Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Our Lady of Guadalupe - painting process + Untie the Strong Woman

My mum has been reading and sharing insights with me from Dr Clarissa Pinkola Estes latest book "Untie the Strong Woman" (writer of "Women Who Run With the Wolves").

The book is about her lifelong relationship with Mary and especially features Our Lady of Guadalupe  - the Mary of those with Mexican / Latino heritage.

My mother says, it is an amazing book, because it unlocks your heart, shedding light on the unconditional love of the Divine Feminine, for all of us.

So, I have painted this little Madonna for the world, in homage of the time Mum and I have been sharing together.

This artwork is a very modern and feminine depiction of the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  She is surrounded by very feminine symbols such as roses and the crescent moon that shines over the landscape surrounding her.  Around her neck she wears a key which can symbolize the unlocking of the heart.

Prints available in my ETSY shop now!

xx Sarah

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Greeting Cards Have Arrived!

After much ado (on my behalf),  greeting cards have finally arrived in my ETSY store!

With 10 different designs (to begin with), you are bound to find a design perfect for a loved one or someone special!

Each card is blank inside for your message and printed on glossy silk art board. Each card comes with a natural kraft envelope to pop your card inside.

In my store I'm currently offering them in a bundle at 3 for $20!

 Love and Hugs,
xx Sarah

The Frog Princess - painting process

I just wanted to say a few quick words about my newest artwork, The Frog Princess.  This artwork evolved without much planning. I wanted to do another environmental piece, with the dress a part of the land itself. This is something I love doing and expressing the connection I have with nature.

I have wanted to paint a blue skinned Goddess type character for some time. The halo or crown is also a new thing, signifying royalty or a deity.

The landscape is basically a wetland and I started thinking how I could connect this to a story of some sort. Initially she was to be holding the frog but then I remembered the golden ball from the Princess and the Frog tale. Could this be symbolic for manifesting wishes through intention? I really like this concept.

The title The Frog Princess is actually another (Slavic I think)  version of the traditional story. I think this combines both and gives an added twist.

I hope you enjoy The Frog Princess! You can buy the original and prints in my store now.

The Frog Princess
xx Sarah

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Upcoming Market - SALA Sneak Peek

Greetings folks,

Just letting everyone know I have been accepted into this very awesome market which is going to act as a preview to SALA (South Australian Living Artists Festival) events in August. It is happening on the 29/30 July.  It should be a fantastic and artful weekend! I hope you will mark your calendars and I will see you there!

xx Sarah

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Oh Winter!

My dear bloggers, I have been neglecting you! I'm sorry.

The Wintry weather here in Adelaide is getting to me.  It does get quite cold here.  I used to find it cosy, now I just get depressed.  My art studio is outside undercover, so I have to tough it out in this weather!

I also started two 50 x 60 cm paintings which went nowhere but the trash can.  I was able to save one because it was just a sketch but the other canvas, after numerous reworkings, had to go bye bye.

I find that it is virtually impossible for me these days with the way I am painting to change composition, if things are just - not quite right.  The initial sketch needs to be perfect from the start.  The reason for this is the marks the paint leaves on the canvas can usually not be undone, except with gross intervention (think hose and scourer).  I really hate doing that although sometimes it is necessary.  It is only when you are working in a loose abstract style that those imperfections don't seem to matter.

I also find myself contemplating oil paint quite a bit.  I played with oils a number of years ago but never really took to them.  They were messy to clean up and took a long time to dry.  If I were to start painting with oil, this would mean I would have to invest money into new art supplies and I haven't got the cash.  Maybe one day...

On a little high today because finally something went right and I am creating a work with a woman who has blue skin - something I have wanted to do for a long time but didn't want it to look too close to the traditional Hindu paintings of blue skinned Gods and Goddesses.  I will create a blog post about her soon as she is near finished.

I recently attended an ETSY market called the Queen of Harts at the Harts Mill District/Flour Shed in Port Adelaide.  This was a great day!  It was great to meet so many locals especially those who had previously bought my art though the shop Add Character, on Semaphore Road.

Now for an update on SALA (South Australian Living Artists Festival) happening in August.  I am very sorry to those who expressed excitement at the thought of me illustrating various tales from Women Who Run With the Wolves.  I am deeply in love with the book and so admire the author and would love to have embarked on this journey.  Unfortunately, time has gotten away from me.  This project will have to go on the back burner for another time, or else morph itself into something else I create in the future.

I have now created with the addition of the blue skinned princess, seven originals.  Two more will make 9 and that looks like a good solid basis for an exhibition to me.  So many hours have gone into creating these works.  I hope you love them.

Details for my SALA exhibition (see the event on my Facebook page):
Jane Carlisle and Sarah Donnell bring you "Woven", an array of artworks exploring fairy tales, folktales, women and magic.

Venue - Sweet Amber Brew Café
67A Semaphore Rd, Semaphore SA 5019

Opening night - 18th August 2017 6pm - 9pm
Exhibition runs - 18th August - 18th September 2017

Mark your calendar!

x Sarah

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Art Pendants Have Arrived!

The Rainbow Spirit

Alice in Wonderland

Winter Girl

These striking statement art pendants mean that you can wear your favorite Sarah Donnell artwork close to your heart!

Printed on exceptional quality Epson Premium Semigloss Photo Paper using an Epson R1900 Stylus Photo printer with UltraChrome Hi-Gloss 2 resin coated pigment inks, these tiny artworks are just as stunning as an actual art print!

They are embedded in stunning 30 x 40 mm ornate pendant settings and hang from dainty ball chains.

At only $35 AU each, I hope you love them as much as I do!

x Sarah

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Wild Soul - painting process

Wild Soul didn't really begin as a painting with any strong idea behind it.  I was wanting to paint a type of Autumn Goddess, but did a bit of research on this and didn't really find any traditional Goddess figure that was appropriate.

I actually started this artwork wanting to depict a Scandinavian snowy woodland. However somehow I went back to my original idea of creating an Autumn artwork after seeing images of birch trees with yellow and orange leaves.

This is the first artwork I have covered up the hair of the figure and the first where I have painted fur.

The animals in this artwork have a very feminine energy (owl, vixen).

I was listening to Monsters and Men thoughout this entire painting process, particularly 'Empire'. So this artwork is inspired in part by this Icelandic band!

Despite the fact that this painting started as a kind of random artwork, I think she has finished strongly, with suggestions of Shamanism and the Wild Woman archetype present.

I especially love her emerald green Shamanic crystal necklace and hope to include more of these in future artworks. I am a crystal obsessed person and I can't believe I haven't thought of this before...

Initial sketch with snow details (would have been cute) 

Face painting. I have started to do a bit of shading around the eyes lately. 


Figure painted in. 

Before I changed the Season! 

Inspired by birch trees in Autumn. 

Love her little pendant. 

Wild Soul xx

I am planning to start work on paintings for my exhibition in August. I don't plan on releasing these until the exhibition date, however I will try to interweave these with works to sell immediately as we go along.

I hope you love Wild Soul.
You can purchase her very soon in my ETSY.COM store. Contact me if you are interested.

X Sarah

Monday, March 20, 2017

Autumn Walk - painting process

Although I am not a mother, I feel very motherly toward my little niece. Her name is Violet and this painting is all about her!

I originally wanted to call the artwork 'Little One' but then came across this idea of a walk in the park and with Autumn coming up this seemed more appropriate.

It initially started as a Summer artwork... 

Then, being Autumn I decided to add more clothes and scarves... 

This is the first artwork where I have added hoop earrings! 


So happy with the finished piece.
I went for an Autumn colour palette. 
There you have it! A great gift for the women in your lives (mother and daughter, auntie and niece, big sister and little sister etc). Original and prints available in the shop now!

x Sarah

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Brand New A5 Mini Prints Have Arrived!

I have been dying to offer this size of prints for so long and now they have finally arrived!

These are basically a mini version of my high quality A4 prints, using the same EPSON archival matte paper and resin pigment inks in order to give you the highest quality print I can offer!

A little bigger than a card, these are such a cute mini size you could hang them in a cluster or give them as a sweet little art gift!

I am so excited to offer these to you!

You can buy A5 mini prints in my shop.

x Sarah

Art Materials I Use Regularly

I thought I would just do a brief post on some art materials I use regularly in the hopes of demystifying my art process and maybe help out other artists out there...

Gesso - an absolute must. Beautiful thick and with a divine texture, I can't go past Matisse brand.

I walked into an art shop recently after having come back to painting faces again and completely frustrated that so many skin tone bases are far too pink. The manager of Riot Art and Craft where I shop recommended that I use Unbleached Titanium instead (which is a nice creamy colour) and then add other tints to it. Problem solved.

Other colours I use regularly as basics include Raw Umber and Carbon Black. 

I am completely obsessed with Holbein Acrylic Guache.
I love colours like Opera, Pale Mint, Pale Lilac and Pink. Honestly I can't get enough and would buy the whole set except I have to order them from the USA from Dick Blick and the exchange rate and shipping costs a fortune. Oh well. 

I use these lovely creamy distress markers by Tim Holtz for shading in some skin areas of my painting. They work a treat.

Sky colours. I use a range of brands in order to get pretty sky colours. 

Grass greens. I am obsessed with beautiful lime greens and I love a good field of grass in my paintings. Again, I use a range of brands. 

I recently bought a bunch of these Global brand paints from Riot Art and Craft. Apparently they are lightfast which is fantastic. Great prices too especially when there is a special promotion on. 

So there you have it folks. Some of the basics I work with. I look forward to sharing more new materials as I come across them.  You can buy some of these materials at www.riotstores.com.au or www.dickblick.com

x Sarah

Friday, March 17, 2017

Crossing the Water by Sylvia Plath


Crossing the Water

Black lake, black boat, two black, cut-paper people.
Where do the black trees go that drink here?
Their shadows must cover Canada.

A little light is filtering from the water flowers.
Their leaves do not wish us to hurry:
They are round and flat and full of dark advice.

Cold worlds shake from the oar.
The spirit of blackness is in us, it is in the fishes.
A snag is lifting a valedictory, pale hand;

Stars open among the lilies.
Are you not blinded by such expressionless sirens?
This is the silence of astounded souls.

by Sylvia Plath

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Women Who Run With the Wolves - The Tale of Bluebeard

He is the quintessential predator.  The bane of Wolf Woman's (and every women's) existence.  However, knowledge of the predator in a women's life is essential to her survival, safely and ability to thrive.

The grotesque tale of Bluebeard in Women Who Run With The Wolves is disturbing, yet essential to understanding the people and influences in our lives which can crush our souls dismember our dreams.  

To identify a predator in your life and to metaphorically dismember it, is to be in charge of it.  It is about reclaiming your life.

There are so many artworks about Bluebeard, I have just chosen a few to feature here.  Bluebeard is so dark, I don't think I will be delving into the story for inspiration for my upcoming exhibition - however, the story is important nonetheless.  Ideas are coming thick and fast, so stay tuned!

"To render the parts of Bluebeard is like taking the medicinal parts of the deadly nightshade, of the healing elements of the poisonous belladonna plant, and using these materials carefully and for healing and helping."
- Women Who Run with the Wolves p.65

Women Who Run With the Wolves - La Loba (Wolf Woman)

Becoming acquainted with La Loba is like coming home. She is that missing piece of the puzzle. That thoroughly undomesticated part of women.  That sacred permission to just be.  As you get to know her, you will find yourself moved to tears by someone who understands you so well....

In mythos and by whatever name, La Loba knows the personal past and the ancient past for she has survived generation after generation, and is old beyond time.  She is an archivist of feminine intention.  She preserves female tradition.  Her whiskers sense the future; she has the farseeing milky eye of the old crone; she lives backward and forward in time simultaneously, correcting for one side by dancing with the other.
- Women Who Run With the Wolves pg.29

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Exploring Encounter Bay

In response to my recent post on How to be an Explorer of the World, I thought I would put this into practice in a walk around Encounter Bay and take some field notes in the form of photography. 

Now I am blogging again, I am able to take a series of photos and kinda make a story about them.  It's a much more satisfying feeling. The one lady who first inspired me to do this was Sibella Court, author of Etcetera. 

Encounter Bay is an old Whaling town.  My family have been holidaying here for 20 years.  Evidence of whaling still exists, in the deep crevasses which were carved into the rocks on the shore where the whale carcases were "processed". 

A place with a sad history. However whales are obviously protected now and the area is a marine park.  I love the rocks along the shoreline.  They are the kind where you would find mermaids hanging out. 

x Sarah
The Bluff

Someone's little rock collection... 

Carved whaling rocks.