Lots of Painting

2017Article posted by Gilly

And now I’m another year older! Next year is a BIG one so I’d better get cracking and paint as much as I can for as long as I can do it, although with my mother being 91 and still bright and alert I guess I have good genes and, hopefully, a lot of years left in which to create!!!

Since my last ‘blog’ I’ve definitely kept busy with the painting and done the challenges I set for myself, the first being an oil painting of the Kimberley area or, at least, my impression of it. there was a lot of rain up there this year and I saw wonderful arial photos of massive waterfalls - the area is so remote that much of it is only accessible by plane. What a shame that all that grandeur and beauty is unseen by human eyes. So, although the photos that I had showed the majestic red cliffs, I replaced the foregrounds of scrub and bush with a rushing river which I think has worked well. I’m pleased with it, anyway.

I also completed the two little watercolour commissions, our Superb Fairy Wrens and a Sooty Owl, to my client’s specifications, and they’ve been received well. Recently I bought a pad of black canvas sheets so decided to experiment with one of those and painted a kookaburra.  I’m very happy with the effect but was a little disappointed with the quality of the canvas sheets, there were blemishes that I had to obscure with gum leaves when I would rather have had the kookaburra sitting proudly by herself.

On to another oil painting - all of these with my November solo exhibition in mind - of two black swans on a lake. I’ve actually painted them before and they sold,  but a friend urged me to reproduce them so this time I added some waterlily pads as I didn’t want the composition to be exactly the same. I feel that if someone has bought an original painting then they deserve to keep an original and I shouldn’t do something exactly the same again. It’s always good to stretch the creative mind, anyway! That was really the last oil painting I could do for the exhibition as there now isn’t enough time for another one to dry and be varnished. Any additional paintings will have to be in pastels or watercolour.

But I so love painting in oils, I think it’s beginning to be my most favourite medium, and my daughter has just taken some wonderful photos of peonies (which are almost impossible to grow here in Western Australia), so I will be creating a composition of those very shortly and painting for my own pleasure.

I have also painted a cricket bat!!!!! In Bowral, New South Wales, a young man named Will Clarke has autism. He also has a love of cricket and has become engaged in sanding old bats which his parents send to artists for them to paint scenes on them. The bats are then auctioned and proceeds go to pay for a carer for Will. It’s a wonderful scheme, giving Will a productive occupation and an income so that he doesn’t have to rely solely on a disability pension. The artist co-ordinating the scheme here in WA is the lovely Trudi Nell and I was honoured to be asked to contribute a bat, along with many other wonderful WA artists. I painted a design of draped lace, a wine bottle, wine glass and grapes. I was worried at first because, unlike paint on canvas where the air moves around and through the weave to help the paint dry, initially the oil paint wouldn’t dry on the bat despite using a lot of medium. What normally would dry enough overnight so that I could paint another glaze the next day, was still wet five days later! I really had to adapt my technique, but got there in the end and the bat is now ready to be sent to NSW.

On the 8th May I had the great good fortune to watch a demonstration by one of my long-time idols, Lyn Diefenbach, a Queensland artist who is internationally renowned, particularly for her floral paintings in oils and pastels. She was demonstrating at our Pastel Society - she had also conducted workshops for the Alfred Cove Pastel Society branch but I’d been unable to gain a place as they were full with their own members which was a huge disappointment. However, I saw her demonstrate and, like any ‘groupie’, asked to have a photo taken with her, to which she graciously agreed! Of course, totally inspired by her, this week I’ve pastelled one of my own roses å la Lyn and I’m extremely pleased with the result. Now I want to do lots more, but in oils rather than pastels. This one, at least, will be finding a place in my exhibition.

So, that’s me up to date again. xxx


julie silvester | May 26, 2017

Lovely read Gilly and so nice to see you being so productive xxx

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