Sunday, 28 December 2014

Artists' Diary week 37

Hmm, final blog for 2014….sadly NO paintings were completed this week! 

Although I did do some scouting for a plein air trip in autumn so it wasn't completely art free.  Oh my goodness, the views across to the Liverpool Ranges from Merriwa are stunning, can't wait to spend a few days painting out there.

And Christmas has come and gone! 

What an amazing time spent with family in Merriwa in the Upper Hunter. We travelled from Brisbane, Castlereagh and Millthorpe descending on this lovely town to spend a few days together. It has become our tradition to travel to a different family home each year as we all live some distance from each other.
This time of year is not about gift giving, although quite a few were exchanged but about being together! And we did have a Christmas 'miracle'. My sons' very old, blind and pretty deaf dog disappeared for 3 days….we were all convinced she had gone off to die but no, she was found and returned so happy faces all round!

      Our annual family B&W photo taken after a very late night playing 'Pictionary' and 'Trivial Pursuit'

The cool kids Georgie, Nyah and Emerson at the skate park!

Breathing Colours still has its' group show up and running

I do hope you all enjoyed time with your families and friends.

The new year is set to be a very exciting one and the exhibition entries are already starting to pile up so without further ado I would like to wish everyone a very Happy and Painterly 2015!

Monday, 22 December 2014

Artists' Diary Week 36

Another week, another opening!

Visited BC Gallery for the opening of their Christmas Show. I have some work hanging and there are some lovely things on display including jewelry, paintings, ceramics and glassware!

Hmmm, looks like party time to me with Mellissa Read Devine

Mwah doing my bit to keep the gallery open…bought a beautiful ring! Thank you Mellissa Read Devine for the pic and the ride down.

Only produced one painting this week, am looking forward to post Christmas to get stuck into  a new body of work.
'The Wetlands' 20"x16" plein air

Managed to frame a couple of oils with my lovely new frames, I am delighted with the result. A big thank to my framers, The Art Scene at West Ryde who always source what I want and do a great job.
The framing always makes such a difference.

I am looking forward to a few days with my family over Christmas, just relaxing and enjoying each others' company.

Merry Christmas all!

Monday, 15 December 2014

Artists' Diary Week 35

It can't really be nearly Christmas…..

Oh my, was bewildered when visiting family said on leaving 'See you in Merriwa next week for Christmas'. Well, that was a wake up call.

This last week has been extremely social with not a lot of work being done. 

Attended a wonderful exhibition opening with friend Mellissa Read Devine at the Dank St Gallery Waterloo. Richard Claremont and Jane Canfield have adorned the walls with luscious landscapes from Richard and beautifully evocative works from Jane. I would urge anyone who can get along to it does so. Well worth a visit!
Kristine Ballard, mwah, Richard Claremont and Mellissa Read Devine

Only managed to paint one plein air work this week….
'Along Springwood Rd' 18"x18" oil on board

Taught my last class for the year and have been delighted by the work produced by my students.
'Rushforth II' 56cmx38cm

Friday evening was spent with friends followed up with a family Christmas lunch on Saturday and we were treated to this….

 A ukelele orchestra
and I knew a few of the players including a couple of artist friends, great fun!

We also had family visiting from New Zealand.

Sunday was another social time with long time friends. One I started school with a very long time ago! A wonderful time was had by all.

Purple Noon Gallerys' 'Under $600' sale continues
Breathing Colours has a new show opening this weekend

Monday, 8 December 2014

Artists' Diary Week 34

Driving… and rain!

Yes, it has been wet, very, very wet! We have had rivers running through our garden and our mulch has been deposited in the neighbours' paddock! No real complaints because it was becoming pretty dry and the garden has sparked up considerably! 

Had a lovely evening at the opening of the Blacktown City Art Prize where my painting was acquired by the Ford Land Company.
 With my acquired piece 'Postcards from the Kimberley'
 The two Devine ladies, Patricia and Mellissa
Myself with Mellissa Read Devine and the wonderfully talented Jody Graham who won the works on paper section with this wonderful piece!

Visited my courier for the last time this year and to collect a few unsold works and delivered some work to an art shop/gallery in Magnolia Mall, Richmond. Pleased to say I have had some sales there!
Visited my framers to sort out frames to suit my oils, can be difficult to find just the right thing at times. Samples are being made and decisions will follow.

Taught the second to last class of the year.
'Rushforth' Fridays' class demo.

Managed to complete three plein air oils this week. We have had amazing skies which were demanding to be painted!

Two views south from Castlereagh both 16"x12"
'Yarramundi Lagoon' 20"x16"

Saturday afternoon visited the newly opened Von Dorff Gallery in Ramsgate for the official opening. I have a number of works hanging. A quick trip back home, packed a bag and we were off to beautiful Millthorpe o'night to stay with family and visit the Millthorpe Market where my son and his family had a stall selling garlic they grew on their Dripstone farm. 

Was nice to have other family stay o/night for a visit too!

Busy week this week with overseas visitors staying with us, painting with friends and my final class of the year!

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Artists' Diary Week 33

Winding down, down ,down….

It appears to me to have been a particularly busy year and am feeling in need of a mighty big rest but there are still some shows to enter before the end of the year, some framing to finish up, paintings to be collected from couriers and some openings to attend!

The plein air challenge I participated in concluded on Sunday. I didn't manage to paint every day but did complete 18. Following are this weeks' effort.

'Across Cornwallis'

                                           'On the Rise'                                   'South to Penrith'                                                                            

'Bills' Sheds'

Managed to complete just one watercolour demonstration this week. My students chose the subject from my pictures and then freaked out…..still they did do some great work!
'Back Canal, Venice'

Coming up this weekend is the re-opening of the Von Dorff Art Gallery at
 380 Rocky Point Rd, Ramsgate. I have a few works hanging. The fun starts at around midday, all welcome!

Also this weekend I have works at Purple Noon for their Christmas Exhibition.

November was a particularly busy month with open studio weekends, teaching commitments and the plein air challenge along with all the normal things an artist needs to do but entwined with this we have been renovating and glamping on our deck (for the last 3 months) but I am pleased to say the work is nearing completion!

'Living on the Deck' it's really been pretty good, I have a barbecue, coffee machine & couch, what more does one need!

So, as life returns to some semblance of normality in our household I am looking forward to getting stuck into some serious painting!

Coming up Blacktown City Art Prize

Happy painting 

Monday, 24 November 2014

Artists' Diary Week 32

Another full week painting continuing on with my plein air challenge. Have not completed one a day as intended, life does seem to get in the way at times.

'Spotted Gum'
'Dappled Light' 

'Up Behind the Sheds' 16"x12"

'North on the Hawkesbury' 24"x12"

The most exciting thing to happen this week was the receipt of a letter informing me I was the 2014 Artist of the Year for the Combined Art Societies of Sydney (CASS) 

Also had both my paintings accepted into the Blacktown City Art Prize

Headed off to the RAS on Friday to teach, fortunately they have air conditioning in the studios with the outside temperature soaring.

'Over the Fence' Friday demonstration

Had family visit which is always wonderful and miss them when they leave.

Opened my studio again on the weekend and had a few more visitors including someone I admire greatly as a person and an artist who took the time to visit! Had a couple of sales which is always a good thing. Sunday it was just horrible weather wise, got to 44.4deg and was pretty uncomfortable for everyone.

Still smiling in 44deg as I wrapped some paintings.

Sunday night took the time to enter a few shows coming up in January.

What's coming up;
Blacktown City Art Awards
Royal Art Society 9"x5" exhibition

Happy Painting!

Monday, 17 November 2014

Artists' Diary Week 31

Seems like in the last week I have lived a lifetime!

Tuesday evening headed to the Opera House for a Tori Amos concert, daughter had spare tickets! She performed with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and the wave of music just engulfed us. They played superbly and Tori Amos didn't disappoint. The next night it was into Mosman for dinner, again with the daughter. Living in Brisbane we don't get to see each other a lot so it was a nice little sojourn. After dinner we deposited her at the airport!

My plein air painting a day challenge continues, here are a few from this week. Must admit I have missed a couple of days so need to get out and paint a few extras!

On Friday I delivered my paintings for Blacktown City Art Prize, fingers crossed they are selected for hanging!

In between all this I have been madly preparing for my open studio weekends!
All looked wonderful until it rained, had to whip off the outside paintings until it cleared which it did then after rehanging the wind decided to blow! And blow it did! 
Even had new signs made

Georgie giving assistance!

Still, I was happy with the results from this weekend and look forward to next weekend. Had a number of sales and picked up a couple of commissions which I don't normally do but these are right up my alley! The buyers want me to come to the family farm near Grenfell to paint the wonderful old farm buildings!

One of the paintings I did sell was a favourite of mine and has been very kind to me winning a couple of Best in Show awards, three still life awards and a number of Watercolour awards. A regular buyer bought it for her husband for Christmas.

'All Keyed Up' Sold

Feel free to pop in and say hi this weekend and talk all things arty, would love to see you!

Happy Painting!

Monday, 10 November 2014

Artists' Diary Week 30

Friends, family and fun

This week has been defined by family visiting and spending time with friends and generally just enjoying the beautiful weather!

My brother flew out to Canada on Wednesday after a couple of weeks with us to catch up with our elderly father. He was helpful (his wife had told him to give us a hand), fixed my Julian box for me, cleaned our driveway and did other odd jobs, he also cooked and cleaned! Something I am always happy to share.

This was followed up with my son and his family coming down from beautiful Merriwa for the weekend.

Around all of this socializing I am still preparing for my open studio. Have collected my new signs and changed over paintings!

I have also been continuing with my plein air challenge but missed Saturday. I was too busy in Sydney wandering the Botanic Gardens then heading to the Opera House for a matinee performance from the Australian Ballet 'Labayadere'.

The gardens are truly stunning this year and I recommend a visit!

Huge Jacaranda in full bloom
The roses are just stunning!

Friday was at the RAS teaching and it was nice to do a watercolour.
'Along the Federal Highway'

Was delighted to hear one of my students won the watercolour prize at the student exhibition at the RAS on Friday evening. In fact they all won a prize, was feeling chuffed.

So, what's coming up? My open studio over the next two weekends. All welcome so come and enjoy a glass of wine and some nibbles with me!

Happy Painting!