ARTIST-IN-RESIDENCE AND SOLO PLANNING (13 July 2019)

We’ve past the middle point of the year and I am now busy planning and preparing for my next two major events.

 I was delighted to be accepted for a two-week stay at the Nancy Fairfax Artist in Residence Studio at the Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Centre in Murwillumbah this October. It will give me two weeks of painting in an inspirational environment where you look down the green paddocks out to Mount Warning.

 It will give me more inspiration for my next solo, which is taking place at the Graydon Gallery in New Farm next March. I’ve already painted a number of pieces for the exhibition but I have a lot more to do as I’m keen to show as many new pieces there as possible.

LOOKING AND LEARNING FROM OTHERS (June 2019)

Having recently completed my third solo in 12 months, I have fully realised there is no rest for the committed artist.

I have been busy painting pieces for a number of competitions, as well as trying to determine a theme for my next solo, planned for early next year.

It seems my only escape from the studio has been to go and visit gallery opening nights. Among of number of days and nights out, I really enjoyed listening to Jeff Makin at The Mitchell Gallery last month, while Terry Lew put on a great night for her exhibition with 19Karen Gallery’s new partner Sofitel Broadbeach this week.

I’m also very much looking forward to going to GOMA in a couple of weeks to see the Margaret Olley exhibition – I find that paintings are so much more wonderful to observe in person, rather than on a screen.

THE GLOVER PRIZE (8-10 March 2019)

What a great life experience...that’s all I can say about our weekend attending The Glover Prize presentations.

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The organisers have made this an event to remember and it is one that I will always cherish the memory.

I’m taking a guess but there must have been close to 500 people at the formal opening night at the quaint Falls Park Pavilion in Evandale, which is just out of Launceston.

We spent four hours there – and the time just flew – talking to other artists, guests, and admiring the work of the 42 finalists.

A big congratulations to winning artist Piers Greville and the other winners on the night. It was a great thrill for me just to be there and experience the big occasion.

Then there was the huge bonus of attending a special artists’ brunch at John Glover’s old property at Patterdale, a half hour drive to the east, the next morning. It was nice to chat to a lot more of the finalists and get to know a few of them, while having the chance to go through Glover’s lovingly restored property that was originally built in 1831.

I was really taken with the walking tracks that take you to the exact spots where Glover painted seven of his most famous works while living at Patterdale. The scenery is spectacular and there is magic in sitting at the spots that this great artist did almost 200 years ago. Hosts Carol and Rodney Westmore have done an amazing job with Patterdale and made the day very special for us all.

On our third day, I just had to go back to Evandale to look at the exhibition again, and also experience the famous long weekend markets outside the Falls Park Pavilion.

There must have been several thousand people come and go in the two hours we were walking around the markets and viewing the paintings again inside the pavilion. I was most impressed by the time that people were taking studying each painting and considering their votes in the People’s Choice Award.

The Glover is really a wonderful occasion and I am so privileged and humbled to have been able to experience the event as a finalist.        

CONNECTIONS OPENS IN GRAND STYLE (Friday 22 February 2019)

 What a dream opening night for my latest solo exhibition.

 There was a string quartet and piano player, a town crier, dignitaries and a total of 135 people in attendance.

 I could not have asked for a better evening and my only problem was that it went too quickly…it is so true that time flies when you’re having fun.

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 I genuinely love all the contours and elegance of the Stanthorpe Regional Art Gallery, and I felt it a privilege just to have some of my collection hanging there.

 It was an absolute honour to have so many local people – and they were all lovely people too – come along to view my work, as well as 14 great friends and collectors from the city.

I’m also very humbled that three members of the Southern Downs Regional Council came along to opening night – Jo McNally, Sheryl Windle and Rod Kelly - plus Griffith University lecturer and artist Richard Blundell, who was in town to give a talk on art tourism.

Thank you to the collectors who have already purchased original works from the Connections exhibition, and to those who will in coming weeks. A special mention too, to town crier Bob Townshend, who is a real character and added an extra buzz to the event.

 I will always remember this exhibition and be grateful to gallery director, the wonderful Mary Findlay, gallery administrator Dan McArthur, SRAG president Keith Brownjohn and the 56 incredible volunteers who combined to hang my work and help out on the night.

 We spent most of the week in the Granite Belt and were bowled over by the nice people we met, who still smile despite the difficulties caused by drought and bushfires.

 I’m glad my exhibition runs for six weeks until 31 March, although I really don’t want it to end!

GREAT THRILL – GLOVER FINALIST (8 February 2019)

A dream came true for me this morning when I was informed that I had made the list of 42 finalists for the very prestigious Glover Art Prize.

 I was aware of this wonderful landscape art prize from the time I began painting seriously and to be chosen as a finalist seems almost surreal.

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The last 14 months have been spent largely in my studio painting, often day and night, and it is just so lovely to get a reward like this at this time.

I’m sure I will be able to drag myself away from the easel for a weekend to fly to Evandale (near Launceston in Tasmania) for the opening night next month. It will be a privilege to meet the other finalists, collectors and art lovers.

My piece is titled Home, but I can’t show you the image until it is revealed at the opening night in Evandale on 8 March.

It certainly is going to make the next month super busy, as we are busy putting the finishing touches on my next solo exhibition, which opens at the Stanthorpe Regional Gallery on 21 February.

We’ll be in Stanthorpe for the official opening night on Friday 22 February, and I guess I have a bit more to talk about now!    

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE (26 December 2018)

Well, we’ve reached Christmas and I’m happy to report that I’m on target with a new range of works for my Stanthorpe solo in February-March.

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It has been a pretty amazing year and very full-on, having to prepare for three solos in the space of 10 months.

I am in the middle of relocating into my loft studio for the summer months as the air conditioning is much better than the ground floor where I was painting (and keeping my studio assistant, Oska the dog, company).

I hope you all have had a great Christmas and all the best to you and your families for the New Year.

2019 is looking like another busy year, with the solo, an artist in residency late in the year, and entering a heap of art exhibitions and prizes competitions in between. And that’s not to mention collaborating with some designers and gallery owners.

SOLO EXHIBITION – INNER DISCOVERY (17-21 October 2018)

I am always so excited to stage a solo exhibition and this week was no different.

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I titled my third solo exhibition Inner Discovery because it marked a departure from the norm for me, with a heavy emphasis on abstract works.

I’ve been fighting the urge to create more abstract pieces for quite a few years now and there was a real personal joy in preparing this new body of work.

It was very rewarding to get a lot of positive feedback from the people who visited my exhibition at the Percolator Gallery in Brisbane’s inner western suburbs.

Amongst all the pieces that sold, the earthy coloured ones proved particularly popular with all six selling, while my feature piece – titled Picnic at Hanging Rock – attracted a lot of interest and also now has a proud new owner.     

I’ve got to admit that ‘Picnic’ was a real favourite of mine and I’m glad it’s going to a new home with an owner who has a similar fascination to the story and the place as to what I do.

 There’s no time to sit back and reflect, as I now have four months to prepare for my next solo at Stanthorpe – and I have plenty of new ideas that I am mulling over.

LOVING THE CARNIVAL OF FLOWERS – AND DOWNLANDS (21-22 September 2018)

 Bursting with colour, Toowoomba put on a wonderful show for us during my third visit to the city for the year.

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 We were fortunate to be met by brilliant sunny skies for the Downlands Art Exhibition, which has been incorporated into the official program for the famous Carnival of Flowers. Would you believe we spent almost three hours at Downlands College on the opening night of the exhibition, viewing 1000 pieces of work.

 We stayed overnight on the range and made sure we visited all the officials gardens, including the spectacular Grand Champion prizewinner at Highlands, while the city botanical gardens were simply stunning.

 We made sure we had a look at the grand parade too, where close to 100,000 people line the streets to watch a procession of floats and local community groups weave through the centre of the city. It was a welcome break from the studio, given I’ve been painting day and night in preparation for next month’s solo exhibition at The Percolator.

ALL THE FUN OF THE FAIR-HOLME (3 August 2018)

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Tonight was my first visit to the Facets of Fairholme exhibition at the lovely Fairholme College in Toowoomba.

I had been told about Fairholme by a local lady who purchased one of my paintings at the Grammar art show earlier this year and I'm so glad I acted on her recommendation.

The opening night was a very pleasant function where everyone was very friendly and inspired by the art on show. I really enjoyed mingling with the local people.

I was very happy that one of my award-winning paintings, Nostalgia, was  bought by another local person too.

I will certainly be back next year to support Fairholme. 

BRUSHING THE BIRTHDAY (13 July 2018)

What does one get for one’s birthday when art is such a big part of your life? Lots of vouchers to art shops!

I was very spoilt by my three grown-up kids today, with vouchers and cash to splash at all my favourite art shops. My brother even sent me a voucher to Eckersleys from Perth.

My husband took the day off work so I could dabble in some pleine air work.

We were spoilt with a sunny Brisbane winter’s day and it was just stunning admiring the views over the water at Sandgate.

Hubby wanted to take me to Maleny but we have travelled so much lately that I opted for somewhere closer to home.

Besides, I have little time to waste and just want to paint, paint, paint with my next solo exhibition scheduled for October at the Percolator Gallery in Paddington.    

ENGAGING WORKSHOP BEFORE GOODBYE TO GAWURA (2-3 June 2018)

I had the pleasure of holding a workshop for 15 interested local people at the Gawura Gallery on the day before my exhibition closed there.

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We delved into the use of different textures with acrylic painting and I was rapt with how attentive everybody was.

The six hours seemed to fly by and I found it very satisfying to be able to pass on some of my knowledge to such a lovely group of people.

The following day we packed up after the six-week solo exhibition at Gawura. I’m glad the heating was on because it was about seven degrees outside and much less than that when the sun went down!

The exhibition was a wonderful experience and we are very grateful to Wendy and Lloyd for the opportunity to exhibit at their beautiful gallery.

CELTIC FESTIVAL WEEKEND AT GLEN INNES (4-7 May 2018)

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Glen Innes had the 'town full' sign hanging out with all the accommodation overflowing with revellers for the annual Celtic Festival, which is centred around the famous Australian Standing Stones on the hill overlooking the town.

We had a lovely gathering for the Friday night 'Cocktail Party' at Gawura Gallery, and I was busy all weekend meeting visitors to the gallery. Unlike our last visit, there were a lot of out-of-towners dropping in to browse the artwork and have a coffee in the gallery cafe. But it was extra-nice to see a number of 'old faces' we met on our previous visit drop in again to say hello.

A few more sales made for a very satisfying weekend, especially as we were able to duck away and watch the parade through town on the Saturday morning featuring all the pipe bands, dancers and Celts in costume.

SOLO EXHIBITION IN GLEN INNES - OPENING NIGHT (20 April 2018)

It was fantastic to see around 60 people from Glenn Innes and surrounding areas attend the opening night of my second ever solo exhibition, this time at the Gawura Gallery.

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We loaded the car and a trailer with 52 pieces of work and drove the 380km to Glen Innes – situated in the beautiful New England area of north-west NSW – on the Sunday before hand and took the best part of a day and a half to set up in the gallery.

It is a wonderfully well-designed gallery too and is a credit to owners Lloyd and Wendy Hornsby, who are the loveliest people.

I spent from Tuesday to Sunday as the artist in residence and hardly got any painting done as there was a steady stream of visitors each day.

Opening night was the highlight, with three sales an encouraging start. We will be heading back in a fortnight for a cocktail night at the Gawura Gallery, which we hope will attract plenty of visitors who are in town for the famous Glen Innes Celtic Festival. I will also look forwarding to catching up with many of the local people who I was delighted to meet during my artist in residence.

SMALL PART OF HISTORY (2 March 2018)

It was nice to play my very small part in a bit of history by earning a place as a finalist in the first ever Morris Art Prize.

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Congratulations to the organisers because they did a wonderful job of opening night.

The awards were inaugurated by Terry Morris, who happens to own the uber-impressive Sirromet winery at Mt Cotton (I saw the B52s and other ‘A Day on the Green’ shows there and they are awesome!) and the Carrara Markets, among other things.

There were 300 entries and 195 finalists selected, and they were displayed in a special pavilion at the Carrara Markets. The quality of the pieces on show was really impressive and I felt even more honoured to be after viewing them on opening night.

This is one I certainly will be entering again!

LITTLE PIECES, BIG SHOW (10 February 2018)

It’s always a pleasure to go along to an opening night at the Aspire Gallery and the ‘Small Pieces’ opening was no different.

Again, there were a large number of people in attendance to see what was on show.

There was a great variety of works on display…

LOVING NEW ENGLAND (1-5 January 2018)

Since the kids have grown up we have started a tradition of going away tenting for anywhere up to a week over the Christmas-New Year Period.

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This year we decided on the New England region, tenting in a paddock with the cows for a few days outside of Tenterfield (which was brilliant!), then pitching in Glen Innes for three nights and exploring all around.

While we took in all the tourist sights, I made sure we stopped at every art gallery we could find. That included several around Glen Innes, more at Inverell, and the super impressive New England Regional Art Gallery at Armidale.

The owners at the Gawura Gallery were, like most of the people we met, absolutely lovely and who knows, I might even go down and do a solo there one day!  

A DAY AT YANDINA (26 October 2017)

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Headed to the top of the Sunshine Coast today to drop off three pieces for display at the Stevens Street Gallery in Yandina. What a cute place!

Yandina is probably most famous for its ginger factory, but there are clearly lots of other things happening in this pretty little town.

The art gallery is ‘happening’, providing a quality outlet for local artists to show their work to the many visitors who are passing through or visiting the region. With Noosa and Coolum just down the road, and situated on the edge of Nambour, I hope the gallery goes from strength to strength.

While in town we had a walk along the heritage trail, had a great lunch at the character-filled Yandina Hotel, did a bit of walk in the bush at Mt Ninderry and generally made the most of our day out.

TWO OPENINGS IN ONE NIGHT (7 October 2017)

What’s better than going to an art show opening night? Going to two of them.

The Aspire Gallery in Paddington always attracts a big crowd to exhibition opening nights and this one was no different.

It was particularly exciting for me because I sold my piece, a large acrylic black and white piece featuring the Glasshouse Mountains.

It’s always nice to catch up with the Mengel family – Donagh, Lindsay and Irene – and they do a great job at Aspire.

Then it was off to the other side of the city for the opening of an Artworld Studio Gallery exhibition, situated in a beautifully kept property at Norman Park.

Curator Astrid La Fleur is providing artists with another outlet to show their work, and I was honoured to receive a Highly Commended Award. What a great night!

It was topped off by taking a water taxi to the riverfront for a celebration dinner (any excuse!)

MORE FROM MERV (12-13 August 2017)

You are never too old to learn and I like to attend several workshops a year to gain more knowledge in this wonderful world of art.

Merv Moriarty has been passionate about art for a lifetime and I was honoured to spend two days at a workshop with him at the RQAS Gold Coast’s Broadbeach gallery.

The bonus was having some tranquil walks along the beach afterwards, sampling kebabs at Surfers one night and watching the sun go down from Currumbin’s Elephant Rock on another. 

LEARNING FROM LETHBRIDGE (29 July 2017)

I took the opportunity to listen to some words of wisdom from very well respected Brisbane gallery owner Brett Lethbridge today.

The workshop was called ‘Getting Gallery Ready’, and Brett had some great pointers for all of those who attended at Marcel Despiens’ Brisbane Painting Classes studio in Albion.

EXPLORING BRIBIE ISLAND (8 July 2017)

A typical Queensland winter’s day with clear blue skies was perfect for the hour drive from Brisbane to Bribie Island to drop off my entry for the Matthew Flinders Fine Art Prize.

It was my first visit to the Bribie Island Community Arts Centre and Gallery, and wow isn’t it a great set-up?

The main galleries were set up wonderfully and are a real asset for all the artists in the region.

The people collecting the art were lovely and having 253 entries for the Flinders Prize certainly kept them busy.

I made sure I had some fish and chips down by the water at Pumicestone Passage afterwards and boy was it delicious!

PEOPLE'S CHOICE FOR 'NOSTALGIA' (17 May 2017)

 The Percolator Gallery had already been a personal favourite because it was the site of my first ever solo exhibition.

More good things happened there for me this week after being part of Art Street's Country to Coast exhibition. I was lucky enough to win the People's Choice award for week 2.

Art Street is a web-based artists group, with only 21 specially selected people being able to be part of the group at any one time.

The group was split in half, with each exhibiting for a week during the fortnight-long show. I produced eight pieces which were shown during the 2nd week, including a rural landscape titled Nostalgia.

It was quite a textural piece, based on the scenery from one of our long drives through Lost Valley World down near the Queensland-NSW border.

I received a lot of comments from people that 'it had a very Van Gogh feel about', not that I had necessarily intended it to be that way.

It's always nice to receive recognition like this, particularly when I'm heading back into the studio to create a new volume of work for my next solo exhibition.

WINNING AN AWARD AT IPSWICH (3 May 2017)

It was both a thrill and an honour to be presented with the Theme Category prize at the Ipswich Art Awards tonight. 

Having first entered these awards when I was a member of the Woogaroo Art Group back in the early 2000s, it made it even more special to walk up on stage and receive my prize.

We lived in the Ipswich Council area for 12 years (when we were at Springfield and Camira), and I've always had a soft spot for the historic old buildings and houses around central Ipswich.

The Theme Category this year was 'The Heritage of Ipswich', and I enjoyed researching the history of a number of those properties.

I was particularly fascinated by the story of Rose Dold, who was a housemaid at Gooloowan House in the 1870s. Rose was not married, but concealed that she was pregnant, and disposed of her baby in the well on the grounds of the property.

There were rumours about who the father was, including some speculation that it was the master of the house, but irrespective, Rose was eventually arrested for disposing of the body. The police could not prove whether the baby was alive or not when born, so she was not tried for murder.

In the century or so since then, people have claimed to hear a baby crying in the grounds of Gooloowan House, and seen ghosts of Rose Dold roaming around the gardens. I incorporated this story into my painting through various mixed media.

I will continue to enter the Ipswich Art Awards because of our affinity with the area, and out of respect to the dedicated committee who do such a great job organising and promoting the exhibition and awards night.

It was a pleasure to have a chat to local councillor Andrew Antoniolli during the night, who is a great supporter of the arts. He is pictured here with me and the winning piece.

RELIEF - A SUCCESSFUL FIRST SOLO (16 OCTOBER 2016)

The remaining paintings are down, the floor swept, the kitchen cleaned, and the pizza delivery just arrived. What a great experience!

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My first solo exhibition is over and I have mixed feelings of euphoria and sadness. Elated that the exhibition went so well, and only a little sad because it is all over.

I was so happy with how my 40 paintings were able to be displayed here at the Percolator Gallery, and that so many people came through to view them, particularly over the weekend.

Opening night was a memorable occasion and it was lovely to meet lots of new people, as well as see such great support from family and friends.

A lot of planning went into the exhibition and I'm pleased to say it was a great success.