Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Wonder of Colour - Slugs, Gems, Buttons, Beads and Feathers

A friend emailed me photos by a brilliant underwater photographer, David Boubilet and I just have to share with you this fascinating photo of what I imagine are sea slugs. Aren't the colours just mind boggling? I adore them and they are such an appealing pair!

While writing about colour I have to introduce a wonderfully talented friend who lives with her husband in a lovely house, built by him -  a glorious unspoilt rainforest hideaway behind the Sunshine Coast.  She is Renee Blackwell of Renee Blackwell Design ( and in the peaceful surroundings of her bush studio, she creates exciting and unique jewellery using gemstones, ethnic beads and buttons which she seeks out from all around the world. Her designs are so striking and many of the colours combined are beautifully subtle, so that they can grace any attire. Be sure to look at her website and her blog.

Rings created from vintage German and French Metal Buttons (Brass and Pewter) set in sterling silver.


Swarovski Crystal
Vintage French Button 1940's
Vintage Bronze German Button
Set in Sterling Silver

Top:Dark Smokey Topaz
Middle:Picture Jasper
Bottom:Fossilised Dinosaur bone (found in the Australian outback!)  cut and polished and set in sterling silver.

Of course I must mention the breathtaking colours I find in feathers which I employ for my Images de Plumes. They never cease to make me wonder at nature. Here is a collection of just a few in a picture I sold in Tasmania recently.

Elegance - dressed with the feathers of an Emu, a Peacock, a Rainbow Lorikeet, a Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, a Cattle Egret and a Pheasant Coucal together with the hair of a Turkish Swimming cat.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Feathers, Fur, Snakeskin and Butterfly Wings

The rainforest holds so many secrets, yet many we never see unless we are lucky. Nevertheless we can hear them -the rustle in the undergrowth, the plop of a berry falling from a tree, a thump as some little mammal leaps past, a cry or call of some hidden bird in the canopy, the trickle of water, the quiet slither of a reptile and in between all that, the silence as a butterfly shimmers past.. Here I have tried to capture some of these secrets using the adornments nature has given them, feathers, fur, snakeskin and butterfly wings.

This is only a small picture and the birds are barely two and a half centimetres in size - they were quite a challenge, while the butterflies were even greater challenges! Well I put it down to experience, but this sort of picture is not really "me" so I doubt I will repeat it, but we must take on challenges as they come, and some you win and some you lose. The picture is being exhibited in an exhibition opening here in Maleny next Saturday 12th December at the Maleny Artworks Gallery ( The Director, Ken Munsie had the great idea of getting artists to take a grid from a map and create something applicable to that grid. As you can see I took a local rainforest area. It will be fascinating to see what all the artists have come up with.