Saturday, June 30, 2007

Water's Path - Willochra Creek "Completed"

Water's Path - Willochra Creek
Copyright Susan Borgas

'Completed' is part of the title but as I look at my monitor I see straight away a problem with the reflection where there is a sharp edge of light just to the left of the large curled root. I think some movement of water to take that straight edge off would benefit this area greatly.

Since my last posting the area of the shaded stones and tallish grass to the right has been completed. Also the remainder of the right hand side bank that is in light has now had dry leaf litter and grasses added. Water is finished other than a little adjustment on that light area that I spoke about. Twigs have been placed in the canopy as well as any other minor adjustments that needed doing.

There will be no further images of this painting on my blog although a new photo of the work will be placed on my website just prior to framing.

To make it easier to find the steps to "Water's Path - Willochra Creek" from past postings on this blog, the links are below.

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Thursday, June 28, 2007

An Apple a Day

Bowl Fruit
copyright Susan Borgas

An apple a day keeps the doctor away or so the old saying says. Perhaps it should be draw a piece of fruit a day keeps the artist eye and hand cordination healthy.

My home is overflowing with items to draw and yet so often I sit like a stunned mullet wondering what to sketch. It sort of goes like this when I do make an effort.

  • Open fridge door....... shut fridge door; scary stuff in there!
  • Look inside my cupboards..... nope nothing to interest me but do take note of the dust over cupboard that needs cleaning.
  • Walk around studio...... notice paintings that need to be completed.
  • Poke my nose outdoors and nearly freeze in the process...... shelve that idea.
  • Check my email and RSS feeds....... nope, no ideas there wink
  • Back to the studio and do some work on a painting to avoid sketching.
Somewhere in all this confusion a drawing will sometimes materialise. lol

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Cuppa Time - Sketch

Good grief when is life going to slow down? I think perhaps with me the answer is never! rolleyes

After a huge extended weekend in Adelaide I can say that there has been a number of jobs ticked off my list that had to be done towards my son's wedding, a meeting with a network of artist that I am involved with plus a job done on the Patrol that will have the 4WD ready for a trip up in Central Australia in mid August of this year. My hubby and I also attended a 21st birthday party; consequently it was a very tiring trip by the time we arrived home.

I hope I haven't missed answering comments that have been posted, as three of my blogs had comments while I was in Adelaide..... spam included! mad It is a shame that spammers make it so hard for us bloggers when we are away because I would prefer to allow comments with my blogs without moderation during those periods but just can't bring myself to do it.

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Thursday, June 21, 2007


A number of months back I received a phone call from a lady to book a date for an outing for a group to visit my gallery and studio. A presentation by myself about what I do as an artist also would be included.

Today was the day the ladies turned up armed with a lovely afternoon tea. I had a great time with these visitors answering many questions that had me forgetting how it was a cold and drizzly day outdoors.

While waiting for the group to turn up I sat at my studio window staring at this plant outside in my garden and started to sketch it. Just as well I did or I may not have posted here today, which would make me feel guilty considering I won't be posting for the next few days. Malcolm (hubby) and I are heading to the city tomorrow to catch up with family & friends plus I do have a meeting to attend in the Big Smoke. Oh and shopping as well! biggrin

Until my return, please don't forget me. wink

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Lover of My Soul

Music plays a big role when I am working in my studio. Sometimes I will have the volume turned up with the room jumping with the sound of music and song in my studio. Yesterday was not one of those days; I was looking for something relaxing to play.

At these times I like listening to the acclaimed harpist Carol McClure playing hymns and worship songs on a Cd called "Lover of My Soul". Even for those that are not particularly religious would enjoy the soothing sounds of this cd.

Once the music had started I settle down to do this sketch because my mind seem to be pulled into different directions that I couldn't concentrate on the pastel that I am working on. The sketch isn't about trying to do a perfect drawing but more about making marks on paper without thought of how or what this line should be doing. Once done I was much more relaxed and able to concentrate on my pastel painting.

Do you ever find that you really have to push yourself to work as an artist because you lack inspiration and drive and if so what do you do to get your muse back?

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Monday, June 18, 2007

Ants and Laptop

What is it about ants and my laptop? For months now I get the odd ant that likes to crawl around over my laptop; thankfully not the whole nest wanting to take up residence, just one on its own.

It isn't the same little blighter because I have completely removed them to find another climbing up the power cord and if left makes its way to the monitor or keyboard of the laptop, which is downright distracting.

Hey here is a thought! The ant is a scout looking for food and if found will bring his friends for a meal? Uh Oh...... I better vacuum my keyboard because I am always catching up to my RSS feeds over my evening meal. winkbiggrin

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Making a Mark

Making a Mark is increasingly making her mark! Katherine Tyrrell is no stranger to many online artists although just in case someone has missed her blog or even her latest post do check it out BUT first make a cup of coffee or whatever else you prefer because you will be in for some reading.

Each Sunday Katherine is going to try and publish a round-up of links to interesting blog posts and web articles that she has visited in the previous week. This will be flexible as she does have a lot of other commitments with her own projects but wow I am sure we are going to see more interesting links that we may have otherwise missed, not forgetting that Katherine's post are always rich with links; a wealth of information is this artist!

Thanks Katherine! I know I am one that will be looking forward to your weekly round-up.

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Sunday, June 17, 2007

Water's Path - Willochra Creek "WIP" ten

Still working on the water the progress is slowing and surely coming to completion in this area. I estimate another four hours on the water to bring it up to my own satisfaction. Probably another four hours on top of that to finish off the rest of the painting.

There isn't much I can add about the water from yesterdays entry so rather than bore you to tears with what seems little progress I think I will now leave my next post of this work until completed.

Edit: I hope I haven't doubled up your rss feeds with this edit but wanted to add that I have used a colour shaper to blend the colours in the water. The direction of the blending is mostly vertical in the reflections with some horizontal over the transparent water.

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Saturday, June 16, 2007

Water's Path - Willochra Creek "WIP" nine

Anyone would think I have fleas as I am now at the stage of the painting that I do a lot of head scratching from my brain going into overload, as I think about how and where I lay my pastel strokes. Most of these marks consist of vertical and horizontal application to mimic water reflections. Also some of the vertical lines are squiggled onto the paper to give the impression that the water has subtle movement to it.

For the most part water reflections are darker than the object that it reflects. This is also true with transparent water. What we see under water in nature is darker and murkier which makes edges of what we see softer and not so dominant. The values will actually be very similar if not mostly the same. It is the colour of the object that makes it seem lighter when laid against another because if we were to squint at what we see under water, the values would be generally the same. If I get my values correct we should be able to see transparent water, reflections and shadow across this water.

Sorry if I am confusing you as what I consider I know in my own head isn't something I find easy to write down.

I think there is going to be a lot more head scratching over the next day or so to really nail this work. rolleyes

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Friday, June 15, 2007

Water's Path - Willochra Creek "WIP" eight

The canopy is now well on its way. I haven't place the twigs and smaller branches in yet because I want to be sure that I have the foliage the way that I want it before flicking and squiggling fat and thin lines in the canopy.

I still have the banks to complete but before doing so dropped in the sky colour into the water reflections, as I am getting impatient to start in this area. This blue will need the values adjusted slightly but won't be doing that until the surrounding refections and transparent water are added so that I can 'read' what is there correctly.

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Test your Template in Different Size Browsers

Have you wondered how to test your blog or web template for a smaller browser window? This article is my effort to help make it easier for you to quickly check your posts at different resolutions.

Why you say do I need to test? It is very handy when tweaking your template to see what the column widths look like in different size browsers or how much scrolling will be involved for your visitors. This may not be fool proof although it just might be of some value when designing your blog or web

By typing or copy and paste javascript:window.resizeTo(800,600); in your browser window then press enter it will resize your browser instantly to a 800 x 600 resolution. Try it and see what happens.

You have a huge monitor and want a different size? That is easy to do; just change the (800,600) size to the window that you require.

Want it to be easier still? Click on each link below to see how each resizes to a new window resolution. You can drag the links to your bookmark bar or into a folder in your Favourites Folder to create bookmarks so that you can test quickly.

800 x 600
1024 x 768
1280 x 800

The size window isn't there that you want? Oh come on you don't think I am going to list them all do ya! Hey but I will show you how to make your own using Firefox.razzwink

On the Firefox toolbar click on Bookmarks then go to Organize Bookmarks. A new window will open up. In that new window click on the New Bookmark button. You can also access this by going to File then New Bookmark. Fill in the new bookmark as you see in the image I have provided replacing 800,600 with the screen resolution that you want.

This new bookmark can be placed in any folder that you require to make it easier to find when needed.

There is also another tool that you can use to resize your browser by Web Developer that adds an extension onto Firefox. I did try it out but found that I preferred to use the bookmark method because the add on has a lot more tools than I require, as well it places another menu on my toolbar that takes up space.

The ideal way to check your screen resolution is by changing your 'Windows' monitor settings. I do this by right clicking on my screen on the desktop, choose Properties then Settings. Make a note of the screen resolution that you are using so that you know what to set it back at later. Move the slider to the new screen resolution that you want and expect your screen to go blank for a second or two when you click OK so don't freak out when this happens. Click yes when the screen comes back and check your website or blog and see how it looks at a lower or higher resolution. Once you are finished, go through the same process and choose your original screen resolution and click yes once more. I have come to the conclusion that this last method is the best way to check screens at a higher resolution because fonts and images are resized as well giving a true picture of what is happening.

And there ends this lesson! lol

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Arts and Stuff Carnival - June 13, 2007

Welcome to the June 13, 2007 edition of arts and stuff carnival.

Art Creativity

artThailand presents Don?t you just love Marilyn Monroe? posted at artThailand, saying,

"As reported by the BBC it seems that modern and contemporary art prices continue to rise at almost bubble like rates. The auction record for post-war art was smashed twice in one night just a few days ago."

Christopher Scholl presents New places. New photographs. posted at Photographer's, saying,

"Finding photographic inspiration through travel."

Miscellaneous Art

Krystian presents My wallpapers and others posted at Krystians life in Britain.

Joe Szymanski presents Photography 2.0 posted at Photography and Art, Mostly..., saying,

"What does this hold in store for the practice of photography, and what does it mean for those of us who make a living with a camera?"

Samir Bharadwaj presents The Road to Fujairah posted at

Miscellaneous Subjects

Karen Halls
presents Lindsay Lohan’s Affect on Her Generation-- Addiction Recovery Blog posted at Addiction Recovery Blog.

Neela Menon presents Well Done, Director! posted at One Hundred Years of Solitude.

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of
arts and stuff carnival
using our
carnival submission form.
Past posts and future hosts can be found on our

blog carnival index page

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Vincent van Gogh's Letters

Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh, Etten, September 1881
Attribution: WebExhibits

Letters from the old masters always fascinate me, especially when the author has used sketches to illustrate these wonderful pieces of history. The following is a short excerpt from this letter.

Dear Theo,

Though it is only a short time since I wrote to you, I have something more to tell you now.

For there has been a change in my drawings, both in the way I set about them and in the results.

Also, as a consequence of some of the things Mauve told me, I have started working with live models again. Luckily I have been able to get several people to sit here for me, including Piet Kaufman, the labourer.

To see more about this letter visit this page to view illustrations along with what Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo van Gogh. Want more to read? Click on the previous or next link near the top right of that website. Also there is a Topic List here that you can visit.

This post was always going to be made after I have read many of the letters myself but time as usual is always against me so rather than not sharing decided to make this entry now. If you haven't seen these letters before I hope you do enjoy them.

Also I have posted three photos on my SnapShots blog from my recent trip up North where I grew up. There will be more images posted over the next few days so watch out for them on SnapShots, especially if you are curious about the Australian bush in less populated areas.

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Thursday, June 07, 2007

Water's Path - Willochra Creek "WIP" seven

There is a lot more to do in the canopy area although the basics are there now to help guide me with the rest.

It wasn't until I put some music on with plenty of upbeat that I could get into the rhythm of painting the foliage of the trees. My belief is it must be the tempo that helps the mind to free up to get on with the job at hand. Does this ever happen to you?

There won't be another post on this blog now for a few days because Malcolm and I are doing a trip down memory lane in the outback where I grew up. I need tomorrow to organise a few things before my brother and his wife turn up here at the farm, as we are making this journey together.

There will be photos on my SnapShots blog on my return......cheers for now!

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Monday, June 04, 2007

Desktop Sketch

The only thing that I have done that is creative in the last couple of days is this five minute sketch over a coffee break because I have been busy working in the office. Do I dare say it.... I hate GST bookwork! I know I know; I'm always saying that!eviltwisted

The odd thing about this sketch, I wasn't in the office when putting pencil to paper and ended up with a desktop that is nothing like my own. Maybe is is my wishful thinking workspace.

Well there are some lovely comments to reply to on my blogs before my next stint in the office so I had better get on with it.

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Saturday, June 02, 2007

Water's Path - Willochra Creek "WIP" six

Working on the background to the right from the largest tree trunks is the hardest section so far of this pastel painting. Always thinking about the aerial and atmospheric perspective some of the contrast maybe a little strong yet, but am aware that once the foliage is put in place that some areas will grey off as well as a reduced amount of contrast.

Until next time, take care!

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