WHIMSY – Narratives of the Imagination

A group exhibition 1 August – 9 September. Rochfort Gallery, 317 Pacific Highway, North Sydney. Monday – Friday 9am – 5.30pm. Saturday and Sunday 10am – 4pm.
I have 10 works in this exhibition. 8 at Rochfort Gallery and 2 whimsical miniatures at The Rochfort Gallery Gift Shop 13 Eden Street, North Sydney.
I am giving a 1/2 hour floor talk about my work on Sunday 9th September at 11.30 in the gallery.


Which Tree to Climb – Installation Day

From many happy hours in the Studio to installation day at Chute Space. A big sigh of relief as the little diorama box of magic slotted into place for its two weeks in public. The poem in the frame didn’t work out at all, so it was the take two alternative – no frame.
Open now. Official opening – Thursday 14th June at 6pm. Exhibition runs until 1st July.
Please visit the menu bar on this page to read about the creation process of this piece.

IMG_5814 (2)



Christmas Market Weekend at the Fitter’s Workshop.

The week-end of December 15th, 16th and 17th I am taking part in the annual Artist Society of Canberra Christmas Art Market. This year it is being held in conjuction with the Old Bus Depot Christmas Market and the inaugural Designers Market. The Designers Market is going to become a regular monthly event at the Old Bus Depot and will be held on the 3rd Sunday of each month in 2018. I am going to make this part of my calendar of events which I participate next year.
Members of ASOC who are participating will each have a stall. We will be grouped together on the right hand side of the building if entering the building from the Glass Works doorway. There will be many other Christmas stallholders displaying their handmade creations in this area, but they will be trading on Saturday and Sunday only.
The Fitters Workshop is located just behind the Old Bus Depot building, Wentworth Avenue, Kingston, Canberra. The hours of the ASOC stallholders are Friday 3pm – 7pm. Saturday and Sunday 10am – 4pm. Come along and enjoy the Christmas spirit.

The QPRC Arts Trail 2017


Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council welcomes visitors to the 11th annual Arts Trail for 2017. Over 30 venues are participating this year, offering visitors the opportunity to meet the regions artists and gallery owners and to discover their creative spaces. The event has grown over the years and now,for the first time, most venues are open both Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd October from 10am – 4pm. The theme this year is ‘Choose your own Adventure’ by looking at the maps and deciding where you would like to go.  My work will also be on display at Suki an Hugh Gallery in Bungendore 38A Gibraltar Street, Bungendore.


Sometimes I come to the end of the process and I wonder how on earth I got here. It is a little like the pictures themselves. Long long walks up hills, down valleys and jumping on flat stones to cross streams. A variety of music playing in my head. Stories of happiness and tragedy in the news and hearing about peoples lives on the radio. Thoughts about my life and of those I love. Then, I look up and there before me, is the destination. But when to stop and enjoy the view. I have to decide when to sit down and do no more.
I’ll turn this one around so I can’t see it for a week before deciding whether the journey is complete.
A few weeks on: I entered this piece in this year’s Hunters Hill Art Exhibition and Prize and it was chosen as a finalist to hang in this year’s exhibition. How happy am I 😀👏🏻💃. For details about this exhibition please go to the news section of this blog.

Chelsea International Fine Art Award New York


The results were announced yesterday for the 32nd Chelsea International Fine Art Awards held at the Agora Gallery in New York. I am very proud and thrilled to have been awarded an Honourable Mention in this years competition for the five works I submitted to the competition.

Happy Days at the Royal Canberra Show


Thrilled to win first place for miniatures at the Royal Canberra Show this year.

Adventures in pen and ink

All of a sudden I needed to work on a larger scale. To do this using the techniques I use in coloured pencil would be difficult,  probably wouldn’t result in a nice smooth finish and be very very time consuming. I was creatively stuck and I was worried. Maybe that’s it. Maybe my creative mojo had gone away – maybe forever.
Then I started drawing with lead pencils of various hardness and lead thicknesses. It was fabulous. So then I went to my ink pens and found my creative mojo along with a whole bag of fantastical ideas had returned from its holiday somewhere in the great world of trees, islands in the bay and magical worlds.

Opening Night at Salon des Refuses at the S.H.Ervin Gallery, Sydney. A picture story.

Not an everyday Monday in July

There I was driving my son to pick up his car which had been serviced when, dring dring – the phone rang.
The voice on the other end said that it was the S.H. Ervin Gallery in Sydney. Now this is a pretty unusual call to get on a Monday afternoon. I knew immediately what it meant – and it was a bit hard to keep the car steady on the road. It was a – mixture of shock, amazed excitment, blinking back tears while trying to be professional moment.
The selection panel for the 2016 Salon des Refusés would like to include your work “Fragile”entered in the Wynne Prize (the landscape section which runs in conjunction with the Archibald Prize for portraiture) in the exhibition at the S.H. Ervin Gallery. Following the Sydney exhibition, works in the Salon des Refusés will travel to the Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery in Victoria.
Fragile 3 (2)
‘Fragile’ 45cm square mixed media coloured pencil, watercolour and ink.
You may ask – But what is the Salon Des Refuses? Here is the explanation from the S.H. Ervin Gallery Website:
“Each year the Salon panel goes behind the scenes of the judging process, to select an ‘alternative’ exhibition from the many works not chosen as finalists for the official exhibition.  The criteria for works selected are quality, diversity, humour and experimentation.  This year’s selectors include Catherine Benz, curator, Delmar Gallery, Kon Gouriotis OAM, curator & editor, Art Profile & Jane Watters, S.H. Ervin Gallery Director.  
Our panel viewed the unselected entries from the 830 Archibald Prize and 710 Wynne Prize entered at the Art Gallery of New South Wales to select the 64 works for this alternative exhibition. 
The Salon des Refusés exhibition at the S.H. Ervin Gallery has established an excellent reputation that rivals the selections of the ‘official’ exhibition with works which examine contemporary art practices, different approaches to portraiture and responses to the landscape.
In 2016, 40 works were selected for the ‘alternative’ Archibald Prize & 24 from the Wynne Prize.
The Salon des Refusés follows the tradition made famous by Napoleon lll in Paris. He insisted that the huge number of works which had been rejected by the Academy for that year’s Salon, be displayed for the public to view and judge.  The very first Salon des Refusés included works by Manet and Pissarro. 
Visitors to the annual Salon des Refusés exhibition can vote for their favourite artwork in the Holding Redlich People’s Choice Award, the winner of this much anticipated award will be announced on 15 September 2016. ”             
So – I am delighted, incredibly excited and humbled to be one of the 24 Wynne works to be exhibited. And can’t help jumping up alla Toyota style and crying out – Yippe Yahouzzie.

From this to that – again.

June 2016 seems to have rolled around very quickly. It feels like only last month that I was busy working on a large piece to enter into the 2015 Wynne Prize at the Art Gallery of NSW (see several posts ago). But here we are.
I usually work on a very small scale – in fact I love to work on a very small scale. So it is a huge challenge to scale up into large. Mind you, the winner of the 2015 Wynne was a beautiful miniature work by Natasha Bieniek titled ‘Biophilia’. For this exhibition there is only a limit on how large you can work – not how small.

2015 Wynne Prize

I give myself a challenge to work larger and not too far into it I start ranting and raving inside my head about how stupid I am doing this. Some mornings, it is with heavy feet that I walk up to the studio to begin another day’s work on my challenge. I have to force myself to work through the trials and feelings which can be very overwhelming and tiring. But the joy of coming out the other side makes the process, the hours and hours of patient scribbling and layering all worthwhile. I, like many others before me when their work is finished, sit back and think how on earth did that happen. I’m not sure that I could tell you what happened and if I could do it the same again. The process happens and you just have to work hard in the zone and let it wash over you. The minutes and hours roll on and sometimes I look up at the clock and see that several hours have floated by. The creative process is pretty incredible and almost magical.
Here is the documentation of the process behind my 2016 entry to the Wynne Prize. ‘Fragile’ – a comment on our beautiful world and how it needs to be cared for each and every day.
This work was created using Arches, smooth watercolour board, coloured pencils from Derwent, Faber-Castell and Prisma (I use them all as they each have their own special characteristics), watercolour/gouche and pigment ink. It is 45cm square.

“The Perfect Gift”

An exhibition by AIM – Art in Miniature

It was a perfect late Spring afternoon for the opening of “The Perfect Gift”, a fascinating and beautiful exhibition of over 158 miniatures by 19 members of the Art In Miniature ACT group of artists. The exhibition has been beautifully and expertly co-ordinated and hung by Camelia Smith, president of Aim, with help from members. What a mammoth task to hang all these tiny treasures – and to make sure that they stay straight and are lined up! It looks wonderful.
The exhibition is being held at Yarralumla Gallery, Cottage 1, Weston Park Road, Yarralumla. 29th November 2015 – 29th January 2016. The gallery is part of The Oaks Brasserie and café concept located at the heritage listed Old English Gardens alongside the Yarralumla Nursery, surrounded by the leafy trees of Weston Park. Man’s best friend is more than welcome in the specially maintained dog garden where they can enjoy canine delights offered on the menu!
AIM was formed to promote the art of miniature in the ACT and surrounding districts in all its very diverse forms. The criteria for this group is that the work must be 100 square centimeters or less in total picture area (many works are much smaller) and that subject matter is to appear in the spirit of miniaturization.
The opening was very well attended and was officially opened by Barbie Robinson from Artcetera, ArtSound FM Radio, who only day’s out of hospital, gave an inspiring and informative speech to a crowd on the back terrace under the trees.

Have you ever wondered how they judge the Archibald Prize?

Last Friday I delivered my large mixed media panorama piece to the Art Gallery of NSW for a competition. For some reason it is quite a nervous time for I’m sure all artists entering. It’s hard to be truly objective about your own work and at the end of the day the rational end’s up being “You’ve got to be in it, to even have the chance of being hung”. And wouldn’t that be an incredible thing.
20150625_154304sml At The Art Scene Framers
20150626_115057sml 20150626_115143sml 20150626_115350
Art Gallery NSW
The competition falls into three categories, the most well known being the Archibald Prize started in 1921. The Archibald Prize is awarded annually to the best portrait, ‘preferentially of some man or woman distinguished in art, letters, science or politics, painted by any artist resident in Australasia’. The other two prizes are the Wynne for landscape pictures and sculpture and the Sulman for subject or genre pictures.
Judging for the Archibald and Wynne Prizes is carried out by 11 trustees of the Art Gallery NSW. ”One by one the works are carried or wheeled in by the gallery’s installation crew to be viewed by the trustees, who decide by consensus if the work is ‘in’, ‘out’ or ‘maybe in’. It is estimated that each works has about 11 seconds to impress the panel, just because of the sheer volume of thousands of works entered. How difficult would that be? A single judge is invited to judge the Sulman Prize each year. There is also a prize called the Packing Room Prize awarded by the hardworking men and women in the basement of the gallery who receive the works from the artists over the week before deadline and also People’s Choice.
Artists also have the chance of being chosen to hang in “The Salon des Refuses” which is held at the S.H. Erving Gallery on Observatory Hill in Sydney. From the S.H. Irving “The ‘alternative’ selection from hundreds of entries to the Archibald and Wynne Prizes. Each year our guest selectors go behind the scenes of the Art Gallery of New South Wales to select the exhibition.  The Salon has an excellent reputation and the criteria for works selected are quality, diversity, humour and experimentation and cover themes such as contemporary art practices, different approaches to portraiture and artist’s responses to the landscape.”  This exhibition goes on to travel to other Regional Art Galleries.
 Then – of course, there are many artists who travel back to the art gallery packing room to pick up their art babies to take them back home to the studio, trying not to feel too dejected. Better luck next time. I’ve been in that boat twice. So full of dreaming – dashed. Back to the shed or studio.
Because my subject of the moment is the trees around where I live, I entered the Wynne Prize. I’ll let you know what happens this time. 
******* It was the long drive back to the NSW Gallery and then back to the shed.

Off we go

A couple of weeks ago I went to Sydney to deliver my work to The Art Scene for framing. Kim was so patient and extremely helpful when I went in to choose the mat board colour, the size the mat boards would be cut and then the frame. There are so many beautiful frames to choose from and it is quite a daunting task.

the art scene

Last week I was back to pick up the pictures – which now looked very different – and quite a bit larger now the mats and frames have been added. It was incredibly exciting to see the work and I am thrilled with the framing and the way my pictures look. Thank you, thank you Art Scene.
Yesterday I packed up the car and delivered the pieces to Humble House Gallery – after a quick inspection my by two resident art critics Coco and Domino Laurie. I think the felines approved, although I think they liked the corrugated cardboard packaging more.

DSC02937small DSC02940 smallDSC02941 small

I left Roger and Weilian Carter to the daunting task of hanging the show and moving the beautiful furniture and ceramics which the gallery is famous for. When hanging an exhibition – there isn’t room for too many opinions about which picture goes where. Especially from the artist! Better to leave that to the experts.
The show opens tomorrow – the 20th May. So I’ll send you some pictures of the gallery after I visit. Until then – I wish these butterflies which are beginning to fly in my stomach would calm down.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a reply Edit

Getting Ready for an Exhibition – Photographing Day

This week I was determined to get all the pictures for my exhibition at Humble House Gallery in Fyshwick, Canberra completed. And believe it or not I did. Scary! It’s a strange business being an artist working alone in your little box for most of the time. There comes a time when you have to let the world see what you’ve been up to in private. And the only way to do this is to let go of your work and put it up on the wall – in public. Yes. It’s pretty scary.
So what’s next now I’ve finished? Oh dear –  so many things. But today was photographing day – because next week all my work will be taken to the framer to choose mat boards and frames. SO – the dining room turned into a photographic studio for the day and Bill took over (with a little help from studio assistant AKA me).

DSC02933 small

Bill with his camera, lights (hidden) and lap top ready to go.

DSC02925 small

A miniature, pinned up straight and ready to strike a pose.
The exhibition begins on Wednesday 20th May, 2015. Humble House Gallery, 93 Wollongong Street, Fyshwick, ACT, Australia.
Please email me if you would like an email invitation or for more information.

A Visit to Shirley

I just love Australia’s Open Garden Scheme. When we lived in Sydney our cottage garden “Allways” was part of the scheme. When ever I visit another garden I remember just how much hard work and passion has gone into creating a week-end visit which visitors will enjoy. It is wonderful to meet the visitors and to see your garden full of enthusiastic gardeners lovers.
So on Saturday we got up early and travelled to Nimmitabel which is about one and half hours away from us, to visit “Shirley”. This house and garden is approximately 80 years old – so you know that there will be some beautiful large trees which will frame the garden space. I knew it would be a special garden. It has been in the same family for all those years. In 2006 the present owners, John and Sally-Ann Cottle approached garden designer Paul Bangay, to help renovate the garden and to give them a master plan to gradually work through. The garden is expansive, very peaceful and incredibly beautiful and we came away with ideas for our garden here at “Wren’s Nest”. It was a lovely morning.
Here are some pictures of our visit.

DSC02833sm DSC02832sm DSC02828sm DSC02826sm DSC02820 sm DSC02815 sm DSC02813 small DSC02810small DSC02806 small DSC02805 small DSC02803 small DSC02801 small

You can go and stay at “Shirley” in the original overseers cottage.


Occasionally, some of your visitors may see an advertisement here,
as well as a Privacy & Cookies banner at the bottom of the page.
You can hide ads completely by upgrading to one of our paid plans.

Upgrade now Dismiss message

%d bloggers like this: