Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Payne's Grey watercolour skies

Payne's grey:
a dark blue-grey pigment/colour used in painting.

Saturday was one of those hot, humid, hazy early summer days that ended in a rapid drop in temperature. The afternoon sky became heavy and distant growls promised a shower to cool the on-coming evening.

With the flurry of next-day market preparations over, hubby suggested a picnic tea in one of our favourite parks.
Something so simple just makes everything seem, and taste, so good – and was very welcome.
Spontaneous moments.

To top it all off, wondrously dark grey clouds began to glower overhead, drawing a swelling, swirling, charcoal veil over the dusk blue sky. 

There’s something about clouds. I love them. Amorphous, wispy, billowy, celestial marshmallows.

They can portend storms, herald a cool change and give our inner child the chance to dream awhile as we gaze up at them, imagining shapes and making up stories from their ever-changing forms. Yes, I’m such a dreamer :)

And, fair weather cumulus clouds are a landscape artist’s ideal, lending charm, character and atmosphere to their work.

These photos were taken just before 9pm as we took a final walk around the grounds. Apologies for the rather grainy photos – I forgot to put my camera on night setting.

a portal peering through to the twilight blue 

 here, I imagined a large, leaden zeppelin looming ominously overhead

taken from the car on the way home

  star light, star bright, first star I see tonight…

Things have a way of happening fortuitously sometimes. The next day, I found my stall site was next to an artist who paints wonderful watercolours.

Vivienne Hayes artwork is inspired by the beauty of her homeland, New Zealand, and the suburban streetscapes around Melbourne, where she now calls home.

The interesting perspectives on her everyday scenes, juxtaposed with her trademark clouds, capture micro-moments in time forever.
Vivienne takes the often mundane, well weathered and worn and makes them even more beautiful through her painterly eyes.

I was particularly drawn to the concertina cards, which she calls her “cloud street” series. These are one-of-a-kind, hand painted originals, and each one is only 7cm x 7cm.

marvellous miniature masterpieces
photo with kind permission from Vivienne Hayes

and, I am now the proud owner of this series
my photo
The natural beauty of her skies and the linear, often architectural, man-made elements, compliment each other so well. They are painted in such a way that neither dominate the scene. Allowing appreciation of both without distraction.

And, who wouldn’t like a set of Christmas cards with simply lovely, subtle, ethereal trees such as this?

photo with kind permission from Vivienne Hayes

I’m hoping Vivienne will bring out printed sets for next year.

If you’d like to see more of Vivienne’s work, please check out her blog ahttp://burntumberbyviv.blogspot.com.au/

And so, I have to bring my own head down from the clouds and prepare. I have just been notified that there is a vacancy for a stall at the final Christmas markets next Sunday and have put my hand up for it!  No rest for me :)

Bye for now, see you with some of my market pics next post!


  1. You are not alone in loving clouds. All of them. Magical things. Though I do wish that some rain bearing ones would come my way.

    Those concertina cards are amazing. How did you limit yourself to one? I will go and check out her blog in a minute - thanks for the link.

    I hope your next market is a roaring success - and that you have a wonderful Christmas.

    1. Oops, sorry. I forget to hit 'reply' and often post a new comment instead - response to your kind comment is below.

      mumbles to self..."must stop and think before replying" :D

  2. Yes, I think clouds are universally loved by many. I hope there is the chance of a shower or two on the horizon for you.

    I found it very difficult to limit myself to one series. They are so lovely - even more so in person. Photos don't do the delicate washes justice. I will have to speak to Vivienne about buying another set that I had my eye on.

    Thank you - the markets are set in old convent grounds and a lovely place to be.

    Warm christmas wishes to you and your family - and a cuddle to Jazz & Jewel :)

  3. GORGEOUS sky images, Vicki! We've been having a LOT of Payne's Grey sky days here, as we also did while in the US a few weeks ago. I love the quality of the atmosphere and sky these days before the Solstice--very magical! LOVELY cards by Vivienne Hayes. That one at the end, wit the simple tree--stunning! Wishing you much fun with your last fair! :o) Happy Days ((LOVE & HUGS))

    1. It is a magical time Tracy - there's something in the air...
      Looking forward to seeing what you've got 'brewing' in your studio :D xx

  4. This is the first blog I read this morning, what a way to start my day! The clouds in your photos just don't seem real.
    I want that Chrtistmas tree card!

    1. Hi Tracey! Yes, the atmosphere was awesome and those clouds were so surreal - just had to blog about them :)
      And, how lovely is that tree? I really hope Vivienne has sets printed, I think we'd all buy them.

      Thanks so much for dropping by :)

  5. i can't believe you would apologize for your pictures! what graininess? i think they're breathtaking!!!
    and i can see the zeppelin too. so beautiful. you know clouds are among my favorite things. especially those that might seem dark and ominous. such power ~ they are just the more beautiful for it! your night scene with the single star. oh how lovely.
    and vivienne is talented. what gorgeous water colors.
    you're a busy elf.
    it seems strange to hear you say early summer! but i know that's what it is where you are!!! this world is so wonderful.
    love dear gypsy girl!

    1. Thank you dear Tam :)

      I too love the dark, stormy, rain bringing clouds the most. I get goosebumps.

      Hugs to you on the other side of the weather wheel :) xox

  6. Wonderful pictures. So much beauty in the quality here.


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