Thursday, 29 December 2016


on AS Colourful Smooth
Gemma was a beautiful Labrador, loved dearly by her family.  She lived a long happy life but died not too long ago.  I hope this painting will remind her owner of her playful spirit and all the love she shared.

Monday, 17 October 2016

Pansies and a Jug

'Pansies and a Jug '
on AS textured ground.
(30cm x25cm)
Loosing edges and working on texture continue to be my focus lately.  In this little painting I have explored both concepts.  My aim is to leave much to the imagination of the viewer rather than explaining all.

Saturday, 1 October 2016

"Silver Birches 3"

Silver Birches #3

"Silver Birches 2"

Silver Birches 2

Lavender Fields

"Lavender Fields"

Lavendula, just out of Daylesford is a beautiful place to spend the day.  Visitors enjoy Lavender fields, stone buildings surrounded by beautiful gardens, a fantastic gift shop... the list goes on.  This painting is my impression of one of the fields of Lavender.  I hope to return during the harvest season.

Sweet Scent of Spring

"The Sweet Scent of Spring"

It is impossible to not enjoy the wisteria that is in full bloom in early spring.  It seems to grow even where it is not cared for.  I picked a big bunch from a local service station and this is my impression of wisteria in spring.  My art room was filled with a heady floral scent that was intoxicating as I painted.  It is wonderful to see, feel and smell the subject of a painting and get lost in the moment.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Arrangement in Red

'Arrangement in Red'
Runner-up Best in Show
Pastel Society of Victoria, Australia
Ming Mackay Winner (PSVA) 2017

Sunday, 21 August 2016

The Little Blue Bowl

'The Little Blue Bowl' 
on AS Colourfix Smooth
(46cm X 66cm)
Best Pastel Strathdon Art Show 2017
Best in Show King Lake November 2016
Highly Commended Hobsons Bay Art Show 2016

Australia Native Wattle in it's numerous varieties is out in abundance this time of year (Winter).  Although this painting is mostly blue, in truth I have painted it in celebration of the wattle.  The blue bowl was purchased especially to complete my composition.  I had more china in the composition initially but when the shadow pattern emerged I felt the other pieces were surplus.  What a terrific pattern the light made.  That soon became my focus.  Inspiration for the table cloth came from a piece of wrapping paper that I found recently.  It has white fish swirling all over an indigo background.  It reminds me of a Japanese print.

Sunday, 14 August 2016


on AS Colourfix 

The Red Coffee Pot

'Red Coffee Pot'
on Colourful Soft Umber
Part of the planning for the painting 'Still Life in Reds' included a smaller painting of my concept.  I was happy with the outcome and so moved onto the bigger piece.

A Day in France

A Day in France
This beautiful scene is of a sun drenched street in France.  The red doors signify the entrance to a bakery and restaurant.  At the end of the street there is a busy market.

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Saturday, 30 April 2016

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Three Busy Bees

"Three Busy Bees" on AS Colourfix
51cm x 43cm

Some time ago I did a painting of red Flowering Gums.  When reviewing the painting I could see several ways to improve the composition.  What did I have to loose?  So I got to work making changes and I am now happy with the work.  It is a bit like a Where's Wally challenge, as suggested in the paintings title there are three bees busy at work.  I have made them more noticeable now.  Although the vibrant flowers steal the show, the leaves were my focus in this painting.    I used a bold underpainting which dictated the pattern of the leaves.  This technique helps me to keep the painting free with a natural, random feel appearance to the leaves.  My aim is to keep the texture and layering interesting creating only suggestions of familiar shapes.  Keeping the leaves soft allows the flowers to dominate in colour and detail.

Sunday, 28 February 2016

"Wetland at Dusk"

"Wetland at Dusk" SOLD
Award Best Pastel at Artists on Parade 2016

As the sun set I ran down to the wetland, close to home, to see how beautiful it might look.  I was not disappointed!  The sky was ablaze with pinks, purples and oranges reflecting onto the still water.  I have not seen such a dramatic sun set since.  I am trilled to win the Best Pastel Award.

Airey's Inlet - Great Ocean Road

"Airey's Inlet" - The Great Ocean Road
on home made sanded paper 33cm x 30cm
Awarded Highly Commended at Warrandyte Art Show 2016

Travelling along the Great Ocean Road there are many spots to stop and enjoy the view from a lookout platform.   This view is from one such platform at Airey's Inlet.  The water had a beautiful turquoise glow as it passed over the rocks along the shore.   The shadow on the left was cast from the rugged coast line. 

"Artist at Work" - Montsalvat

"Artist at Work" - Montsalvat
on Canson Mi Tientes Sand (49cm x 34cm)

Another Montsalvat painting... but who can resist.  When at Montsalvat with the Pastel Society of Victoria, Australia en plein air painting group one fellow pastelist propped herself on an old stone wall to draw what was in front of her.  I loved the way she sat, slightly turned with her elbows tucked in resting on her hips.  Her hat was actually yellow on the day, but I thought red would help to draw your eye to her as the focal point.  I am now looking for opportunities to put figures in my paintings as she was such fun to paint!  I am wondering will she recognise herself?

A Walk in the Mist - Wombat Hill Botanic Gardens, Daylesford

"A Walk in the Mist" - Daylesford
on Canson Mi Tientes 55cm x 45cm

Whilst in Daylesford recently I chose to visit the Convent Gallery.  As I was leaving the weather had deteriorated ( I spent quite a while there).  It was raining hard, very grey and the mist layer was getting progressively thicker.  I looked over the fence to find this scene, and I was captured.  I then spent the next hour or more walking in the rain with my camera protected by an umbrella to the detriment of me.  Although I was drenched I captured some beautiful scenes and my camera remained bone dry.   I had stumbled across the Wombat Hill Botanic Gardens at it's best.  

Walk With Me - Montsalvat

Walk With Me - Montsalvat
on  Mi tiennes Tex 46cm x 33cm

This scene captured me immediately.  There is so much to look at but the eye keeps coming back to  the sun drenched path.  I waited and waited for the sun to peak through the clouds and eventually it did.  The shaded areas provide interest while the lit areas sing.  I hope you are wondering what is around the corner.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

"A Quiet Corner" - Montsalvat

"A Quiet Corner - Montsalvat"
 on homemade sanded paper 40cm x 25cm
Recently I spent a day at Monsalvat with a group of fellow pastelists from the Pastel Society of Victoria, Australia.  The light improved as the day went on and I captured this tranquil little corner.  The shadows were as luring as the old louvers and textured walls.  I can imagine sitting here with a friend for a chat and relaxing for hours.

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Plenty River

"Plenty River"

Plenty River at Plenty Gorge Park
On Mi Ti Tientes Rose
47cm X  31cm

A local scene that changes each day providing a lovely outlook for all who stop to notice.   The reflections are irresistible and I am happy that I have had the opportunity to paint them.

Wetland Doreen

"Wetland" Doreen

The Scarlett Pot

"The Scarlett Pot"

“The Scarlett Pot”
Pastel on Mi Teintes Paper
47 cm X 34cm

Erskine Falls 2

"Erskine Falls 2" SOLD

“Erskine Falls 2”
Pastel on AS Suede 36cm X 65cm

Looking the other direction to the Erskine waterfall was another beautiful scene waiting to be painted.  Of course I have omitted all the people from this tranquil scene.  

Erskine Falls 1

"Erskine Falls 1" - Lorne

“Erskine Falls 1”
On Mi Teintes Paper 27cm x 47cm

At the top of the ‘things to do’ list for Lorne was to walk into Erskine Falls.  It did not disappoint.  The walk into the falls was rewarded with a beautiful water fall surrounded by ferns, reflections, textured rocks and light sprinkling through the foliage.  As soon as I photographed the falls I could see the finished painting, highlighting the light as it filtered through the foliage at the top of the waterfall.  The purples that appeared in the rock shadows were beautiful.  

Montsalvat Arch

“Montsalvat Arch”
Pastel on Black Mi Teintes Paper
18cm x 25cm

Having so many inspiring photos of Montsalvat, I soon became fired up to paint more of this beautiful place.  It really is an amazing place that has the ability to transport you to somewhere a million miles away from Eltham Victoria.  The texture of the stone walls contrast beautifully with the foliage that drapes them.

Monsalvat Shadows

"Monsalvat Shadows" SOLD

“Monsalvat Shadows”
Pastel on Black Mi Teintes Paper 
38cm x 43cm

It seemed about time I paint some buildings after concentrating on reflections for some time.  Sometime ago I took myself to Monsalvat for a day of en plein air painting.  This scene fits well with my current focus of getting more light into my work (a never ending struggle).  I really enjoyed painting this, perhaps I felt like I had travelled to Europe for a day!  

Don't Leave Me

“Don’t Leave Me”
Pastel on home made board, burnt umber
46cm x 38cm

Standing at the car, saying goodbye to our hosts in Lorne, the family dog meandered up to the property boundary.  His owner yelled out “get back here” and he slowly turned as if contemplating his choices.  He is a beautiful fully grown sheep dog, so fluffy and with bounding energy.  Since taking the photo I have had the painting in my head.

The texture of the surface shows through the pastel adding a lovely dimension to the painting.

No Laughing Matter

“No Laughing Matter” SOLD
Pastel on Mi Teintes paper
37cm x 29cm

My family and I were exploring Lorne on a beautiful sunny day.  We were being closely watched by a Kookaburra who sat high on the edge of a roof.  It has been well over a year since I painted on anything without a sanded surface, so I was looking forward to experimenting with the texture of his feathers and making the back ground soft and suggestive.   I used a Canson paper and kept my pastel layers thin.  I enjoyed getting the pastel pencils out too.


Pastel on Mi Teintes paper
30cm x 40cm

Whilst in Lorne I had the delightful experience of sitting on a balcony surrounded by native birds right at feeding time.  Talk about being in the right place at the right time!  This cockatoo sat nestled amongst the chewed leaves.  

I have just purchased some pastel pencils in a set of 72, using a voucher that I won at the Pastel Society of Victoria , Australia.  I was able to enhance the texture of the feathers using the fine point of the pencils.