Thursday, April 17, 2014

Still life painting & tapestry weaving

This was a small still life acrylic painting I did a month ago when there were plenty of peaches around.  I looked at Itten's Elements of Colour" and tried some unusual harmonious tertiary colours as my palette.  I was about to start a huge tryptich and wanted to experiment with colour.  The theme is Matisse's indoor compositions and paintings - lots of colour and pattern. The large one is still in progress 1m x 2.2m in size.

Acrylic painting - after Matisse

This is a small woven tapestry on the theme Light and Shade that I have just entered in the annual tapestry challenge that is exhibited in New Zealand and Australia. Images are eventually all shown on Flickr.

Light and shade

Monday, March 17, 2014

Morocco - my latest book

This is my latest Blurb book on Morocco.  You can see the whole book here.  Just click the arrow.





Saturday, March 15, 2014

Some Acrylic Paintings

This semester I am doing an art course called "Matisse - from his room to yours" with Michael Winters.  I always enjoy his courses as he pushes my boundaries and I do things I never thought I could do or even wanted to do. This course looks at Matisse's paintings of indoors scenes and the way he composes, uses colours and applies paints.

At first we photographed lots of angles in our own home that might be appropriate.  We converted these to black and white so we were not influenced by reality colours.  We chose two of these initially and did graphite and coloured pencil drawings on A3.  They were then converted into small canvas paintings in acrylic.  Things were to be stylised, one was to have a border, and one was to have one colour used for 80% of the painting.

Art course on Matisse's indoor paintings

Art course on Matisse's indoor paintings

Art course on Matisse's indoor paintings I then painted this somewhat larger still life made from a cluttered arrangement of objects on a patterned textile. Matisse used pattern and textiles a lot. It was first painted loosely in burnt umber and white. Acrylic glazes were then added to it giving some colour but allowing the background to show through.

Sunday, February 16, 2014


Recently I went to a monoprint weekend workshop  with  Jo Hollier, a well known printmaker.  We had a lot of fun working with gelatin plates and stencils as well as trace and reduction monoprints.  We did some by hand printing and some with a pass through the press.  I have uploaded some onto Flickr and here they are here.

Gelatin Monoprints by hand

Gelatin Monoprints by hand

Gelatin Monoprints by hand

Gelatin Monoprints by hand

Gelatin Monoprints by hand

Gelatin Monoprints by hand

Gelatin Monoprints by hand

Trace Monoprint

Trace Monoprint

Reduction Monoprint

Reduction Monoprints by hand and press

Monoprint using acetate stencils in 4 layers

Monoprint using acetate stencils in 4 layers

Ghost print of a monoprint using acetate stencils in 4 layers

Monoprint on Lutradur (polyester) using acetate stencils

Monoprints from Jo Hollier's weekend workshop

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Mixed Media Paintings

Recently I spent a full week at the 'Summer Art Experience' run by the Artists Society of Canberra. I did a class in Mixed Media with tutor Marijke Greenway whose work I admired when she taught last year, and also from her website.  This is at

These are 4 paintings that I was reasonably happy with.

The first is a small sample of painting (or pouring paint) on to unsized canvas on the floor.  My large one needs to be redone as with a leg problem I had trouble bending down to the floor and my creativity deserted me.

This next acrylic painting was on stretched canvas. Marijke had many photos of her trip to the Kimberleys in northwest Australia and became the inspiration for a painting.

These bell like flowers are from the Eucalyptus Caesia - the canvas was prepared with tissue paper and gesso. I think a different subject would have showed the texture better from this technique.

This Grevillea flower was done with oil pastels on a piece of board painted black. It was interesting to try but not a medium I really like with its oily feel.

We also tried painting with inks but I didn't have much variety in colour, so used some cheap food  dyes. They sort of worked but run very easily when adding layers so I abandoned them. I need to experiment more with different media and supports this year. In February our Wednesday painting group will start again. I'll probably return to pastels for a while but also acrylics as I'm doing Tuesday afternoon classes with Michael Winters.  The course is called 'Matisse:from Matisse's room to your room.'  The classes are from the Centre for Continuing Education at ANU at

Monday, November 25, 2013

My book on my travels to the U.S.S.R. and Eastern Europe by car in 1969

This is my latest book that I have done using Blurb Booksmart.  I have just uploaded it and it will be 2 weeks before the book arrives. It is for sale through the Blurb online bookstore.  You should view it in fullscreen mode so you can read the print.




Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Tapestry Weaving

It's been a long time since I posted any weaving on this blog but now is the time!  Today I went to the Textiles Workshop in the Canberra School of Art and was present for the cutting off of the Canberra Centenary Community Tapestry. There is a blog on it at canberra100communitytapestry. This has been a huge project all year by both experienced tapestry weavers and some beginners after instruction.  It is part of the Canberra Centenary.  This photo was taken just before it was cut off.  I only contributed a small amount of weaving but it was most exciting.  Annie Trevillian was the designer.  Those familiar with Canberra can find an amazing lot of features, both historic and natural.  It will hang in the Legislative Assembly from early December.

Canberra Centenary Tapestry finished

Many are making small tapestries on Canberra to hang with the large one for a short time.  This is a small (approximately A4) tapestry that I have done.  Mine is an interpretation of Floriade which occurs every spring in Commonwealth Park.  There are lots of flower beds, especially wih bulbs. I used French knots to make them!

Tapestry weaving for the Canberra Centenary

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Photo Book on Bhutan

Bhutan: land of the thunder dragon by Ruth Lathlean | Make Your Own Book

This is my photobook of Bhutan where I recently spent 15 days.  You may view all the pages (use full screen for the best view) or purchase it online through the Blurb bookstore. Hope you enjoy the pictures. I am waiting for the printed copy to arrive.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Still life abstracts

It has been such a long time since I lasat posted anything.  But of course I have been to Bhutan and am currently working on a photo book which I will post here eventually.  I have also returned to my Wednesday art group.  I finished the acrylic painting (red background)  that I began in Michael Winter's class just before I went away.  My last post included this unfinished, but here it is finished.  It was inspired by the work of Piet Mondrian with a mosaic background with straight lines.

I have now just finished another painting with a blue background.  The still life came from my head, not reality.  I used warm colours for the objects and cool colours for the background - more or less. I also added curved lines as they appealed to me.

Still life abstract

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Still Life for the Adventurous - a workshop

The last two weekends have been full on drawing and painting with the well known tutor Michael Winters.  We worked as usual in the semi rural environment of Strathnairn on the edge of Canberra.  We were working with three different still life setups and looking at images and books by the three artists - David Hockney, Piet Mondrian and Patrick Caulfield.  Their styles were very different and all varied over time as well.  So it was really hard getting one's head around the differences to make drawings and paintings.  I still have one to complete.  Here are some of my works and studio views.

Still Life - after Patrick Caulfield
Still Life - after Patrick Caulfield
Still Life - a view in our studio Still Life - after David Hockney Still Life - my first attempt with fractured background Still Life -  After Piet Mondrian in acrylic This is my last post for a while as I am off to Bangkok on Friday and then on to Bhutan for 2 weeks.