Art Residency – Police Point Portsea

What a wonderful experience and opportunity it has been to spend two beautiful weeks at Police Point Art Residency in Portsea.

The weather has been magical every day. I’ve been for walks around the Quarantine Station, visited Cape Schanck, Flinders, Main Ridge, Arthur’s Seat, the glorious back beaches and simply enjoyed the view from the studio window. So much so that I usually ate breakfast and dinner there!

I had planned to do some lino printing but due to problems with my hands at the moment I went for paint and colour instead. The Landscape seemed to lead me in the direction for the style of painting, similar to other works but still something a bit different for me.

I usually started with lots of photos from the wanderings and used these to create a simple design, filled with colour, pattern and some added mixed media. See  previous posts for steps. Colours changed as the paintings progressed and I was on a limited colour palette, tried not to bring too much stuff with me.  I think you can see the colours from the landscape echoed in the paintings.

Also had a delightful visitor who came looking for a drink and a bath today, he was gorgeous.

If you have the opportunity to participate in a residency, where you have time to just create, make the most of that time. It can be the beginning of something amazing.

The opportunity was made available through Mornington Peninsula Shire.

Thank you.



Artist Trail

Around Sorrento and Portsea there are a number of sites that you can visit to see where some of Australia’s most famous artists came to paint. Artists include; John Perceval, Penleigh Boyd and Arthur Boyd, Arthur Streeton and Albert Tucker.

Wander along the cliff edge called ‘Millionaires Walk’ between Sorrento and Portsea and you will see a number of views painted by these artists and the houses along there are quite nice too! You can certainty understand why they came here to paint, the views and colours are inspiring. The easy walk is only about 1km with a few gates to go through and beautiful sea views. You might also see The Spirit of Tasmania, Queenscliff Ferry or even one of the large cruise ships.

Also visit London Bridge at Portsea back beach to view another incredible seascape.

Painting – knowing when it is finished.

It is always difficult to decide when a work is finished. I always think, is that it, should I add a bit more, change the colour, more detail, less detail aggh! It can be rather tricky.

I find it good to walk away for a while and then go back and have a look. what is it missing? Is ther not enough contrast or do things blend too much. I have to say I do like a bit of colour but have learned to use a more simple palette so that I am not overloading on colours. I would love to have a go at something with more subtlety, more greys , this might be the next challenge, I think I will find it quite difficult.

So I think this is finished. Always with a bit of mark making details, just like in my lino prints.

Here you can see the process I went through to get to the final piece. could have gone off in other directions but I’m happy with the work.

Watercolour development- both colour and confidence.

IMG_8645IMG_8636IMG_8628Have been playing with some watercolours trying to create an image that represents Point Nepean, the very tip of the Mornington Peninsula.

Popped the picture on Instagram and received some good advice about developing more tone in the artwork. It’s lovely to get ‘likes’ but it is great to get some feedback both positive and great suggestions which can only improve your work.  I have learned a lot by having a go and being prepared to risk opinions. It can take a while to feel confident enough to do just that but well worth the risk and people are always very encouraging. Glad they take the time to comment. Means they’re interested.



Collagraph and Collage- a great combination

I have to admit I have a weakness for a little bit of cut and paste! Probably all these years of being an art teacher.

I really enjoy making collagraph plates. Combining them, layering them and getting a wonderful surprise. Then the real fun starts when you get to add collage, drawings and some painting, creating another layer of interest and intricacy. Sometimes it can be hard to know when to stop. And you can top it all by making it into a delightful artist book.

These pieces were inspired by two books I read about botanical artists. One about Celia Rosser who spent 25 years painting all the banksias in Australia. The other was called ‘The Flower Hunter’ about another Australia artist. This one is in the late 1890s, where she went and what she saw was incredible. Two amazing people!


Next Step

Some of the 100 artworks at the FSPS Summer Salon.

The Summer Salon exhibition not only gave me the opportunity to exhibit work there, it also provided for the director of Tacit Galleries Keith Lawrence, to see new works form a variety of artists. Keith was very kind and suggested that I apply for Tacit’s Editions Exhibition early next year.

I spent a good couple of hours updating Artist CV, moving photos about, not really a techie sort of person I’m afraid, and making sure I had everything he had asked for. Well I thought you have to give it a go, nothing to lose. And I was very pleased to find out that I have three works that will be included in Tacit’s Editions 19. I can’t believe it. I know some of the print artists who have had work at Editions Exhibition and they are some rather amazing artists, so I feel very honoured.

So it just shows you have to give things ago.

Exhibition 2

Every year Firestation Print Studio has a Summer Salon and for the past 5 years I have put something in. I have been very lucky to receive some recognition but this year I was thrilled to get an honourable mention for one of my lino prints, ‘Behind the Wall’ featuring the Yarra Valley. Keith Lawrence, Director of Tacit Galleries judged the works this year. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to go which was disappointing.

It goes to show you need to persevere with your art and put your work out there and you just never know what might happen!IMG_8363

Exhibition Opportunities

I am very lucky to have the opportunity to exhibit a number of my works at Wyreena Community Arts Centre in Croydon.

It’s rather busy getting organised for an exhibition, there is a lot to get ready; printing, framing, costing, delivery but the staff at Wyreena have been great, making it as easy as possible.

I am lucky to be able to exhibit a dozen works along with another artist, this is the most artwork I have had the opportunity to show. It is really important to get your work out there but it can be hard to open your self up to the opinions and comments of others. Eventually you just have to realise that as long as you are happy with your work, really that is all that matters. But it’s nice if others like them too!


Workshops are a great way to learn a new skill surrounded by like minded people. I have participated in a few workshops over the years but recently I was lucky enough to run a workshop. Introductory to Lino printing. I had a lovely group of people who were very keen to try lots of different techniques, so keen I could hardly get them to stop carving. Lovely to have such great participants for my first class.

There is a lot to think about when running a class. You want to make the experience as positive as possible, provide plenty of individual attention and cater for different ideas, you certainly don’t want everyone doing the same thing.

We were inspired by some great printmakers; Hilke MacIntyre, Margaret Preston, and David Frazer. Many included designs from their own artworks at home, great when you can use designs in different mediums.

I hope they had a good time, learnt some new skills and hopefully are keen to create some more lino prints. I know I learnt a lot and really enjoyed the experience.

Hope you have all enjoyed an inspiring workshop at sometime.


Lino print Beechworth

After a few days spent at beautiful Beechworth earlier in the year, I was inspired to create these two Lino prints. It really is a gorgeous place with so much history and heaps to see and do in the area. Definitely visit Milawa for good food and wine, particularly the Brown Brothers Estate. Oh yes and drive out of Bright to Wandiligong, stunning area, I could have stayed there!

The first is based on the bridge and Gorge that run next to the town, looking towards the wine and hops growing areas, right back to Mount Buffalo. The second features some of the lovely homes in the area, again looking towards the mountains. I seem to have a thing about carving mountains. I love to go up a mountain and wander, it is one of my favourite places to be.

Later in the year I will try a new perspective as I get to spend some time at Portsea at the Police Point Art residency. Looking forward to the experience very much and the inspiration and opportunity to create something completely different. I feel very lucky to have been selected to participate there.