4 paintings /’the jig’

I saw a post on social media : ‘Buy local- a local person will dance a little jig when a sale happens’.

It’s true. Artists and songwriters work so hard to get to the point where they’re selling work online or otherwise. Often they (we) spend many thousands of hours-not hundreds. 

It does require huge commitment. There’s sacrifices to be made.  Support or understanding from a lot of folks isn’t always forthcoming. 

Something keeps you going: Passion. You do it without any thought of not doing it. There is no ‘Shall I this week? ‘ about it-especially once you’ve got to the stage that it’s your living. 

crativity journey

I’ve been Up to my usual tricks. Over the school holidays I Finished off 4   1.5 m seascapes paintings (see painting in progress pics below), did two gigs, two cartoons with kids sessions, demoed 12 songs . Then another 12 songs, which I recorded to a click track and added ( keys) bass. 

Here’s what I did to the house while my family were away for the week- plus I trashed my studio: painting out there, recording, gig gear coming and going. 

lounge crop2

I had the  4 paintings displayed so I could walk in with a fresh set of eyes and see what needed to be done. On the table is my music computer. 2 mics one set up for vocals & 1 inside the piano (I got inspired when listening to a Tom Petty live concert while painting)…


Then the school term started again: 30 odd piano students on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Plus I’ve taught myself the drums this year, in between lessons, using the school’s kit. . So much fun. it was great to be back behind the drums.I enjoyed playing along to my new song sketches, trying to think like a drummer. Then I sleep in on Thursday. Then I often work til 3 am Friday morning , then til 1 or 2 am Saturday. I take Saturday off to be with my family. Sunday I’m at an at the arts market- takes the whole day : 6 am – 6 pm. 

Why?   Passion.  I believe in what I’m doing-there’s a lot to do and we all have a limited time on earth. It requires a lot of hours each week to keep on top of the art and music I’m doing.

passing of time 

I’m so looking forward to recording more albums. Lots planned. The band album is coming along, just getting more drum audio off Dan the drummer and I’ll it’ll be really taking shape. It’ll be great to get these songs finished and online. I’ve been listening to the album on my commute  3 or 4 times a week. Making notes of things to change, things to try. Eg guitar down in volume in the bridge, vocal harmony ideas, a phrase that I need to Re-sing, etc. 

Last night I made up 15 seascape prints for tomorrow’s arts market, then did some band album fixes to 2am

It’s been fun way to make a living to this point. 1000s of gigs done, 60 big seascapes sold,  about 11,000 children’s books, 1000s of cartoon animals, 5000 piano albums and other music albums, sheet music, etc.

Thanks to all those who’ve helped me dance a little jig – and feed my family. 

To all the artists and musicians , other creative folk: keep going. The world needs your perspective. the arts lift us. You’re doing  great things. May you dance many jigs. 

pigs dance small for blog wwwHere’s some ‘work in progress’ pics of a painting:

laptop paintigng

I use my laptop to enlarge reference pics to look at as I draw and paint.

For some sections I draw quite detailed guide lines on the canvas. Here I’m sketching where the shadows in the trees will be.


Here’s the same section painted (the pencil work above is about midway along the cliffs).

painted trees

For the trees I’ll paint a dark colour over the shadows. add a lighter green for the bright parts. then paint a mid tone. Then i’ll go back and add lighter highlights and more detailed lines/shadows. Same Process for the cliffs -using orange/brown /grey colours.


Here you can see the Beach boxes coming along (note the half finished bush, water and buildings.

boxes pencil

The false stroke of blue through the boxes is light enough to disappear once it’s painted over. Acrylics are semi-transparent so it pays not to go too bold too early.

I’m adding the colour now.

boxes more colour

I block in the squares of different colour, then go back over with more colour, shadows and highlights

I’m about to start the steps to the beach, having got the scrub happening.

fine brush

Note the fine brush. it’s great for details (my eyes are not quite what they used to be!)

Here’s the almost finished painting.

full pic www

Fishermans beach, Mornington Vic, Australia. 1.5m