{ sunshine coast university hospital works }

Earlier in the year, I was commissioned by the Sunshine Coast University Hospital to produce a number of works to appear in the new hospital, due to open in April 2017. The works chosen were a mix of my botanical style paintings; and being the Sunshine Coast, I couldn’t go past including a big and bright pandanus tree!

‘Pandanus II’
Three of the ‘Banksia Integriflora’ prints
‘Banksia Integriflora’ and ‘Shell ginger’ prints hot off the press

I worked with a great local specialist in fine art photography and printing to capture four of my watercolour paintings and reproduce them to large A1 size prints. They were printed on gorgeous German etching paper, and being that my chosen medium is watercolour on paper I really loved that the look and feel of the prints felt much like the originals.

It was enjoyable to work on a project a little different than my usual, and I am very humbled to have them hanging in the hospital. I cannot think of a better purpose for them than to hopefully lighten a day, or give a moment’s respite to the people within those walls.

{ botanica 2016 }

Alpinia zerumbet – Shell Ginger. 700 x 930mm (framed)


Banksia baueri – Woolly Banksia. 700 x 930mm, framed (sold)
 Banksia in progress
 Ginger in progress
The two pieces before heading off for framing
I’m pleased to share these two paintings with you that were selected  for hanging at Botanica 2016. Shown annually, Botanica is Australia’s leading contemporary art exhibition and is open for the month of April at the Royal Botanic Gardens of Sydney. The exhibition has been running for 17 years, and attracts artist from across Australia and internationally, too. It is considered one of the foremost of its kind; so it’s a real honour to have my work hung there is such esteemed company.
This year, the theme for the exhibition was drawn from the site where the seeds of colonial Sydney’s first farm were sown – what is now the Royal Botanic Garden. I chose to capture one of the plants that was brought to Farm Cove with the First Fleet – the shell ginger – as well as a species that is native to the area, the woolly banksia.
The exhibition is open till this Sunday 1 May, at the Lions Gate Lodge (in the Botanic Gardens). Entry is free. All artwork is for sale as well – contact the exhibition curators and organisers, the Foundation and Friends on 02 9231 8182.

{ some recent work }

Detail of ‘Deep Garden’ 

Detail of ‘Moreton Bay Fig’ 

 ‘Deep Garden’ in progress… many veins in those frangipani leaves!

‘Deep Garden’ – 90cm x 120cm (framed)
Work-in-progress shot – these leaves took many, many layers from deep purples and browns through to fresh greens

The final piece, ‘Moreton Bay Fig’ – measured 104cm x 74cm (unframed)
It’s been a long time between posts – but I wanted to share a couple more larger commissions I’ve completed over the last few months. 
I have really enjoyed working on both of these pieces. It always begins as quite a challenge to compose these larger ones as the realism of the shadows and light is important to me; however it is inevitably difficult to find my ‘real’ references moving and fitting in the shapes I need! But of course these are the joys of art-making and why I love getting up every day to a new and different challenge. 
I will post again soon!

Pip x

{ new work available }

Pink Cymbidiums
Watercolour on Arches paper, framed in custom lime-washed timber under matt board and glass, 57.5cm w x 90.5cm h  (now SOLD) 

As 2015 draws to a close, I have been working feverishly to be able to release a small collection of works in time for Christmas. Between looming commission deadlines and lots of new projects already in the pipeline for next year, I wasn’t sure I would get enough done!
But I did manage to get there, and here are they are. I was slow to post this so three of the five have now sold, but Staghorn No. 1 and Cucina Italiana (What’s for dinner?) are still available for sale. To enquire on these please feel free to email me at pipspiro@gmail.com.
Hope you’re enjoying the festive season – many happy returns to you all!
Pip x

Breakfast of Summer
Watercolour on Arches paper, framed in custom lime-washed timber under matt board and glass, 91cm w x 67cm h (now SOLD)

‘Cucina Italiana’ (What’s for dinner?)  
Watercolour on Arches paper, framed in custom lime-washed timber under matt board and glass,  72.5cm w x 72.5 cm h

Staghorn No.1
Watercolour on Arches paper, framed in custom lime-washed timber under matt board and glass 69.5cm w x 91cm h

Banksia No.3 

Watercolour on Arches paper, framed in custom lime-washed timber under matt board and glass 46cm w x 59cm h (now SOLD)

{ a thing for staghorns }

It’s been so long since I have posted here that I’m not quite sure where to start! I want to share some of what has been keeping me busy this year though… so I will start with some stag horns. Last Christmas or so I started to become totally entranced by the majestic and stately presence of these plants. I kept seeing (noticing) them everywhere and my camera roll on my phone is testament to how intrigued I became with their reaching, falling fronds and bulbous cores that seem to be able to attach themselves and thrive just about anywhere. Also, the fact that they have come somewhat back in vogue means that they seemed to pop up on every Pinterest board and Instagram feed in reach; all of which put them top of mind when experimenting with some larger work a few months ago. 
Halfway through painting this, I knew that it I was going to find it hard to part with; so I did something I had actually not done yet (?!) – and decided to keep it for myself. Our home has old stucco walls and is all very white, white, white, so I chose to hang this in our sun-drenched living room, framing it in a (deliberately so) rather gaudy – but so gorgeous – gold gilt frame. I felt it needed something grand, and the gold has so much vibrancy in the afternoon sun. 

While I am sure I’ll feel the need to swap it out in time, I am enjoying having something of my own in our home for the moment. 
Thanks for stopping by… I’ll post again soon.
Pip x

Wrap up from FLEURT

The gallery on opening day – artwork on left by Matilda Julian, artwork on right by me, flowers in foreground by Sophia Kaplan

The gorgeous Sophia Kaplan wrapping some of her beautiful fleurs

Detail of ‘TRIUMPHANT’

A view through to the works of Ali Wood – image courtesy of @themainreason

Another of my pieces ‘DAWN LIGHT’

Gorgeous oils by Helen McCullagh

 My sister and I!

Hi there friends, I thought I should share some pics from the launch of Fleurt in Sydney the other weekend. It was a beautiful sunny day with people teeming from the gallery, enjoying the coffee and champagne and fresh flowers, plus of course the abundance of beautiful floral inspired artwork adorning the walls. The show has been a big success and remains open through till this Sunday 7 June (Saint Cloche is located at 37 Macdonald Street, Paddington).

The crisp Autumn weather has been the perfect backdrop for the show – you can see how the sun streams through the  glass facade into the space, which is filled with so many beautiful paintings, photography, ceramics and fresh flowers. From bright blowsy blooms in thick licks of oil, delicate and elegant floral ‘portraits’ through to gorgeous, brooding photography, it’s a beautifully curated show that is a feast for all the senses.

All my pieces have sold however there are still a few left to snap up, so pop along – there really is something for everyone!

Pip x

Upcoming Sydney Exhibition – FLEURT opening 23 May

Detail of ‘Dawn Light’ 77cm x 77cm. Watercolour on Arches paper, framed in lime-washed oak and glass
‘Majesty’ 34cm x 34cm. Watercolour on Arches paper, framed in lime-washed oak and glass

‘Triumphant” 86cm x 86cm. Watercolour on Arches paper, framed in lime-washed oak and glass

‘Spunk’ 34cm x 34cm. Watercolour on Arches paper, framed in lime-washed oak and glass

‘Amity’ 50 x 66cm. Watercolour on Arches paper, framed in lime-washed oak and glass

Hi everyone!

The above is a taste of some exciting new work that I will be showing in a group exhibition, opening May 23 in Sydney – called ‘FLEURT’. The show features the works of 6 painters (myself included), 2 photographers, a ceramicist and a floral designer, each exploring all things flora in what is looking to be an abundant and (hopefully!) rather beautiful show. 

FLEURT is presented by Saint Cloche Gallery in Paddington and curated by he very clever Amber Creswell-Bell, and runs daily from 23 May through till 7 June. 
I will be at Saint Cloche from 10am on Saturday the 23rd May for a champagne opening (along with all the artists)- so if you’re in the area please come say hi! The gallery even has their own barista and coffee set up so there’s no excuse, it’s the perfect antidote to the faded days of late Autumn.
Hope to perhaps see some of you there, and in the meantime I hope you like what you see.
Pip x
PS – All artworks are available for sale prior to and during the show – for purchase enquiries you may contact me directly at pipspiro@gmail.com or to the curator of the show, Amber Crewel Bell at amber@ambercreswell.com.

{ growing a pandanus }

It’s been a while since I’ve posted any work-in-progress pics so I thought I would share the journey of a pandanus painting from a few months ago. I always like looking back on these when planning for new work, particularly when I’m able to see how it came together in the end. I hope you enjoy them too!
See you soon,

{ recent work }

Bread & Jam‘ – 58 x 58cm (framed), watercolour on Arches paper


Detail of ‘Plate of Prawns’ – 38 x 38cm (framed), watercolour on Arches paper


A September Morning’ – 58 x 58cm (ramed), watercolour on Arches paper


‘Thinking; Reading; Contemplating’ – 62 x 62cm (framed), watercolour on Arches paper

Hello! Again it’s been far too long since I updated this blog but as the new year is now well and truly underway I wanted to show you a few of my paintings from late last year. The Christmas period is always my busiest time, and in 2014 this was more the case than ever!

In reflecting on another year gone, I realise how fortunate I have been with the commissions that I work on. It is such a pleasure to work with the open-minded people that come my way-  they have trusted me to just ‘create’; a position which is so fulfilling for me and inevitably always the best outcome for them. While I still love the commissions whereby I can take a ‘brief’ of a thing or flower or plant and bring that to life through paint on paper; I still really relish the space to try new techniques, subjects and ideas…. and see where the brush takes me.

Well thanks again for reading, and I will post again soon with new work again.

Pip x

{ prints available & recent work }

The First Picking – watercolour on paper completed for the 2014 Brisbane Mango Auction

Detail of The First Picking

Hello! These days my posts are so few and far between that I never quite know where to start so I thought I would take the chance to update you on a couple of things all at once…… starting with these ripe and juicy looking mangoes above.  
Last week I was lucky to have one of my pieces auctioned off as part of the 2014 Mango Auction, held at the Rocklea Fruit Markets here in Brisbane. It’s an inaugural event that has turned into a bit of an institution amongst the fruit and produce community; with the symbolic ‘first tray of the season’ always fetching big dollars to go towards their chosen charities of Diabetes Queensland and Life Education Queensland. 
These are both vital contributors to the future health and wellbeing of our state’s kids, and this year’s auction was a big success with the first tray sold for $30,000 – (yes that’s right, $30K for a tray of mangoes!). The other items (including my painting) fetched another $18,000 which brought the grand total raised on the day to $48,000.
It was such a positive event to be a part of – not only do the proceeds go to deserving causes, but I’m also so passionate about supporting our local produce growers & sellers, so it was really wonderful to be able to contribute in some way to this worthy event. 
‘Grevillea – Loopy Lou’ – prints now available through Museum of Brisbane
Another thing I’m pleased to let you know is that I have some new prints now available! The above piece – ‘Grevillea – Loopy Lou’ – has been released as a limited edition print through the Museum of Brisbane, and is available through their gallery shop in site at the MOB near Brisbane City Hall. The prints are A4 size and just $20; and can be purchased by contacting the shop directly by phone on +617 3339 0810 or email info@museumofbrisbane.com.au.
A commission – Jane & Tom’s Sugarcane
In the spirit of my very patriotic post I thought I’d finish it off with none other than some North Queensland sugarcane! This piece was a commission I completed recently as a wedding gift – from sisters to their sister (and new brother); who all grew up in the northern part of our state where this cane abounds. The newly married couple are childhood sweethearts and just lovely people, who celebrated their wedding day in their hometown with a beautiful night under the stars, in a big open field. It’s always so nice to be able to create something that has meaning and memories for the giver and receiver.
Well thanks for stopping by, I will post again soon as I have some new work coming to Black & Spiro later this week.
Pip x