Thursday, August 20, 2015


I am quickly writing this blog before a big weekend  - The Hawkesbury Artists and Artisans Trail are having their Open Studio Weekend - (for the next 2 weekends). I wont be opening my studio as it is just out of the area - but I am "moving in" to the studio of Taryn Malzard over at Grose Wold. I am looking forward to it - lots of people to talk to, lovely arts and crafts and the weather is particularly glorious at the moment... (mind you we did buy tank water yesterday so that might jinx it and cause rain!).

The ladies in my family all went to see the musical "Matilda" at the Lyric Theatre Sydney last week. It was fabulous. I wasnt sure what to expect - not usually a fan of lots of children (that I dont know) dancing about (must still be affected by my early years of ballet etc.), but these performers were FANTASTIC. I particularly loved the choreography and the writing. The adult actors were pretty good too.

My fabulous daughters enhancing the poster

The Ferry Artists Gallery opened their exhibition last Saturday - Really nicely put together show. I wore my newly purchased Black Milk pencil print leggings to celebrate the occasion. And then they asked me to open the exhibition. I obliged. I felt suitably colourful enough to perform for the occasion.

I used to be very shy - you get older and you stop caring, that s what my mother always said.
After that performance shot - here is one without me in it - I gave a painting demo for The Friends Art Group in Ryde. I took a quick pic from the back - Im always amazed at how much better everything looks from far away.

Another fabulous show - "A Brush with Japan" at the Gosford Regional Gallery. As a member of the Australian Society for Miniature Art (NSW) I was able to have a couple of pieces on the wall. If you are in/near Gosford, I recommend a visit to that lovely gallery - and the exhibition of Peter Smeeth's portraits are marvelous.
At Gosford Regional. My two teeny weeny pieces.

I have managed some paintings - the most recent one being of teabags. Yes, teabags - all used and squeezed and dried up. My mother Patricia Devine saves them for her wonderful mixed media works. Ive been threatening to paint her little bowl of dead bags for ages now. Finally achieved.

"The Collection" 30 cm square

"Protected" 61 x 76cm

Studio shot of "Omniscience" 76 x 183cm

Now, back to the coming weekend. I am a bit spoilt being represented at 3 venues:

Purple Noon Gallery - Now serving coffee and cake on the weekends so you can pop in and be refreshed!

Little River Art Studios - Fabulous venue for workshops. You can visit and see demos, artwork, and just enjoy the bucolic atmosphere situated next to the Grose River.

The Old Schoolhouse - The studio of Taryn Malzard. I will be here too! Both in artwork and in person. I will be painting one of my landscapes as an informal demonstration.Wayne Wagstaff, blacksmith with be there also, demonstrating his skills.

And there are many other venues to visit - here is the trail map. Check out the website for more details.

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

In the Pink

Didnt even comb my hair for the photo
First of all, I have pink highlights in my hair. Makes for a good heading don't you think ....HORRIBLE PUN, eek.

A couple of paintings this week - I really have to get organised for a coming show in September.

"Looking For a Sword" Acrylic 76cm square

"Palisade" 76cm square acrylic

I'm off tonight to do a painting demonstration for Castle Hill Art Society. Took me most of last night to decide what I was going to paint - not too simple, not too hard (I need time, privacy and a tremendous amount of tea for challenges). I may change my mind at the last minute.

Coming up:

"A Brush With Japan"Australian Society of Miniature Art (NSW) will be having a show at The Gosford Regional Gallery - opens this Saturday.

"Abstract Express" at The Ferry Artists Gallery opening Saturday 15th August.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Them's the Breaks

 HORRENDOUS pun mainly at my daughter's expense. I suppose the last couple of weeks Ive been a bit preoccupied with my teen-adult daughter's broken hand and helping her get to places etc. And the title also fits the fact that more show rejections have made their way into my inbox. Its ok, I will appreciate the opportunity to develop a thicker skin, and having some painting sales softens the blow to the ego quite a bit!

For the last two weeks I have been working on a still life - I know, its a garden. But it is ALSO a still life - see the potted succulents? Ive been wanting to do this painting since I started work for my garden exhibition a couple of years ago, but never really go into it until now. Off to Bowral for the Pirtek Still Life prize it went.

"In Situ" Acrylic on Canvas, 92cm square
 Then I thought I should challenge my eyesight somewhat with a teensy little scraperboard etching (scratchboard) for a coming miniature exhibition. Five centimetres across, using mainly a drypoint needle and a scalpel to scrape away the black pre inked surface. I am planning a double exhibition using this medium later in the year. Maybe I should be kind to myself and work on some larger pieces as well...

"Miyako" Scraperboard miniature
I managed to finish a little commission. Peewees or Magpie Larks are a smaller than our magpies and are common in suburbia and out of town alike. Love their busy long legs.

"Peewee" Acrylic on canvas, 30cm square
Whats on Now

Sponsored by Pirtek Southern Highlands
An exhibition of still life works in any media
24 July - 02 August
BDAS Gallery, 1 Short St Bowral 

Artshine Gallery, Darlinghurst

Whats Coming Soon

I also have a painting demonstration Wednesday night 5 August with Castle Hill Art Society. All Welcome.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

The Good Life

A rather marvelous couple of weeks. Tony and I went to Hobart for a well earned break. Why Hobart? I wanted to finally visit the Museum of Old and New Art - MONA. Probably the new artist's pilgrimage - definitely a must see; which I now have seen! You can follow the link to see more about the museum - its styling/branding is marvelous and I adored the whole experience, from the boat trip down the Derwent (the "Posh Pit"), to exploring the amazing structure that houses the collections. The art itself was not entirely to my taste - the underlying themes of sex/life & death, but great as an overall experience.
We also ate far too much, walked a lot and enjoyed ourselves very much, thankyou Tasmania!

James Turrell - Amarna behind Wim Delvoye's Concrete truck
Back to work, refreshed, and I was able to complete some last minute works for shows coming up. I have had several rejections from large shows I have entered, but I am in a serene frame of mind and look forward to the next show that I get to be a finalist in. I have also had some sales, so that evens things out somewhat.

I have just come back from a glorious day painting in the haven that is known as Wendy Whiteley's Secret Garden with members and friends of the Royal Art Society. The garden is a delight and a treasure. Tomorrow I will have another look at the paint sketches I did and see if they are fit to show to the public (ugh, vanity is speaking).
Joel Elenberg sculpture, Wendy Whiteley's garden

New works this week - including a miniature!

So, my house is a mess, and I have tax to do, but the art machine seems to be running smoothly; and that makes me happy.

Coming up:

Camberwell Art Show is on at the moment

Art on Board at ArtShine Gallery is on, with the offical opening Saturday 18 July

Singleton Art Prize opens next week

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Artist as Optimist

If you manage to get over crippling self doubt and enter art prizes, congratulations! You have earned the Finalist Rank of Optimist. It doesnt matter what happens afterwards, you are already a winner. Of sorts.

I love the heady atmosphere of the Art Gallery of NSW as the artists make their annual pilgrimage to the loading dock and present their assorted art works - some painstakingly laboured over, some splashed together with perhaps sarcastic yet hopeful bravado.

I was there, with my Wynne prize entry (landscape). The thoughts - is it too small, too bright, too pretty, too realistic, not loose enough, will it get looked at (for more than 3 seconds). It doesnt matter, its the entering that counts here, and one year I may start entering works for the Archibald as well - once I get over my self consciousness about requesting to paint someones portrait. There's the Sulman as well - genre or mural painting - I didnt have anything big enough for that one.

Let me show you my painting for the week (no not my Wynne entry - I would prefer to show you once it is a finalist! LOL)

"Emu Wren" Acrylic on board, 30x30cm

I had a busy day at the Deerubbin Centre for their birthday celebrations recently. I was representing the Ferry Artists Inc. along with marvelous potter Nicky Coady. Lots of local groups involved - including Hawkesbury Printmakers, The Piggery Lane Studios, The Hawkesbury Camera Club, & many more that I cant recall just now.

Last week was Portrait Day at Hawkesbury Community Arts Workshop. I think I was trying too hard to capture the likeness of our pretty Indian Princess to actually paint properly, if that makes sense to you.

Some exhibitions coming up - check out the link on my exhibitions page HERE.

Stay warm (if its cold where you are). Cheers.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Superheroes, diamonds and velociraptors, oh my!

 Had to recover a little after a successful show at Breathing Colours. Haven't quite allowed myself ''post-exhibition blues" but one has to be careful and rest. I did this by visiting a couple of other exhibitions last week.

Actually, I have managed to finish these landscapes, 3 of which will be off to Italy at the end of the year.

Art2Muse Gallery is showing a lovely exhibition by artist photographer Edmond Thommen - a marvellous collection of texture & nudes.

Patricia showing off one of the displays

Metalmorphasis at Ku-Ring-Gai Art Centre. Rachelle Juter, talented jeweller and wonderful friend is having her first solo exhibition

Myself, Rachelle Juter, Patricia Devine

Went to an outreach/concert/performance at my church - it was a superhero theme, so of course I had to fit in. My daughter Amy and her husband performed brilliantly, you may think I am biased!, but I tell the truth. And God was glorified, which is the most important thing.

Amy, me & Laura OR Harley Quinn, Victoria Hand & Mystique

Saw the latest Jurassic Park movie "Jurassic World" Yes, I thought it was rather brilliant. Sorry that is the total of my review, but how can I rhapsodise over genetically modified monsters, a great cast and, most important, a good story!

Coming up are a couple of shows that are always good to visit. 
Due to my exhibition, I was not able to take part in these, but I urge you to come have a look.

Patrica & I delivering "Kangaroo Paw"

One show I DO have work in is at Breathing Colours - "Desert Heart" 16 June - 5 July.

Hope your week is marvelous!

Monday, June 08, 2015


I thought Id just write about the current show I have on at Breathing Colours - even though there's lots more happening in my art life. (For other shows and galleries please look on my web page)

Patricia and I are SO glad that the exhibition is hung and all we have to do now is smile

Feeling very pleased with the show now that it's hanging and has officially opened (finishes 14 June to there is still time!). Over 30 paintings, large scale acrylics and tiny mixed media miniatures, there is something for everyone who loves a bird on the wall.

"It Figures" Patricia Devine

The opening was marvellous, a BIG thankyou to all who came and supported us. Thankyou also to the team at Breathing Colours. I believe artists still need galleries; it is so nice (for artist and collector alike) to see the works on the wall and I love any excuse to go visit Balmain.
"Sheryl Crow" Patricia Devine

Laura & Patricia Devine
If you cannot come and see the show, go and see the Breathing Colours site and have a look at the catalogue. It does not do justice however to the smaller works by Patricia Devine, there is so much detail and texture in them. Patricia has a background in miniatures & botanical art, and her current works are a reflection of this.You will see hand dyed papers, ephemera, teabags, feathers, sewing and even paint!
Its funny, I never wanted to be a painter when I was in my 20s as that was "something Mum did". But there must be something in genes and/or upbringing huh? My paintings now tend to be a bit louder and splashier than Mums, but the quiet elegance I grew up with may come out in my wood engravings. - None of them made it to the show, because as usual, I was pressed for time.

"A New Career" Mellissa Read-Devine

"Ephemera III" Patricia Devine

"The Inheritance" Mellissa Read-Devine

"Pageant" Mellissa Read-Devine

Thankyou all, and now its time to get painting again...