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I'm a professional award winning Portrait artist from NSW Australia.

Not just a likeness- portraits with Life!
I bring your photos to life in paintings that will touch your heart!

A photo freezes a moment while a painting melts hearts.

Capture a moment in their life and
keep it alive in an Heirloom Portrait !

"Your portraits capture more life than a photo ever could!"

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Have me create a special portrait just for you!.
Supply the photos and then plan the great unveiling!

I have original animal and landscape artworks available for sale on my website.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Locked the keys in the car ..how embarassing!

I locked my keys in the car when I went sailboarding. I got into my wetsuit ,put my clothes in the car and closed the door and then went to open the front door to get the key I wear around my neck.Somehow the remote had gone off and locked everything! Darn.. Iwent for the sail and then got a loan of a phone to ring the NRMA.They said they'd be there within 60mins so I went out for another 5 mins for one last run and they were there when I got back in. He was only over the top of the hill!
I said I'd read you could ring someone and get them to point the remote at their phone and you point yours at the car & its supposed to open the door but he said that's untrue.Next time I'll make sure I have the spare key around my neck before I get undressed!

We haven't had a landscape for a while so here's one from the archives..

I saw this cottage when we were cycling up around Scone in the Hunter Valley and I loved the evening light and the mountains in the background . I took some photos and created this one back home in the studio. 

For Sale

Life at Towarri

Framed Oil
 framed size

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

That was fun!

The TV crew have gone.I had a ball! I'm a bit of an extrovert so I was in my element.Not at all scary - lovely people.The cameraman is an artist so I even got a fresh eye to give me some tips to get past a blockage I have on one portrait.LOL's
They took video of some roos for the weathershot segment.The ducklings were there but scurried off into the long grass before we could get them.Pity the camera wasn't here yesterday as it was a gorgeous sunny late afternoon with heaps roos lazing about. I'm just looking out the studio window and a mum & joey are standing on the drive 30' away.Where were they when the camera was rolling?
 It will only be 1min 20secs so don't blink! They took a lot of footage and did an interview so I don't know how they will choose so it fits into that short space.I suppose thats their expertise.
Phew..I'm not dreading seeing it now.

Here's the Newcastle Herald article 20th April

Don't worry about the $6000 price tag .That's for a really complicated custom framed Oil with 12 individual people portrait's in a setting! I can provide portraits from $300 and have a wide range inbetween.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Herald photographer had me use Zeuss as a prop.

She had him standing near me and me smoochinghim etc.. I had to make sure he didnt slobber on the portraits! I had him follow me down like a dog back to the paddock at the end ( I've done a lot of 'horse whispering'/groundwork with him).She was disappointed as she wanted to get photos but she'd run out of room on the camera.

I gave a little horse groundwork demo after she'd finished and then I rode him.

Last ride was a bit scary .He chucked some wobbly's on the lunge.Bolted , bronc act and reared and was ready to jump out of his skin when I rode him .

I wasn't going to ride before the TV came up in case I ended up falling off and getting injured but he was so good for the photos I thought I may as well ride him.He was great today back to his old self ( although he bolted on the lunge once).Too much sugary grass and not enough riding!

It will be interesting to see if they use any of the photos with Zeuss and I together.She had me sit on a stump with Z next to me ( he was sniffing the stump) and the portrait was leaned up in front of us.Unfortunately the ants that lived in the stump weren't impressed and came out in force.I expected Z to get bitten.and we had to move.It would have been interesting if he had been bitten!
 It was weird trying to get his ears forward.I'm not used to standing next to him and getting him to look attentive.I kept teasing him using the call I use when he gets food.Poor thing!

Oh well I have no idea what they are going to write.I usually wear crog sandals around the studio as they are comfortable.I got presentable for the photos but I still had the crocs on.I was going to change them but she said " No leave them on .You look like an artist! (?!)..How embarassing! LOL"s

I've now got a few pet portraits to show.

I've gone and borrowed some of my previous commissions for the cameras on Wednesday.
The Newcastle Herald Newspaper just rang me for an interview and they are coming up at 1pm for photos.It will be in sometime this week.The local paper 'Cessnock Advertiser ' is doing an article too..I think it will be on Wednesday. I really want to do some painting but I better clean the studio..We have a gecko that runs around the walls and keeps the small spiders under control but he leaves his little calling cards all over it so I better clean them off!

Friday, April 15, 2011

NBN TV are going to do a segment on my pet portraiture

They are coming up next Wednesday. It's a pity a lot of the portraits I have at home are secrets so I can't show them! I think I have enough although they are mainly horse portraits.
 The segment will be going to air that night so sometime during the news ( 6 -7 pm) Wed 20th.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Well the photoshoot was the most disappointing one I've ever done!

 We wanted Kiri ( a gorgeous large Maine Coon cat ) standing with her tail up and looking at you.She is multi coloured with a big white mane , long fur , a massive bushy tail and 'pantaloons' ( bushy legs.) She had other ideas and stayed lying down.( when she didn't disappear).I did get some nice ones of her playing but that doesn't show off her beauty properly. Hopefully we can create a suitable portrait using earlier shots I took of her standing and another earlier photo of her face.
Becky ran off and even when we shut her in a room so she couldn't get away she went under the bed! Once again hopefully we can use existing photos..
 The photos were taken indoors which made it harder as the light isn't as bright which makes it harder for the camera ( I didn't use a flash). I'll have alook at what we have now and see what ideas I can come up with and what heads we may be able to put on what bodies! LOL's

Getting to know everyone

Today I'm going to do a photoshoot of 3 cats. I hope they are in an obliging mood as you can't tie cats up like you can a dog!
I've underpainted the portrait of the young boy and his dog but I won't do any more at the moment as they are coming to meet me this afternoon.I'll have a better idea of what to do with the portrait after I've met them. You can see more colour in the 'flesh' than in a photo and I can get a better idea of eye colour plus I'll get to know their personality which will hopefully help it come out in the portrait.

Monday, April 11, 2011


Here's another from the archives.I took lots of photos of the two Aussie shepherds playing and did this painting as a demo.I wanted to capture Scarlet's intent look - she was going to get that ball!

Ollie + Scarlet

30 x 40cms Oil on gallery wrap canvas

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Some early photos of Zeuss 14 years ago before I got him and early days when I did have him.

There used to be a guy who would supply several horses for people to ride on organised trailrides - Morpeth medicine ride etc. He used to deal in horses..lovely bloke but some of the horses were dodgy! Zeuss was one of them.Here is one of him as he was when I used to turn up for a trailride and he was provided for me.There were 800 horses and by the end I was cantering among them and jumping logs..( not a bad feat for a nervous rider - a credit to Zeuss's temperament.
The gear was dodgy too- you were lucky if the saddle and bridle  held together!
Zeuss was one of the good horses.He did stumble badly though..right to his knees! The next year I decided I wanted a horse so I looked at 36 advertised in the paper over a period of months. With number 36 I was bucked off and knocked unconscious and decied I wouldn't look any more as it was too dodgy!
 Luckily for me the lady who owned Zeuss and used to let him be used for the trailrides reluctantly decided to sell him.She had a bad back and she fell off when he stumbled and she realised she couldn't risk her back riding any more.She offered him to me for a trail as she wanted him to go to a good home and knew I liked him.At the time I thought he was too ugly , quiet and stumbled too badly - all wrong! I didn't even know he had a start and snip as his forelock covered them ..you can see what he looked like when I rode him.
He turned out to be cute , very intelligent , trainable , comfortable , lovely nature , not as quiet as I expected. Mind you  maybe the 25acres of clover and only being ridden every 3 weeks had something to do with it!
I got him vet checked to see if he was a wobbler ( a condition that makes horses stumble). He didn't lunge at that time so I was running around leading him and fell head over heels.. The vet said " the horse isn't a wobbler but the rider is! ".
 His stumbling was partley due to bad shoeing , partly lack of fitness and inattention..He's good these days.
He only knew walk then canter as his trot was horribly uncomfortabel so everyone avoided it and he was hard mouthed ( never been broken in properly and didn't understand).I rode him in a parelli rope halter for a few years as a result and he went brilliantly. I could still use it now if I wanted..When he was going he used to look like a stick insect with his neck stuck out and spread out..I had a good photo to show it but I can't find it now. Here are some early ones of us.

 I used to ride in a big comfy stocksaddle.

Well it wasn't really the background that was the problem at all!

The portrait was two separate heads placed on a background..they weren't supposed to look as if they were together but because of the shape of them I am  going to have to make up some suggested bodies to go with them so it looks natural..
 Usually if you choose suitable photos several heads will look ok together but they dont have to look as if they are together naturally in a scene..e.g - Maddie, Hoover & Goddot.
This one looked like I didn't know how to draw a horse as it looked like a 2 headed horse! By placing more body in the portrait it now looks like 2 horses.

Bunmmer stuck again.. there goes the planned schedule.

Well I was so enthused about trying something different for the background of my 2 horse portrait . I don't think it's going to work so back to the drawing board. This is why it's hard to put a time on how long a portrait takes -things happen and I get stuck and then I just have to sit on it and hope I'll come up with a solution soon.
Some of the ones I get stuck on end up being my best -they just take longer.
I've changed the background colour and it seems a bit better.My partner just came past and made a comment that reminded me that not many non artist realise how everything works together.If I change the background colour it will affect the whole portrait so the whole lot will have to be subtly changed to suit. Also if I have to make a change of part of a face  etc it usually involves hours of work as once you change one thing the rest needs to be adjusted.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Some photos of my ride in the arena last week

I'm still a bit nervous about riding even though he was great this day.It's been over a week since the last ride.I'll just have to try and ride more often.I did groundwork today and we both enjoyed it.

This is my favourite.The light was going from the arena but we got caught in a flash of sun here..
  Warning some of the following photos are not very flattering ones of me ! LOL's

No he wasn't playing up..This one is weird! I liked the look of it..
Bummer Blogger won't let me upload vertical photos so I can't put any lateral work ones here..

One from the archives

As I don't have any portraits at the stage to show you I'll pull a painting from the archives.This one was inspired by some extreme weather we were having at the time - flooding rain , strong winds and snow on the higher peaks.

One of the kangaroos has adapted to the conditions but his mate isn't impressed and is thinking " What the ..??

Skiroo ( a play on skidoo )

30 x 40cms Oil on gallery wrap canvas

For Sale on my website click here

Friday, April 8, 2011

Here is Maddie , Hoover and Goddot framed.

 I usually don't place glass on Oil portraits as it's not necessary and glass has reflections and dulls the colour a bit however with this portrait we have used 2 mats under glass. The choice is yours.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Here's the 2 dogs and pig portrait finished

Maddie , Hoover + Goddot
"It's great!"
30 x 40cms
Framed Oil

Phew life's good again..

I decided it was time to ride Zeuss again and take advantage of the fact that he shouldn't be as fresh.I got my partner to come down as moral support and it was a good chance to get some photos although the light was fading.My partner was worried as the last time I was bucked off he was taking photos. I tried something new and Zeuss was worried about it. Usually I'll stop and re assess and get him used to whatever it is but the camera was there wasn't it? I ignored the problem cantered over the jump and Zeuss stopped dead , put his head down and bucked. I hit head first with a loud cracking sound and my partner freaked as he thought I'd broken my neck and would be in a wheelchair.I was in a lot of pain at first and already had a pre exisiting neck problem so I was really worried. We got the ambulance and then they called the helicopter.
After a while I said to my partner 'where Zeuss? '.He was just standing at the other end of the unfenced arena and hadn't budged when the ambulance arrived.I said ' you better put him away before the helicopter gets here.'
Anyway it all turned out ok I only had a few popped ribs + a sore shoulder. Amazingly my neck wasn't injured at all! The worst thing was I had a free helicopter ride and i couldn't look at the scenery as I had a neckbrace , drip and oxygen on ..grr
Today he went great! I cantered up the drive after and he went a bit funny and started the bouncy bouncy thingy as we went into the canter. I just have to remember to not cramp up , relax and go really lightly on the reins. He settles down and it feels unreal so light and slow and collected..Just a wake up call I suppose. There still life in the old bugger yet!

Friday, April 1, 2011

I hate being a whimp..

Well I've just had the wind put up me after riding Zeuss.he got the closest to bucking he has for over 3 years and now I'm really nervous about riding him again.I've always been a nervous rider.Sometimes I think I would be scared riding a 3 legged donkey.
I took him down to the arena for the usual half hour workout .It's been been 9 days since I rode him but that usually isn't a problem except he might spook a bit more.He was yawning on the way so I thought things would be fine. We are getting our road graded but I wasn’t too worried as he used to live on a property with earthmoving equipment so he's pretty good with it. Sometimes the drone of engines can put him on edge..he doesn’t actually spook at the thing that is making the noise but he gets ‘edgey’ and finds other things to spook at..He seemed ok today until I asked him to canter and then he started to bound around and try  and take off..I got him together again but it worried me a bit. I think I may have accidently been letting the whip brush his flanks as I asked.. anyway got that going ok but then later he spooked at something and tried to run. I had a battle with his head in the air and his mouth open and then he started bounding and felt like he was going to throw a buck in. I got it under control and re asked and got some nice canter transitions . I patted him and said good boy and he relaxed again but it’s the closest to bucking hes been in 3 years and has really put me on edge. I know I wouldn’t stay on in the all purpose saddle.In the old days I had a stock saddle.
I suppose feeling out of control scared me and I didn’t like being worried about asking for canter.I may have been pulling/ confining on him too much when he was freaking up as he was sensitive today..Going up the drive the grader was closer which was ok until it started to break down a few smaller trees.I just let him go on a looser rein and patted him when he relaxed and we were ok.. phew..Im just worried Ill be too freaked out to ride him and enjoy him next time..de ja vu..
I always handle what he does ok at the time but it's the imagining later that wrecks it. I just rang a friend to debrief and get moral support and she told me about a lovely sensible experienced lady rider she met at a clinic who got thrown and died soon after..Not helpful!

It doesn't help that if my partner finds out he'd have me retire Z..mind you if he does buck again & I survive I think I'll retire him anyway.I'm getting too old for the risk..It would be a waste of a good horse though.

Eek..time to do art much safer..