Monday, 24 August 2020

A Decade of Art Matters

Ten years ago on  24th August 2010, I wrote these words in the first post for my blog Art Matters.

Art matters - it has mattered all my life and I hope that in this blog I'll give you an idea of the importance it has for me. However, art hasn't always taken centre stage as I have done so many others things along the way.

Aloes  - oil on canvas. 2010 

These iconic South African flowers were painted shortly before I left Durban. 

I had just received notification that my visa application to move to Australia had been approved. It was time to get organised. I knew that I would have to find a way to establish myself as an artist and teacher in a place where I only knew a handful of people, quite removed from the place where I was well known and had good connections in the art world. 

Creating a website and writing a blog were a good start. I had no idea whether any one would even see the blog let alone read anything I wrote but I did it anyway. Gradually people saw it and read my posts and left the odd comment.

Flinders Blue - oil on canvas 1000mm x 1000mm - 2011. 

This abstract was an early commission

I decided from the start to treat the blog as a way of documenting my journey from Durban, South Africa to Brisbane, Australia. From a personal perspective I enjoy looking back at some of the posts, remembering the highs and lows of the last ten years. 

Pink roses with mirrors - oil and silver leaf on canvas 900 mm x 900 mm - 2012

A commission for a local hairdressing salon Sabe Hair 

Over the years the frequency of posting has waxed and waned depending on what else was happening. When I began the blog there were many bloggers who maintained the stance of “post every day”. I decided from the start that I would only write when I had something to say. This approach has worked well. 

Deja Bru Cafe  acrylic on canvas 3600 mm x 1200 mm - 2012. 

A mural for my local cafe. 

When I landed in Brisbane at the beginning of December it was a step into the unknown. I wasn’t entirely alone though because I stayed with my daughter and her family for the first six months until I could move into my own home. 

Portofino - oil on canvas. 900 mm x 900 mm - 2012 

One of three paintings commissioned by Maverick Travel for their offices.

Reeds  rise from water - oil on canvas 700 mm x 700 mm 2013

Floods in Brisbane 

Within a couple of weeks, though, my plans for exploring the city and meeting new people were put on hold because in January Brisbane and the surrounding area were hit with terrible floods. The city centre including the art galleries were inundated and remained closed for months. Many people lost their homes and businesses. So I had to put my plans on hold. 

Riverside Trees - oil on linen 900 mm x 610 mm 2014
Winner of the Nundah Art Show Grand Prize

Watching oil on canvas 910 mm x 610 mm 2015

Damask Peony oil on canvas 765 mm x 765 mm - 2016

Evening Light - Noosa 760 mm x 1200 mm 2017

I started teaching art in first week in my own home with a couple of students. Over the years the number of classes and students have increased. New connections led to painting commissions and opportunities. Exhibitions provided a place for my paintings to have a wider audience.

Escarpment Shadows - oil on canvas 610 mm x 455 mm - 2018.

I am constantly drawn back to the Drakensberg mountains. 


The wind scatters the golden leaves - oil on canvas 2019 

This year has been one of the most challenging with the arrival of COVID 19. My classes in the Hamilton Road Studio have been replaced by Zoom classes. Recently, with the support of Farm House Kedron I have the opportunity to teach in person on a Thursday - it’s so good to teach face to face again. 

Strelitzia squared - oil on canvas 500 mm x 500 mm 2020 

A huge thank you all my supporters over the years - the collectors who bought my paintings; the local businesses who commissioned paintings for their offices and lastly, and most importantly, all those artists who have attended my classes, supported me, befriended me and helped establish a haven for creativity. 

I look back on these years and realise - I did it! I have a good happy life. 

Thank you. 

Tuesday, 11 August 2020

Art @ Farmhouse

I’m loving teaching people face to face during Thursday’s Art @ Farmhouse. After months of screens only it makes a pleasant change. Last week we drew and painted magnolias (not real unfortunately) but beautiful all the same. 

This week we are “ Painting Pop Food” - milkshakes, smoothies and burgers. 

Last year I worked on a commission for Milk Cafe Ashgrove. The refurbishment  of the cafe included a new wall mural of a sketch I had done in the cafe previously and new watercolours for vinyl window coverings. It was such an enjoyable project.

The Interior of Milk Cafe Ashgrove

A view from Ashgrove Avenue

A delicious Burger and chips

Coming up Thursday 20th August Harvest Table 

Wednesday, 22 July 2020

Art @ Farm House

UPDATED 1st August 2020

Thursday Art @ Farm House now 6.00 to 8.00 pm

Have you been creating art on your own at home?

Do you crave some face-to-face social contact with like-minded creatives?


Classes at the Hamilton Road Studio have been held online using Zoom. These were more successful than I had anticipated, and those who attended coped really well. 


But… we all missed the social camaraderie we enjoyed in the physical StudioTrying to find a way to reopen the Hamilton Road Studio safely under the current restrictions has been an ongoing dilemma for me


Now, through the generosity of Amanda from Farm House Kedron we have a wonderful solution. She has offered us the use of the Farm House Kedron Café on a Thursday from 4.30 pm


Art @ Farm House

While you create you can enjoy a glass of wine or nibble on a cheese platter; and most importantly catch up with old friends and as an extra bonus make some new ones. The venue can accommodate up to 40 people while remaining safe. Teaching such a large number is not part of my plan so the numbers will cap at 20.


These evenings will be a way to spend some together as I am sure you crave some face to face human contact in a creative setting. We will work in the large Farm House Hall which will ensure proper social distancing.


You will be able to book and pay for each evening through the booking feature on the Farm House website. At the same time, you can order a drink or snack. In additionMiss Sophias Gelateria will be open all the time so you can indulge in a sweet treat. 

There will be large tables, but no easels and you would need to bring your own supplies as communal art media cannot be shared.

Café Sketching

Sketching in a café is a popular activity with urban sketchers. However, COVID 19 put this on hold. If you are a novice it can be intimidating to pull out  sketchbook and start drawing. Our first session of Art @ Farm House will give you an opportunity to practice. There is an array of fascinating objects, succulents and pot plants that will be available as drawing subjects as well as other inspiration we’ll introduce over time.

There is an array of fascinating objects, succulents and pot plants that will be available as drawing subjects. Other techniques and mediums will be introduced later - please let me know where your interest lies.

 I have often sketched at Farm House as you can see from these sketches.

What to bring

The materials should be whatever you have on hand – keep it simple.


A few suggestions:


• Drawing paper – loose sheets or a sketchbook 
• Drawing tools: Pencils, pens, either fine liners, fountain pens or ballpoint pend, markers, or pencil crayons – these can be watercolour pencil crayons or standard pencils. 
• If you have a set of watercolours you use for urban sketching this would be useful. 


Art @ Farmhouse 6.00 to 8.00 pm

9 Somerset Road, Kedron

BOOKINGS - click for bookings page

• Cost $22.00 
• Drinks and snacks extra
• Bookings can be cancelled up to 24 hours in advance i.e. by Wednesday 6.00 pm.
• Book and pay on the Farm House website. Select Events and the date. You will receive a booking confirmation email and materials list.
Bookings can be cancelled up to 24 hours in advance i.e. by Wednesday  4.30 pm.

I hope you will come along and join us for a creative time with like-minded artists up in this exciting new venture.