now and then, as a way of really looking and translating that onto paper. It's a great way to know if you've "looked hard enough or well enough" as others either will, or won't, recognise what you think you've seen and drawn. (Am l rambling again... sorry)
Any way to the left is Natalie Imbruglia and to the right is Janet Jackson. These were done in the nineties and weirdly, it seems just like yesterday.

If you want to experiment with portrait work, my advice is not to try and work flat, always put your drawing/painting on an angle (like on an easel) as otherwise the face distorts. Not sure why, but it does.

When l came across this tea towel it just reminded me of the many prints that l have seen lately on French style cushions in the homewares shops, and in magazines and blogs that l've looked at.
Above is the uncut cloth with the trims l used . All the lace was tea dyed beforehand so the cushion would have a more cohesive look.
l just cut it in half and sewed it together with the lace in the middle. After adding the trims l popped in a calico insert to give a neater finish and hold the fill, once that was done a little bit of hand stitching to close it all off and ...Voila!! 

The lace is pleated in the corners so that it sits flat and doesn't buckle.


Thanks for visiting.