Owl Painting


I have finally found a way to paint with watercolours on stretched canvas that works for me, as I sometimes get a bit bored with conventional watercolor painting on paper. And it’s always good to paint something that is ready to hang in only a couple of hours!

I painted it fairly quickly while doing a few hours at the wonderful art & craft co-operative that John and I are members of – The Nook – here in the Blue Mountains.

It was a very spontaneous painting; I had been cherishing a gorgeous photo of an owl for many years from which I had been wanting to paint some kind of picture. It has been stuck to my cupboard in the studio waiting to be realized. We are lucky enough to receive occasional visits from what I think may be a Barking Owl – he sits on top of the clothes line and watches silently in the dark with his curious eyes…

You can purchase a gorgeous giclee print of this painting here.

Dragonfly Painting – Chinese brush style

Our good friends supplied me with some gorgeous handmade mulberry bark paper from Thailand – where they deal in fair trade amongst various communities.

This paper is also known as Rice Paper but it is made from Mulberry trees. It is beautiful to paint on in a spontaneous, direct way much like the Chinese style of brush painting called Shui-mo..

I have been experimenting with this style of painting with dragonfly imagery and these are some examples of the results. Once the paint has touched the paper’s silky surface, there can be no mistakes- expression, fluidity and focus are elements that help to make a successful painting on this kind of paper. It is a lovely challenge, and a wonderfully mindful way to create – quite relaxing and meditative…

Dragonfly Picture with Bamboo

Dragonfly Picture with Bamboo

I am looking at plants, insects and flowers in a completely different way now- in terms of their essence and how to capture this in a few simple brush strokes.

These paintings are available from my Online Shop here: Original Paintings


Tree Jewelry Design for Necklace & Brooch

I have finally finished the Tree design – the master copy has been cast from my wax carving.

I had previously posted the initial wax carving and sketch – see Jewelry Designs to the left – and here is the final piece cast in solid silver after the wax carving was finished. I used the hard green carving wax and filled in details with pink relief wax – wax is such a wonderful medium to work with. The finished piece or master copy is used to create a silicone mold to be cast centrifugally in pewter, and the design will be a brooch, a choker, a keyring and a pendant. Exciting!

I love depicting trees in all forms; their sinuous trunks and branches are perfect for translation into Art Nouveau style designs, and trees have powerful symbolism in their soulful beauty.

I decided to put two little birds in the branches of this tree so it would have company….

Tree Necklace and Tree Brooch
Tree Necklace and Tree Brooch Design

Under the Tree

A soldier rode up on his tumbling black horse

to the woman under the Tree,

“What are you waiting for ?”, he said

“For Death”, answered she.


He asked “May I wait by your side?”

“Sit down” she beckoned him there,

and he sat beneath the shadowy branches

As she began plaiting her hair.


He watched as her fingers parted her tresses-

turning this way and that ,

and she gathered some flowers, grasses and clover

and knotted them in with her plaits.


” What are you doing?” asked the soldier,

Desire creeping into his heart

” I am gathering my possessions around me

before my funeral may start.”


And he saw how lovely she was

There in the shade of the Tree

“Surely you are born of this meadow

and lie waiting in it for me…”


He took off his armour and he took up his sword

as he brushed the hair from her face,

and he entered it into her body

with beautiful sly, gentle grace.


She clung to him whispering softly

so that only the Tree could hear


New Jewellery Design – Tree Necklace and Brooch

well- that says it all….

I have all the paraphanalia spread out before me…gas burner, hard and soft wax, old dentist tools, craft knife, sand paper –

here is a photo of the sketched idea and the current state of the carving…it should be finished in a month or so- and will be here on our website amongst all my other original jewellery designs when it is!

My inspiration, again, is Nature – the all embodying Tree. I want something that is both lyrical in form but also functional as a totem piece of jewellery, so hopefully I can realise this….wax-carving.jpg

Some New stuff before the Dark stuff

Just finished this painting of what I think may be a self portrait with a swan.

Again, Blue is the colour of a certain emotion…. we are both dreaming of something…flight, perhaps ?

It is done with watercolour, gouache and pen on a beautiful 100% cotton rag Italian paper -and I think one of John’s gorgeous recycled timber frames in white Federation moulding will be perfect for it!

Dragonfly Pictures

Dragonfly Picture

Thought I’d quickly post this collage of new Dragonfly works that I have obsessively been painting on scraps of lovely paper left over from my Printmaking.

They have been great to do -mostly because I love depicting dragonflies whenever I can, on whatever I can(T-shirts ,Bags, Prints)

The first one is a dragonfly sojourn at midnight under a full Moon – kind of dark but I like that … and the black & white drawing is still a work in progress, so we will see how it develops. The bottom one is a Japanese-style watercolour painting on beautiful handmade Mulberry bark paper from Thailand – this kind of textured natural paper is really interesting to work on – it is not a watercolour paper so does not allow the paint to blend on the surface- more suited to quick line work. Here is an original for sale.

They were very popular during the Art Nouveau era as they are so stylistically suited to the flowing organic forms of Nature depicted by the designers of that time. Tiffany and Lalique have some of my favourite pieces of dragonflies- so inspiring !

I just wish things were made like that still, with care and great imagination; that’s why I have been slowly developing my own range of Art Nouveau Jewellery. -in honour of this forgotten era

thanks for looking – there will be some darker stuff coming soon….

Faery Cat…the beginnings

Faery CatI am really missing having a cat around the house as I have always grown up with them and found these beautiful creatures a constant source of inspiration and comfort. So I am bringing their spirit through into this A4 drawing about the exquisite beauty and tranquillity of a sleeping cat…they almost look like they are lost in faerieland when they are asleep ! I am working on it slowly, while sitting at our market stall at Glebe Market, Sydney.

I used to do a lot of black & white drawings when I was a student, filling in all my lecture notes with little illustrations. There are some of my older works on my website and it is really wonderful to be doing this sort of finely detailed work again.

Listening to p.j harvey’s new “White Chalk” album with it’s simplicity and haunting emotion reminds me why I love this way of creating. Drawing in freehand, with only the barest of pencil lines to guide the progress of pen on paper – it is a good meditation and a great way to gain drawing confidence and freedom of expression ! Guess we’ll have to see how it turns out….but the path to creating is often more fun than what is at the end….


27 February 2008

Finally finished this – here it is ! …it kind of got spirited away with itself…

The Song of the World

I have just finished this book – The Song of the World – by French author Jean Giono – and it was incredible. I must say that I have never read anything quite like it – it’s prose is powerful and archaic, and the imagery is so vivid, I could feel so much of the sensations described in this beautiful story.

Nature’s divinity is truly captured in this book, and the human condition contained within it in such a poignant, intuitive way really resonated with me. He also wrote “Horseman on the Roof” which will have to be my next read….