Work In Progress

Latest Update

This is where I am currently at with

The Garden God II

A Tribute to Norman

Those of you who thought the first
‘Garden God’
was scary and ugly and told me so, and those too scared to leave a comment perhaps because there was nothing good to say...

Check this out!

My first painting was truly a ‘muck about’ and it was too much fun and had me totally engaged over the two days it took.

This is a serious second attempt at it this time.
With the colours chosen and drawing properly set out,
this does not provide any guarantee of success as there is still a long way to go before its completion.

However, I am pleased with how it is progressing.

Each painting is a learning exercise in any case, with skills built upon, aiding the next project.

His eyes are intense and his gaze fierce!
Now this is nightmare material and makes the first one look tame!

I still see the beauty within...
perhaps it is in his strength of stare which engages me!

Photographs below are a record of its progress.
To view Work In Progress as a Slideshow

the Garden God
a tribute to Lindsay

38 x 28 cm

watercolour on arches
300 gsm cp fine

The Garden God
Norman Lindsay

One of my many favourite watercolour works by Norman Lindsay.
i bought a print of this many years ago and each time i visit Lindsay's home in Faulconbridge in the Blue Mountains, which is now a Gallery and Museum run by the National Trust housing many of his works, i immediately make a beeline to this.
Loving the innocence and unashamed abandon of the beautiful young girl who is full of life and joy, with arms outstretched, standing before this grotesque, lascivious looking, small lifeless stone figure in the garden.

To see this work in real life and to walk about the grounds of the former home of this most renowned Australian artist who has produced a vast body of work in different media, including pen drawing, etching, watercolour, oil and sculptures in concrete and bronze and ship building, is for me heaven and a must stop on my way to Katoomba and Leura.

Here at home, in my 'Upstairs Garden' i have a large stone plaque with a face cast into it, which hangs on the western wall of the house, catching the last rays of sun each day.

Although there is no beautiful young naked maiden standing there in front of his gargoyle-like face, safely flaunting herself before his lifeless eyes… i have nevertheless called him my 'Garden God”\' in homage to Lindsay and his work.

Wanting to loosen up in my painting style i played around yesterday using my Garden God as the basis for this work below. I wasn't planing to get this far with it as it was just an experiment in colour and shapes. So after two days mucking about, this is the resulting work.
I have yet to decide whether i will paint the remaining ivy leaves or leave them in negative as a white space.

the Garden God

a tribute to Lindsay

nap after lunch
another quick pencil sketch
Monday 25 August, 2008

Here is the front view! Buffy makes for a great subject.

His naps are more like marathon sleeps, which are deserving of a gold medal.

Good one Bu!

the killer chinchilla sleeps!
quick pencil sketch
Sunday 24th August, 2008

Image below may disturb some viewers.

He is one great big ball of is his beauty and his curse!

He hates to be brushed resulting in very matted fur and as a result needs to be clipped each year under a general anaesthetic.

It is not a pretty sight, but i adore him just the same.
He is my little angel!

work in progress
cropped and done for now!

Well i didn't give it away, however i have cropped it quite dramatically from the original sketch and dulled her hair by washing back the colour.

There were things that went right with this and those...well...that didn't go to plan.

On a positive note...
I am keen on attempting this again and to perhaps start on some ideas for a series in the same Italianate style.

Had fun manipulating the image in a photo programme and have included some of them below.


work in progress


Just mucking around with painting facial features and finally 'open eyes' this afternoon after i finished the gums leaves.

I'm excited about this one. Nothing like getting stuck into a new work!

work in progress

goddess continues this evening.

Well looks as though I just couldn't stay away from my easel. Would rather paint than watch television anyday.

My latest instalment tonight sees me still working on her hair and some background.

It is slow going, howeveri am a patient person and love to be transported into this magical colourful world which reveals itself to me slowly.

work in progress
my work is done for today.

I spent much of the morning sketching out the rest of this which I will not reveal just yet because of its raw state and my undecidedness in its design.

I just jump in, ruled by the heart and not my head in the planning and watercolour is much about the planning.

Even those wonderful loose watery works which look as if they have been painted with spontaneous abandon by top artists are well planned and thought out.

I love stained glass windows and would like to achieve this here. Remembering for me this is also very much a learning exercise in colour, design and the handling of watercolour washes.

Putting this out here, as it progresses has me feeling vulnerable and exposed. When i embark on a work in progress i take my shots and post them up as i go. I do not have the work sitting here finished with photos waiting to be posted at intervals -this is, as it happens.


work in rogress
This is looking rather Botticelli-esc with her hair.

Perhaps not!
Just wishful thinking on my part.

Work today consisted of more sketching trying to get as much of her hair finished and getting a start on her torso.

work in progress
I'm going to persevere with this.

My work continues and I'm not very happy with its direction. I am trying to capture that Italianate look in the figure and also in colouring.

The poor planning in the composition has resulted in damaging the delicate surface of the watercolour paper from all the erasing.

Although not very visible here...there are very fine craze lines in the watercolour work which IRL spoils the pure and fresh look of a watercolour - an important lesson.

I've decided to crop the top of the picture so her hair seems less voluminous. I will keep going for a little longer however i have almost reached that point i am going to give it away!

beneath blue mountain gums
for the love of the mountains

no 3

1020mm(h) x 660mm(w)

watercolour on arches
300 gsm cp fine

I've finally put this one to bed!

Will hang it up where i can look at it over the next few weeks to decide where it needs a few minor adjustments with regard to tweaking the rush!

Suggestions are welcome.

On to the next project... yeah!

work in progress

My time this week is dedicated to completing this very large work on the


A few hours of which was spent today making a dent in the 100 leaves needed to be painted.

what i do best
a loose watercolour exercise

27 x 27 cm

watercolour on sketch paper

I always admire those watercolourist that can achieve a loose work with beautiful mingling of colours.

Continuing to capture my beautiful boy Chocky and restricting myself to a limited palette once again. I continue my experimentation in shape and colour allowing the watercolour medium do its job.
I regret not using my regular Arches paper, however as this was purely an exercise in working out composition and colour scheme.

What I Do Best is an apt title for this work. Chocky very rarely sleeps and would rather be coursing through the house at warp speeds!
Being a two year old Burmese (& greyhound cross), is it any wonder i prefer him this way - asleep! Hence avoiding trouble.

a loose watercolour study

38 x 28 cm

watercolour on arches
300 gsm cp fine

I always admire those watercolourist that can achieve a loose work with beautiful mingling of colours.

This was sketched out last night while watching the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games with Chocky asleep on my lap.

This morning i set to transferring this onto watercolour paper. My aim, to render it quickly and loosely exploring colour and allowing it to form the shapes and contours of his back.
He has the biggest set of ears, we are always having a joke saying, he still needs to grow into them.

Funnily enough it's his ears I am happiest with in this painting.

Head Detail Pencil Sketch

Fur Detail Pencil Sketch

8th August, 2008

work in progress
latest update

This is where I am currently at.

Working through this in Watercolour Group this term.

Angel of kindness

no 2

42 x 30 cm

watercolour on arches
300 gsm cp fine


Continually experimenting, each brushstroke sees me gain confidence and hopefully brings me closer in my quest to finding my style.

I am utilising the same subject & composition for this piece, deciding to treat the segments making up the design individually with graduated watercolour washes.

I love stained glass windows and it is this look which i hope to achieve this time.