This is the last portrait I completed before Covid made portrait sittings too risky to undertake. My sitter here has the most wonderful natural beauty - porcelain skin, with very dark eyes and hair, which is set off beautifully by a top in rich deep teal green. You cannot really see the proper colours in an online photo.
The Nightingale, golden in the woods
Watercolour is my passion, always providing new challenges and discoveries, as here, where I used a Japanese opaque pigment I found in Australia to put a final wash over the whole back-ground to unify the painting. This particular paper is very absorbent, - not great as it is like smooth blotting paper and your every mark is permanent - but I went with it and layered the colours; painting the feathers was very therapeutic. I wanted to make a symbolic nightingale - thinking of Florence Nightingale, The Nightingale hospitals, as well as the songbird that is so rare and small but has the most beautiful voice of all birds.
About 3 years ago I started to learn printmaking, - this is a silkscreen monoprint, made by free painting a background, then printing layers of colours over the top. There are four layer on this one, and I made a series of Uluru prints - all different colours and moods. Each one is unique. My delight in the brightness and unpredictability of these prints was very exciting. I feel it has both inspired and informed my other work.
This summer seemed the perfect time to make cyanotypes (solar prints). We had sun. I had a garden full of flowers and plants. We were in lockdown. Each one I made is unique, using materials from the garden, chemically prepared paper, and sunlight, then conditioning the print after washing using more ingredients. Some came out blue, some with subtle greens, ochres and browns.