Brownie Balls 

Recipe (makes approx 24)


  • 2 cups of pitted dates
  • 1 cup of shredded coconut
  • 1 1/2 cups of walnuts
  • 3/4 cup of cacao powder
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • Desiccated coconut for rolling  (optional) 

Blend all ingredients in a food processor for about 3-4 minutes or until well mixed. Scrap sides of bowl and process for another 30 seconds. Roll into balls, roll into desiccated coconut and place in small patty case. Store in air tight container in fridge or freezer until required. 


Week 4 Paper Sculptures, Observational Drawing and Painting 

I can’t believe it’s the last day of CAVA101/102 today. Here are some photos of the work I completed yesterday. While it has flaws in terms of scale of the paper sculptures in relation to each other, I was pretty relieved once I finished my drawing. I think I surprised myself with how well I did as drawing is not something I am good at.

The last session today in class was pretty ambitious in trying to paint on an easel for the first time. I thought the painting I did today was pretty average. I wasn’t really concentrating enough because I was thinking about having to finish off some research for this blog that I thought I would have finished by now. I was planning to work on the blog over the weekend, however ended up having to work a double shift to cover for a colleague who was off sick.

  CAVA101/102:Round 3 Artist Research 

Artist 1: Donald Keys 

Recently I wandered into the Shoalhaven City Arts Centre and came across an exhibition  by Australian contemporary painter Donald Keys titled ‘Art Heads’. This exhibition is a collection of twenty portrait paintings of Australian artists whose work Keys finds inspiring. From Bulli, Keys was inspired to create the works when he himself was sitting for a portrait. ‘Art Heads’ is currently on display at the Shoalhaven City Arts Centre in Nowra, until the 8th of July of this year.

Better known for his landscape paintings, Keys has spent over two years working on the ‘Art Heads‘ collection.  Below are some photos I took on my iPhone of Keys’ portraits. Most of the collection is painted using acrylic paint. Next to each painting is a story about the artist and their work, which features prominently in the paintings as well.

Keys’ portraits are a good example of the use of colour and how colours interact together. I love how the vibrant colour choices create depth against the lighter colours used in the background. Below are some pictures I took while at the exhibition.

Keys uses vibrant colours in the portrait of the artist, and lighter colours in the background of the work . The use of black, white and grey in the t-shirt reminded me of the recent grayscale exercise we had to do in class.

Resource List:

A video of the opening of the exhibition ‘Art Heads’ with a short talk from Donald Keys about his work :

Artist 2: Josef Albers 

Josef Albers, along with his wife Anni were among the leading pioneers of twentieth century modernism. In 1950-1958 Albers was chairman of the department of design at the Yale University School of Art. Albers was also an influential teacher, writer, painter and colour theorist.  In 1950, at the age of 62, Albers began a series of works titled ‘Homage to the Square‘. Over the next twenty six years, until his death in 1976, Albers produced hundreds of variations on the basic compositional scheme of three or four coloured squares set inside each other. The image below contains some examples of Albers work in this series.


While the series of paintings in ‘Homage to the Square’ look simple, they are actually more complex than they first appear. The superimposed squares are not merely stacked but rather painted in a manner that draws the eye of the viewer in and out of the work repeatedly; almost to a hypnotising effect. Albers believed that teaching art was not a matter of teaching techniques or imparting rules, but of leading students to a greater awareness of what they were seeing. His work ‘Homage to the Square‘ is a great example of Albers extending the viewers knowledge of how colours interact with each other.  The colours that Albers has utilised in his work has been meticulously calculated such that each square seems to be altering in size. I find Albers work relevant to what I have been learning in the studio sessions about how complementary and tertiary colours interact with each other. 

Resource List:

Artist 3: Larry Bell

Larry Bell is a contemporary American artist and sculptor who lives and works in New Mexico. In 1963 Bell began exploring the passing of light through cube sculptures made of glass. Bell found that presenting these sculptures on pedestals made of transparent glass offered the viewer the essence of the captured light; challenging notions of mass, volume and gravity. 

One of my favourite sculptures of Bell’s is his glass red cubes which have featured in an exhibition titled Pacific Red II. These cubes are shown below displayed at an outdoor terrace at The Whitney Museum in Manhattan.  

Bell’s Pacific Red II, 2017, Whitney Museum, NYC

Bell installed six cubes of different saturation red laminated glass. Inside each cube is a smaller cube of a deeper shade of red. These cubes are like a 3D homage to Josef Alber’s own ‘Homage to the Square’ series. The Pacific Red cubes remind me of what we have be learning about this week about light, tone when drawing and painting geometric forms in the studio. 

Resource List:

Week 3: Black, Grey & White

This weeks studio sessions focused on exercises in black and white, and mixing paint to create a gradient from white to black. I had about four attempts at trying to get my greys in the correct percentage order. While I don’t think I got it quite right I learnt a lot about mixing black and white together. One thing I learnt is that you don’t need a lot of black paint as it is more dominant than white.

I enjoyed making the collages more so than the painting and drawing. I set out choosing this class to get me out of my comfort zone. For a long time I have told myself that I can’t draw. Drawing is perhaps the thing that I have feared the most about studying this degree. I find it really hard not to be distracted by other people in the studio. There is so many talented people in this class. I have also found this round more intense than the last two in creating a much larger portfolio than the previous two classes. Even with working through the break time I find that I still have tasks that I need to work on at home.

Excursion to Wollongong Art Gallery + Interaction of Colour Exercises 

Today our class is going on an excursion to Wollongong Art Gallery. It’s a nice day to be out of the studio. On my way to catch the free bus into Wollongong CBD I have been collecting samples of leaves for the mixing and matching exercise we have to do as part of our studio work. Autumn is one of my favourite times of the year. In choosing my five samples I have tried to be selective and collect from a range of complex colours from the colour charts I completed in week two.

Image of tree outside of Wollongong Art Gallery

Beautiful artwork on outside of Wollongong Art Gallery

While at the Art Gallery we saw an exhibition called ‘The source’ by painter John Bokor. Shown below are some of the photos I took of Bokor’s paintings. It was really interesting to see the use of layering in the paintings and the way Bokor left some of the charcoal sketch showing in the completed work. 

When we returned to the studio on Wednesday we began a new task, making paper collages from coloured paper based on some verbal instructions from our teacher Greg Hodge. We also got to have a go at using the interaction of colour app.  The image below is of the paper collages I made in class.

Colour/Light/Space Wk 2 

This week we spent time mixing paint to create chromatic grey colour charts. I managed to complete the three colour charts. I found it really difficult to get the right amount of paint mixed while completing this exercise. This led to problems when trying to complete the 3rd and 4th rows. In the last fifteen minutes of yesterday’s session I started on my blue/orange colour chart. I am not sure how today’s painting session is going to go on only about three hours sleep. Spent most of yesterday after class at Shoalhaven Hospital with sick family members.


End result of chromatic colour exercises