Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Oh Winter!


My dear bloggers, I have been neglecting you! I'm sorry.

The Wintry weather here in Adelaide is getting to me.  It does get quite cold here.  I used to find it cosy, now I just get depressed.  My art studio is outside undercover, so I have to tough it out in this weather!

I also started two 50 x 60 cm paintings which went nowhere but the trash can.  I was able to save one because it was just a sketch but the other canvas, after numerous reworkings, had to go bye bye.

I find that it is virtually impossible for me these days with the way I am painting to change composition, if things are just - not quite right.  The initial sketch needs to be perfect from the start.  The reason for this is the marks the paint leaves on the canvas can usually not be undone, except with gross intervention (think hose and scourer).  I really hate doing that although sometimes it is necessary.  It is only when you are working in a loose abstract style that those imperfections don't seem to matter.

I also find myself contemplating oil paint quite a bit.  I played with oils a number of years ago but never really took to them.  They were messy to clean up and took a long time to dry.  If I were to start painting with oil, this would mean I would have to invest money into new art supplies and I haven't got the cash.  Maybe one day...

On a little high today because finally something went right and I am creating a work with a woman who has blue skin - something I have wanted to do for a long time but didn't want it to look too close to the traditional Hindu paintings of blue skinned Gods and Goddesses.  I will create a blog post about her soon as she is near finished.


I recently attended an ETSY market called the Queen of Harts at the Harts Mill District/Flour Shed in Port Adelaide.  This was a great day!  It was great to meet so many locals especially those who had previously bought my art though the shop Add Character, on Semaphore Road.



Now for an update on SALA (South Australian Living Artists Festival) happening in August.  I am very sorry to those who expressed excitement at the thought of me illustrating various tales from Women Who Run With the Wolves.  I am deeply in love with the book and so admire the author and would love to have embarked on this journey.  Unfortunately, time has gotten away from me.  This project will have to go on the back burner for another time, or else morph itself into something else I create in the future.

I have now created with the addition of the blue skinned princess, seven originals.  Two more will make 9 and that looks like a good solid basis for an exhibition to me.  So many hours have gone into creating these works.  I hope you love them.



Details for my SALA exhibition (see the event on my Facebook page):
Jane Carlisle and Sarah Donnell bring you "Woven", an array of artworks exploring fairy tales, folktales, women and magic.

Venue - Sweet Amber Brew Café
67A Semaphore Rd, Semaphore SA 5019

Opening night - 18th August 2017 6pm - 9pm
Exhibition runs - 18th August - 18th September 2017

Mark your calendar!

x Sarah

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Exciting New ETSY Store Now Open!


That's right folks, I have opened another fun ETSY shop. Why you ask? Well things were getting a bit sagnant around here (I opened my first shop in 2012) and I have been having trouble marrying my two styles...realistic (but stylised) and free, loose and Abstract.

I never fully abandoned abstract and feel very drawn to it at the moment. My two styles are so different, I decided the best thing to do would be to separate them out and not punish myself for trying new things (yes I have these wierd thoughts lol).

The result is sarahdonnellabstract and I am going to keep it stocked with quirky works including my deconstructed dolly series (use the section tab to navigate to original doll artworks).

Below are some images of what you will find in store. I hope you will love this range as much as I do...





www.sarahdonnellabstract.etsy.com

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Art Pendants Have Arrived!


The Rainbow Spirit

Alice in Wonderland

Winter Girl


These striking statement art pendants mean that you can wear your favorite Sarah Donnell artwork close to your heart!

Printed on exceptional quality Epson Premium Semigloss Photo Paper using an Epson R1900 Stylus Photo printer with UltraChrome Hi-Gloss 2 resin coated pigment inks, these tiny artworks are just as stunning as an actual art print!

They are embedded in stunning 30 x 40 mm ornate pendant settings and hang from dainty ball chains.

At only $35 AU each, I hope you love them as much as I do!

x Sarah

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Wild Soul - painting process

Wild Soul didn't really begin as a painting with any strong idea behind it.  I was wanting to paint a type of Autumn Goddess, but did a bit of research on this and didn't really find any traditional Goddess figure that was appropriate.

I actually started this artwork wanting to depict a Scandinavian snowy woodland. However somehow I went back to my original idea of creating an Autumn artwork after seeing images of birch trees with yellow and orange leaves.

This is the first artwork I have covered up the hair of the figure and the first where I have painted fur.

The animals in this artwork have a very feminine energy (owl, vixen).

I was listening to Monsters and Men thoughout this entire painting process, particularly 'Empire'. So this artwork is inspired in part by this Icelandic band!

Despite the fact that this painting started as a kind of random artwork, I think she has finished strongly, with suggestions of Shamanism and the Wild Woman archetype present.

I especially love her emerald green Shamanic crystal necklace and hope to include more of these in future artworks. I am a crystal obsessed person and I can't believe I haven't thought of this before...


Initial sketch with snow details (would have been cute) 

Face painting. I have started to do a bit of shading around the eyes lately. 

Coat

Figure painted in. 

Before I changed the Season! 

Inspired by birch trees in Autumn. 

Love her little pendant. 

Wild Soul xx

Finished! 
I am planning to start work on paintings for my exhibition in August. I don't plan on releasing these until the exhibition date, however I will try to interweave these with works to sell immediately as we go along.

I hope you love Wild Soul.
You can purchase her very soon in my ETSY.COM store. Contact me if you are interested.

X Sarah

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! 

Awww

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!

Yes!!
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.

Enjoy
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 www.riotstores.com.au or www.dickblick.com

x Sarah

Friday, March 17, 2017

City and Colour - The Girl (Official Video)





I recently heard this song and was very moved by it.  Sweet lyrics and a soulful tune - love it x




The Girl
Dallas Green

I wish I could do better by you
'Cause that's what you deserve
You sacrifice so much of your life
In order for this to work
While I'm off chasing my own dreams
Sailing around the world
Please, know that I'm yours to keep
My beautiful girl
When you cry a piece of my heart dies
Knowing that I may have been the cause
If you were to leave, fulfill someone else's dreams
I think I might totally be lost
You don't ask for no diamond rings
No delicate string of pearls
That's why I wrote this song to sing
My beautiful girl
Oh, oh, oh, oh
One, two, one, two, three, four
I wish I could do better by you
'Cause it's what you deserve
You sacrifice so much of your life
In order for this to work
While I'm off chasing my own dreams
Sailing around the world
Please, know that I'm yours to keep
My beautiful girl
And when you cry a piece of my heart dies
Knowing that I may have been the cause
If you were to leave and fulfill someone else's dreams
I think I might totally be lost
But you don't ask for no diamond rings
No delicate string of pearls
That's why I wrote this song to sing
My beautiful girl
Oh, oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh
But you don't ask for no diamond rings
No delicate string of pearls
That's why I wrote this song to sing
My beautiful girl

Songwriters: Dallas Green
The Girl lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

Crossing the Water by Sylvia Plath


Source

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

Florence + The Machine - What The Water Gave Me





A powerful and watery tune for today.  I hope you enjoy x Sarah



What the Water Gave Me - Lyrics

Time it took us
To where the water was
That's what the water gave me
And time goes quicker
Between the two of us
Oh, my love, don't forsake me
Take what the water gave me

Lay me down
Let the only sound
Be the overflow
Pockets full of stones

Lay me down
Let the only sound
Be the overflow

And oh, poor Atlas
The world's a beast of a burden
You've been holding on a long time
And all this longing
And the ships are left to rust
That's what the water gave us

So lay me down
Let the only sound
Be the overflow
Pockets full of stones
Lay me down
Let the only sound
Be the overflow

'Cause they took your loved ones
But returned them in exchange for you
But would you have it any other way?
Would you have it any other way?
You could have it any other way

'Cause she's a cruel mistress
And the bargain must be made
But oh, my love, don't forget me
When I let the water take me

So, lay me down
Let the only sound
Be the over flow
Pockets full of stones

Lay me down
Let the only sound
Be the overflow

Lay me down
Let the only sound
Be the overflow
Pockets full of stones

Lay me down
Let the only sound
Be the overflow

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

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Gobinday - Snatam Kaur



Gobinday by Snatam Kaur

Gobinday Mukanday
Udaaray Apaaray
Hareeang Kareeang
Nirnaamay Akaamay
Gobinday Mukanday
Udaaray Apaaray
Hareeang Kareeang
Nirnaamay Akaamay
Gobinday Mukanday
Udaaray Apaaray
Hareeang Kareeang
Nirnaamay Akaamay
Gobinday Mukanday
Udaaray Apaaray
Hareeang Kareeang
Nirnaamay Akaamay


Love this song and the other wonderful tracks by this lovely lady.
Search her on youtube.
x Sarah

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 towels...it 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

Microcosm

Barely a Cloud