MY DEBUT AS A MOVIE EXTRA _ AND PAINTING WITH OILS

The Yellow Turban

The Yellow Turban


IT’S NEVER TOO LATE TO START SOMETHING NEW


I am NEVER going to jump out of a plane! A lady at my Mother’s nursing home is about to turn 100 years old and this is how she is going to to celebrate. Personally my preference is to exit via the stairs with my legs and arms intact .

However I did once read that Capricornians are late bloomers and look old and wise when they are young and young when they are old. (I like that last bit). So lately I have been doing some “late blooming”

Last year I spent 3 days working as an extra in a feature film. It was literally the best fun ever! Some of you may know that my son-in-law is a film director/writer. He has followed his passion from a young age (not a Capricorn!) I admire his single mindedness and passion to succeed in a hugely competitive field, working from the world’s most remote capital city, Perth.

So when I saw that my daughter had put a shout out on her Facebook page for extras in his latest movie I was sad to see I was a little out of the specified age group. I sent her a sad face. “Nope.. you will be fine” was her reply and I duly signed up with the extras casting director.

The first day of filming was just down the road in the village of Darlington. I was required to sit outside the cafe and drink coffee and eat cake. Obviously, they believed in casting true to type. Then I had to walk past the female lead, a lady near my age who was carrying a Red Kelpie pup wrapped in a blanket.

‘Carol’, the lead actor, thought it looked a little odd that we did not speak as we passed, the result being that I was given 2 words to say… “Hi Carol” I am obviously a natural as I learnt my lines instantly. A promotion on my first day!

Every so often someone would come over and move a strand of my hair, dab on some blusher and ask if I wanted a coffee. I could get used to this.

The next day I had to be at The Innaloo Cinema at daybreak. My daughter, Zoe (pregnant with Indigo) was there and we had to stand either side of a red carpet while a dog walked down the centre. Our legs were famous. We then sat in the cinema and once again I was promoted to the front row, sitting next to Carol as her friend from “Dunolly” Favouritism? Of course! It pays to be nice to your Mother in Law. ;) The adult Kelpie was starring in this scene. How fascinating to see the trainers working with these talented canines.

My final day was also shot close to home in the Boya Quarry. Wore my steel caps and a reflective vest. I played a visitor to a mine site in Karratha.

By this stage you can probably guess what Australian movie this is. I had a ball and look forward to the special premiere. I know I will be horrified to see my face on a big screen…it was the taking part that was fun.

Which brings me to oil painting. When I started painting in 2017 I was very resistant to trying oils. Too messy (me and the paint), too smelly, too slow to dry etc. Fortuitously, a friend, Mary, gifted me her late Father’s oil paints. They would be easily 40 years old. I had to soak the lids in turps for 2 weeks to get them off. But lo and behold, the paint was perfect.

I painted my first oil portrait, painting by instinct. It was probably the best painting I had done at that point. But also experimenting with oils was FUN. Mary said her Dad would be thrilled that I was using his paint. I like to think he was guiding me. Now I am working on my 3rd and 4th oil paintings which I hope to show in an exhibition in December. Also in Darlington. Don’t tell anyone, but I think I may love oils.

It is never too late to let go of your pre-conceived ideas and try something new.

GO FOR IT!

Louise xx

69587032_10219852785779801_508252329431007232_n.jpg

I still have some prints of ‘The Yellow Turban’ available, after selling some at my exhibition. If you would like to buy one email me at louisethorpe@iinet.net.au or via the contact page.

FROM KOALA IMPERSONATOR TO EXHIBITING ARTIST

large face

The twisted trail to my solo show


When I was 17 I had to decide whether to follow the path of journalism or art. My carefully considered decision was mainly based on the fact that the art students looked cooler and I would not have to learn to type.

I worked briefly for a fashion design company and then for 2 years as an industrial artist. This was very dry work but fun as the whole art department was under the age of 25. I married the artist two desks away and came to Australia.

My first job here was for cinema advertising. In those days the ads were put on to glass slides and hand coloured. Goodness, that makes me sound at least 120!

The heady world of advertising agencies beckoned. A friend was going travelling and asked if I wanted to take over her job. It was an Alice in Wonderland experience for a quiet 23 year old. Long lunches, much champagne and wild parties. The first two years that I was there, the agency hired a whole floor of the building for the Christmas Party. The first year we turned the space into an ice castle…the second year it was a tropical jungle. The next year the agency went broke! I freelanced for other agencies for about another 8 years before realising it was time for a change from the frantic deadlines. Also I was finding it harder to tell fibs on the phone when everyone was out at the pub and I was making excuses to clients who wanted to know why there was nobody in the office to discuss their account with.

A position came up with a very large and successful childrens’ wear company.

My job was amazingly varied. We designed all the prints and embroideries. Also we designed yardage prints / constructed displays for trade shows / fashion shoots and magazine ads / storyboards for the buyers.

I was responsible for illustrating a character called Kip the Koala. Kip led a much more exciting life than me. If he wasn’t in a hot air balloon he was skiing, or mountain climbing. I could go on. An on-line club was started so that kids could write letters to Kip. Someone had to answer those letters…to impersonate Kip. “Louise, you can write a bit. You can be Kip.” It was fun for a while but not a long term career move.

To cut a long story short I stayed for 15 years, made life long friends and became a burnt out Graphic Designer. The universe ( and my dear friend, Penny) intervened and I moved into Interior Design and started a business as a Colour Consultant. Apart from advising people on colour and interior design this involved drinking coffee, patting their dogs and sharing life stories.

This little tale is reaching biblical proportions so I will leap to the last two years. In 2017 I made a new artist friend, who introduced me to the world of on-line art courses. It was actually life changing. Thanks Gina xx

AND FINALLY FOLKS, I PICKED UP A PAINTBRUSH! And discovered, to my utmost surprise that I could paint.

2 years later and in 2 weeks time it will be the opening of my first solo exhibition. I will be so happy if you can drop in. Look for the person in the Koala suit.

Louise xx

A4 flyer exhibition.jpg

CONSTRUCTING A WEBSITE_ WITH A DECONSTRUCTED NOSE

my study.jpg

OH WHAT A TANGLED WEB WE WEAVE WHEN FIRST OUR WEBSITE WE CONCEIVE


With apologies to Walter Scott (For years I thought this was a quote from William Shakespeare. I was wrong)

By the time you read this blog I am hoping to not resemble a mugging victim! It had to happen: 40+ years living in Australia with a pale English skin. The dreaded skin cancer was diagnosed and without further boring details I can inform you that I am now sporting a deconstructed nose. Also a slice of my ear is missing. Shades of Van Gogh…am I taking this crazy painter thing a step too far? I have decided my appearance is becoming more interesting (insert both smiley and hopeful emoticons) Also here in Australia it is very trendy for cafes to serve ‘deconstructed’ dishes. Must keep up with the fashion. Dear friends, there is also the tale of the missing finger, but that is a story for another blog.

But I digress. There is a positive to this story. After the surgery I was housebound for a few days which meant there was no excuse not to FINISH THE WEBSITE! And I did and now you are here. Welcome.

I consider myself reasonably ‘tech savvy’ Well that was before I started the website. You have probably been there. The reading of the instructions/try instructions and it doesn’t work/read them three more times/search google for other budding but struggling web builders and their solutions. The last one often worked and was also good for morale boosting. “Going Crazy from Iceland” is having exactly the same issue as me. I am not the only dummy.

Also youtube is my friend. I spent about 2 hours trying to remedy one issue and then found a 1 1/2 minute video which solved it in …1/1/2 minutes! Interestingly, I found the best instructions were not from the web building platform. Sorry, Squarespace, you did your best to assist me. “Not her again” I hear you mutter.

So please forgive any glitches on this website. It is of course a work in progress but I am quite pleased that I got this far with no assistance other than via the mighty web.

Have to go now and paint some Sunflowers, Irises and a Starry Night. They are bound to turn out wonderfully well now I am becoming Vincent!

Louise x

in my study-Feathers from my favourite visitors, the Red Tailed Black Cockatoos.

in my study-Feathers from my favourite visitors, the Red Tailed Black Cockatoos.

Cockatoo Girl. Acrylic on canvas.

Cockatoo Girl. Acrylic on canvas.

Exhibitions and Fabulous Friends

Guidford Potters

MY SOLO SHOW IS HAPPENING SOON AND IT IS EXCITING BUT A LITTLE SCARY


When I started painting in February 2017 it did not occur to me that I would ever be organising a solo exhibition.

Hey, I was just happy that I had finally picked up a paintbrush. A new friend, Gina had introduced me to an on-line painting course with the delightful artist and mentor Kara Bullock. I loved what Gina was achieving and thought “why not?”

Those first few months I would get up in the morning, look at what I had painted the day before and think “Did I do that?”

Friends started asking me when I would be holding an exhibition and I laughed and thought how kind they were.

Meanwhile the paintings started to take over the house. We built the studio and the paintings rapidly filled all the available space. The time had come to launch my art in to the world outside Mahogany Creek.

Another friend, Jo (I have fabulous friends) told me about a small gallery in the middle of the charming historical town of Guildford. We went to have a look..it was not too daunting and we both booked exhibitions.

This was at the end of last year and July 2019 was a just vague suggestion in my future. All of a sudden it was coming close and just when I started to stress a little (what me? stress?)……

… Another fabulous friend appeared. Nikki is a long time friend of my daughter, Zoe and when I bumped into her at an event she asked me some pertinent questions about my exhibition. Questions to which my answers were basically “mmm, dunno, not sure” She then informed me that she would be happy to curate the exhibition for me.

Yay!! Better than birthdays, chocolate, small kittens and green boots. To have the help of someone with excellent entrepreneurial skills and lots of experience in curation is the best thing ever.

So this week Nikki and I had a meeting at her light and plant filled urban oasis. I came away feeling excited, motivated and believing that the exhibition will be both fun and successful. I so hope you will pop in. Click on the Exhibition tab in the navigation panel for more information.

Louise x

Guildford Village Potters' Club was started in 1981 and is now situated in the old policeman's house in Guildford's historical courthouse precinct (which also houses the Swan Valley Tourism Office).

Source: https://guildfordpotters.webs.com

My Happy Place

38852864_235141304005615_5902898215765671936_n.jpg

A recycled art studio


It is every artist's dream to have their own studio.

A door to close at the end of the day. No cleaning up.
No emergency floor clean-ups half way through the painting session.

Last year I was lucky enough to achieve this dream.
As some of you already know, we live on 3 acres with ridiculously large and beautiful trees.
The spot we found for the studio sits between Jacarandas, Liquid Ambers, a Golden Elm and an ancient Cypress pine.
It was not our first quirky building project and we had already developed our building style.

This style is based on recycling as many materials as possible. 
For the studio we collected gorgeous Art Deco lead-light windows and doors.
A friend donated a stunning front door complete with colourful stained glass magpies...perfect for our property.

The Piece De Resistance was the huge arched jarrah window, rescued from the old bakery in the seaside town of Mandurah. Also known as "The Husband Killer"... over 3 metres wide and quite a challenge to move!

Furnished with vintage pieces. One of my favourite things is the chandelier adorned with tiny brass squirrels. I have eclectic taste!

*Charcoal drawing of my daughter, Zoe on the easel.

I LOVE my studio!
It is definitely my "Happy Place"
Flooded with natural light and echoing with bird song.
Lucky me.

Louise x

P.S. Would you be interested in a visit to my studio? Please email me if you are interested: louisethorpe620@gmail.com

Where did this journey begin

Andulusia.jpg

How I didn’t get the pony but i did learn to draw one.


When I was a child there was something I needed SO badly, something that was missing from my life.

Yes, you have probably guessed it...a pony. It was never going to happen. Not for another 20 years in a far off land, but that is another story. So I rode my bike into the countryside to find a pony to pat and read all the pony books. For a while I mucked out a million (well it seemed like it) stables in the snow at the local riding school in return for the occasional ride on the horse that none of the paying clients wanted to get on.

When I was eight I was given a book for Christmas. "How to Draw Horses" (My brother reminded me recently that he was given "How to draw Ships"...he now has a boat) Oh those childhood influences!

So I taught myself to draw horses. I think I drew every horse in the book. My favourite was the Circus Pony with the long tail and mane. Also in the book there was a little trick where you started with 4 circles and some straight lines.

It still works.

About 15 years ago my husband came home with a box of chalk pastels as a surprise. Once again I taught myself and started doing colourful horse racing paintings. I never photographed these but kept my favourite one and gave 3 to a friend who has framed them and put them on her wall. I stopped painting after a couple of years and didn't start again until February 2017.

This time I wanted to paint human faces. I became hooked and have not looked back. But those horses worm their way in again every so often. I will always love to paint and draw them.

Oh and by the way; the next year I was given "Sketching The Ballet" You might find some dancers in my portfolio too.

Louise x

*If you love the painting above "Andulusia" and would like to see it on your wall I have limited edition Giclee prints available. Beautifully printed on archival paper with archival inks. Numbered and signed.

Please email me if you are interested: louisethorpe620@gmail.com