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.


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)

Aug 18, 2021

Exhibition continues despite the pandemic!

 Hi guys,

Just a quick note to say that "Abundant Waters" is still hanging on the Gallery walls, and will possibly remain there until after our lockdown is over. The directors are taking orders online, and the link is here:


"Gentle Light Before The Falls"
180cm x 117cm, oil on canvas.

Katoomba Cascades 
150cm x 106cm, oil on canvas.

 New Waterways at Mulgoa - 
101cm x 83cm, oil on canvas.

Pool of Siloam
152cm x 101cm, oil on canvas.

Le Tour de France

Back in June July I was in front of the TV, watching Le Tour de France. I paint one scene each day.

Check out my web shop:

Jun 14, 2021

Abundant Water


Getting close to "brushes down": I need to leave one week before delivering my paintings to the gallery for my show. 

This painting is 83 x 101cm, oil on canvas, painted on the sides. You can see it at the gallery, and also on my web site from July 1st onwards. My instagram has this and others as well, as I had to post them as soon as each one was finished. 

Jun 7, 2021

The Walk of Shame: picking up your paintings from the NSW Art Gallery when they are not chosen for the prizes.

I can't recall how many Archibalds, Wynnes and Sulmans I have entered, but it's a fair few. I do know how many times I have scored a short listing: none. So I have walked the walk any times. 

The staff are lovely, non-judgmental. They find your painting, and offer to carry it to your car if it's a biggie. 

No one looks at the work. It's the elephant in the room. It doesn't exist. It's a frame of wood with a canvas covering.

Your work is not good enough. It's a fail. You have wasted your $50 and a bunch of time in delivering and picking up. So why look at it.

When delivering to the prizes, at the beginning, one feels hopeful. It's a happy time, as at least you have something to enter that is not still wet – main criterion.  But no one looks at it then either. You lean it against the wall, face hidden. Then it is numbered and carried off.

I had hope, fingers crossed, that this year when they selected a nobody, and they always do, my entry would be the one.

After all, it's a good piece. It's well painted, fits the criteria, and everyone likes it on Instagram.

But the phone remains silent. Time passes. If you are on the outside (ie: you don't know any winners) you don't know when they will call. Your hope dwindles over the weeks, and eventually you face the fact: "babong"– another fail.

The winners are announced online. I used to rush to read the list, thinking it was a surprise for everyone! (not) 

But it's fascinating to see who is chosen. Often the same artists from the year before, and of course, lots of well knowns. And some I've never heard of. And they publish the images. Always interesting, especially when seeing what the judges liked this year.

On this note, I've noticed that drips are now out of fashion.

Realism and traditional painting have always been out of fashion.

But then, what do they like?? The rules of the competition say:

Archibald: Best Portrait

Sulman: Best Genre painting or Best Mural

Wynne: Best Landscape Painting or Best Figure Sculpture

Funny word: best. Does it mean technically clever, favourite, preferred, exciting, new, different? Who knows. The Archibald has been compared to the Melbourne Cup. Yes, in my opinion, it's just as hard to pick a winner.

So, time to collect the paintings. Not easy when they are too big for my car! I have to use roof racks, so rain is a consideration. I have three paintings to collect, and two are huge. I won't be able to sneak in and out. I will be seen.

Today was the day. I went through the process: parking, collecting, wrapping, strapping and preparing for the drive home. A bit like going to a dentist, or a covid test. Unpleasant, but has to be done. 

A small upside today. Leslie Dimmick from the Tap Gallery in Surry Hills came up and invited me to hang my work at her Real Refuse exhibition, for all of us losers. What a gem. She has been doing this for 25 years. (I think I've shown there before, a while ago. Can't quite remember now. )

So my Sulman entry will get a chance to be seen by the public and my peers. Hooray.

"Lockdown" My entry for the Sulman Prize.
180cm x 120cm, oil on canvas 2008 – 2021
Available at the "Real Refuse" Tap Gallery
259 Riley Street Surry Hills NSW

"Weeping Rock After Rain" Entry for the Wynne Prize
160cm x 110cm, oil on canvas 2021
Available at Gallery One88FineArt
My solo show "Abundant Water"
July 1 – 13 Katoomba NSW 

"Returning to Work Photographer Bob Peters" Entry for the Archibald
67cm x 100cm

May 30, 2021

The Process involved in doing a Commission.


"Sirius Cove, Distant Rain" 180 x 100 cm Oil on Canvas 

I have finished this large seascape and delivered it to the client last weekend. 

It took a few trips: first one was to meet the client and see the space. And they showed me their 'backyard' which was this view: Sirius Cove

Then I returned the next day and did two plein air studies:

I used these paintings to create a 'mock-up' of the client's living room with a selection of layouts.

Vertical was a their original request.

Horizontal was my preference.

Then I added a less colourful version.

This last one they preferred, so my next visit was planned for an overcast day. 
I needed photographs that would help with that 'mood'.

And many more!

The final photomontage image.

I used photoshop to arrange the different shots.
I cut and pasted the foreground and the two sides. 
It's not accurate, but it gives the right impression.
This composite image became my 'muse' and I was able to sketch up and paint the canvas from this.

Tonal sketch on the canvas

I added the appropriate hardware and delivered the painting. 
And I can report that the clients were very happy.

My final thoughts on commission. 
Firstly, it has to be a subject that you are interested in painting, and can visit. 
Secondly, the price has to be fair, considering that it is an interruption to your usual work. (Unless commissions are your main job!)
Thirdly, making small version and getting approval from the client is important. I recently did a large montage of Le Tour de France riders, and the client did not like the riders that I chose to illustrate. His list was for the old champions who all took drugs!! So I was not interested in that and did my own guys, from that years TDF.
He didn't like it, and didn't take it. (Later he did, but for a discounted price, as I needed it gone!!) But the lesson was: get the client to approve your sketch, so that they know what they will be getting.

Bye for now

May 8, 2021

Plein Air at Mudgee

 Another week of painting with new and old friends.

"River Sentinals" 16 x 20" Oil on Canvas

"View from the Vineyard" 30 x 40" Oil on Canvas

"The General Store at Hill End"
30 x 40" Oil on Canvas

Mar 29, 2021

Plein Air Painting at Blackheath

We joined with four other painters in a three day painting holiday at Blackheath, NSW Australia. Blackheath is a lovely old town at the top of the Blue Mountains, not too far from my home at Mulgoa.

We stayed at a rental cottage and travelled to nearby lookouts, painting all day, every day. 

John Rice (right) paints atmospheric rural scenes with huge gums and misty rivers; Don Talintyre (centre) is an established plein-air landscape artist; Bob, my husband, came for the company. (he doesn't paint.)

Salwa Woodroffe (above) is a "modern" oil painter, who paints a variety of subjects, such as portraits and landscapes, 

where as I (above) am half modern, but trying to practice a more traditional method for my landscapes en Plein air. 

We also had a talented local artist, David Landgrebe, paint with us each day (left).

Here are some random shots from the days:

Salwa near the edge.

John Rice and Salwa Woodroffe.

Painting early before the mist rose.

David Landgrebe

John Rice

Don Talintyre

Three painters in the field!

John Rice

My set up for video.

Beautiful cave formations.

Vistas to fly through! (We painted from the
hang-gliders' launch pad!)



An easel on the edge.

My first finished painting: Anvil Rock

Seven half finished paintings at home, waiting for attention. 
I'll post them when I'm done.