Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Landscape Painting - Pokhara Nepal - WIP#4

I finally worked out the name of the lake I am painting. It is Lake Phewa in Pokhara.

Here is the latest update, first chance to work on this since last school term.

Did quite a bit of work with the stomp to get rid of the small 'holes' that seem to be a part of the surface of the Colourfix Plein Air board. Also work on getting the values of the reflections in the lake right.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Flowers in the Garden

The anemones have been appearing slowly but surely, as well as Soldier Boys, Snowdrops, Jonquils, and Gladioli. Here are some of my favourites.

School holidays - photos of the fun

Well, school holidays are over and back to art again this week - yah!!!!!

But we did have some fun during the holidays, and here are some pictures to prove it.

St Matthews, Windsor
We spent the day with Granny and wandered around Windsor and Richmond. K. asked if we could go and read some gravestones at Granny's church. We had a wander around the graveyard and then spent some time inside the church, which is one of the oldest in Australia. When we were inside the light was shining in the right direction for the stained glass windows to leave a beautiful pattern on the window surrounds.

And here is what the church looks like...

Featherdale Wildlife Park
K. and I spent half a day at the park and for the first time (we've been a few times before) K. was more interested in the animals than the gift shop. (Though she still likes that too!)

It was a chilly morning and these Mopokes were snuggled up on this dead tree branch.

K. was thrilled to have this wallaby come right up to her and take her food. There were a heap of people around so we were lucky there were any kangaroos or wallabies that were still hungry!

I couldn't believe this turkey in Friendship Farm. Had to take a pic.

A fairy penguin - later on there were five of them playing in their pool. Of course, I didn't have the camera out in time.

Disney on Ice
The three of us went and took Grandma too, who I think had always wanted to see one of these shows but hadn't had a little girl to take. It was all about the Disney Princesses. K. loved it. The skating was great. Even though I bought the tickets late we had pretty good seats. Almost every little girl was wearing a princess outfit, and even some little boys were dressed up as princes and knights. K. wore her fairy skirt, but really wished she had a princess dress. I think every little girl wished she had a princess dress that day.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Velour paper

I'm very excited - my stepmother just returned from Canada and brought back some pads of velour paper for me to try. I've not used it before and have seen some wonderful works done on this paper so I can't wait to give it a go! It seems to be particularly good for animal portraits.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Queen of Colours - at the Sydney Opera House

We took K. to see 'The Queen of Colours' at the Sydney Opera House today. I am so glad we did.

The show begins with a half circle of light at centre stage with a paint brush lying across it. Then we are introduced to the Court Painter (Eva Noell) and the Court Musician and his accordion (Alexander Voynov) who invite us into the world of the Queen of Colours.

The Queen lives in a colourless world at the beginning of the show and by the end we are introduced to all the colours that she loves. The Court Painter and Court Magician are wonderful, drawing the children and adults alike into the story. From the very first the giggles are heard throughout the Playhouse Theatre, and not just childish laughter either.

The Court Painter paints as the Queen of Colours decrees - now red, now blue, now yellow, now green, now mayhem. The drawings are simple but beautiful. The humour is ageless. The music helps the story flow from scene to scene, the accordion just the right choice for the production.

The shadow puppetry is a surprise to the kids. K. asked me how they were talking to each other (the Queen and the Court Painter), but in the end just watched and laughed and enjoyed. The puppeteer does an amazing job in marrying up the Queen's movements to the words of the Court Painter - you wouldn't know he wasn't able to see what was happening in front of the screen.

At the end of the show, K. asked to go and say thank you to the Court Painter for such a wonderful 'movie' (she was promptly corrected - it is a show not a movie). A few other kids also stayed to say thanks and ask questions about the show. Each of those children received a painting from the show; K.'s is of the Queen's blue period! We are going to frame it and hang it on her bedroom wall. It will have pride of place for quite some time I believe.

The things K. remembers most from the show - her favourite bits - are the Queen jumping on her bed, the blowing of the coloured leaves and the sound of the Queen blowing on the blue.

If you have a chance to see this production, it is so worth it. I think K. would quite happily go and see it again. And so would I!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Landscape Painting - Pokhara Nepal - WIP#3

When I look at the painting it feels like I didn't get much done tonight, but I had the dusty hands to prove I did! Had to fix the bow of the boats as they weren't sitting quite right, added some highlights to the mountains and did a bit of work on the pier.

Sadly now, it is school holidays for 2 weeks, so unless I get some Katie free time, I probably won't touch this until term 3 starts.

Photograph is not fantastic colour-wise as I had to take this tonight under flouros and the colour is off.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Landscape Painting - Pokhara Nepal - WIP#2

This morning I continued working on the painting I started at the Colina Grant workshop yesterday. Colina recommended not blending anything, but after looking at the painting today, I couldn't leave it as it was. It wasn't going to work for me, so a-blending did I go.

For anyone who doesn't like the blended effect, I'm sorry - but I couldnt' stand it any longer. All those little texture holes just weren't what I wanted in this painting.

I am so much happier with the painting now. I still have more work to do on the pier and I haven't touched the people at all. Now that the sky, mountains and water are blended I can go over and bring back the texture that I want rather than putting up with the texture the surface forced me into.

I'm really glad that I decided to work on this photo. I took this myself back in 1989 (can't believe it is that long ago now) when a girlfriend and I took a trip to Nepal.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Colina Grant Pastel Workshop

I had a really great day today at the Sydney Art School in Baulkham Hills. They ran a one-day workshop with Colina Grant, who is a wonderful pastellist.

She gave a demonstration for about an hour of how she goes about starting a pastel landscape painting, then we started on a piece of our own with her input throughout the day. It was really useful to see how she works, how she chooses what to draw and how she prepares the composition.

The Sydney Art School is fairly new but it has a great atmosphere. They provided lunch and afternoon tea in the cost of the workshop. I would highly recommend looking into their courses and giving them a try. They run a life drawing class on Wednesday nights and are starting a daytime portrait class soon, which I am going to look into.

Already the two people to whom I've shown my workshop painting have said that I have worked in a different way from my usual, which can only be a good thing. I'm looking forward to finishing this one. So here it is...

I used a Colourfix Plein Air board for the first time (easier to transport - built in backing board!). It has a different texture to the Colourfix paper so I will be interested to see how it ends up.

There is still some work to do. I am not one to speed through a painting, although I would like to one day just to loosen up a bit. I can't wait to take this back to class and keep working on it.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Birthday cake two

So, for K.'s birthday party with her pre-school friends I made another birthday cake, this time a butterfly. So here 'tis...

The girls all had a fun time I think. They had a fairy scavenger hunt, they decorated fairy wands, there was a fairy pass the parcel, a butterfly pinata and finally the cake and feast of cupcakes, chocolate crackles, fairy bread, cocktail frankfurts and fruit kebabs.

For dinner we will be having cake and feast of cupcakes, chocolate crackles, no fairy bread (it dried out), cocktail frankfurts and fruit cubes (I'm too tired to bother skewering them again).