-- 18 June, 2005 --

Bell pepper postcard

Windsor & Newton Winton Oils on Galeria Acrylic paper 7"X5"

A friend from school has a property on the mid north coast of New South Wales where she and her husband are planning to retire in a couple of years time. They visit their Magic Mountain whenever they can, considering the 4 hour drive to get there from Sydney. She returned from her most recent trip with a bag full of bell peppers which she distributed around the members of our faculty. Since it is the cookin' and sewin' faculty (I can never figure out how computing ended up with this bunch), the rest of the group were all excited about what they were going to stir them into. Me ... I just wanted to paint them.

My paintings of the peppers are meant to be my effort for a postcard exchange in which I participate. I bought a pad of acrylic paper that is just the right size for postcards but, unfortunately, it isn't very good for oil painting. I think the basic problem is the lack of sizing on the paper. However, I didn't find this out until I was well underway. I also have only one red in my little collection of student grade oil paints - a cool red - so my first two efforts didn't really look quite right. I have since bought a tube of warm red to finish the postcards.

I am not sure that I really have the shapes right either. I need lots and lots more practice with the oils to get the knack of them. I do hope that the people who get my postcards will have some idea of what it is I have been trying so hard to paint. This one looks like a drunkard's nose!

20/06/2005 - Finished the rest of the postcards at art class tonight as my last hurray for the term. The following is the best of the lot and it was the last one that I did.


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-- 17 May, 2005 --

Blue bottle

Blue Bottle Back to the tubes of oil paint ... maybe I have bitten off more than I can chew. I hate feeling out of control!

I had tried to blame the brushes. After all, I didn't spend a lot of money on them, thinking that I might not enjoy oils and would have wasted my money.

Perhaps the subject that I have chosen was too hard for a newcomer. I had it in mind that I wanted to paint glass like Duane Keiser. Dear me! Who am I kidding!

I think that I will go back to fruit. Moving outside one comfort zone at a time is the best that I can manage.

Posted by robynls at 8:23 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

-- 14 May, 2005 --

Illustration Friday 'Nourishment' Challenge

'Autumn fruit'
Oil on canvas 15cm by 10.5cm

It is autumn in Australia. In the middle of May but most days are still warm - sometimes even in the mid to high 20s. It is hard to dress for the day at six in the morning when it is dark and cool, knowing that later it will most likely be another hot, blue sky day. We watch as the clouds roll over with their promise of rain only to be disappointed as they pick up their skirts and roll off again. The drought seems to go forever.

Autumn is the time for apples and grapes. They make a luscious picture as they sit in a bowl in the middle of the table. Being a favourite in our household, these were all that were left to paint.

Posted by robynls at 12:49 PM | Comments (24)

-- 03 May, 2005 --

Oil encore

Earthenware pot study
Oil on canvas - 21 X 29.7 cm

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-- 19 March, 2005 --

EM From the Kitchen Challenge

Vegemite Jar
Windsor & Newton Oils on Arttec Oil Sketch Pad

Almost every Australian kitchen will have a jar of Vegemite in the cupboard or refrigerator - correct storage is the subject of contention. For the uninitiated, Vegemite is a spread which is made from yeast, looks like very thick engine oil and tastes very salty - similar, but not the same as Marmite, known to the British. Rumour has it that it is made from the sludge left over from the beer making process.

You either like Vegemite or loath it, there is no in between. It is not a taste that you can pick up in adult life so new-comers to Australia are a lost cause. For real Aussie kids, this is the first thing that they taste after their mother's milk, spread on soldiers of bread or toast. It should never be spread thickly, which is the mistake that new-comers make. A thin film is all that is needed. Vegemite also works well as flavouring in stews, stocks and casseroles.

Like most Australian icons, Vegemite is no longer Australian ownered, having been sold some time ago to a well known multi-national but I doubt that it will ever be taken up anywhere else in the world. Aussie travellers have been know to pack a jar in their luggage so that they can have their daily fix while away from home. Heaven knows what customs officials in other countries make of it when inspecting for banned goods.

This is my first attempt with oil paints having been inspired to give it go by Duane Keiser's A Painting A Day blog although I am kidding myself that I will ever be that good.

20/03/2005- A reader pointed out the Vegemite web site for those interested in more information.

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