another “trees by the water”

My last post showed a panting of trees by the water that I did quite quickly – often the best way for me to work, to get on with it while I’m finding what to do is coming easily.

I liked two things about this painting.

Firstly, I do like looking at screens of trees against the light. I don’t know why. There’s something about what I call the “tracery” of the trees that appeals to me a lot.

Secondly I had – by chance! – come up with some interesting (to me) colours in the body of the trees.

These things made me want to repeat the subject and to try to develop it more. In fact, it’s a theme I will probably come back to again and again.


starting painting again!

Here I am, after an eight or nine month break when I have devoted my spare time and energy to photography, with a return to the easel.

As is my wont. I have painted this at home, with a reference photograph. No slavish copying, but using the picture as a useful reference.

I am always attracted by against-the-light scenes – this one is looking from a footbridge over a waterway to some trees on the bank.

I think these are casuarinas.





I came across this quotation this morning and love it.

For me, the trap would be that I would just fall asleep ha ha ha! But that is because I am always exhausted. I think it is really about the best quote I have ever read for painting. And drawing. And photography. And, in fact, for everything that involves creating.

I shut my eyes so I can see.

How excellent! How wonderful, how helpful! I’m posting it here because, although I am devoting my energy to photography at the moment, I just want to share it with all you painters!

Another quotation from Gauguin is:

It is the eye of ignorance that assigns a fixed and unchangeable color to every object; beware of this stumbling block.

I can definitely relate to this – slavishly working away with one colour when a shift to another would break the deadlock.

So these are my contributions  for the day. Now to get back to photography …

[The drawing is mine, by the way.]

in the State forest


I had fun with this one – lots of slapping of colour around!

This is based on my visit to a remote area of a State forest about 45 minutes’ drive from here some while ago. And I remember it well, not only for the beauty of the place but also the care I took to clamber around on this steep slope, only too aware that I was by myself, had left my phone in the car and how unlikely it was that my cries for help would be heard by anyone, if, for example, I twisted or broke my ankle, as the little-trafficked road was far below. A bit of foolishness, looking back on it. I now make sure I have my phone with me at all times.

This has 5 or 6 not-very-successful paintings below it, as I am painting over anything I do not think worth keeping. I guess the board is getting thicker and thicker! But I might keep this one, at least for a little while …

going badly wrong!


Mostly it’s the drawing that is wrong, I think. But other things need attention:

  • the rocks have ugly shapes and are over-worked
  • the rocks are too dark, overall
  • the slope of the ground is too uniform
  • I need light and shade in the ground (although I was going to attend to that once I have painted the foliage) (the green of the foliage is just a background colour at the moment – I will dapple different greens over it once I have corrected what I see as my mistakes)

The thing that annoys me most is that I am taking too much trouble over this – it’s getting over-worked and altogether too photographic!

When I work on it, I find myself in a craze of painting and all previous thought and what little planning I have done goes out the window. Mostly I am so annoyed at over-working things! I feel my painting success is going backwards!

{But now I see it in a different perspective (on screen) it does not look at all bad – quite able to be salvaged. What do you think?}

Kanowna ghost town


We visited the ghost town of Kanonwa in Western Australia in 1981. I unearthed an old slide of the place a few days ago.

[Since we visited the town, which after all was 32 years ago, prospecting has discovered gold at greater depth than could be reached in the 1800s. A new mine was opened in 1993. Latest figures for revenue show AUD$152,000,000 in 2009.]

My aim here was to convey the heat of the place, in the middle of flat inland country in late summer. I think I have quite failed to do that!

I also wanted to convey the loneliness of the town, but again I think I failed. My buildings look too close and intimate. (Too big.)

So – try again! I will work on a different subject before coming back to this – the township name sign, all faded and corroded, I think. Another slide gives me a starting point for that.

This is on canvas board and is 60 x 45 cm.