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 or

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. 

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Long Weekend at Encounter Bay + Abstract Works for Mum

It's Adelaide Cup day long weekend here in South Australia. I'm spending the weekend down at Encounter Bay with family which is lovely and relaxing.

Having withdrawals from painting but intend to spend a lot of time planning new artworks and reading.

My Mum also commissioned me recently to create some abstracts for her holiday house down here at Encounter Bay (see pics below).  I enjoyed the freedom of working on these pieces but I have found now (after two years working in abstract) my heart is now firmly back with my figurative work.

The large abstracts you will see below are loosely based on abstract looking jellyfish.  They also look a little like beach depends which way you look at it but that is the nature of Abstract.

Mum also framed a couple of my works from 2015 (Microcosm and Barely a Cloud). See pics below.

To those who loved my abstract work, I am sorry. I don't have any intention of going back to this style again (so she says).  I really loved my adventure into abstract but I feel I can communicate what I want to much more deeply with the figures.

This is where I am right now and it feels good. Also I don't usually take commissions however you can't really say no to your Mum now, can you?

Hugs and Sparkles
x Sarah

Light reading ;) Carl Jung and Clarissa Estes
Encounter Bay

Jellyfish II

Jellyfish I

Jellyfish II

Jellyfish I


Barely a Cloud

Friday, March 10, 2017

Women Who Run with the Wolves + Upcoming Group Exhibition for SALA
Soulful Reading...

Well folks, I am really pleased to announce that I have a group exhibition planned for mid 2017 which will fall in time for the SALA Festival (South Australian Living Artist's Festival).  This is in place of the solo exhibition I had planned for March 2017 (cancelled due to lack of money!).  Other members who are participating are dear friends Jane Carlisle and Amber Fox.  After a meeting last night at our chosen venue, Sweet Amber on Semaphore Road, South Australia, we began to talk theme!

We have a broad theme at the moment (no name yet), which involves folk and fairy tales.  I am deeply longing to get stuck into this topic particularly with my obsession with folk stories, particularly with female heroines.  What better book to refer to than, Women Who Run with the Wolves - Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype.  The Wild Woman archetype is all about trusting your female instincts, about embracing your wild nature, about reconstructing your being and healing yourself, about believing in the artist within you and being proud to be female.  

Clarissa Estes, takes us on a journey covering myths and stories of the Wild Woman from across the globe.  Some of these stories are not as "widely known" in that they are far older than traditional Grimm's fairy tales.  They are much more ancient and deeply potent in their meaning and symbolism.

As you may well know, my work is all about women and is very feminine.  I can't wait to depict some of the women in these stories, in my own way and bring them into the light in a new and fresh way in my unique style.

So excited and particularly excited to be working with two very amazing woman on this project!

x Sarah

My trusty copy...old and dog-eared x

Thursday, March 9, 2017

How to be an Explorer of the World

A very wise art teacher and mentor I once studied under compared being an artist to being a scientist.  This couldn't be more true.  Artists look at things in great depth and consider things in the world from different angles.  They find beauty in small things.  They are explorers of the world. 

I found this quote on Pinterest with a search on Anthropology and was quite moved by it.  May you continue to be an Explorer of the World with this lovely list to guide you...

x Sarah

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

The Rainbow Spirit - painting process

The Rainbow Spirit is a Wild Woman, a magical being who loves pink and appreciates the beauty of everything on Earth. You will find her wandering in fields of wildflowers at dusk with her baby unicorn, Sparkles...

Looking more like a zombie girl here but you get the idea...

Where I paint...

What big eyes you have...ultra large ideas for this character!

In progress...

Pretty much done,,,


The Rainbow Spirit - really love this one!
I am quite attached to this painting but I am offering her up for sale because I would like her to go to someone who will love her!

I really love the crystal pendant detail, I feel it transforms her into a little Wild Woman/Shaman/Nature Spirit :)

She is very special.

More on the Wild Woman archetype soon - I have an exhibition coming up and am REALLY excited about the theme.  Stay tuned.

x Sarah

Painting Bug

Do other artists out there work in a mess like me? 

Do you have it?  Have you ever felt it? That inexplicable desire to run to the studio and paint for hours, standing barefoot in paint stained clothes, singing to your favourite tunes like a mad crazy person. 

This is my life and I love it. Truly it is what keeps me going. In my darkest days,  art was what I clung to as my spirit fought back.  Painting to me is as essential as breathing. 

How about you? 

I'm on a high as I have almosy finished an artwork that I am very happy with. I will reveal all very soon! 

x Sarah

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Take No Prisoners

- Henri Matisse Source

Something to remember when various influences and people's opinions about your art become overwhelming.  Remember to stay free and remind yourself why you started making art and what it means to you and you alone.

x Sarah

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Thoughts on Sad Faces

She is so pretty but so very sad...and that's ok...I think
 Every portrait artist understands this.  How hard it is sometimes to get a smile just get the expression just so, to make sure the energy is sending out the right vibe to the viewer.  How hard that it is.  Futhermore, artworks tend to have a life of their own.  What does that mean you may ask?  What I mean is, creating art is a magical process in which the figure or face itself seems to come to life.  Sometimes you have to just, "go with it" and honor the art...

My family in particular are not keen on sad faces and are always encouraging me to make my art "more smiley".  I can tell you know it is awfully hard to change the expression on a face once creating has commenced. 

2016 abstract faces...all different expressions!
 All I know is, sometimes an artist needs to paint a sad face.  It feels theraputic.  After all, we want to honor the full range of human expression, don't we?  I have a three year old niece and and one year old nephew and they spend a large amount of their time crying about something-a-rather.

So, although I have seen people have adverse reactions to artworks with sad expressions, it is not something which disturbs me.  I allow a sad or pensive face now and then because, hey, we are not happy all the time are we?  And I don't want my art to be all happy happy joy joy - all the time.  That is not what I am all about.  What I am about is embracing wonkiness and imperfection and this includes a sad expression now and then ;)

Love to hear your thoughts too.

Lots of love
x Sarah

PS. You can buy Sad Princess here

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Kitty-cat - painting process

Hi all, here is my painting process for a recent artwork of a girl holding a black cat. 

Initial sketch on canvas...

Looking back at artists in history who have painted girls with cats.



I was totally frustrated with the background to this piece...

I ended up going with an impasto background in a 60/70s retro palette...
The cat turned out cute and kinda grumpy looking. 
I once owned a grumpy cat and I dearly loved her so I thought this was pretty apt...

This painting was originally going to be called the Queen of Wands with a nod to the said Tarot card.  However, I think I wanted it to be a little bit more generic and accessible to more people. The Queen of Wands is one of my favourite cards in the tarot and features the Queen in a yellow gown with her black cat at her feet.  The black cat represents mysticism and the Occult.  I am hoping to bring the Tarot into more of my artworks in the future...stay tuned.  There are so many beautiful, uplifting and meaningful cards.

I am happy with this artwork and if no one buys her, she will be framed and staying with me!

 x Sarah