The Cassia Grove Studio, Wen Zhengming

“The Cassia Grove Studio” by Wen Zhengming (Chinese, 1470–1559), China via The Metropolitan Museum of Art is licensed under CC0 1.0

Yesterday I started moving my studio from the little room at the back of the house into the middle room. I’ve been thinking about doing this for a while, but yesterday was the day that the Spirit moved me to move and get on with it. It seemed like a major project because both rooms were full of stuff. The stuff that is useful but looks like it’s not because it is not organised or in context.

I’ve moved the sofa from the middle room into the little room, along with my table loom. It’s  a beautiful wooden sofa with a long cushion, perfect for afternoon naps. The little room looks beautiful and clean now.

Today I’m working on the middle room, at the moment the table in the middle of the room is fully extended and covered in works on paper, boxes full of more works on paper and model making bits, a cutting board, rulers, tape measures … little wooden assemblages. There are large pieces of cardboard, and pin boards stacked against the bookshelves. There are art materials and jars with brushes on the desk, the stool for the desk is stacked with more art supplies. I’m not sure what to do with the bones and small objects that I have used as subjects … do they go in the bin?! Surely not.

I’ll get back to it now and work away at it methodically. Looking at Wen Zhenming’s beautiful Cassia Grove studio for inspiration.



Colouring in

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve enjoyed playing with the Liquitex 48 Basic colours. I’m always interested to see what happens when I put one colour next to another, choosing colours is partially based on what I’ve already put down, but also on where I want the painting to go.

So that I can play with combinations and materials a little more, I’m developing some colouring pages. The first image “Flower 1” is a fairly simple image in black and white that can be printed out over and over again, and coloured as many different ways as I want.

Flower 1, Lynn M Cook, 2017

I drew the image in charcoal pencil on A4 Fabriano drawing paper, then scanned it. Then I turned the image into a pdf. I’ve printed the pdf out onto plain copy paper, a sheet of Ironlac canvas paper, and another sheet of Fabriano.

I’ll try some things out then post some images here.

If you’d like to try colouring the image you can purchase a download of the image here:

Colouring pages

for just $0.95 AUD.



After Matisse, Laurette in a green robe

After Matisse, Laurette in a green robe, January 2017
After Matisse, Laurette in a green robe, January 2017

This is the second week of paintings inspired by paint colours. This week I’m focussing on Magenta. There are two magentas in the Liquitex Basics box of 48 colours, Medium Magenta and Quinacridone Magenta.

The colour was one of the first synthetic colours produced, originally called fuchsine, as it resembles so closely the colour of fuchsias. Bizarrely the name was changed to magenta, after the Battle of Magenta, in the 1860s. Later in the 1930s the quinacridone colours were developed and, obviously, Quinacridone Magenta is one of those.

I was working from a reproduction of Matisse’s work, and I’m not at all sure that he was in fact using magenta, although the violet pink is very modern, as is the bright emerald of the Laurette’s robe. It’s interesting when you stop to copy a painting, and start to look at it, that you realise things, for example, that the black of the background is not the same as the black of the surround around the armchair. In my painting this is obvious. Matisse has managed a very deep blue black that encompasses the chair with only thin lines of white showing near Laurette’s head and feet.

Colours used:

  • Medium Magenta
  • Quinacridone Magenta
  • Naples Yellow Hue
  • Light Green Permanent
  • Phthalocyanine Green
  • Unbleached Titanium
  • Mars Black

studio log

Back in the studio today, I start by sweeping up and moving things that don’t belong in the studio out.
As I sweep I think that it’d be good to write a blog post each studio day, in the morning, writing about my thinking for the day, then in the afternoon, a review, what’s been done.
In the morning, now, I feel fragmented and as if I’ve got too many things to do, but by the afternoon I know that I’ll have achieved one or two things, I’ll have experimented at least, I’ll have calmed down. That’s what making art work does, on the whole, if you are working without too much pressure.

Allow myself the time, post this without over thinking it, then come back again this evening, and write a review.

Things done today:
1. drawing the dog until she decided it was time to go and bark at our neighbour
2. painting with Medium Magenta and Quinacridone Magenta – I copied a work by Matisse, Laurette in a Green Robe, Black Background from 1916. The chair Laurette is sitting in appears to be magenta.

who am I and why am I here?

I’ve come back to WordPress to set up a blog for my art business, that’s why I am here.

I’m an artist and a gardener and a housekeeper. I work in a call-centre part-time. That’s something that I do to earn a living and it’s something that I’m good at, listening to people, answering questions, helping sort out problems. But what I really like to do is have time by myself in the garden, or drawing, or looking at things. Sometimes reading and thinking. Sitting and watching the grass grow.

So to come back to why am I here, I am making more art and I want to share it. I’m wanting to engage in the art world, read, look, think, write, comment. This blog is a bridge between my real world and work, and the online world. It’s a way of communicating with real people that live in other parts of the world. It’s a way for me to collect things I’m interested in.

This post is a first pass, a draft, but I’m publishing it now, to come back to and add to later.