Jan 27, 2023

Breaking: artist cooks a meal! Beef Bourguignon

Beef bourguignon is a classic French dish that is perfect for a cozy winter evening. This recipe is a hearty and comforting meal that is sure to please even the pickiest of eaters.


  • 1.5kg gravy beef
  • 300g pork belly
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 3 onions
  • 6 small mushrooms
  • 2 carrots
  • 4 chat potatoes
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons corn flour


  1. Cut the beef and pork belly into large chunks.

In a large pressure cooker, heat some oil on the sear/ sauté setting. Add some of the beef and brown on all sides. Do a few at a time, so that they are not touching. Turn them over when brown, sear the other side. If you try to brown all the meat at once, too much water will come out of the meat, and it will boil. You don’t want this. Take the first batch out when it’s fully browned, and do the next batch. 

Once all the meat is browned put it all back in the cooker, add pork, red wine, beef stock, and bay leaves. Cover and pressure cook for 30 minutes.

Peel and chop the onions, potatoes, beans, and carrots. You can leave the mushrooms and potatoes whole, or chop in half. 
In a spare frypan, gently fry the onions in a little butter. 

Carefully open the cooker when the 30 minutes is done.  
Add the vegetables to the stew.
Cover and pressure cook for another 30 minutes.

In a small bowl, mix the corn flour with a little cold water to form a slurry. 
Open the cooker, put the lid aside and set the controls to sauté for a few minutes.  Spoon hot stew into the bowl of corn flour and water.  Then pour this warmed slurry back into the stew, stirring constantly, until the stew thickens.

Serve the stew with crusty bread and red wine. 

Jan 25, 2023

Can artificial intelligence write a blog?

signed up to Jasper, which is an Artificial Intelligence app that is advertising right now. I asked it to write a blog post about "The art of painting water". I used four guide words: sea, river, creek and fog. In the voice of Monet. Below is what it wrote! (Not bad!)

I added some images and captions, and I changed a few words. (It was verbose, so I shortened paragraphs.)

Painting Water - A Visual Exploration
by Jasper AI

Water is a powerful force of nature that has captivated artists for centuries. From the raging sea to a gentle mist, water has been a major source of inspiration. In this blog post, I will show a few painters who have depicted water in their work.
The Sea
The sea is a popular subject for painters. Artists like Claude Monet were known for capturing the beauty and power of the ocean in their works. Monet depicts movement and energy through his use of colour and brush strokes. He was taught by Eugene Boudin to paint ‘En plein air’ while living at Le Havre, Normandy, mid 1850’s.

Monet -
The Manneporte (Étretat)

Katsushika Hokusai used ocean scenes to create woodcut prints full of graphic patterns and intrigue.

Rivers, lakes, inland waters
Still waters combined with reflections from trees or buildings create tranquil atmospheres that are perfect for painting. British painter John Constable was known for his pastoral scenes featuring rivers and lakes, which often depict everyday life in rural England. His works demonstrate how seemingly ordinary riverscapes can be worthy subjects of grand paintings. A radical concept in his day.


Rain and Fog
European rainy days are often seen as gloomy or depressing. Some artists are able to see them as beautiful, and capture this concept on canvas. English artist William Turner painted scenes featuring rain or fog with intuitive skill. His rainy days are filled with drama and emotion.

Turner - Thames Above Waterloo Bridge


Vincent Van Gogh - 
Paintings featuring water provide visual delight to viewers all over the world due to their complexity and beauty—whether it’s an expansive ocean view by Claude Monet, a peaceful river scene by Turner or a mysterious foggy landscape by —water has always been an essential part of art history. Through these diverse pieces we can appreciate both nature’s beauty as well as each artist’s unique vision when it comes to depicting water in their work .No matter what form it takes - from raging seas to gentle mists - water remains an inspiration source for many painters today!

________________________________. The End of the AI Post _________________________

Jasper AI is pretty good. But I probably won't use it in the future. It was just an experiment.

Which brings me to my own practice!
I am influenced by these masters, but I'm striving to make "water" my own.
I have started a new series that will move from looking down at water, to looking out and up! Mist.
Here is my latest work, a "looking down" painting, completed yesterday.
I still love the flow of water over rocks, especially when it travels up the canvas from bottom to top!

"New Water Old Rocks"
65 x 85cm framed
(plus postage)
Email to purchase.

Nov 4, 2022

To sign or not to sign abstract paintings

I recently visited "Blue Poles" by Jackson Pollock. It is hanging in the Australian National Art Gallery. It's purchase almost destroyed the leftist government back in the 70's. Goodness, they paid over one million dollars!! (Now estimated to be priceless!)

Pleasantly surprised to see that he had signed his painting! 

"Blue Poles" Jackson Pollack 1953

I recently have been advised that "you don't sign abstracts on the front, because it interferes with the image."

My response is: signatures have always interfered. They have cut across the soft and sensitive paint of the masters, and sometimes taken a major role in the composition.

Self-Portrait with Fur-Trimmed Robe 
Albrecht Durer 1500

These large elaborate signatures were a form of advertising for the artist, especially on self portraits. This was probably the beginning of the signature tradition, and it evolved into a modest corner position.

The same applies today: it's a form of marketing yourself, as not all visitors to your patron's home will be familiar with your style. It's a chance for networking, and it is respectful to your buyer. They won't have to pull the painting off the wall to remember the artist's name. 

The Travellers, After Cezanne
Shirley Peters 2018

The fun with abstracts is that you can hide your signature somewhere in the surface movement, or just fill a corner. 

Let me know what you think in the comment section. 



Sep 16, 2022

 "Spring Evening at Glen Davis"

35 x 45cm, oil on board.


Plein Air painting at Glen Davis


"Morning Light at the Confluence"

35 x 45cm Oil on Board

AU$620 plus postage

Jun 24, 2022

Plein air with Friends


Near Appin oil painting
A warm winter afternoon with my painting buddies Donald Talintyre and John Rice. A friendly farm owner let us park on her property. I could have painted John as he was in the middle of my view! But I worked around him. 

45 x 60cm oil on canvas. For Sale. $600 pp

Apr 10, 2022

Chickens and hospitals


Today I had to re-home these sweet girls. They were being hen-pecked by my five older hens, and I have no ability to keep them separated. So off they went. They are in a new home nearby with 20+ other chickens. (Thanks Bel!)
I'm not sad, just relieved to have one problem solved.

The other thing is that my husband Bob has just had a knee replacement, and faces a long slow rehabilitation. He had a stroke back in 2010, and half of his body does not work. So something as simple as sitting up in the bed is difficult for him, and now walking is impossible. 

A rehabilitation hospital will get things sorted. He'll go to one of these as soon as a bed is available.

Meanwhile, Honey the Cavoodle is missing her daddy! And I'm doing daily visits across town. So painting has been placed on hold for a while.

Feb 28, 2022

How I uploaded and 'minted' my first NFT in 2021.

I'm occasionally asked how I created an NFT. Non-fungible token. 

So here is my process. Changes happen all the time, so there is a chance that my instructions will be soon out of date.

I started with a movie that I created myself by animating a waterfall.  (You don't need a moving image. Just a jpeg will do.)

Get the wallet set up first.

1: Open an account with CoinSpot.com (or CoinBase or similar)

2: Deposit about AU$200

3: Buy Ethereum with that $200.

4: Open an account (called a wallet) with Metamask.com

5: Transfer your Ethereum from Coinspot to Metamask.

(Hint: You will have to use Chrome as your browser, then your Metamask Wallet account icon will sit in the top righthand corner as an extension, easy to access,)

Now to mint your NFT. (English: create your non-fungible token)

6: Open an account with Rarible.com

 7: Upload your jpg image or movie to Rarible.com

8: Decide if you want to add value by providing an “unlockable” file – eg: a high res version, suitable for printing as a bonus to someone buying your NFT.

Follow the prompts and fill in the fields.

9: Pay the “gas” fees (they vary every day, between $80 and $200!) This is where you need to use your wallet.


10: You have now minted an NFT. 

11: Open an account with Opensea.com

 and put your NFT up for sale on their site as well. I did this just to reach a larger audience.

NOTE: Expect to be charged for every transfer of money, and possibly when you buy an NFT. 

There are lots of instructions on YouTube. Just google NFT.

Good luck!

Feb 19, 2022

Beach Painting

 Back to my favourite beach. Lobster Jacks Beach at Ulladulla, NSW Auatralia.

It is close to the campsite, private, allows dogs, almost always empty. Sometimes there is just sand, other times lots of seaweed. Beautiful rocks, some of which have memories of past foliage and sealife. Yes: fossils everywhere. 

These are three plein air paintings, available on my Singulart web site.


Jan 9, 2022

Good News


Yesterday my "Abundant Waters" show was officially launched! It is a real show.  There are 14 large paintings on show (I have already sold two works prior). 

And I have been asked for smaller ones! So Today I'll see what I have in my "plein air" file.

Dec 7, 2021

What's this rubbish?

I blame Covid.

Without meaning to, I've started noticing some Instagram artists who do abstract work. Lori Mirrabelli in Canada, Lana Dion in Sydney, and others. I really, really like their work.

Maybe this abstract thing might be worth playing with, in the privacy of my studio? 

I felt the need to be private about it, as I've been fairly scathing of abstraction in the past.  I saw Rothkos (and Motherwells? or similar) while at art school. (NSW Gallery) and didn't think it would ever be my thing. I could draw well, so why ignore that skill? The nuns said you had to use any talent that God gave you. And I thought I was "talented". 

I also blame the teachers. We were not assisted in our choices as artists. We were left to our own devices to discover a path. Maybe because I was doing the Art Education course, which would end in my being an art teacher, they didn't think we students were worth cultivating as fine artists. I left the course and took up graphic design. In other words, I sold my soul to the dollar.

But when returning to painting full time in 2007, I found I had too many directions. So I stuck with the traditional painting option. The figure, as children and workers, cityscapes, harbourscapes, seascapes. Often paining plein air, with my surrounds dictating my subject matter. Trips to Italy resulted in paintings of the Roman chapels, France resulted in montages of the country side.

14 years on, it's time to look inwards. Total creativity. Abstract Art.

But, as I have the concentration span of a newt, I might change again. Who knows? Who cares?

Best of all, for me, might be a half way point: semi-abstract.

I'll let you know where I end up.

Untitled 1 (one)
Acrylic on board
40 x 60cm 
For Sale AU$300 plus post for overseas, free within Oz.

Untitled II
Acrylic on board
40 x 60cm 
For Sale AU$300 plus post for overseas, free within Oz.

Nov 6, 2021

Through the Trees Windamere Dam


Acrylic on board



On the way to Mudgee we stopped at Windamere dam. I painted this loose version of the view, with the plan of becoming more abstract. Not sure that I will succeed as I love the landscape too much.

Cost includes a frame and postage.

Email: shirleypeters@me.com

Oct 19, 2021

Pivoting to Abstraction

I’m starting an experiment with abstract painting, seeking freedom at the easel. I am making images from nothing, starting with a white canvas, and no image in my head. 

I found this to be more thought provoking than I expected.  Making a mark, and another, with no rules. Any shape, any colour, any texture. One could say there are millions of choices! 

So the 'restriction' is the thing. What I need to not do, how to hold back, to resist. My initial rules are: start with an open palette, and use all the primaries. Make it high contrast: a 'high major' tone range.

Paint many paintings. Let your marks develop like a signature, and allow variations to be done. After a few hundred pieces, my abstract style might be found. 

(Email me for sales enquiries. Post will be added to these prices.)

"Smooth On A Bow Bend"
20 x 30"
Acrylic on Canvas (deep edge)

"Rolling Level"
20 x 30"
Acrylic on Canvas (deep edge)

"Windhover Caught"
18 x 24"
Acrylic on Canvas (narrow edge)

"Mornings Minion"
18 x 24"
Acrylic on Canvas (narrow edge)