Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Chippy our Tenant

Digesting the Daily Bread
We have a very entertaining although serious friend that lives under our deck. He arrived we think this year early summer.

We had a new deck outside of our garden quite comfortably large enough to put pots of flowers and a  rosemary bush, we call him "Chippy", and he has taken residence beneath the deck and pops out morning and evening to gather bread and sunflower seeds for lunch and dinner.

He seems to be used to us padding across his roof in the morning and we drop a small piece of bread or even better a couple of almonds down into his "porch-way".

He sometimes plays with the squirrels and surveys his property with great aplomb sitting on his hind legs and looking a bit like Winston Churchill about to make a speech !

We looked up how Chippy lives and were surprised to find their life span is only about 3 years. Their home can be almost similar to the way we live: they have an area like a pantry storing for food, we often wonder if it's neat and tidy piled up and counted making sure he has enough.

They also have a space for toilet duties and are quite fussy about keeping it clean.
The more we get to know him the more we are amazed that this little creature, often not liked by gardeners, we find gives us pleasure so what if he decides to eat out tomatoes and bury them in our pot of Rosemary, a bonus for next year for him and us if they seed!

So for us Chippy is a blessing not a curse! all creatures great or small incredible so Cheers to the animals who are in our garden may they be happy and reign over us!
Storing seeds next to the Rosemary bush
Inspiration for a Painting as well
6x6 Oil on Board by Babs

Monday, September 24, 2012

July Morning on Main Street

14x18 inches oil on canvas
I was attracted to the early morning light in the alley on Main street Schomberg.
The alley is between the old De Router's Mill and Grackle Coffee shop. Over the decades the buildings on Main Street seemed to have crept closer together and it is difficult to distinguish one side from the other.

The hard part of the painting was the dapple on the floor, but it got done after several attempts, one of the good things about oil paint you can have another go... eventually!


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Flake White Paint and Me!

8x8 oil on board
I bought this paint as an experiment, I usually use titanium white and read the Flake white is a better mixing paint. Flake White contains lead and is not a healthy choice but many painters use it.

It has been with me for many weeks just sitting there in my egg box daring me to work with it, and on Monday I took the plunge and tried to put it on the pallet, but  you have to be a strong arm woman, it's very thick it certainly doesn't ooze. It was do or die and I managed to paint a Westi with a lot of effort and this is the result.

I did get used to the thickness and it does bring out a nice texture, but, I know I have lot of practice to get it right but any help out there or comments would be appreciated?

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Great Love of Art and Painting

John's copy of painting by B C Liston
Babs' copy of "Matisse" by Derain
Experience is everything and most of all these days the 
opportunity to indulge in creativity is very popular. The hardest part is looking at people's likes and dislikes through the ages.

On a few occasions we have gone out on a limb and decided to copy a famous portrait. this as it turns out makes me wonder about our sanity, we must be raving mad to even try to copy a classic.

I think it is in us as always a challenge we must do . We call it "Good for the Soul" or worse "It looks easy I'll have that done in a week or two!" But that's the rub after canvas has been prepared and paint colours worked out on the pallet you sit at the easel and wonder what gave you the gall to even consider such a thought.never the less the brush is waiting and you decide to "go for it". Like the charge of the light brigade your brain starts talking well you're in for it now! let's get cracking.

Warning do not try this unless you want to experience anguish, frustration and a messy canvas you will be out of your depth! Especially if you are a wannabe like me keep to simple things unless you can afford to pay for tuition Don't give up and the more you paint the more you see the more you read and look at other artists going through the same trauma and come to the decision you have taken up the gauntlet and you can't give up painting now you invested in easel paints and brushes and besides you like the experience of going to Curry's Art shop and see all the goodies and feel rather satisfied with yourself picking up a few more pieces to go home and try again, it's. right brain thing and good for the soul striving for that special feeling to achieve something you never thought you could.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Toby 9x10 oil on board
Toby is my grandson's Chesapeake. he is a beautiful colour chestnut and full of life he seems ready for plenty any time.

He was fun to paint but difficult to get right on the dark side of the picture

Monday, September 10, 2012

I love tomatoes, but do they love me?

Every day I can eat a dozen cherry size so every day they produce 40, and that is too many for my consumption, But they know what they are doing, the more I cannot take the more goes to the ground as seed for next years plants and so they are fulfilling their purpose, which is to procreate, and I'm not part of the process, I am an enemy.

The big tomatoes have a different strategy, they hang on the vine pretending to be green, they never ripen until I go away for a day then they fall off and sacrifice themselves to the slugs.
I also find when I go to the vines, carrying my little harvesting basket, I can pick all I can see, then a few minutes later I might pass by them again as I mow the grass and suddenly I can see hundreds of the damn things,
They are playing Hide and Seek!
Tomatoes are very Saucy!


Saturday, September 8, 2012

Standing Proud

"Standing Proud" 8x10 oil on board

From a photo taken by John on an assignment a few year's ago,
I liked the stance, the horse looking proud and strong, I must confess horses are very difficult to paint and I have a long way to go, the changing colours which make muscles and bones look right were giving me some trouble but I was determined to complete him and will keep up the practicing till I get it
right !


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Cow & Calf

"Just Born"  by Barbara Bradbury 11x14 oil on board

I don't know any thing about them other than my son in law  took a photo after this cute little one when it was about an hour old. Just love the fact an  iPhone can capture a moment like this.
I decided I had to try and paint the two of them, I was attracted by the back light and the feeling of comfort with the calf so close to its mother it seemed a lovely moment.
Many difficulties though, the marking on the animals and the eyes on the mother cow you could only just make out , it took a while to get the right expression but I felt I made a good effort.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

You Can Do It !

New Life by Barbara Bradbury, oil on board
I believe everyone has a passion for something and most of our working lives keep it tucked up in a dream in the back of our minds never letting it leave to express.
Our cherished secret stays inside the' if only' I had the time is usually our excuse, kids too young, work more important but there it is niggling away in the back ground.
It could be that our right brain these days gets jammed up with so much new techno stuff, computers that can write and correct for you, paintings can be worked on I Pads etc.
As a couple we have decided over the last  7 years to break the mold and got down to using the dream and see what happened both of us luckily interested in painting. Anything from still life, landscapes and figurative . It has developed into almost a family thing and sometimes can prove to be a lot of fun. Gradually we have been accepted within our family circle that there is merit in indulging our selves we have almost developed a certain amount ofconfidence enough to give gifts of our efforts to family and friends. much to our surprise well received! so here we are both of us enjoying our experience in real life and getting a good kick out of it.
Motto of the day:
Never give up on a dream it was put there for a reason. 
You Can Do It !
Develop a habit that is fun and run with it.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Struggling Artists & Studios

Where we started: in the dinette

Over the last seven years as we have struggled learning how to paint, we have moved from room to room. We started in the back room where we dine when it's just the two of us, but as our canvases grew and paint supplies increased we had to find more space so we moved over to the barn, which I used to use as a photo studio, but once I retired I could free up the space to the aspiring artists,

The Barn, our Summer workplace.

So we painted quite happy in there till we got the gas bill in February and found the inefficient 120 year old barn was costing us a fortune to heat!
Converted Bedroom this is my side, Babs is on the other
So we converted a bedroom into a studio/office, all it needed was some fluorescent lights hanging and away we went till Summer came and the bedroom got to hot so back to the barn. Now we use the barn from May to October and the house during the winter months.
Fortunately our easels are quite light.
We even have been known to paint outside, we did Plein Air twice!