Water, water everywhere

Episode 31

3 February 2021

Finally the Art Society of Tasmania’s Waterways exhibition is imminent; opening on Thursday at 6.30 pm in the Long Gallery at Salamanca Place. The exhibition runs for 10 days. I worked on three paintings a few months ago for this exhibition and am looking forward to seeing them on the wall. These are my entries. They are oil and wax medium on square cradled boards and measure 60cm.

Diving deeper $580

Beckoning me $580

The third one in the series of the same size is to be exhibited at the Kingborough Art Prize Exhibition at Kingston Tasmania on the weekend 19 – 21 February. This is usually an excellent exhibition in what was a grand old country hall but now is a community centre.

The waves whisper $580

In the same series but in the smaller size are the following two. These are currently shown on my website.

Turbulence 1 $420

Turbulence 2 $420

These are so much different from the more traditional work I used to do. There are some from this period on my website as well.

Rock sculptures framed $480

The link to this image on my website is


This week I started some what I hope are very loose abstract florals. There is a set of six and they are 30cm squares. I work on them on a taped off sheet of 300gsm cartridge paper using R&F oil sticks which are very soft and creamy in texture. A lot like creamy lipstick. I am waiting for them to dry a bit before my next layer.

Today I started two more in my Shapes series because I am still trying to master the use of stencils and masks over a complex colourful surface. More of these next time.

I have done some extensive planning for 2021 to work in series and to include study of colour, techniques. I am also trying to become more adept at social media and online selling. So much to do! I try to fit in 6 painting sessions of 3 hours a week as well.

Loving this artist’s life.

Organic shapes; a winner or loser

Episode 30

27 January 2020

The past two weeks have seen me struggling with shapes: mainly curvy ones.

But first the finished versions of my collages from a few weeks ago. I like all the different shapes and marks but not 100% sure the composition is working for me. I like the touches of blue in the second one. These are in acrylic paint.

Fractured 1

Fractures 2

Last time I showed the beginnings of two new larger works. My intention was to create a complex multi layer background of rich translucent colours then to use masks and stencils to build shapes and structure. These are half way there I think with 10 layers of paint so far. Each step jumping like into the unknown.

In the second one I have used a solvent to excavate the layers. My next step is to lay some random masks all over than add a thin layer of paint.

While the jury is still out on these in my Shapes series, two of the others are a bit of a mess but I may be able to finish them to my satisfaction. This one is 50 x 60 cm.

On a more joyful note I reworked an painting from 2020 called Spirit Song and am really loving the looseness and luminescence in the 50 cm painting. Not sure that the photo shows it to advantage though.

Spirit song emerged

My maquette exercise this week has been with the intention of creating interesting textures using only pthalo green and turquoise and black and white. The pthalo colours are transparent so you can build up glazes. I did this with acrylic paint because I started at the Bellerive Community Art centre group I attend on Friday mornings. Acrylic dries more quickly so is easier to transport. I continue to work on these and a couple of them I am happy with where they are going. I did decide to add some pthalo blue glaze and I think that had added more interest. Here are the six together(30cm squares) and a couple closer up.

So I am now wondering where to go next. I am still unresolved on my floral series. I want paintings that barely show a flower but show more the beauty and life energy in flowers. Whenever I start to paint too much detail and become representational I lose it. Maybe I will try another maquette series and see if that takes me where I want to go. It is funny with art, even if you have a good idea how you want something to look, you mind and body intervene. I guess the skill is in problem solving, to then bring what evolves closer to your intention.

Next week from 4-14 February is the Waterways exhibition at the long gallery. Don’t miss it or the two from my Oceans series.

In the pink

Episode 29

12 January 2021

Last week started with music and seeing what happens when I consciously work to music. I started with classical for the first session then turned to ABC Jazz for the second session. I very quickly become oblivious to the sound and became totally absorbed in laying on paint and marks.

Stage 1

Maybe final stage

At the same time I was working on these acrylic 30 cm squares, I started reworking some older 50cm square paintings I no longer liked. I love the lovely rose madder colour. It is very transparent and almost luminous. My theme is shapes, mainly ovals. I used masks and stencils to create these. I like where the first one is going but the second is still definitely a work in progress. There are many many layers.

Over the past weeks I have been focussing on planning for the next twelve months as well as setting up a weekly planning system. This should stop me becoming overwhelmed with all the things I want to do and avoiding the things that aren’t so much fun. My studies over the past months have made me realise I like to learn and study and experiment. I have spent at lot of time looking at other artists whose work I like and analysing what it is I like and don’t like. I like to figure out techniques that might be used to create certain effects. Learning to manipulate your media is half the battle.

I have set myself the goal of starting two new paintings a week and so far so good. Following on in my shapes theme(which might become a series) I commenced the under painting for two 60cm ones. I will build up an interesting underlayer then use masks and stencils to build up a structure. There are three layers here already; crayon drawing, brayer(roller) white layer, then silicon wedge application of white.

Another challenge I have given myself is to develop collage based work. I started two in mainly black, yellow and white using plain black paper and tissue as well as gel printed tissue papers from last year. The next step with be to add acrylic paint and then more drawing and/or collage. See where they go. At the moment they are too busy and have too strong tonal contrast. I found that although I only intended to spend a few hours on these it took that long just to get into the swing of things. Lesson learned is that I usually give up too soon. Fun.

Coming up in February is the Waterways exhibition in the Long Gallery at Salamanca Arts Centre. I will be on duty there on Friday 5 and Sunday 14 from 1.30- 5.00. Drop in for a guided tour. Should be a great show. The following week is the Kingborough Art Prize exhibition at Kingston. Again another high quality art exhibition.

Stay tuned to see more of my successes and failures.

Keep safe and well.

Unearthed again

Episode 28 of Gaye’s Art Blog

30 December 2020

At the beginning of 2020 I was finishing off my Unearthed series ready for a solo exhibition at a small cafe at the Salamanca Arts Centre. The works were mainly in neutral earthy colours with a dash of red or blue. Sadly the exhibition had to be taken down after a few days due to the cafe closing due to COVID. I have sold two of these during the year.

The center piece was this multilayered and textured work.

The fire beneath

There are lovely subtle textures in them all achieved with special techniques possible with oil and cold wax medium. The following four aren’t pleasing me as much now as then. I guess because I have learnt so much this year and loosened up my painting style so I am vaguely thinking I would like to rework these a little to create more energy.

Timeshift 1

Umber 1

Umber 2

I also included in this exhibition my Leaf series; 5 smaller works featuring autumn leaves mono printed on the textured underlayers then worked into to build up detail and more texture. I still love these. They are framed in timber tray frames and priced at $160. I may expand on this theme when autumn comes around again. Not in a hurry. Want to enjoy summer first.

Leah series 1

Leaf series 4

Leaf series 2

Leaf series 5

Leaf series 3

I am going to continue with my Ocean, Flourish and abstract floral series in 2021 and explore some new series based on shapes and coastal motifs perhaps.

I am learning how to use Trello, a personal management system to better keep track of information and aid in planning. With that said I have to get more disciplined to look after my health and wellbeing and create more time for all I want to do. I just love playing with paint! I know I need to be more strategic with social media use if I wish to sell work from my website. However, social media seems to be one of my greatest time wasters. Need to work this through.

I am about to submit entries to two exhibitions in February. The first is the Waterways exhibition in the Long Gallery at the Salamanca Arts Centre where my waves will feature. The other is the Kingborough Art Prize at Kingston and I haven’t finally decided on my entries.

Happy new year to you all . Hoping it is a better one for most people and we can put the pandemic behind us.

Episode 27

23 December 2020

As 2020 comes to a close it has been a time to reflect on what I have achieved in my art this year. I started with leaving an artists co-op at Salamanca Art Centre which was not taking me in a direction I wanted to go. Two aborted exhibitions due to COVID in March, and the subsequent self imposed isolation or several months set the scene for a major change in my art practice.

Setting up a website and (almost) weekly blog was a particular achievement at this time. The process really challenged me I find I enjoy sharing what I do and its great to have a platform to show my work. It was an added bonus to discover I could sell work from the site as well.

I enrolled in a free online abstract art course over 10 very hectic days which I really loved. Then this followed with a 10 week course called Find Your Joy 2020. Over 1000 people enrolled in this fee paying course which included a facebook page for the exchange of ideas and to post work in progress or completed. I worked more than 40 hours a week doing the course work and applying it to a series of paintings. I gained great confidence and found joy in all I did and I think my work displayed this. Subsequent to this I have joined an online group called Art tribe which continues with the course work in a more flexible way.

I am broadly planning 2021 at the moment and having a go at Trello, a sort of project management tool.

This week I have been working on the two paintings I mentioned last week; reworking older works which I quite liked but wasn’t happy that they were finished. A transformation. I think they are finished. I am naming them Rock pools 1 and 2.

Rock pool 1

Rock pool 2

I have worked further on more in my Flourish series. Still not sure if I am happy with them. The paper is getting very thick in the second one; it has had dozens of layers of paint.

I think my three larger Ocean themed ones are finished; ready for Waterways and Kingborough Art Prize in February.

I have nearly finished the 30cm exercise I showed last time. Finding some lovely crops in these which could form the basis of a new series.

And the crops

I have so many ideas and plans for 2021.

I wish you all a happy festive season.

Episode 26

9 December 2020

Finding time for my art in the past few weeks has been a challenge with so many other demands created by the season. Summer is upon us although you wouldn’t know to step outside today. Next weekend with be warm again with another 30 degree day forecast. Tasmania; four seasons in one day!! I have a large raspberry hedge which is producing an abundence of luscious fruit. But of course that means time spent jam making not art making. The garden needs time too as the weeds are as prolific or more so than the other plants.

I have worked further on my floral series in an attempt to increase the abstraction. I have three ‘waiting in the wings’. I want them to only slightly resemble flowers but to be joyful, colourful and full of the energy of nature. Might be getting somewhere with this one. It is hard because there are so many parts of these paintings that I like which I could so easily lose with one swipe of the silicon wedge I use to apply the paint. Lots of finger painting there as well I might add.

This is its mate in a more representational phase

I collected two paintings from my display at the Rosny Doctors Surgery. They hadn’t sold but no wonder as the staff there hadn’t put the labels I provided on the wall. No one would know they were for sale. I replaced them with two others. On bringing them home and comparing them to two others in the same series which weren’t working to my satisfaction, I could see a way forward with these. May not yet be finished but showing promise in my mind.

Flourish with red

I am never happier that when I am trying out something new or experimenting with different colours, approaches or subjects. I attempted a series of 4, 30 square works using a warm colour palette and bringing organic geometric shapes into the mix similar to this one done six months ago.

These have had 11 layers of paint but not going where I would like. Maybe by next week I will resolve them. I am thinking that working in this size is not suiting me now. We’ll see!!??!!

My main success this week has been with Lost in a wave, the latest one in my Oceans series. This is larger, at 60cm square and I hope will be one of my entries in the Waterways exhibition at the Long Gallery in February. I need to mount it on a cradled board with its two mates and see how they look on the wall.

Lost in a wave

Today I decided to rework two older works on board. Just because I can. They were quite nice as they were but thought I would add to them in a random way, disrupt the surface and see where it would take me. They have had two previous incarnations I might add.

This is how they look now. Regrets? I have a few.

I received a new book on the subject of colour. I bought this on a friend’s recommendation with the view to learning more about colour and colour combinations. It by David Hornung and titled Colour-A workshop for artists and designers. All I need now is some self discipline and free time to experiment. I finish with a some thoughts from Nicholas Wilton, a well know artist and teacher.

People are all so different, and everyone will see and feel different things when they experience your Art. I believe we make our best Art when we are free of any mental restrictions. The day I decided to give up caring what people might or might not feel when they see my Art, was the day my Art took a big step forward.It is helpful to realize that there is far more value found in the making of your Art than others’ reactions once it is made

Nicholas Wilton

Episode 25

25 November 2020

I am so amazed that I am doing Episode 25 and it’s 25 November. The year has flown by. I have worked on 110 paintings; many successful, some still unresolved. I tend to work in series or groups of 4 or 5 at any one time although looking around the studio there are at least 20 that are near completion. This past month or so it has been florals and oceans.

Life is intruding on my painting time. The late spring garden demands attention. Nets were put on the 20m long bed of raspberries just in time as I picked a bowl full yesterday. The wet mild spring has created abundance in the garden while looking great, has to be trimmed or it gets out of control. My summer interest as uniform co-ordinator for the Carlton Park Surf Club is also claiming my attention as the season starts up.

I have lists of ideas for art projects so will have to discipline myself to put in more time.

I wanted to work on my latest 60cm square oceans painting but so far I have only prepared the substrate in a mixture of burnt sienna and yellow ochre and completed a small study. This one I want to be darker in tone and show the power of an ocean wave.

I have been working on some colour exercises as well to develop further my understanding of colour. These are not meant to be finished paintings but I might continue and see if I can. Only small 20cm squares, all done together on one sheet of paper with masking tape to divide them. The first one is painted in acrylics using cool colours and the second is in warm colours. They are very busy, too busy to my liking. The next step is to add a little warm to the cool one and cool to the warm one. So still lots to do. One of these or a section of one might be the inspiration for a larger painting, Who knows??

I have focused mainly on the floral series this week, when I had had time to paint. There are 6 in the set in various sizes. They are nearing completion now. There is always a risk that one you start fiddling you mess them up. I want to keep the looseness and abstraction. The last one is the largest and the one I am most happy with.






I am thrilled to have sold Hidden depths this week to the lovely couple who had provided the title for it when seeing it on my blog. I had entered it in the Rotary Wrest Point art prize last week.

Hidden depths

I am taking some fresh paintings to the Rosny Doctors surgery in Bligh Street this week. The first two are 50 cm square and the florals 30cms.

Terra 1

Terra 2

Turn towards the light 4

Turn towards the light 3

Have a great week everyone!

Episode 24

18 November 2020

The highs and lows of an artist. Last week I mentioned I was entering 4 paintings in the Rotary Wrest Point Art Show; one of which was a donation to charity. When I went to look at the exhibition on Saturday I was surprised and pleased to note I had sold a painting, ‘Spring Beach’. This was good news for Rotary’s coffers as I had donated it.

On returning on Sunday afternoon, I found that I hadn’t sold any of the other three(No red dots). I am philosophical about sales; if it happens that’s great but I am not disappointed if I don’t. There will be someone out there who will see it and love it enough to buy it sometime. Or as I often do I continue to work on it with more layers.

Surprise, surprise as I was signing out I was told that I had sold another and to a well know art collector. I asked them to check as there hadn’t been a red dot. But now I had three people about me very excited about this sale. So I left the particular painting there and went home very happy and excited not by the fact I had sold one, but to whom I had sold it.

My euphoria persisted so I announced my sale(s) on Facebook. Then an hour or so later I received a call from a very apologetic organiser to say they had made a mistake and that it hadn’t sold. Back to earth!!! It has been retained by Rotary until a lunch for Art Appreciators in a few weeks time when they will try to sell it. The story is not over yet. This experience made me realise that I value and aspire to recognition by art collectors; not something I had thought about before.

I have been working on my floral series again this week trying to get looser and freer in my approach. I have used a lot of big oil sticks as well as oils and wax medium. These are nowhere near finished but showing promise. I need to keep the looseness but apply more layers. The third one is a larger 60cm square.

I am doing some small studies for more works in my Oceans series too. Hopefully there will be something to see next week! I continue with my personal development playing with colour this month; learning more about mixing colours, placing colours for impact and creating harmony in colour palettes.

The wonderful thing about art is you are forever learning new things. I love experimenting and taking on new challenges. I also spend a lot of time recording what I am doing and journalling ideas and thoughts. I need to as I am very forgetful. The journalling process is proving very useful to me. In the past I would start but interest soon waned. I think the secret is to spend more time making art and recording things. Spend more time doing what you love!

Episode 23

11 November 2020

The year is flying by.

I have been working on three fronts in the past week or so with Oceans , florals and abstracts. Another 60cm square work has been added to my Oceans series and I am declaring these two finished. They have been painted over an orange gold background layer which really makes the blues sing.

I am really liking these at the moment.

After my frustrating and time consuming work on floral still lifes over the past weeks( I am unable to accept defeat). A few of you said you liked them but they weren’t what I was wanting to produce. So, I decided to try something loose and free in the manner I have been developing in my other work. A bunch of roses, azaleas and iris were picked from my garden(which is magnificent at the moment). These are the two attempts at loose and free.

The second one needs some tweaking but I am quite pleased with them so far.

The third thread that I am following is a more structured abstract set of two. I am happy with where they are going too.

I have made some further changes to them both today. Works in progress but nearly finished. Lots of layers and interesting marks and shapes.

Coming up this weekend is the Wrest Point Rotary Art Show at The Boardwalk gallery. I have four works on display including a donated painting semi abstract of Spring Beach East Coast Tasmania.

Hidden depths

Lost in my mind

The exhibition is usually of excellent standard and very well curated. Open from Friday evening until Sunday afternoon. Well worth a look. I have also uploaded some framed miniatures to Bluethumb this week.

See you next time and hoping this magnificent weather continues.

Episode 22

28 October 2020

This last fortnight has not seen me as productive as the one before. I have continued to make small changes to many of my works in progress. I became a little bogged down in flowers in my quest to find a style that suits me and the media I use. Oil and wax medium is a very creamy material that is spread rasher than brushed on. Some techniques that might work in acrylics paint or watercolour may not work so well. If you remember I recently did a couple of small painting which just seem to flow naturally.

and so I tried to work in a larger size 50cm x 60cm

I am happy with how this is going. There is another on the go and hopefully I will have that to show next time.

I have been busy updating the images on my website. I seem to have done a great deal this past 6 months due to the stimulation of an online course and self imposed lock down. I would love you to check it out, especially the 2020 series.

My ocean series is continuing. I am trying to add final details to two works without loosing their freshness. I have started another one of two which I am quite excited about. See below.

Spring Beach Inspired

The second one is in final stages.

The most exciting moment in the past two weeks was the surprising online sale of my painting of Bridport Tasmania. This painting was quite big 90 cm x 60cm. Its the first I have had to pack and send; a process which took a few hours and quite a bit of blood sweat and tears to accomplish. I decided I wouldn’t put myself through that again until I got a quote from a local company to pack and send and it was $260. Changed my mind. Have honed the technique I hope for next time. I have had paintings on the Bluethumb site for quite a while and this was my first sale. The lovely lady who bought it had been looking for the right painting for her entrance hallway. When she received it in Belrose NSW about 3 days after I sent it, she was thrilled and sent me a photo of it in situ. It looked great so I am thrilled too.

I have almost finished preparing 3 works for sale at the Rotary Wrest Point Art Show in mid November. It will be inspiring to see my work on the wall along side some really talented Tasmanian Artists.

I so love to paint.