Alan and His Best Buddies

Alan lives on a farm at Mt Barney, a beautiful part of South East Queensland which he shares with his wife Sylvia and his two pals Rex and Wally.

Alan endured a horrific accident some years ago when he was crushed by a falling tree and endured excruciating pain and months of rehabilitation while he recovered, but eventually he was able to return to work and build his new home and farm in this idyllic location.   While the trauma and long term damage never goes away,  life is always made easier when you have a great wife and family – and especially if you own pets.

Alan’s two furry friends certainly make cuddle time even better and this painting captures him in a thoughtful moment sitting on his veranda at the top of the steps while the dogs clearly enjoy spending time with their master.

Commissioned by Sylvia as a gift to him for Christmas 2017, this painting is a special thank you to him for his strong resolve, tenacity and endurance – and especially his love for her and his children.

Not to mention Rex and Wally.

Most Successful Exhibitor Award

Hello everyone – out-of-left-field, this award has come my way!

When I learned the annual Canungra Show was a couple of weekends away, I toyed with entering some of my paintings.   Believing they were already well known, I nearly didn’t bother.   Of course they are only known to those who know my website and on the basis I wouldn’t be boring everyone to tears I decided to bravely submit a few pieces that were already framed.   I also asked a few clients if I could borrow back their commissioned pieces.   At the last minute I had “Molly” framed as there was a Monochromatic category and she would be perfect for that.

Duly done, Friday lunchtime saw me lining up to register my pieces.   I saw some lovely work being submitted by truly gifted artists and was pleased the standard was high.

Judging took place on Friday night before the show opened on Saturday.   I wasn’t able to get to Canungra before 2.00pm on Saturday and when I did the show was fully underway.

It’s interesting the nervousness I felt as I entered the art exhibit building – it was like being a small child again and approval being so important and risking failure – knowing adulthood is attained through that experience.   I didn’t feel very adult to be honest.

Nothing prepared me for the shock when I turned the corner and saw nearly everyone’s favourite painting “Deejay” front and centre on the awards board with the ribbon displaying “Most Successful Exhibitor”.   That’s when surrealism clicked in.   Obviously I had to see which of my painting awards constituted that amazing outcome.   As I rushed around trying to find them all – it turns out they all did!

If this is my 15 minutes of fame…….I will savour the moment for a little bit longer.   Yay!!!!

Self-portrait – a study

Usual problem – I couldn’t sleep so decided to get up and work on another painting, except when I entered the studio, the work on the easel was almost finished and I wanted to try something new.   Looked in the mirror and thought – self portrait!   No make-up, hair all messy and me looking the way mostly only I get to see myself.   Started around 2.00am and finished around 5.30am.   Several coffees later I stopped and I think I’ll leave it as a study only.   The knitted jumper is only just indicated with lines but that’ll do.   Don’t know if I actually want a portrait of me on the wall anyway.

It is always a challenge I think to be very objective when painting the self – we don’t see ourselves at all as others do and tend to exaggerate faults (or worse hide them) so painting every line and wrinkle and dark circle had to be exactly as I saw them.

Wasn’t as scary as I thought posting to Facebook originally – although a friend thought I was very brave.

I thought it was cathartic!




Mia’s is the granddaughter of my my friend Ngaire.   She waltzes around in her grandmother’s tiny apartment as if the world is her stage.   Beautiful skin, twinkling green eyes, rosy cheeks and a tonne of energy, Mia had me wound around her little finger and I simply had to portray her somehow.

Grandmother Ngaire has a couple of little dogs but they were not interested in being involved this time – and privately I think Mia was perfectly happy to be the center of attention and solo subject.

Girls are like that.   When they’re pretty and loved, they just want everyone to notice – so no competition please!




Angel came into my life as a cutie running around outside her parents Indian Takeaway near the office where I work.   Her parents have recently moved here from India and she has fully integrated into the local school becoming part of the youthful energy there.   She was resting in a big armchair in the cafe while her parents served customers when I seized the opportunity to talk to her.

She happily posed for me and I quickly captured a few images to work from at home.   As it was to be a gift to her parents  I didn’t want to spoil the surprise by staying too long.

Angel with her enigmatic smile is wearing her school uniform ‘fleecy’ which she is proud to wear in her new adopted country.

Her parents were overwhelmed to receive the surprise and Angel’s portrait hangs with enormous pride on the wall in their cafe.    I think they will call their cafe after her.

“Angel’s Heavenly Food” maybe?

German Shepherd “Cody” and her best friend Jay

Cody was a beautiful German Shepherd I was fortunate to meet one day during our long very hot summer this 2017 year.   With days over 40 degrees celsius every day for over two weeks during January, her owner Samantha our admin lady, brought her into the office at our pleading so she could enjoy air-conditioned comfort.   Sadly less than two weeks later she was dead due to a twisted bowel and with her advancing years and poor outcome even with surgery – she left our lives.

We all felt terribly ripped off as she was such a joy and I offered to paint a portrait of her for the owner.   She sent me two photos by email.   One of the regal Cody resting on the lawn and the other of her eldest son Jay (Cody’s best friend) embracing her.

Naturally I love animals and children together so the decision was easy.

My brother John

My brother John was heading back overseas when I pleaded with him to allow me to take some photos of him so I could do his portrait while he was away.

He’s very reserved and quiet but obeyed his big sister and graciously allowed me the opportunity.   Originally I intended to have him full length with my Chinchilla cat (which he loves) in the picture at his feet, but I felt that his finely drawn features – he’s tall and thin – needed to be more ‘front and center’ and contracted the painting somewhat.   He has expressive hands that can do and make anything and I wanted to detail those too.

His reserve in public is usually displayed by the way he folds his arms close to his body so this pose truly captures the way he is known to his family.   He also has facial attributes shared by our father and also an uncle (Ome Sjaak) on our mother’s side.   A wonderful combination of two great men from both sides of the family who have sadly passed away – but while John lives, they truly aren’t gone.

The portrait is unfinished at this stage as other commissions dominate but the image will be replaced once completed.

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