I live in Gidgegannup, and took up watercolour painting more than ten years ago; I now paint wildflowers, shells, birds, animals and portraits. As a former science teacher, and a long-time member of the Wildflower Society of WA, I’ve always been interested in the natural world, and have admired botanical artists, such as Margaret Forrest (wife of Lord Forrest, WA’s first Premier), Ellis Rowan, an intrepid explorer of New Guinea and Australia, and Ferdinand Bauer, who painted his botanical works using a key of some hundreds of colours! I am a member of the Watercolour Society of WA, AGRA (the Australian Guild of Realist Artists) and the Botanical Art Society of Australia.
I also participate in the annual Mundaring Hills Open Studios, which happens in October every year, see https://www.mundaring-hills-open-studios.org.au/ Although this year it's been cancelled, sadly, we hope to have it up and running again in March 2021, and possibly October 2021 as well.
I have won many prizes, for photography as well as art, at local shows and exhibitions. Former Premier of WA Colin Barnett twice used my paintings of local native flowers on his Christmas cards – Nuytsia floribunda (the WA Christmas tree), and Eucalyptus erythrocorys (red-capped gum). A painting of some old binoculars, which belonged to my sea-captain great-grandfather, Thomas Brodie-Pow, and sea-shells which he collected on his travels, was a finalist in the Mortimore Prize for Realistic Painting. The Friends of Kings Park's bookmarks advertising their 2015 plant sales, features my painting of hakea fruits. I have twice won first prize at the Darlington Arts Festival, for photography – nature photographs (lichen, seaweed) taken on visits to Scotland. I have won trophies for the Best Art in Show/Most Points in the Art Section at the Gidgegannup Show, six times, and at the Kalamunda and Northam Shows. In 2018 a painting entitled "Woodie or woodie knot?" of pieces of wood which I collected in our bushland, was a finalist in the inaugural Splash Award for Contemporary Watercolour. (Sadly I didn't win the $30,000 first prize!)
In recent years I have travelled to China and Italy with the Watercolour Society of WA, for exhibitions of our work, and in December 2019 I went to India with a small group of fellow=artists for two weeks. These trips involve meeting and taking part in exhibitions with other artists, and are a great opportunity to learn new things, apart from being great fun, socialising with fellow WSWA members.
Several classes which I was to run this year have been cancelled, along with quite a few exhibitions I was taking part in. I'm hoping that at least some of the classes can be re-scheduled later in the year. In the meantime, I've been painting entries for the WSWA and the BASA online challenges.