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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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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Holiday escapades

Thought I'd post a few tales from over the break.

We went for an early morning kayak on the lake and paddled with 2 dolphins.It was lovely we were with them for about a km and once one surfaced about 10' from my kayak.You could hear them blow air out as they surfaced.
Nearing the end of the paddle there was a small fibre glass runabout half cabin with about 6 big guys in it that came flying along  did a really sharp turn and stopped. As it did one of the guys sitting in the back fully clothed did a slow backward flip off the boat and into the lake..
Hee hee...silence.
I think they were all shocked and embarassed as they knew we'd seen them..He got himself together and swam over and got back in to nervous laughter and jokes.I think they'll be a bit more cautious after that. Lucky its summer and the lake is warm.


 I noticed a joey who looked sick hanging around the house.It was just lying around and looked like it had a stomach upset. Once they are on their own like that they are easy pickings for dogs etc.

We rang the wildlife people who came out and picked it up ( clucking and growling) to check it.They then picked the ticks off it and patted it and said it was too far gone.' If we can pick them up they are pretty bad'. They put it in the shade where it was cooler and it died about 2hrs later. Once they get upset stomachs there isn't much they can do for them. It looked about the age to be freshly weaned so the stress of weaning could have set it off.

 When I'm not painting my greatest love is sailboarding.

I don't have many of sailboarding photos so I  persuaded my partner to come and take some photos and I went out in a strong wind on Tuesday. 

As the wind picks up in strength you need to use a smaller board and sail to keep in control. I used a slightly larger board than appropriate as I can sail it better and I wanted decent photos. It doesn't blow strongly enough ( 25kts +) to get to sail my smaller board much so I've only used it a few times and I knew I wouldn't be able to gybe ( turn ) succesfully on it.

Ugh..I've been hobbling around on painkillers the last few days.

The first run out I tried to jump some waves for the camera and got the sail a little far forward and got whiplashed as I was smashed over the front into the water.. I can jump but just made errors. After that I decided to play it safe after as I was a bit overpowered and on the edge.

 If the board is too big for the strong wind and big chop it bounces around, gets uncontrollable and the wind can get under them and pick them up.
Later that day the wind got under mine and threw it , plus me attached by the harness, into a downwind jump. I got smashed onto the deck thigh first. It was so painful I wondered how I was going to start and sail in .The waves were crashing over the top of me as I lay in the water ready to waterstart. (Waterstarting is when you raise the sail up into the air to catch the wind and then it pulls you up onto the board ready to sail away. My board is too small and unstable to try and stand on it and pull the sail out of the water.)

So the end result of the day was 2 whiplash injuries, an injured leg and a strained ankle when the board flipped upside down with my foot was still in the strap .
See below-
When the wind is strong you need to keep your weight in the harness to keep the nose of the board down. As soon as you unhook and take your weight out - as I have here ready to come into land - the board can ' tailwalk' and get uncontrollable. After this shot it flipped upside down  with my ankle trapped in the strap.
 This was my last run for the day. I'd been out for 2hrs and was tired and also had injuries so it was asking for trouble to keep sailing.

With the ankle I've found out that if you ignore the pain and just keep going sprained ankles often come good and this one did thank goodness.

Grr. It's been blowing for 3 days now although a lot less than the day I was out. That's rare for around here and I can't sail..

I just heard on the radio that there have been several rescues on the lake in the last few days..I wonder how many people in small boats don't check the weather forecast before they head out? 

It's been great for sailboarding and sailing.I rarely get injured sailboarding despite going out in strong winds and people who go out in those conditions have sailed for years and know what they are doing.We love it!

Here's some more pics.
As you can see the lake gets quite choppy when it blows ( hence the reference to  boaties in small boats and weather forecasts!)  It can get bigger than that. I've been out when there have been 4' waves rolling down the lake and you can surf them.Great for us sailboarders..not so good for people in small boats.

Here's a hotshot to show you what can be done in those conditions..It's a real buzz!I have done decent jumps at times  but not often lately.I was too overpowered to safely try that day. You can get slammed pretty badly if you are overpowered.
Grr I don't think I'll be doing a lot for the next few days..hurry up and get better leg!
Its now 8 days later and I regret I didn't look after my leg better earlier . I toughed it out and ignored it and only just got some crutches and anti imflammatories yesterday. I'm supposed to keep off it but I'm not really doing that as well as I should. I hope it settles soon.

Post note - It's  10 days later and I'm still hobbling around on crutches but it's gradually improving. Before my injury we have had a pretty average season wind wise - not as much as usual. 
I think I must have been a sacrifice to the wind gods as it's blown almost everyday since I got injured!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Bonnie and the puppy

I created a commissioned portrait of Bonnie for Mel to give as a Xmas gift for her parents. Bonnie was old and arthritic and we made her younger in the portrait.

The family had to make the horrible choice to put Bonnie down a few days before Xmas and Mel took a photo of Bonnie sharing her bed with the new puppy they have.It was a sad situation especially so close to Xmas.
I loved the photo and here is the painting I am creating from it.

This is pretty rough but I'm just getting the placement on the canvas to make sure everything fits ok.I paint this stage with acrylic paint as it dries very quickly and it's easy to alter things.With oil paint you have to wait for it to dry as if you put different colours on top of each other it can make a dirty muddy mess.With acrylic you can put any colour on top as the underlayer dries so quickly and it won't be disturbed.

At each stage I am checking to make sure its getting more accurate.This is where I want to get the general proportions right as its much easier to fix here than if I've spent hours detailing etc and realise their heads are the wrong size!
Rough but not a bad start. Now I'll start to go over the underpainting with Oil paint.I'll have to start with the oil later as I've run out of time today.

Continued below -

 Here I've started top paint over the top in Oil.In the reference photo Bonny is looking down and looks a bit worn out so I've changed the painting so she is looking at you.The two of them have just been caught in the act of snuggling and looked up as you've walked into the room.


Here I've got the whole canvas covered with the general idea. I had a lot of fun painting this bit. I'll let them dry and come back .From now on I'll have to slow down. I'll do their eyes and nose and correct the colour and general likeness.I like the painterly look so hopefully I can still manage to keep that as I go along.So long as I don't worry too much it should be fine.

Next session

Here I've done their eyes roughly and painted more of Bonnie. 

Next session I'll leave Bonnie for a while and concentrate on the puppy and the background.I want the finished painting to be more painterly and unfinished than my usual portraits but capture that cuteness and bond.

Below-A few painting  sessions later

I've done a bit more detailing on both dogs and filled in the canvas with colour generally.

The Finished painting.
'Bonnie with the new puppy'
 30 x 40cms  
 Oil on gallery wrap canvas
Bonnie had to be put down soon after the reference photo was taken so in the painting .I've made Bonny younger and in her prime so that the painting will bring back happier memories.

This is what I mean by a gallery wrap canvas.The painting can be hung as is - no need to frame. Obviously the painting will look much better when it is displayed on a wall rather than my grotty easel..lol's
You can frame them if you want to.They need a different sort of frame as they are deeper in the side so there aren't quite as many choices . More than enough though!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

How to relax kangaroo style

These guys can give us some tips on relaxing at this time of year..I was watching them yesterday and I think that's why I didn't really feel like doing much..
Slackers..lols'' They don't have a care in the world!
Part of the group
So cute! Good snoozing weather..
'Not my most flattering angle..I didn't know you'd be watching!'

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Stuck trying to find a last minute Christmas gift for a mad pet lover?

I have gift certificates available for Christmas.
Let them choose how they want their pet immortalised in a portrait!
Email me 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Country Tide & Alex - The Kiss

Here's a photo of what I've done so far.  To give you an idea of the size the white thing on the left is an A4 piece of paper . The area near his ear isn't accurate but that doesn't matter as I'll correct it later. This is just the underpainting. I want to cover the whole canvas so there is no white.
The photo I have of Country Tide chops off the bottom of his nose and the top of his ears and it is blurry so I can't really see the shape of his ears. I'm using photos I took of a similar horse in a similar position to help but I'll need feedback from Alex to ensure it does look like Country. The reference horse isn't in quite the same position either so I have to ad lib a bit to make sure things look right.
Above - I've just finished the underpainting in this pic.I've started on the oil painting and he is now bay and the portrait is going through the ugly stage. Now I've got to work out how to give it some interest.
I painted my first version from the reference photo. I made up the ear and muzzle as the photo cropped them off and I ended up moving the position of his eyes twice, his ear 3 times and changing the shape of his muzzle. By the end I ran it past Alex and we both agreed it didn't quite get there. I found I was just copying the dull lighting of the reference photo and I couldn't see the positions or shapes of his head as it was so blurry.
 I decided to take a big risk and just use the original photo for proportions and positioning .I would use a photo of a similar horse in a slightly different pose in better lighting. I must say this portrait certainly kept me on my toes!
Alex & Country Tide
Framed size 58 x 89cms