Australian Wren

Australian Wren

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Gelatine Prints on the brain!

Recently I created more gelatine prints to try and develop my skills in that area. By making  some masks and hand cut stencils it enabled me to work in layers and increase the depth of the prints.
 I also explored adding text and image to my prints to see what kind of effect could be created.

I have now got about a kilo of prints! lol.

It is my plan to make a hand bound journal one of these days and use excess prints as a basis for a journal.

using colour with a mask

using mask to create layers

hand cut stencil and masks

using stencil and hand generated text

layering and hand drawing

print with hand drawing and text

col·labo·ration n.

The illustrator/artist may be thought of as a creature who is most happy when closeted away alone with their paint, pencils, brushes and  their computer! Maybe the scene will include a dog or a cat or 4. This however may not always be the best thing as dogs and cats are fairly accepting of any design they are faced with.

With  this in mind my fellow illustrator Celeryanne and  myself entered into a collaboration.

For now I would like to share the images I created with this collaboration in mind. At a later date we will share the images generated by our collaboration.

Celeryanne has shared one of her images on her blog.

Illustration of the poem Escape at Bedtime by Robert Louis Stevenson
Illustration inspired by Celeryanne's photo of snow and reeds

Illustration inspired by the words "pond, jumble, pocket"

Illustration inspired by Celeryanne's sketches of dogs

Seasons Come, and Seasons Go.

"She enjoys rain for its wetness, winter for its cold, summer for its heat. She loves rainbows as much for fading as for their brilliance. It is easy for her, she opens her heart and accepts everything."

          Morgan Llywelyn, Bard: The Odyssey of the Irish



It has been about 8 months since my last trip home to N.Ireland and a lot has changed in that time. Seasons come and go but it never ceases to amaze me that the world is a beautifully designed place that runs like clockwork in spite of our delusion that we are in control.

I had two winters in a row last year, winter in the southern hemisphere followed by a northern winter. For this reason my opinion of the seasons has become a little askew! The Irish winter was wet and dark and cold but even so it was lovely walking around in my parents garden, sniffing the decay and dampness. It really appeals to my dark side.



However the earth has merely been sleeping! Look what has happened in the last few months.

mum and dad in the very green garden.


Some giant super-veggies!
















The changes from winter through spring to summer  made me reflect on how the seasons are ordered and what a wonderful world we live in; which in turn lead to me designing this illustration.
The circle of a designer's life!

Thanks to my niece Tori for the photos of summer and freaky vegetables!

Summer Camp

The best fun a painter can ever have is when they are doing what they love, wading in paint up to their elbows and wallowing in colour!

This week was a good one, it was finally time to go to virtual "summer camp"organised by Carla Sonheim!  I packed my virtual bag and made my virtual snacks and off I went.

I had chosen to take the class run by Diane Culhane, an amazing painter whose work is full of colour and character and an amazing teacher. Each day we watched a video and then went off to our virtual cabins to explore what we had been taught. It was a great exercise in stretching the imagination and learning new techniques.

There were other classes I would have loved to have done but maybe next time.

I will show you some snippets of the work I did this week. It was a great inspiration to me so I got a lot of work done. Here is a small sample.


Exploring line with angles and curves and then finding new shapes within the shapes which have been created and adding colour.

Creating a collage with random pieces of paper and then looking for new shapes within that shape. Isolating those shapes and forms with gesso.

Colouring the forms with paint whilst trying to retain some of the clarity so the collage paper and texture can be seen. Unfortunately this one got too opaque so a lot of the texture was lost.

Creating an image from a collage beginning with the form of a tree.

Adding colour to discover and create new forms within the previous collage.

This is just a snippet of what this week was about but for someone who like to be surrounded by paint, paper and ideas it was fun!

Feathers and Flux

One of my oil pastel images was used to illustrate an article in  Mint Magazine produced here in Adelaide by Annie Waters. Each issue of the magazine explores a theme and the theme this time was Flux. Check the Mint website out here and you can like them on facebook here. My image is on Page 36 of Issue 3, Flux which you can find here.