Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Bookplates: Portrait of a book owner

I have been designing bookplates for people recently. Bookplates are a delightful way to reveal aspects of the book owner's character, interests or sense of humour. They can even be a bit wicked!

The bookplate below is for a family member who, luckily, has a great sense of humour. She is actually very generous in lending books, contrary to what this image shows:

Image: Bookplate by Alisa Perks. Gouache and watercolour on paper.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Growing food: Peach tree fruit fly control

Dear Readers

This post is about the art of food growing, because artists need to grow some food to survive!

The Queensland Fruit Fly ruins whole harvests of peaches if it is allowed to attack the fruit.

For the last two growing seasons, I have enclosed the best fruiting branches of the peach tree with fabric bags. This has meant 100% success with the fruit, with the peaches being completely protected from fruit fly attack.

Fruit fly exclusion bags
Image: Fabric bags on my peach tree protecting against Queensland Fruit Fly attack

I made the bags from inexpensive polyester organza from Lincraft fabric store. The bags are fitted over the branch when the peaches are still quite small, then they are tied firmly around the branch to create a seal. You can choose colourful fabrics to brighten up the garden if you wish!

For fruit that is outside these bags, I use splashbaits (it looks like Vegemite!), which gives seems to give about 70% protection against fruit fly attack.

There will be many delicious peaches to pick this coming January and I look forward to it!
 "Get out of my orchard, let my peaches be."  -William Harris, "Hot Time Blues", 1928

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Painting the kitchen

Sometimes I paint scenes inside the home, of everyday objects and happenings.

This washing up had just been done and was shining in the light from the window.

Drawing up this gouache painting, entitled "The Washing Up 2", made me feel a bit woozy because of the strange, warped perspective!

The Washing Up by Alisa Perks
Image: The Washing Up 2 by Alisa Perks. Painted in gouache on paper.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Swimming Pool

It is the swimming season now in Australia. The local public pool has opened and looks blue and inviting. It will be great to swim some laps there, then back-float and look up at the sky.

I painted this public pool (shown below) during winter when it was cold, still and quiet. The pool is in East Maitland, New South Wales and the painting is entitled "Swimming Pool".

Swimming Pool painting
Image: Swimming Pool by Alisa Perks. Painted in gouache on paper
PS. I have been designing bookplates for people recently, showing funny views of their interests and personalities. More about that soon.....

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Cath's House

Recently I had the privilege of painting a portrait of a friend's house. I thought that it should pay homage to her interests and say something about her, and be more than a view of her house.

She collects beautiful tins of different shapes and ages. There are also some fascinating light fittings inside her home which appear in the top of the painting.

Thanks to Cath for giving me this commission, entitled "Cath's House" (and for the permission to include it in this blog).

Cath's House painting by Alisa Perks
Image: Cath's House by Alisa Perks (gouache on paper): a portrait of a home and its owner.

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Coffee with friends

Cafés are wonderful places to meet and catch up with friends. During regular meetings with an artist friend, we'll draw what's on the table in front of us for practice while we talk. The image below, entitled "Fat Goose Crossing Café", evolved from one of our meetings:

Fat Goose Crossing Cafe painting by Alisa Perks
Image: Fat Goose Crossing Cafe by Alisa Perks. Painted in gouache on paper.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Travel posters

Sometimes I paint travel posters just for fun.

They portray well-known and sometimes, not-so-celebrated places:

Visit Barney Street by Alisa Perks
Image: Visit Barney Street by Alisa Perks. Gouache on paper. A travel poster just for fun!

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

A graphic style of painting

The Orphanage by Alisa Perks
Image: The Orphanage (detail), a painting by Alisa Perks

        My artwork is often  
        described as graphic 
        in its style.

        I like to use bold outlines
        in some works, with a
        simplified version of
        the subject.

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Cycling for fun, health and going places.


Cycling is a great way to get fit and see your town. My painting below, entitled "Going Places", depicts a cycleway through parklands; the ideal habitat for town cyclists:

Going Places painting by Alisa Perks showing cyclist in a park
Image: Going Places by Alisa Perks. Gouache on paper. Cycling in the parklands.

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Australia Telescope Compact Array

Australia Telescope near Narrabri NSW
Image: Compact Array 2 by Alisa Perks, a painting of the CSIRO Australia Telescope near Narrabri, NSW.

Hello and welcome to my blog. My name is Alisa Perks, and I am an artist living in the New England region of New South Wales, Australia. My primary painting medium is gouache, a water-soluble, opaque paint similar to watercolour. Gouache has a fine texture which allows me to control the brush to create very detailed images.

The light that we have here in this high-altitude region is very inspiring, and the muted colours of the landscape are very beautiful.

More soon.....