I am painting more watercolours and that’s why I’ve been silent on this blog. It feels like I’m telling a story in a different way and this is very fulfilling. I have a few assignments to finish but I wanted to share one of these ‘stories’. Here I am working through an artwork of a young woman from Simbu, Papua New Guinea. I love her headdress and feathers. Birds are interesting and amazing creatures, but when you paint so many bird feathers, it is quite challenging. And because I love lorikeets and have raised them – there is the guilt …of the dead birds, but there’s another story – culture, nature conflict…
Anyway, I think I have almost got the Kina shells right, but the challenge of the feathers takes time. It also gives me more pleasure to learn and practice. Google Papua New Guinea culture if you want to see some real headdresses of fantastic colours, shapes and feathers.
I hope you like Meri Simbu II. I painted Meri Simbu the first six years ago and due to her popularity, it was no surprise when a client asked me for a new version. Meri Simbu II is about 800+mmx1200+ big, so I have to do small sections and pay attention to the details at the same time. The first Meri Simbu was no larger than an A4 paper size.
I will be back to stories soon. Thank you for continuing to visit the Tribalmystic blog and thank you to all those who have emailed personally me and for the birthday wishes for today.
I love this old church. I tried out this watercolour subject for a local competition last May and was not satisfied so I abandoned the project. I found the unfinished pencil-drawn church and decided to go ahead and paint it. My son agreed with me that in my picture, the church looked awkward – so I will try painting it again one day. I hope you enjoy the study’s result.
The Brookfield Uniting Church’s history dates back to 1869 and forms part of a historical precinct. The church is now called the Pioneer Church. It was built in 1885 on a donated half-acre of land on Kenmore and Brookfield Road junction. In the mid 1900s the building was relocated to its present position in the showground precinct. The church can fit 70 people.
I am working free and lose again on my watercolour, after getting the work so tensed up. When I first learnt to paint in watercolour, I thought it was crazy. You had to work so quickly and once you’ve made a mistake, it was so hard to fix. In my earlier work, I painted loosely and simply. Then, painting in all mediums (Acrylics, oils, watercolour etc) at different times, I started to overwork the watercolour.
This shot is a little dark, but the artwork has only had three coats of paint so far. It gets exciting when it starts to come together. Let’s hope I don’t over do it again.
I have been painting “Josephine”, the woman from my head in watercolours on paper.
With several layers of pigment on heavy paper, she has taken some time to surface. In almost three weeks, and working with three other artwork at the same time, I took no notice of how she was looking. I knew “Josephine” was due to finish soon.
My sons had been away south. My younger son returned today and wanted to see what I had been up to. I showed him the gardens, told him about the chickens, the paper thief, and how my blog was going. He could see I had been painting. As usual, he went through my paintings, telling me which ones he liked. When he saw “Josephine”, he asked me if I was painting “Bubu”. Bubu is a shortened Motuan (Papua New Guinea) word for grandmother/father. Chris was referring to my mother, Freda.
I laughed. Chris was right. This woman in the painting is what my mother looked like in her younger days. Apart from her hair, most of Freda’s looks have not changed much over the years, so much so, my 16-year-old recognised her. I had not realised Josephine’s resemblance to my mother before.
How did I paint my mother without knowing? (Maybe, I miss her).