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



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

Blanche, the white rabbit

Like many Australian children of my generation, I grew up on a diet of books handed down from my mother. Enid Blyton, Beatrix Potter and other whimsical Eurocentric books featuring a wonderland of talking rabbits, owls that carried messages, fairies and goblins. I knew more about rabbits, weasels and owls then my own native animals. There was however, a fabulous television series, “Skippy the Bush Kangaroo”, made in the late 1960’s. Skippy could understand humans, open doors, collect mail, untie ropes, foil villains and even operate the radio!

My paintings have started to become more nostalgic lately, and the creatures who inhabited my childhood books are a strong influence. “Jumping and running” is a mixed media piece on vintage sheet music which was then mounted on to a canvas board. You can still see the pencil marks that a teacher and child wrote on it. It also has tiny pieces of a book for clouds. I used acrylic paints and pencil and then varnished it with three layers of satin varnish.

Rabbit 2 reduced quality for etsy

Blanche the white rabbit sits in a field of yellow daisies. She watches children jumping and running and thinks to herself, they are just like little rabbits in the spring.

Waiting in Yellow

Standing calmly in her yellow dress, holding a basket of flowers, she looks upwards with her eyes as she waits.

What is she waiting for?

Waiting in yellow reduced quality for etsy copy

“Waiting in Yellow” is available here.

A red coat and pigtails

When I was a little girl around four years old, I had a beautiful red coat. There are a few photographs of me in the red coat in family albums. My hair in pigtails with red ribbons and wearing a black and white smock under the coat, little white socks and black shoes. I think this would have been around 1970. I can’t really remember wearing the red coat, but I can remember being a happy confident little girl. As I grew older, I lost that confidence for a long time and became a dreamy, rather solitary child, not lonely, just happy with my company, quite timid and shy. Now, I still enjoy my company and am never bored, but am a much more social creature. My confidence in the last few years has returned but I am still very much a day dreamer. This painting is nostalgic, looking back towards that little girl I was in the red coat, when life was so simple.

little girl in a red coat reduced quality for etsy

“In my red coat – 1”

Purple is the night

Purple is an interesting colour. It is the combination of the warmest and coolest colours red and blue and depending on the proportions of these, can be warm or cool, delicate if white is added or overpowering if dark and on mass. Although I wouldn’t like a bedroom painted all in dark purple, I have fond memories of my childhood 70’s room. It had white walls and touches of purple in the blinds, light shade and a dark purple woollen blanket. It lives in my memory as a sun filled happy room and though we moved house and I had to leave it at age ten or eleven I think, I remember it well. I’ve assembled a little collection of purple here for your pleasure.

5 purple owls etsy reduced quality

Purple is the night

Kiribati top

A top brought back from my husband’s annual trip to Kiribati. These tops are commonly worn by women there in all colours of gingham.

purple house

A purple house in our neighbourhood stands out for its colour and obvious love of plants

purple flowers

Purple Salvia


Echium candicans, commonly known as pride of Madeira hosting a bee.

purple owl painting

A purple eyed owl shelters in a purple leafed tree.