Friday, 28 December 2012

Hydrangea in Pot

                                            Acrylic on board 6" x 6"

Yay! I managed to squeeze in one more painting by year's end.  I was very pleased with the results of today's painting, although not so much with the photo of it.  Couldn't seem to get a lovely crisp reproduction because I still haven't learnt to use my camera properly!

I could hear Greg Baker's voice (see blog for 27th Nov) in my head today while painting, which was a good thing.  It helped me do better with the tone.  I also put more effort in on the foundations before starting on the detail.

I was also quite pleased at the composition of the painting which I cobbled together from a photo I had taken a week or two ago.  Mostly when I've painted from photos I get bogged down in trying to faithfully reproduce them - colours and all.  Not that I ever succeed of course but it doesn't stop me trying.

This is the same hydrangea that I used for reference last time but it had changed colour somewhat since I took the first round of photo reference shots.  When I bought it, it was an elegant creamy colour with purple highlights.  I didn't realise that it was just in its adolescence and it soon matured into a lovely vibrant purpley, blue colour.

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Merry Christmas!

We had a lovely Christmas day that began with our traditional swim at the beach. I was relieved to see that the conditions were very calm and clear when we arrived - all the better to spot any unwelcome visitors.  Our state has had too many shark sightings and attacks in recent times to be able to swim with gay abandon anymore.  Not that I was ever particularly relaxed swimming in the ocean anyway, being shark phobic long before they became regular news items.  The temperature rose to nearly 40C today.  The sea breeze had limped in by midday but took till the late afternoon before it became refreshing.

There were a lot of people setting up on the beach, but they are out of sight in this photo owing to the angle of the shot.  Not so many in the water as usual and very few  further out.  Usually on a day like this there would be flotillas of snorkellers mooching around the reefs taking their new flippers and goggles out for a test run.

I'm hoping now that the Christmas frenzy is over I will have time to paint by the end of the week.

I hope everyone had a very merry day!

Saturday, 8 December 2012


                                                  Acrylic on board  5" x 7"

Wasn't very pleased with this effort, but am posting it to show the evidence that I have wielded a brush today.  I have a lot to learn about tone. I intend to make it a high priority in the quest to improve my paintings.

I had bought a few lovely potted hydrangeas of different hue to decorate the back garden for my daughter's afternoon birthday tea party.  It was a challenge to get some good photos before the heat spoilt them.  Having come straight from their pampered greenhouses they hadn't had a chance to harden up against the heat.  I have one long suffering hydrangea that has limped through quite a few summers in my care(lessness).
It is looking its happiest for years.  Now it's used to the harshness of the big outdoors it doesn't wilt so easily .  Since re-igniting my passion for gardening recently the garden and potplants are looking better than they have for some time.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Native Garden

This week went in a blur.  Impossible to squeeze in any painting time unfortunately.

The other week I took some photos of the native flowers I have been planting in my garden.
The above is a Verticordia Plumosa (I think!)

This is a red lechenaultia.  I have also planted some blue ones - mid and sky blue.

I'm trying to create a dazzling understory to the huge eucalyptus tree that dominates this area.  Time will tell if the new arrivals are happy with their sunshine quota.
The light is very dappled, which is very pretty but maybe not robust enough for some of the plants.

Oh yes! Like phoenix' from the ashes, a few seedlings finally appeared in the pots from the September propagation class . Although, with the temps in the mid to high 30Cs the last couple of days, I think I already have some casualties.  As I mentioned before, all my cosseted cuttings from that class turned their toes up, so imagine my surprise to find that three cuttings I have simply shoved in the dirt are all looking very much alive.  They were bits that had broken off various plants when I was getting them out of their pots.