Bangalow art weekend away

Its amazing how much inspiration lies around us all the time but goes completely unnoticed. At our art workshop weekend in Bangalow we were sent on a mission to the local park to gather and collect as much inspiration as we could from the natural elements at the park. We were encouraged to look at things at different angles, close up and from far away, from lying down or bending sideways. What we all discovered to our surprise was just how much information there was in that small little park. We made drawings, took photographs and journalled about our experience, then took all that information with us back to the drawing room...

 sketches in the park

setting up on day 1

 Day 1 experimenting with charcoal, pencils, ink, paint and anything else I could find...

 Day 2 – our critique at the end of the weekend

 my 3 drawings

 some close ups

latest commission complete

A very good friend of mine from art school days in Cape Town has 3 sisters, one of whom immigrated to Australia and is now living in rural Victoria, Australia. Like me she has 2 cheeky and gorgeous little girls and she wanted them depicted in a painting for her house in nice bright colours. We based her painting on a piece I created a few years ago. Jeannine loved the vibrancy of the teals, reds and pinks of my painting "Water Garden" so I used this painting as the base in which to set her 2 gorgeous young daughters. Painting faces is always challenging – to capture the essence of someones face from photographs without always knowing the person is often tricky. However, I have to say I am really thrilled with the way this painting has ended up and so is Jeannine :)

"Water Garden" 2013

Current work in progress

I started working on this piece over a week ago. It started out with the intention of being somewhat of an underwater coral reef scene but as always I am removing it slowly and slowy away from anything recognisable. I sort of liked how it looked but then I thought it was all too curvy and organic so I started taking shapes out and changing the colours. It now looks quite different to how it started and I'm still not there. I look at it for 5 minutes and love it, then look away and come back to it and then I hate it! It's a common phase of this middle part of the painting process that a lot of artists go through I think. There are sections of it that I love - but as a whole it is not working yet! But I will get there. Its a big sucker this one - 150cm x 150cm! Will post the final picture once its complete.

Work sold this week since the airing of our Grand Designs episode

1. Shock the Monkey – to Lauren in Sydney

 2. Express Yourself – to Lease in Sydney

3. Coming in from the Cold – to Maria in Sydney

When Doves Cry – to Krisztina in Perth

Well its been a busy week! 3 painting have been shipped to Sydney and one will leave for Perth next week. Quite a few commissions lining up too and the response from the show has been incredible! Now the challenge will be keeping my stock levels up!

In the studio

It's Monday and I'm trying to get as much work done on my current commission for a friend down in rural Victoria. This is me in my shipping container studio in Yeerongpilly, Brisbane that my hubby Todd put together. We like to keep things themed! Lol...

Since Grand Designs aired last Thursday night I have been inundated with requests for paintings which is so fantastic! Lots of hours in the studio for me!

Grand Designs fast approaching!

Oh my gosh, its less than a week till the show airs!! My husband Todd and I embarked on one of the biggest challenges of our lives at the end of December 2012 when we demolished our cute little 3 bedroom single level brick home in Graceville, Brisbane and took on the task of building an enormous 3 level home out of 31 shipping containers. We have not been allowed to share photos or talk about our experience until after the show airs so I am looking forward to posting lots of progress photos once the episode has aired. We are house number 1 of Series 5 of Grand Designs Australia, hosted by Peter Maddison. I have to say it was one of the most fun and rewarding experiences of my life. I have always hated being in front of any camera and Todd and I were nervous wrecks the first day they came to shoot. But the crew and Peter soon put us at ease and from there it just became one big lot of fun!

We are of course nervous about watching the show with the rest of Australia, not knowing how we will come across or how the house will look, but we know we are extremely proud of what we have achieved and are looking forward to reliving the experience on telly!

Shipping container house Instagram photos

These are some images I took during the build process of our 31 shipping container house built in the first half of 2013.

Todd and the girls after driveway completion. Made from old railway sleepers and all hand assembled by Todd. No wonder he looks shattered! 

The back of the house structure pre windows

Peter Maddison of Grand Designs during filming

Me loving my new deck colour!

Lulu and Frankie testing out the kitchen in progress

The girls :)

Me in our bedroom work in progress

Todd on the tools

The house taking shape

Me outside the front nearing winter...

Here with Myself

I am exhibiting this weekend at the Staverton Kindy Soiree in Chelmer, Brisbane. I have been working on a few smaller pieces for this show and this is one of them. I have been working on very large gestural pieces lately so it was actually nice to reign it in and work on something a bit finer and more detailed. I also enjoyed working with gold leaf for the first time. Fiddly stuff but gives a great effect!

I'm back!

Well, it has been a very very long time between posts but I am going to try and get my blog back up and running and get it updated with all the paintings I have produced since my last post a couple years ago. I have just recently held my first major exhibition which was hugely successful. I sold 11 out of my 20 pieces and just sold another 2 this weekend at another show.

Opening night of "True Colours" at the Percolator in Paddington 13–17 August 2014.

Me with my husband, Todd.

Sold to the beautiful Bonnie :)

Sold to the luscious Libby!

And my dear Annette :)

With Bella and Julesies, my darlings!

'True Colours' exhibition artworks

This exhibition was completely inspired and painted under the influence of 80s music... Music that was the soundtrack to my life as young teenager living in the 80s in South Africa. See if you recognise any of these song tracks - perhaps one of your favourites is here too?

Africa (Toto)


Blue Monday (New Order)

Cruel Summer (Banarama)


Ebony and Ivory (Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder)

Express Yourself (Madonna)

Eye of the Tiger (Survivor)


Faith (George Michael)


Here comes the Rain Again (Eurythmics)


Just and Illusion (Imagination)


Purple Rain


Relax (Frankie Goes to Hollywood)


True Colours (Cyndi Lauper)


True (Spandau Ballet)


Walking on Sunshine (Katrina and the Waves)


When Doves Cry (Prince)

Whispers and Moans (Crowded House)


Pump up the Jam (Technotronic)