I’ve been wanting to share this BBC-Earth David Attenborough video for a while. Since my friend Caroline Moree introduced me to this story, I can’t stop going back to it to remind me of how hard one must work, to create something phenomenal. I would like to make this part of my Cool Stuff collection. I hope you can enjoy this too.
I had a watercolour technique class tonight in Bellbowrie, Queensland, on skin tones and the weird drawings under this image are quick demos for my students on how to draw an eye, curly hair and corn-row etc. So, don’t get distracted by the massive eye – I thought it looked cool as part of my subject’s hoody (sweatshirt).
This subject has a mid-tone and as I explained to my students, I usually subconsciously draw a person that ends up looking like someone I know and has my skin colour. This guy definitely looks like one of my relatives.
The image is slightly overexposed because I took the picture with my phone and the flash. I hope you like the study.
Experimenting with a watercolour – gesso combination, I painted “Island woman”. She reminds me of someone from my past in PNG New Guinea islands – maybe from New Britain or New Ireland.
Like other mediums, watercolour paints have names and pigment intensity. This Aussie Red-Gold (Daniel Smith) paint has to be my favorite, but I use Payne’s Grey in almost everything, so I had to prove to my students, I could easily divorce Payne’s Grey for another colour. I think it is a brilliant colour. I hope you like it too.
In April 1990, several months after I was crowned Miss PNG (1989), the PNG Red Cross sent me on a national tour across Papua New Guinea. The tour was to promote the work of Red Cross in charity, disaster relief, blood transfusion services and youth growth and development programmes. This trip enabled me to learn new things, see new places and make many friends. It was a discovery of the magnitude of the work of Red Cross had done in the country and how many people dependent on these services. I was happy to be part of it all and be an ambassador for Red Cross. Unfortunately this privilege no longer exists in the quest due to lack of funding and the changes to the beauty pageant.
During my Red Cross travels, I also saw some of the most beautiful parts of PNG. Pictured is a small coastal village we passed during my tour of Kavieng, New Ireland Province. I took this picture of the house on the waterfront. A few days ago, I was delightfully surprised to find the picture (above) while going through some photos from 27 and 28 years ago. It brought back many memories of the wonderful time I had experienced.
Immediately, I had to paint this little house. The colours I chose reflect the glorious feeling I had during that time, while experiencing love and friendships; the tranquillity and wonders of my beloved PNG. I was very lucky to see a lot of the country during my reign.
I hope you like the images. Feel free to comment and share the tranquillity and beauty of this beautiful PNG Province.
I’ve been working with the basics of watercolour again and seeing more colour than dirty water on paper. The “Leaves” study is an example of clean colour.
Rescuing good habits is a result of teaching art again and as my friend Terence said, it is good because teaching is learning. I am teaching my students and learning again, all the good habits I had forgotten.
Above is a render of leaves from my garden. Some of you may know the blood-red foliage of Euphorbia cotinifolia (Caribbean Copper Plant, or Red Spurge) which I often photograph and post here. The sap is poisonous, but this hardy small tree is a favourite because of its gorgeous foliage. I caught on camera a few coloured leaves at the end of autumn when the leaves went from green to golds and orange before they all fell. Above is a negative painting (homework) for my students who are learning different watercolour techniques. If you are in Brisbane and want to join my classes, please email me for details on firstname.lastname@example.org. I hope you like this study of the leaves.
Papua New Guinea has over 30 species of the Bird of Paradise. I am currently painting this study of the male Lesser Bird of Paradise.
Painting the white feathers is simply not painting the watercolour paper with any pigment. It is not easy to add backwash to enhance the white feathers without completely covering the white paper. I didn’t want to tape or mask it out to add extra challenge…
I think my next one would be better. What do you think?
Brisbane Open House is a free public festival that celebrates Brisbane’s architecture and offers behind-the-scenes access to 100 buildings across the city. The Brisbane Open House began on Saturday and ended today (September 8 and 9).
Unknowing that preparations were happening all around me last Thursday, I had ventured into the city to check our visas at the Australian Immigration Office. I almost tripped over an orange traffic cone and realised it wasn’t the usual construction barricade on the footpath, but someone was actually sitting and painting.
I sat with her briefly and watched her paint before Debra Hood became aware of my presence. Debra, a talented Brisbane artist is one of many people who took part in the Open House programme. Her role was to paint these colourful Queenslanders on this power box (pictured above), a task she had accomplished many times under the Traffic Signal Boxes for Urban Smart Projects and Brisbane City. The project helps the council to protect the power boxes from graffiti.
Debra specialised in these very colourful traditional Queensland homes and enjoys it a lot. She seemed quite comfortable sitting and painting on side of the bustling Adelaide Street. If you like her work, please visit her website: debrahoodart to see more of her beautiful Queenslander art.
Far from what I remember as a child, when I was growing up and singing in church, these magnificent structures are some of the most modern churches we have today. Nothing like the old buildings and sago roof churches I’m used to. I do love the old churches, but more and more, modern churches, chapels, mosques, cathedrals, and temples are popping up to keep up with this modern times.
I guess we could say, it can be cool to have devotion in style or devotion can be made cool as I add these churches to my Cool Stuff list. In our own beliefs, worship and devotion goes further and beyond fancy architectural structures, but each of these churches are a very beautiful work of art. Personally, I think it would be wonderful to have a peaceful moment in one of them. What do you think?