Saturday, November 3, 2018

Eyes....the window to MY soul

Ive been VERY busy with work and helping my daughter out with my gorgeous two grand kids. Still art is never far from my heart....its part of my soul. I'm finding I have developed a fascination with eyes. I draw them at work on the register rolls and at home, I collect images of others eye art in Pinterest and Google

Lately I've painted some eyes on rocks after seeing some another artist painted where he paints a reflection of what the eye is seeing as part of the pupil. The artist goes by the name of "My Dog Sighs"...his website is here and I am unashamedly influenced and in love with his art.

My attempts are messy looking up close but OK as rocks to hide in the parks for others to find. The original artist mainly uses spray paint for his. So here are the four I have done so far! The first one I ever did I didn't think to add colour at the bottom to indicate the iris

This one is homage to my location as its the sign they use to advertise the Northern Territory. It reads "Do The NT" and has a Jabiru stork silhouetted against the sunset

I have painted Boab trees at sunset on a canvas before and used that idea for the eye below

The last one I have done has a tropical sunset with a couple kissing

THEN I got side tracked as many of my artist quality paint tubes have been affected by the extreme heat here. The binder has separated in  them and when I go to squeeze out the paint its just clearish yellow slime that comes out followed by hard globs of paint. I tried massaging the tubes to remix it but it wouldn't work. Eventually I sourced air tight preserve jars and slowly squeezed out every tube, stirred and stirred till it remixed. Some I had to mix with some gel medium as well.

As I went I made little sticker swatches to indicate what paint colour was what. It took me nearly 3 weeks to get it all done!! Every now and then I had a slight excess of paint that wouldn't fit in the jars plus I liked the background left by the painted stickers so I painted an eye on there too. Might try to replicate this one on a canvas one day BUT I'll have to correct the big mistake I realized after I was finished!!! Wonder if anyone can spot it?


Annette In Oz

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Mermaid Dreaming

I grew up near the Pacific Ocean on the Central Coast area of New South Wales. We were a poor family and had very few actual holidays but even so my childhood Was filled with love, laughter, art and sunny days at the local beach. All Spring, Summer and even into Autumn the beach was my play ground. I lived and breathed the ocean life...when I swam and surfed I often imagined dolphins and mermaids swimming with me darting in and out of the waves. Every night I dreamed about the Mermaids on the rocks and dancing Dolphins leaping for fun. Even as an adult I can find great happiness being near an ocean and just hearing the wind and the waves (I would get eaten here in the Northern Territory by a crocodile if I went swimming so just walking on the sand, listening and seeing here is enough LOL).

I've taken to hunting the local beaches for smooth large sea rocks to soak the salt out of and then seal and paint on. My childhood resurfaces when I touch and smell these rocks and Mermaids and Dolphins appear. My background in mixed media has me lean toward adding tactile and visual things like texture paste rocks, pearlescent skies and even moons that glow in the dark. I use many layers of acrylic paint and glazes till I have the look I want. I am not fast and productive like many of the rock artists out there but then my rocks end up unique in different ways to theirs. So please enjoy the Mermaids below whom have all been abandoned in local parks and are now found and loved by new owners :)

This is "JOY"


And "HOPE"

Love and Mermaid Dreams to you all


Annette In Oz x

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Rocks On The Move

Wow April just disappeared like that. Had a few family dramas going on and things are only settling again now. I did get to do something awesome during Early May though and that was to do a rock swap and drop from interstate!!

 Zowie Breese used to live up here in the Northern Territory and relocated to Western Australia. She is part of the painted rocks movement as well. I got to meet Zowie and her Mum (who was visiting at the time) when Zowie lived here. Zowies Mum Vicki Ann David came for a visit to the Northern Territory again earlier this month to meet her newest grand child and bought over with her some gorgeous rocks for me to hide around Darwin. These decorated rocks included green tree frog, an emu, a giraffe and a unicorn (for my granddaughter) by Zowie...

Colourful owl rocks by Vicki Ann David....

Funny whacky emus by Anne De Waal and various fun rocks painted with Turbo the snail, Snoopy, Bart Simpson, Batman and Superman symbols by Chris Murphy....

When I met Vicki to get the WA rocks I gave her some from the NT to take back to WA to hide there. Some were from me, Jilly Lee, Steve Li and Rese Undo. 
These were mine...

These were made by Jilly Lee...

These were made by Steve Li....

These were made by Rese Undo

I hid the WA rocks over a two week period all over Darwin. It was great fun and the local rockers posted if they found any to the NT Rocks and SOR rocks WA Facebook pages. All the WA rocks were found (I checked on them) but a few never got posted to the rock groups as found. Even so who ever has them loves them I am sure. Zowie is now merrily hiding the NT rocks around in WA. Its funny how the simple act of decorating rocks can bring you new friends, creativity and joy.....and I love it :)
Annette In Oz x

Monday, March 26, 2018

Emerging-rock art

We had a small but fierce cyclone make a direct hit to Darwin over a week ago. It caused a zillion trees to fall over taking out power and phone lines all over the place. Thankfully we didn't loose power like many others (some for 8 days!!) but we had no internet for three days. I'm not a great TV watcher like my hubby so I spent a day trying to paint a rock....I wanted it to look like the person was staring out from the rock or "emerging" from the the rock. In my internet searches I had seen quite a few hand painted rocks with this type of work on it and it intrigued me so I decided to give it a try!

I started with a sea rock I found on a local beach which was roughly head shaped

Gesso tinted base and texture paste applied with palette knife to make a scarf and away I went!!

After around 15 layers of acrylic paint, glaze, touch ups etc etc I looked down and actually impressed myself with the result LOL. I tend to zone out from the overall project and work a small area at a time so I don't always realize what is emerging till I step back at the end and look. Thing is I'm not really sure how I was able to pull this off haha and I doubt very much I could ever repeat it BUT for the first time since I started painting rocks I wanted to keep this one for myself. I may release her after a while but for now I'll prop her up on my work desk I think :)

Better try and get some simpler rocks done to hide in the local parks once the hard working council has cleaned them up. I love seeing the children's happy faces when they find the decorated rocks....after all art is wondrous in any form I think.


Annette In Oz x

Friday, March 16, 2018

You Are Always Enough"-small water colour portable art book I made

THIS has been a long time coming. There is a sweet artistic young lady where I work. I know she can sometimes feel she is less then enough when we all see her as clever, sweet, kind and an amazing artist both musically and with her drawings etc. My own son also suffers from bad self esteem and periods of immense anxiety and depression that cripple him and it tears at my heart. It truly makes me feel broken that some can feel so crushed in this World and insignificant that they feel they are not enough to stay alive. This sweet young lady at work reminds me so much of my son and when I saw she was struggling a few weeks back, I decided I would make her something to encourage her beautiful art and soul.....that time came a few days ago! 

What I didn't realize was that in my desire to reach out to her it broke a fierce creative drought in me that had descended on me after I went to New Zealand over 4 years ago on my first arty teaching foray. Things happened there that very few people know about and due to those things I really felt my first try at teaching failed....and not because of me but due to bad organization and several other things. It caused me great angst and unhappiness that in the end I chose to retreat my arty side deep within my thoughts....I guess I didn't want anyone to say I failed or I was no good at what I did. A HUGE positive is I met and still adore some very wonderful people whom helped me greatly from that trip.

So back to this project....I knew I wanted to make an arty "on the go" art book for this sweet lady so I sat down and just started with no idea where or how it would turn out. I had some reasonably good quality A4 water colour paper in 200gms so decided it would be a water colour book. I scored and halved 10 A4 sheets. I punched five holes along the inner V fold by placing a centre hole first and then two holes either side of that at regular intervals.....repeat to all pages and then stack one on top of the other. Using a decorative twine I sewed all the pages together. Then attached thick plastic sheets in between each page and on the front and back using Washi was too hard to sew thru. These can be used as palettes to mix colours, wipe clean and reuse plus they protect each page from the other side.

Once I had my little book I used 3cm square swatches of  Peerless water colour sheets on a grid inside the first page. These are gorgeous bright water colours that are impregnated into little sheets. You just touch a wet brush to them, pick up colour and paint away!! I did a little sample colour grid at the right. On the left of the grid I applied some white paint and the other side was blank. I painted each water colour sample over these so she could see the difference.

On the front cover I just started playing and as I did I had a moment of self doubt followed by a calm talking to myself along the line of  "just go with it yourself and let it go". After awhile I looked at what had emerged....and there it old arty farty self  had exploded in glorious colour, a fav quote, gesso, ink, water colour, stencils and I smiled! My hands and arms were multi coloured and I was happy!!! I too am always enough...I just forgot how to on the forehead of the lady who emerged I left "you are always enough"....I know my sweet work friend will find that and know why I put it there. I gifted her two Aquash brushes (water fillable brushes) and a Pitt fine black permanent pen as well. A mobile art book in her hands. I gave it to her yesterday and she loved it.

We are not all born rich, pretty, tall etc etc etc but when you are down hear that little voice inside and KNOW YOU ARE ALWAYS ENOUGH no matter what


Annette in Oz x

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

The Hoot's...Glow In The Dark Owl Rocks

I'm thoroughly enjoying reawakening my arty self after sparsely creating for just on four years. It kind of amuses me that's all because I started painting rocks to hide and find with my gorgeous granddaughter Ivy. After my first attempts I made an Owl glow in the dark family with accessories!

Meet the Hoot's...

I made two sets of these and released one set in Darwin and the other in Adelaide. Of the 14 I hid I only know of five that had been found. It's the risk you take when abandoning art but I also like the thought that people enjoyed them even if I have no idea where they ended up. This rock painting thing rocks my World LOL
Annette In Oz x


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