Hello there

I have been away from this little blog for a while but I have been busy living. I hope you have been well and happy and I’m looking forward to seeing what you’ve been up to.

Last year saw lots of changes in my life and I lost my creative spark. Well, it’s back. I have so much to show you and tell you. First, I was lucky enough to have a much needed holiday in Fiji. This is the painting I did after that holiday. When I look at it I can smell coconuts, frangipani and the warm sea breeze…


Coconuts, Frangipani and a warm sea breeze

Fiji Time 75 dpi for etsy

Fiji Time



Getting my creative drive back

This year, I’ve been feeling a little down. It has really flattened my ability to dream and get in a state of flow through my art. So, to try and kick start the process, I purchased a beautiful pad of 100% Cotton Rag Water Colour paper and some artists’ inks which I have not used before. They sat in a paper bag for a few weeks. I peeked inside occasionally but didn’t take them out.

On Monday, in my art class for people with Intellectual Disabilities, my 80-year-old volunteer Judith, brought in a book of nursery rhymes from her childhood. It was beautiful. The rhymes were on the right side of the book, on the left were illustrations, all surrounded by lovely borders of tiny flowers and curlicues. I don’t know why, but into my head popped the idea of drawing Budgerigars or Budgies as we call them in Australia, bordered by a lovely edging.

I have decided to set myself a goal of creating 50 of these. The first one I abandoned half way through as I managed to smudge the pen and I wasn’t really happy with the oval shape. You can see my first completed effort below. I wish I was a speedy illustrator, this took me rather a long time. A feathery look was quite challenging for me, I really wanted to capture the softness of the little Budgie. What colour should I paint next?

for blog

“Hello my pretty” 1 in Winter Owls Shop 

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I planned the border first, then I painted a very soft pink background and sketched the Budgie in pencil first.

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I’m quite happy with this for my 1st effort, stay tuned to see the next 49!

Running away in my mind

Last week I had a horrible art session with my group of disengaged teenagers. It’s too ghastly for me to look back on and give you the details, lets just say, they were very, very hard work, and, well yes, disengaged. I felt so grumpy afterwards that I couldn’t eat lunch, just chocolate and a strong coffee.

Usually, I turn to my painting when I want to escape and go to a happier place. I haven’t been able to paint lately and I’ve realised it’s because I’ve lost my alone time at home. At the moment I have my six-foot three-inch teenage son at home waiting to start university. He’s lovely, it’s just that I can’t seem to get in a state of flow with others around. There’s the sound of the television, a large lounging presence, constant pinging of text messages, music I would perhaps not choose, and frequent kitchen raids accompanied by sighs and comments that there is nothing to eat….

Next week though, he starts university and I will have my two days at home of peace. Hopefully, I will have something new to show you then. Until then, here is a little owl painting that I did last year.

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” Tent on a magical island”

Midnight Rabbit

Where does your inspiration come from? For me, it can strike at any time; people watching, staring into my coffee, sitting in the sunshine, staring at the sky, playing with vintage fabrics, feeling inspired by exciting things others are doing. Never before though, have I found inspiration from my pajamas.

I have a pair of ‘passion killer’ flannelette ones that are black, cosy and soft. They have white bunnies dotted over them, with bright purple and green flowers. This I have to admit, is where the inspiration for “Midnight Rabbit” came from.

Midnight Rabbit reduced quality copy

Midnight Rabbit is available in Winter Owls

Barn Owl

Heart shaped face ghost pale

On silent wingbeats he hunts

Swoops slowly in the deep of the night

Eerie calls hang on the breeze

Returning to feed his mate and nestlings

All is right with his world

Barn Owl001 reduced quality copy

Barn Owl available in Winter Owls shop

Three black ravens and a pink cockatoo

Does it portend anything when three black ravens fly over your head? I sincerely hope not because it happened to me today. Please don’t write in to tell me it’s a sign of bad luck as, I’m going to think of it as an opportunity to enjoy their glossy black feathers. Perhaps I have been thinking about Halloween projects for my classes too much.

My last three posts have featured the colour black, so here is a blast of colour to change things up. I’m hoping to do a series of Australian bird paintings, here is the first one. It features a Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo. It is the only Australian Cockatoo that is salmon pink below and white on top. It also has a sneaky crest that appears to be white but has bands of gold and red when unfurled. It’s larger than one of my other favourites, the Galah but not as big as the Sulphur crested Cockatoo or Cockie as we like to call them in Australia. I hope you noticed that I also snuck one of my other favourite things in, the doily.

The black rabbit

A couple of weeks ago, I expressed my frustration with a painting I was doing of a black rabbit. A lovely fellow painter and blogger Violet, suggested that the rabbit might like to be accompanied by yellow daisies. So thanks to Violet, I now rather like this little black lop eared bunny. Although, my fifteen year old son suggested that it looked a bit like a pirate as it only has one eye….

Daisy chains reduced quality

Daisy Chains available in Winter Owls shop