Tuesday, June 23, 2015


The surprising piece of work I made for the Tropical Delirium exhibition was a sculpture - I almost never work in 3D, but after I made a little painting of a gardener and a drawing, I really wanted to get rid of the background and just focus on her.

I'd have loved to do a woodcarving or stone carving - but I didn't have the materials, and it might have taken me 10 years to learn the skills!! - so I made her out of paper mache. I made the basic form out of rolled up newspaper pulled into shape with masking tape, and then layer after layer of newspaper and diluted pva glue, and then brown paper to give it a bit more strength. I painted it with acrylics. It was a complete experiment, and I was pretty happy with how it turned out - the finish is fairly rough, if I made another I'd pay more attention to the face, to get it smoother and easier to paint!

Here's the little painting it goes with.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Big for me.

Last Friday was the opening of the group exhibition I’m part of called ‘Lost in Tropical Delirium’. I didn’t wander too far from my favourite subjects of gardening, parks, beach and birds, my experience of life in the tropics. I challenged myself to work a bit bigger than usual.

This one I think is 60x60cm – ‘Mother and daughter reading’. I posted the sketches for this one last time. It’s not based on real life, my daughter doesn’t come walking down the beach with me (too boring), and neither of the figures looks like us. But we do both read a lot, my daughter usually reads on an I-pad, one day she told me she was reading an manga called ‘Death Note’ (a fairly dark and edgy tale), and I was reading something at the other end of the spectrum ‘The Miniaturist’ set in 17th century Amsterdam. I guess this is the moment that sparked the painting.

The other biggish painting I did is approx. 60x80cm is called ‘The Cloud Dress’. It’s based on a little doodle in my sketchbook. The crotons in the background of the painting and the bush chooks at the front are very characteristic of Darwin gardens…

I’ll show you some of my other exhibition pieces next time.

I’m looking forward to a lovely weekend of singing. Dynes Austin is musical director of The Café of the Gate of Salvation Choir in Sydney, he’s coming to Darwin to lead a weekend of workshops which ends with a free concert on Sunday at 4.30 at Christchurch Cathedral. (workshops are open to anyone so if you’re interested contact Darwin Chorale) We’ll be singing thiskind of music – have a listen!