The Dilkes-Hoffman Pottery and Art Studio & artist, Karin Luciano- A kindred soul I had the privilege to have a chat with

During a recent trip to the town of Margaret River in the South-West of Western Australia, I stumbled upon the Dilkes- Hoffman Pottery and Art Gallery, a few kilometres out of town on Caves road.

The functional Pottery belongs to husband and wife team, Tova Hoffman and Rod Dilkes. Tova produces distinctive, contemporary pottery embellished with a ‘Persian’ gold and silver lustre. The concept of Tova’s designs on her pottery, sculptures and molded ceramics is inspired by aerial views of the landscapes and seascapes of South-Western Australia. Her designs are a tribute to the beauty of the forests and to the unblemished beaches of the South West. Tova’s ceramics are stunning and very hard to resist, but I have a passion for colour and what drew my attention was the paintings on the gallery walls.

The gallery showcases the paintings of the well-known Margaret River artist  Karin Luciano. One could call her the ‘Artist in residence’, as she has the use of a painting studio in the gallery and does gallery duty once a week on a Sunday. Karin is also represented by the Jahroc Gallery in Margaret River. I was lucky enough to have a chat with her. On learning that I am a Trainee Gallery Guide at AGWA, Karin graciously welcomed me into her gallery-studio and happily answered my questions about her artistic background and her creating processes. Continue reading



Purple Rain 032A Passion for Purple

Purple; a deep rich shade between Crimson and Violet is a Femme Fatale.

Purple is feminine; a Lady in Lavender, a Maiden in Mauve, a Madam attired in gorgeous Plum, a Vixen in Violet, and sometimes a ‘Shrinking’ Violet. If Purple were a person, she would be female and not always a lady. The beautiful, but murderous orchid ( ‘orchid’ also a term for pale purple) has beautiful flowers, but is a parasite and eventually kills her host


Purple symbolises royalty and conjures images of pomp and ceremony. For centuries, coronation robes have traditionally been purple; soft lilac and sometimes a rich, dark hue of Aubergine. In contradiction, the colour Purple does not like to show off and prefers the back to the foreground. Purple is mysterious, sometimes shy and at times shocking. A thick pile, purple, shaggy carpet I encountered recently unsettled me somewhat.


Whether you like, love or hate this girl, avoid her you can’t. She lurks in everyday shadows, shimmers at the edges of clouds and hides in distant mountain tops.


Purple Paint

On my artist’s palette, I create the deepest dark tones for my shadows by mixing Cadmium red and Pthalo blue, deep purple, the colour of midnight.A palette for portraiture requires a range of purples; blood runs red in blue veins underneath the human skin’s surface.I combine cool and warm reds and blues and add white to mix tints of true purple.


Impossible to mix on my palette and best used straight from the tube is luminous, shocking pink Magenta. Magenta leans toward purple and is halfway between red and violet; it is the complimentary of green as it absorbs all the green light in the spectrum of light.Combinations of purple and pink evoke a seductive or romantic mood especially if accompanied by carbon black. Magenta is feminine and sexy, a provocative lady of the night.Named in 1912 ’Electric Purple’, halfway between Violet and Magenta is said to be the purest and brightest purple.


A Gentle and Graceful Lady in the Garden

Spring is in full swing, and Jacarandas are in full bloom around Perth; their lilac flowers are announcing the approach of another hot summer.

I am feeling ambivalent about their tiny flowers; they carpet my patio in a gorgeous shade of lavender but require hours to sweep.

Bougainvillaeas are ‘dressed to the nines’ in their bright pink, mauve and amaranthine splendour; it will be a month or two before fragrant lilac trusses adorn the Wisteria. Let’s not forget a favourite of Vincent Van Gogh’s, the delicately perfumed Iris. The blue–ish purple petals of the Saffron flower is shown off to perfection by their complimenting sunny yellow centre.

Miss Marple

Perhaps we associate mauve with the elderly because the word lavender stirs up images of mature ladies with mauve/blue rinses.? Soft shades of purple are soothing and calming and bring life’s stresses into a peaceful perspective, like an older Lady, perhaps a mother would be inclined to do.Lilac is a classic colour choice for the walls of hospices. Serene Lavender hues create a tranquil mood and have been the symbolic colour of piety, mourning and penitence.


Purple Pigments

For centuries blackberries, mulberries, sea snails and sea urchins usually in combination with ammonia (urine) were used to extract the sought after purple pigment. Synthetic, organic pigments, such as mauveine (named after the mallow flower) and fuchsine later became available.Quinacridone came onto the market in the 1950’s and is still widely used today.

A Passion for Purple

Who doesn’t connect the colour purple with ‘melt in the mouth’ creamy chocolate?

A lengthy legal battle has been fought between chocolate manufacturers, Nestle and Cadbury over the right of ownership of the distinctive purple colour. To date, neither has won the sole right to register the colour under their brand name, as a trademark Pantone colour. ‘True Purple’ or ‘Patriarch Purple.’ was named in 1925 because its hue is halfway between red and blue and its value exactly halfway between black and white.

In the Sixties, blue pigments were added to Fluorescent Magenta to make ‘Fluorescent Purple’ or ‘Psychedelic Purple’ and was favourited by the Hippies.

The colour of the grapes from which my favourite drink is distilled from, except perhaps for ‘Fluoro’, I will leave that one to the Hippies, Purple remains pertinent on my palette.

Cheers! To Purple





Nine Lives – The Exhibition


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Artists dip their brushes in their lives and paint what they find there, weaving tidbits of themselves into their work.No two artists paint or create art in the same way.

An artist’s signature is always present in her work; like fingerprints, it is unique and personal. It is not necessarily only in her name on the canvas but is also evident in other ways. From the use of brushstrokes, line, colour palettes to the subject matter. Artists are human and experience emotions and have ideas. We all have our own stories to tell through art.

The Nine Lives Exhibition, sponsored by Paradigm, will showcase the art of nine female artists, who will be exhibiting together for the first time. This exhibition highlights social connections and is a celebration of life. For some, dabbling in the arts has been a long-term hobby, and a happy past time; others have pursued it with more vigour and entered competitions that have lead to nominations for art awards. Most have exhibited and sold paintings. A bubbly bunch with a ‘ Joy de Vivre,’  enjoying the mid-years of their lives.

The diversity among the group and the variety of their styles and palettes are exciting.

 Debbie Beddoes is a poet and a painter.She has published a book of poetry for the exhibition.Her quirky poems speak of her life experiences; they are funny, sometimes sad, but always touch the heart.Debbie paints with acrylics on canvas and is including a series of  Australian landscape paintings.

Penny Bond enjoys experimenting with various media and styles; she will be exhibiting a collection of ink drawings on paper, and some acrylic paintings.Penny enjoys using vibrant colours, but at times, depending on her mood a complete absence of colour is evident which lends impact to her art.

Diana Elliott includes the human element in her paintings, depicting cafe and everyday scenes.She uses oils exclusively and prefers using palette knives and painting in an impasto style.

Bethany Davis will be exhibiting acrylic paintings on stretched canvas.Her paintings are impressionistic and the play of light and shadows at different times of the day inspires her.

Helen Johnstone uses a variety of media and paints the Australian landscape; the ‘Red Earth’  and the Outback inspires her. Helen is including a series of paintings in oils and acrylics

Helen Newman paints in an abstract style; she experiments with acrylics and mixed media, using a pouring and layering technique. Her paintings are bold, colourful, and contemporary.

Lynn Peirce works magic with textiles. Her framed designs focus on texture and colour; elements of the Australian landscape is evident in her art.

Gigi Sperinck prefers oils and working on large canvasses. For this exhibition, she will include smaller landscape paintings painted with palette knives, and a large ‘Nine Lives’ inspired contemporary painting on canvas.

Betty Young is the watercolourist in the group, but she also enjoys using acrylics. She hopes to exhibit some land and seascapes. Greeting cards with her designs will be on sale during the exhibition.

Nine Lives – The Exhibition,  7-13th November 2016

The official opening,  Tuesday 8th November at 6.30 p.m.

Venue – The Atwell Gallery, Alfred Cove in Western Australi

Join the Facebook Page for more Updates>>


Female Artists are Fine Artists: The Rise of Women in Art


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Why are all the great artists male? Over the centuries in male-driven societies, women have faced many challenges, not only socially but have often not been given the same recognition in the art arena as their male counterparts. Being an artist was an income earning profession, and creativity considered a masculine attribute.Where were the women?   In the kitchen, of course, harvesting in the fields and busy raising children.Women have traditionally been the primary carer-givers, and there is nothing like drudgery and domesticity with a pinch of guilt thrown in to stifle creativity.Until relatively recently women have had limited access to academic training and ‘women’s art’ has often been dismissed as ‘Craft’ as  opposed to ‘Fine art.’

When Things Changed

Only toward the latter part of the 20th century did female artists begin to overcome the limitations of their gender. The Feminist movements of the 1960’s paved the way for women toward having more freedom of expression and sparked a moment of change for women in art.

But change has been slow, and the art- institutional establishment remained male dominated until the 1970’s. Many challenges are still faced today.Women struggle with being caregivers and simultaneously finding the freedom to pursue creative lives.

Being the Artist & Caregiver

Women often feel guilty of time spent on ‘frivolous’ pursuits like art, in the way of ‘more important things’ like the care of children, partners, and family. We now understand that the duality of being an artist and a caregiver has a positive effect and enriches everyone’s lives.

Although the female artist has a far more acceptable position in society today, she often does not get the same recognition as the male. Could it be that women are afraid of criticism? Perhaps the inflated ‘male ego’ and even testosterone plays a role. Men are more likely to tell the world of their greatness while beating their chests.For women, a lack of presence and acceptance in the art arena may have lead to inhibited self-expression and lack of self-confidence.

The wheels of progress have been turning:

  • In 1975 The exhibition ‘Australian Women Artists: One hundred years 1840-1940’, curated by Janine Burke was a landmark and turned the spotlight entirely on female artists.
  • Since then, there have been major and significant exhibitions, focussing on women and curated by women. In 1997 an internationally touring art exhibition, curated by Catharine de Zegher was exhibited at the Art Gallery Of Western Australia:  Inside the Invisible: An Ecliptical Traverse of Twentieth Century Art, in, of and from the feminine‘. It featured the art of women across three eras. The 1930’s- 40’s; the 1960’s-70’s and the 1990’s
  • Joan Kerr’s ‘National Women’s Art’ exhibition in 1995 was a series of independent shows highlighting female artists across all media.
  • In 2001 Jane Hylton curated ‘ Modern Australian Female artists, 1925-1945’ It included names that rank on the list of  Australia’s  finest female artists today: Grace Cossington Smith. Margaret Preston, Grace Crowley and Dorrit Black.

Perth Female Artists on the Rise

In  Perth, Western Australia,  the leading arts philanthropist,  Janet Holmes a Court established the acclaimed and prestigious  ‘Holmes a Court Gallery’ which is currently situated on the family estate and vineyard ‘Vasse Felix ‘in Cowaramup near Margaret River 

Finally, women’s art is taking centre stage, and there is more focus on women in art than ever before. Art institutions and art collectors believe it is time to concentrate on the female artist

“The art world is now in an extremely positive moment of change.” Isabelle Paagman,  senior director of Sotheby’s. 

Girls, the time, has come to start believing in ourselves and set our creative spirits free; the time has come to show the world that we are great artists.

For the ‘Nine Lives Exhibition’, in November 2016, a group of nine talented female artists in Perth, Australia are collaborating

The Nine Lives Exhibition showcases the art of the nine artists, and it highlights social connections and is a celebration of life. The group includes an artist who has published a book of poetry.

This exhibition is proof women have a fair share of creative talent and can succeed as Fine Artists.

If you are interested in supporting the group or attending this unique exhibition you can find the details on this page>>


“I don’t paint pictures in hopes that people will understand them. They …” — Art of Quotation

Amazing Fine Art

“I don’t paint pictures in hopes that people will understand them. They understand them, or not, according to their own capacity.” —Pablo Picasso, Spanish, painter

via “I don’t paint pictures in hopes that people will understand them. They …” — Art of Quotation

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Thinking of decorating? A new picture on the wall and a splash of colour will do wonders to liven up a drab interior.

You can pop into your nearest discount store and buy a ready to hang a print of a painting on canvas to compliment your decor, too easy! Alternatively, without too much hassle you can purchase affordable, mass-produced pictures on the internet. Many of us aren’t even overly concerned with the subject matter depicted or the style of painting, as long as the colours match (not my favourite word) the interior, and the overall size and design of the print complements the decor. It is inexpensive, fun, easy and close enough to the real thing, but is it art? Wouldn’t an original painting look better?

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Purple Rain 033A Passion for Purple

Purple; a deep rich shade between Crimson and Violet is a Femme Fatale.

Purple is feminine; a Lady in Lavender, a Maiden in Mauve, a Madam attired in rich Plum, a Vixen in Violet, and sometimes a ‘Shrinking’ Violet. If Purple were a person, she would be female and not always a lady. The beautiful, but murderous orchid (also a term for pale purple) has beautiful flowers, but is a parasite and eventually kills her host.

Continue reading