Sunday, October 25, 2009


Popped over to Pyndan Camels this morning to check out the fantastic job Marcus did of hanging the camels, then inspired this pm to do some more on young Betty. Had a bit of a struggle with the angle of her brow, but seem to have fixed that. Should finish her next weekend, and am enjoying trying to get the velvetiness of her coat. She really is a darling.

Saturday, October 24, 2009


All done. I enjoyed this one, and messed around a bit with scratching paint off (hard to see here, but that's pretty much what the hightlights are made of) which gives quite a stark kind of effect (I chickened out and softened it a bit around the edges where the light meets the dark. Started doing the scratchy thing as I didn't like how the white tended to dull down the colours (a real problem in the other dark pic I did, the self portrait, last year), and ended up finding a cool new way of mark-making (sort of cross between drawing and painting). One of the good painting days.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Everyone's Staring

Finished Bill this weekend, with sky in (thanks Ploughman). Had to stop getting too prissy with bits of it, though I'm still not quite sure if I might not go back to the buckles for a bit more of a fiddle (I spent a fair while working on the harness, so have lost all perspective re whether it works or not).
Clearly doing a thing with eyes at the moment (Chew's line from Blade Runner keeps asserting itself, 'I do eyes' . . . funny how that film seems to have had lines that resonate with key things/moments for me). I'd been wanting to 'different' types of portraits for a bit. I'll be working with some soon to be ex-students of mine in the next couple of weeks on a couple of ideas, but this is the first . . . playing with pictures that look like people but also might be saying something more explicit than conventionally posed portaits say. I'm back to enjoying painting darkness and shadows too with lots of colours.
So far this one has been coming along very quickly and the hands (which was the technical challenge of this one) have been quite obedient. Hoping to finish this next weekend. Thinking of calling it 'Frames'.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Process not Product

Just as well I do this painting lark for the doing it, rather than the have done it as I managed to spend most of this afternoon thoroughly enjoying not making much apparent progress with the always lovely Bill.
The grain and the overall dodgy-ness of the lightening job on the photo is because I got so carried away with the not doing very much at all I lost the last of the light.
Also found out today (from Esther at Pyndan, who used to work at Frontier . . . a long(ish) story I'll get around to soon) that Bill was an utterly mad camel, commonly called Billy. Makes it nice to get some background. We also worked out the camel on the right of Pyndan Pair, a lovely girl called Ruby. Seems Betty and Ruby are good friends and do spend a lot of time hanging out together as in the pic. Nice.

Well another weekend of not quite finishing this painting, but never mind.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A bit more

Tad ambitious, I think, on the weekend, about getting the other two finished (I keep forgetting the simple equation: big picture = lots of paint= more time, for me at least in how I put it on).

But Bill's going quite well; one of those that, so far, doesn't look like its going to go through the stage of complete disaster before coming good again, which is the tortuous process for probably about 70% of the finished pieces.

I'd been toying with the idea of sky or no sky. Still toying.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

one down two to go

It's been really windy the last couple of days, and not until today, when the wind's dropped, have I realised how off my painting it's put me. Finished this one today (called Grazer II) and am hoping to push myself to get the other two done before school starts again on Monday.

Camels Old and New

All new paintings (none finished yet) but from three different 'era's' of camels . . .
This lovely girl is Betty (full name Black Betty) from the lovely camel place down the road (Pyndan Camel Tracks)
This (sadly nameless) chap is from my last visit to Frontier Camel Farm, after it had changed its name to Outback in Alice and shortly before it went bankrupt.

And this very old one (still from Alice though: I've not yet got into the Silverton Camel Farm pics!) is Bill from Frontier Camel Farm when it was still going strong, run by the Smails.