Mixed media on canvas, with plenty of sea salt. 46cm (W) x 92cm (H) x 5cm (D). For sale – $190.
Inspired by the waves washing onto the shore.
Gouache on paper, A4 (8.27 x 11.69in). For sale – $50.
When I was a girl, I lived near the Great Barrier Reef and my parents would take us snorkeling. This was back when the reef was still bright and beautiful, rich with coral and tropical fish that I could see just by peeking under the water. The Moon-faced Wrasse is one of the fish that I admired the most. As it moves, it flaps its fins in a peculiar up-and-down motion so that it looks like it’s flying through the water.
One time, my parents decided to keep tropical fish in our house in a 6ft long fish tank. My Dad didn’t want to waste money on the pet store – he knew where to find tropical fish. So he went out to sea and caught some Moon-faced wrasse, some wire-netting cod, and several other terrified fish and plopped them into the fish tank. They were huge, and the wire-netting cod preferred to bury themselves in the sand at the bottom of the tank which made the water all cloudy. So it wasn’t an entirely successful exercise but the Moon-faced wrasse were still very pretty.
I even kept a few of them in some fish tanks as part of a senior Biology experiment to measure the efficacy of undergravel versus trickle-down filtration systems (the fish were all fine, but I can confirm that trickle-down is way better for oxygenation).
When I last visited the same area of the reef again a few years ago, it was all dead. The coral was brown and decayed, there were barely any fish. It was an underwater wasteland. It made me so sad. Recent statistics show that most of the reef is like this now, largely due to the impact of climate change.
It’s so sad that this is going to be a tale we tell to the next generation – “I remember when I used to go snorkeling in the reef and it was so beautiful”. It’s not too late – some parts of the reef are recovering as some species of coral are proving more resilient than most and we may be able to cultivate these. The best thing we can do right now is to put pressure on our governments to take action against climate change.
Acrylic on 3 canvases, each 24x12in. For sale – $200 for the set.
This began as something VERY different – a picture of a storm – and ended up looking more like a space image. Believe it or not, I used a lot of green paint to create this but most of it just ended up on the floor. This is one of my earlier pieces, so I was still learning the best way to use fluid acrylics in my apartment without all the paint running off the canvas.
At some point I just ran with the abstract concept and let it become whatever it wanted to become. I used a lot of black and white aerosol. The final painting was very dark, so I brightened it up a little by swiping metallic rose gold acrylic paint onto the canvas using a palette knife.
Acrylic on canvas, 36x36in. For sale – $300.
I didn’t have a plan in mind when I started this large painting. It began as a very abstract piece.
Unfortunately what happened was that I added so much water to the fluid acrylic paint that it formed a heavy puddle in the middle of the canvas, drawing most of the colour to the centre. As a result, by the time it dried it looked more like this.
I added the streaky pink bits on top afterwards, but it didn’t really seem to help. So I looked at it a different way – what’s that shape in the middle? An apple? A heart? I decided it looked kind of like a heart, and thought an anatomically correct heart would be pretty cool – kind of edgy. So I found a diagram of one online and went for it.
Due to the size, it’s a pretty confronting painting – not for the faint-hearted, so to speak. But the colours are vibrant and fun, so I think it gives the room an edgy, punk kind of vibe.
Acrylic on canvas, 24x36in. For sale – $200.
Believe it or not, this painting began like this:
Looks a bit different, right? Like a completely different painting. Yeah, that’s because I originally had this idea that I’d do some kind of pastel-hued fluid painting and then swipe acrylic over the top with a palette knife and you’d just get pastel colours peeking through the white, like the sunset behind the clouds or something. Well, it really really didn’t work that way.
The irony of this entire project is that I wanted to paint something very relaxing. The sort of painting you could hang in a hotel lobby or a doctor’s surgery, that everyone would look at and think “ahh, what a lovely relaxing place I’m in”. But painting this thing was a pretty crazy process.
First, I ruined the original fluid painting with white aerosol.
Some of you might be thinking hey, that doesn’t look so bad! Well nuts to you because I hate it. I stared into the abyss of my own self-loathing, rendered in pastels, and I didn’t feel relaxed at all.
So I thought, maybe if I continue with the plan it will come good. I got out the palette knife and the white paint and went for it.
Nope, still hideous. I thought, you know what? Let’s just paint over the whole damn thing.
Hey great, now it looks nothing like the original painting, which is a definite improvement. I thought it looked kind of like clouds or water or something, so I decided to paint a swirly line through which would look kind of like the shape water or clouds make if you draw a line sort of downwards through the edges. I had a new silver Ironlak paint pen to use so I tried that out.
It literally looked like someone had scribbled on my painting. Like some kid had just vandalized it. So I painted over THAT with gold paint. But rich gold is not relaxing. It’s not relaxing at all. You’d think being rich is relaxing but noooo it’s way too exciting to be relaxing. So I went out and bought pale gold paint and painted it on but it didn’t look organic enough. So I went over the entire line again with a paperclip. That’s right, I used a bit of wire instead of a paintbrush. This was really, really tedious. But finally I got the result that I wanted! Success! Rejoice! No, I mean relax!
All in all this took about a week to paint but it was worth it in the end.