I am drawn to colour - bold and vibrant. Nature perfectly combines these ideas - colour and tones that are perfectly placed to harmonise and pop.

Ooh it's cold out there! At the time of writing this blog we are in the middle of a particularly cold snap. Even more so because it is only early June - just the beginning of winter - but already the temperatures are nearing zero in many areas and there has been so much rain. Now that the eateries are opening up again in this covid_19 environment what better reason to wander over to your favourite cafe and spend an hour with some friends catching up over a coffee and cake - socially distancing of course. There is a particularly delightful cafe in the Adelaide foothills in Belair called the Sheoak Cafe.

Many famous artists throughout history have relied on a muse - usually a woman - for their creative inspiration. Eduard Manet's muse, Victorene Meurent, inspired him to paint in a completely different style after he first set eyes on her. Gustav Klimt's famous painting "The Kiss" is believed to be of him and his muse Emilio Floege. And whilst the surrealist Salvador Dali was ten years younger, Gala Diakonova was not only his muse but also his model, lover, manager and later his wife.

I am often asked how I paint in pastel because my style is seen to be quite different from the traditional approach. I guess because I haven't been to art school I have had no one tell me that there is a right way or a that my way is wrong so I have just followed my heart. Let me talk you through my process in painting this pet portrait.

When I was a feature artist in the TV series Put Some Colour In Your Life in Feb. 2020 I painted a pastel sunset and on a number of occasions my pastel sticks crumbled in my hands. Fortunately I had plenty and was able to use another stick of the same colour. But many people who have watched the show have repeatedly asked me how often does this happen? And how expensive is it to replace broken pastels? And what DO you do with the little pieces that are now too small to use?

Plein air painting is a wonderful way to paint that will add a richness and depth to your work. Even if the entire painting is not completed outdoors your senses will have been alerted, you will have a memory of the day and all of this will be subconsciously added into your painting. But why do so many artists not try it? Because there is a technique involved and it takes a little practice and planning to make it work.

Here are just some of my paintings headed off to my latest exhibition. Yes, you heard right - exhibition. Now hang on, I hear you say, but we are in the middle of Covid-19 where galleries and venues and meeting places are all closed due to social distancing rules, so how can you be doing an exhibition? Well fortunately here in South Australia we are starting to open up some businesses and what better opportunity is there to provide some cheer and good will but by offering to hang beautiful artworks in these venues who are really doing it tough.


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