Bombay, India 1829 – London, England 1895
An Australian gold diggings [Australian gold diggings]
Place made: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Materials & Technique: paintings, oil on canvas
Dimensions: 70.5 h x 90.3 w Frame 87 h x 107 w x 5 d cm
Acknowledgement: Rex Nan Kivell Collection: The National Gallery of Australia and the National Library of Australia
A Maimeri Blu original Kathy Shell (Kathy is my artist's name, Ryn is my historical fiction author's name) watercolour on A1 size 500 gram Fabriano paper.
This artwork is Copyright © Kathy Shell 2016.
It was my ambition to capture the look of transparent water where you could see the stones at the base of the shallow stream, after a visit to Porepunka in south-east Victoria, Australia. There was a gymkhana in the town. I sat on a log, blissfully content painting en plein air. In the distance I could hear a man on a megaphone instructing the riders. I tuned the noise out, focused on my painting and seeking solitude, just me and the empty paddock, (field) and the creek as my view.
It became harder to block the noisy man and that megaphone out. He was shrieking into it.
His screams got through my tranquil mood—and I heard—"Will the girl on the horse jump GET OFF—The horses are coming!"
My share here isn't a purist's watercolour, I've added opaque watercolour to this work. This is my Kathy Shell (artist's name) watercolour and gouache (opaque watercolour) painting of possums. Ryn Shell is my author's name.
I create art across any mediums. This possum family portrait was started with the transparent Maimeri Blu brand watercolour background and the details were applied with Maimeri Gouache.
This artwork was painted on 500gram Fabriano 100% rag content med texture paper. Possums (not the same as the US opossum) is a favourite Australian wildlife subject for me. They now appear in my novels too, my love of them transition across my creative mediums.
When I added pottery sculpture to my art exhibitions, possums featured too. I love watercolours. I've been enjoying looking at all of your works. I'll share some of my Australian watercolours with you as a contrast to your lovely predominately Northern Hemisphere artworks.
The artwork is copyright © Kathy Shell 2016
That is our Eucalyptus Ficifola or red flowering gum the possums are eating. They also love my apples, lemon tree bark and roses, but I grow enough for all of us. I live in harmony with the nature around me. By providing a possum shelter they don't try to nest in your roof.
Original Oil Painting, on canvas board
board is very slightly bowed, this will flatten in a frame.
The canvas board has been trimmed at one end to a 10" x 12" Size.
25cm x 30.5 cm
Noted Artist Kathy Shell
Formerly of the multi-award winning Buninyong Gallery.
This work is one of the artist's 1980s paintings and is signed K Shell
It is a beautiful scene of the Yasawa Islands, the northern chain of the Fijian Islands.
Yasawa Islands Archipelago
The Yasawa Group is an archipelago of about 20 volcanic islands in the Western Division of Fiji, with an approximate total area of 135 square kilometers.
Photos of the Yasawa Islands of Fiji
What we loved about the Yasawa Islands was the way that all of the twenty or so islands in the long chain of islands, dramatically jutted out of the sea. We sat on the deck of a small cruise ship listening to guitar music and islanders singing, the best of Yasawa and guitar centr culture combined, as we gazed up at rugged mountain peaks towering above water, a few hundred meters in front of us. Four of the islands jutted upward to a stunning six-hundred feet.
My art exhibition, which paid for our cruise to the Yasawas, had featured both a popular exhibition of Flinders Ranges artwork and pre-packaged fragrant pots with essential oils. It had been a hit. I'd improved to the basic fragrant pot design with sculptural elements. Pottery of course being my other passion which complimented my paintings at art shows.
The Yasawa Islanders survive on the local agriculture, fishing and tourism. While I was visiting the Yasawa Islands I bought some of their pit fired rake pottery to bring home.
Perfectly named. The Yasawas is still a get-away-from-it place where Fiji-time exists.
Nothing happens in a hurry, stop watching the clock, relax.
Until 1987, the Yasawa Group was closed to land-based tourism. This was when we visited the Yasawas. It was a totally unspoiled my Western culture natural paradise. We purchased shells from the local people during the day and returned to our cruise ship at night.
Our seven day Blue Lagoon Cruise on the Yasawa Princess was the most expensive holiday we had ever taken. It was decades ago and I booked it on the spur of the moment after one brilliant art sales day, on the day before Mother's Day.
The islands, when we visited them, were in pristine condition. There were no roads nor throngs of tourists heading to the remote villages.
If dancing with the Yasawans on a hillside isn't your thing for exercise there is the magnificent coral reef surrounding the Yasawa Islands.
Island pastimes for the tourist included book reading, hammock resting, cocktail sipping, swimming, snorkelling and a jaunt out on a boat to visit the Sawa-i-Lau caves.
A favorite Yasawa Island pastime of mine was laying on a beach beneath a tree watching birds.
Stroll with someone you love along a pristine beach in the moonlight...
...or at sunset...
My husdand and I have experienced Fiji-time, in Fiji, twice in our lives. Wonderful memories.
Nanuya LailaiThe island of Nanuya Lailai is dotted with palm trees and surrounded by a coral lagoon. It was here we experienced a 'Lovo' dinner of baked fish wrapped in palm leaves and cooked in a dug-out pit in the ground. Dinner was on a beach lit by fire torches and moonlight.
Sawa i lau Caves
These caves featured in both the 1949, and 1980 filming of the romance adventure film The Blue Lagoon.
While the Sawa i lau Caves is considered a must-do tourist activity, it was the least enjoyable and most forgettable part of our Yasawa experience.
While we loved our days snorkelling over the reef and evenings watching sunsets and marvelling at the beauty of the islands and its people, the cave experience, billed in the tourist brochure as, 'the very heart of the Yasawas' was interesting and unpleasant. The tourist brochure did not mention being bitten by tiny sea creature we couldn't see but certainly could feel. That was not something we fancy repeating just to swim into a cave and look up at a hole in the 'cathedral' ceiling.
The caves experience comes with its interesting folk law; the story goes that a young Chief once safely settled with his betrothed in the cave after her family threatened to marry her off to a rival Chief. Every day he would swim into this hidden grotto with food for the girl until eventually they both escaped to the safety of another island and to be together forever.
The Sawa i lau Caves are said to be the sacred resting place of the ten-headed ancient Fijian god, Ulutini. It seemed as if Ulutini wanted us out of his cave and sent sea lice to bite us.
Several strong swimmers in our group swam underwater through a submerged natural tunnel to enter the second cavern while my husband and I backtracked out of the cave as fast as we could.
The island Nanuya Levu (now called Turtle Island) is private and is an exclusive resort used by the rich and famous Permission is still required to visit all islands in the Yasawa group except Tavewa.
The home of the Tui Yasawa, the Paramount Chief of the Yasawa Islands, is at Yasawa-i-Rara, on Yasawa Island.
No one knows which artist was the first to use a camera obscura. Aristotle described the technique in the 4th century BC.
In the 15th century AD Leonardo da Vinci wrote a description of the camera obscura, though it is not probable he used such as an artist. It has been suggested (though not proved) that 15th century Flemish painters used it.
Some claim, the camera obscura was not invented until the 16th century.
We do know that Jan Vermeer and other Dutch artists used this early version of the camera, in the 16th century.
While I prefer to paint from life, there are some paintings that are best created from a photograph, such as this pastel painting of Georgia. I used Georgia's painting to add to a watercolour painting of Lake Wendouree and a photo of a dog, to create the cover for To Kill in Flood.
Visual images speak louder than words.
"If you don't move, you get fat”. This statute was part of an advertising campaign by Advertising Agency: Scholz & Friends, Hamburg, Germany
Kathy Shell watercolour painting of the haze over the Gong from the Enfield Forrest blaze.
I took an art class to paint at The Gong, the upper part of the historic Botanical Gardens in Buninyong. While we painted the sky turned an incredible colour to match the autumn foliage.
No, it wasn't a sunset. Us country folk knew we were looking at a bushfire haze and some left to get back to their rural properties.
What I painted was the start of a massive Enfield Forrest blaze.
Enfield State parks are a haven for wildlife. They were once goldfields ann the home of miners tent camps. Diggers poured into the region from around the world during Victoria’s gold rush. In late winter through spring, park visitors will be rewarded with a wildflower display.
I acknowledge the Aboriginal Traditional Owners of Victoria - including its parks and reserves. Through their cultural traditions, Aboriginal people maintain their connection to their ancestral lands and waters. Further information is available from Aboriginal Affairs Victoria AAV and Native Title Services Victoria
Portrait of Leanne, by Kathy Shell.
I do love this Kathy Shell portrait painting, and the sitter, because the eyes speak so much of the personality of the person so close to me.
This work has a character that you don't get from photorealism. You can tell that this is art as all the pencil renderings can be seen. It hasn't been overly refined. As soon as the artist has 'told the story,' they stop and do not fiddle and ruin it. I was inspired by the beautiful portraits of the artist, Margaret Cilento, to produce this artwork.
When I first saw Margaret Cilento's portrait of this girl, it shocked me that she had captured such sadness in a child's eyes. Yet, I loved it, because the artist saw the black dog of depression that would follow the girl. Now that is a real artist, one who can see into the mind of their sitter and capture personality and not just an outer image.
I gave the girl Cilento's portrait of her, and I kept this one, my portrait of her, and my attempt to capture in art those beautiful, expressive eyes. I treasure this artwork and keep it on show in my home, a reminder of a girl, now a woman, I love and am proud of.
Margaret Cilento b. 1923 - 2006Also known as Phyllis Margaret Cilento, Margaret Cilento-Maslen
A Kathy Shell portrait painted in pastel pencils completed during my commissioned portraitist days.
This shows how important my Rural-Lit novels are to me, that I gave up such a successful painting career to focus on writing.
A realist portrait such as this would have represented a months work. Writing a novel, or a series of novellas takes me a year.
I far prefer impressionist art, or writing, it is more creative. Photo realism is nothing more than painstaking copying. I can say that because I can do it. It isn't art; it's craft, and easier to learn to do than fine art. I'm not an admirer of photo realism—I just did it, for a few years only, for clients who wanted art to look like a photo.
After I completed this work, I never made another photorealist painting again. I do not even exhibit this work. I cannot see it as art. I'm not proud of having spent a month copying a photo. Not my finest creative moment.
To me, art should set itself aside from a photo and be so much more.
More About the Author › Visit Amazon's Ryn Shell Page
Faith bear and Golden Bunny rose painted in the artist's studio.
All images are © copyright to Kathy Shell 2016
Original Kathy Shell oil paintings of roses.
These Kathy Shell original artwork were available as gift cards at her art exhibitions This work was completed in Gouache.