A day in the Yarra Valley

IMG_3024IMG_3035IMG_3025IMG_3032IMG_3054IMG_2978IMG_2979IMG_2974IMG_2988IMG_2970IMG_2969Spent a beautiful day in the Yarra Valley today.

Visited the stunning Tarrawarra Art Gallery and vineyard.

The ‘Panorama’ exhibition was beautiful and featured Brett Whiteley, Fred Williams, Lloyd Rees and Sydney Nolan.

Domain Chandon provided a wonderful place to have lunch and you can check out all the wine making areas. Definitely worth a visit.










Also stopped at Coombe, The Melba Estate, which was the property of Opera Singer Dame Nellie Melba.

Now there is a lovely restaurant, providore and cellar door.

Today has provided me with some great new ideas for paintings.







Autumn Colour


Autumn has truly arrived here in the Yarra Valley with some gorgeous colours.

I find these colours start to show up in my paintings. The beautiful vermillion, warm yellows, red gold and lovely citrusy greens that add a zing to the work. These colours are particularly noticeable at the wineries throughout the Yarra Valley.

I was just thinking about how each new thing we learn in art, or just in general, makes such a difference to the art work we create. Having had no formal art training, other than some workshops and looking at art, my art has been a great deal of trial and error ( with plenty of the latter) and a cupboard full of different styles of paintings. But now I am starting to pull together what I have gleaned over the years from all the different learning opportunities.

I have always had a pretty good eye for colour but looking at the work of the Impressionists has improved the way I put the colours together so that they play off each other. Learning to apply the media I am working with more freely has made a big difference to my work in many ways. And teaching art has been a great opportunity to play with different styles and look at lots of artists.

Nothing we learn is ever wasted, sometimes it just takes a while to use it.


Finding my style, finally!

I have been creating art of some kind or another since I was young. And I have tried all number of arts and crafts looking for my ‘thing’ my ‘style’ and now after all those years I think I have finally found what I have been looking for.

A style that blends everything I enjoy.

Colour but with a limited palette that allows for better tone in the painting but still strong colour and variety of colour. Naive art, as that has always been my first love, I think it is the Austrian background. There is a simplicity and joy to naive art but now I think my work has a little more modern feel to it. More freedom and movement in the style of painting than I have managed before as usually I painted with a very tight style. And realising that it is important to paint what you know but that you can make it become whatever you want it to be. Hope that all makes sense!

I’m hoping to create a few more artworks now and take them to show to a local gallery or two and see what happens. It is a big risk for artists to get their work out there and I guess you have to accept that not everyone will love it as much as you do or even as much as your family does.

So I’m excited to reach this stage.

Let me know how you managed to find your style or got your art work exhibited. I would love to know.


Recurring themes in my art.

Birds seem to visit my art work on a regular basis. I’m not sure what it is but I love creating work around this theme. Perhaps it is because where I live there are always birds about, you can hear them all the time . Even when I was young we would feed the kookaburras and magpies.  Now there are plenty of cockatoos, parrots, wrens, magpies, owls, wattle birds and the little blackbirds flicking mulch and following me around the garden.

These works are multi plate Lino prints and a mixed media piece.

What are your favourite themes in art?


Beautiful prints

The variety of prints for the Backyard Bird exhibition was fantastic. Lino prints, etchings, multi plate, reduction prints and some chine colle. Great colours and styles. It’s always great to see what other artists are up to and how they interpret the same topic.

I had another go with steaming foliage in between paper and also on to some fabric. Much better results, probably because I was a little more patient. The leaves from the liquid amber and Japanese maple worked really well. The geranium flowers give a beautiful colour on the fabric, far better than on to the paper. Now I will need to think of something to do with these pages, perhaps over printing with some lino.

Works in progress

I have missed doing some painting so got busy the past week working on a couple of new paintings. The one on the left is my backyard, although at the moment it is actually a little drier than this due to lack of rain and some really hot weather.

The great thing about creating art is that there is no right or wrong answer, only what you want. There is great freedom in art but it can take a while to realise that what you do is ok as long as it makes you happy.