It’s Hot! The Weather and The Art


This summer in the Perth hills the temperature has topped 40 degrees centigrade on way too many days.  Today is to be the last day of the latest heatwave.  Today also marks a whole month without rain at Balligar!  It reminds me to take care of our environment.

Happily the bush around us is standing up to the harsh conditions well and various birds are chortling in the Jarrah trees as I type at dawn.  Amazing resilience – like the grasstrees around us that must be decades old as Xanthorrhoea grow very slowly.  I do think their politically incorrect name of ‘Blackboys’ is much more descriptive.  There is one old fellah (probably also politically incorrect) in the reserve behind us that has the character of a centenarian – I so want to paint him – er, it!

I have sketched and painted a group of three grasstrees on our block.  I reduced their surroundings to the red, bare earth and sky so as to emphasis the feeling of rejection / dejection of the little guy on the right and called it ‘Two’s Company’.  It’s about 900 by 600 cm.

Two's Company (2)

This was painted using the same limited palette of acrylics as the Pincushion Hakea Laurina I posted about last time.  (Lemon Yellow, Cadmium Light Red, Ultramarine, Phthalo Blue and Phthalo Green).  The colours are not so garish as they look here.  Phthalo colours don’t seem to photograph well.

The painting is a good example of ‘happy accidents’ if nothing else.  I finished the painting and laid it flat to varnish it – and then spilt rubbing alcohol on it!@#$!!  One big drop dissolved a hole in the sky back to bare canvas.  Oh what to do!!  I knew that it would look obviously patched if I tried to paint the sky back as it was.  In desperation I decided the blob would have to become the moon and that a cloud coming in from the right would help camouflage the damage.  I think the changes actually improved the composition.  If you look closely at the real painting, you can see that the little dark marks in the sky are dragonflies.  Expect to see more dragonflies in my work!

If you have any examples of happy accidents, do share!



10 thoughts on “It’s Hot! The Weather and The Art

    1. Helen

      🙂 Reminds me of this:

      Eye halve a spelling chequer
      It came with my pea sea
      It plainly marques four my revue
      Miss steaks eye kin knot sea.

      Eye strike a key and type a word
      And weight four it two say
      Weather eye am wrong oar write
      It shows me strait a weigh.

      As soon as a mist ache is maid
      It nose bee fore two long
      And eye can put the error rite
      Its rare lea ever wrong.

      Eye have run this poem threw it
      I am shore your pleased two no
      Its letter perfect awl the weigh
      My chequer tolled me sew.

  1. Shazzy

    Perhaps you could name the piece ‘setendipity’? I like that word for these kind of things- it fits so well. :))

    1. Helen

      I can see your ipad is trying to do the thinking for you and you meant Serendipity! I like that word too and it would be a great name for a painting – now which one? So many to choose from! :)oxo

  2. Greg Campbell

    It is lovely to see your art displayed in this different context of the world wide web, it gains from the description you give. A happy accident could be the power of the words “Blue Green Eagle” :-)xx


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