Welcome to a little behind the scenes and a virtual tour of my paintings, currently on show in the Dreams exhibition:

Dreams – Group exhibition by four artists
The Art House, Wyong
Open weekdays: 10am – 4pm

Some say things come in ‘threes’, though with maths not being my strongest side and distraction/denial being a definite trait – I lose track of counting. That said, the past few weeks have been a whirlwind of events, where I marvel at the universe letting a few crucial things slip past collision course and merrily sail into port, no small feat given the number of events involved…

Completing Artworks for Exhibition

First, there were the frantic (not hysterical or out of control, just ‘every free minute spent on this’ type of frantic) weeks of painting, varnishing and finishing off the artworks for the exhibition, which resulted in very late nights, lots of inspiration and not much sleep…

Late night painting in progress
Late night painting in progress – if you look closely you can see two cats in the top right corner…

Varnishing and… The Weather

Then, there was the unprecedented (such an impressively over-used word when it comes to weather, I just couldn’t resist) downpour, which if I’m going to be honest has been going on all Summer, but really, really picked up in the last two weeks, when the Eastern low and the generously donated (from Queensland) rain bomb hit the Coast.

Varnishing paintings for dreams exhibition - acrylic on board - Annette Abolins
Varnishing paintings for dreams exhibition – Acrylic on board – Annette Abolins

The weather isn’t really the topic here, but it did have an impact on the slow drying effect of the varnish I applied over my finished paintings, which seemed slow, to the point of almost not at all, and even less because I was checking them every five minutes… and the thought of packing tacky paintings was very much on my mind. Thankfully, the paintings did dry – though while waiting for the ‘all-clear’ I found a handy tip online, which I ended up using as an extra safety measure.

The simple non-stick solution is to use BAKING PAPER (I actually feel silly I didn’t think of it, as I frequently use it when making jewellery). Simply pull the paper off the roll, tear at desired length, and if needed (for larger size paintings), use masking tape on the non-facing side to stitch your sheets together – it’s perfect to lay over the painted surface as a barrier between the artwork and other packing material (sheets, towels, bubble-wrap…). A simple solution to prevent a scenario where you’ve wrapped your finished paintings in something that then decides to hang around for longer than the journey from A to B (Yikes!). I discovered a few ‘painter’s products’, especially developed for this use, though on closer inspection the fancy name appears to be the main difference between ‘fancy/more pricey’ and your simple accessible baking paper. In short, transporting paintings – solved. 

The weather made its way into my dreams, inspired by the hammering rain and sounds of living inside a waterfall/swimming pool. It also made its presence known on hanging day; driving up the freeway with zero visibility (close to zero, I don’t mean to exaggerate – just painting the picture) and water everywhere, after days of school and road closures and weather warnings popping worse than the malfunctioning popcorn maker at some nostalgic cinema with gilded stucco and velvet drapery… Relieved to arrive in one piece is definitely an understatement :)

Isolation and the Pandemic

If you read my last post, you will know that hanging the exhibition proceeded without a glitch and everything came together just wonderfully. The next phase of whirlwind events was my son testing positive for covid and our whole house going into self-isolation (shout-out to universe for arranging this isolation after the hanging was done!). Working from home, organising food shops, cancelling gym class, trying to remember all those other things that one has to do. Then 3-4 days later realising that I didn’t feel too great (RAT test says: you’re fine), so I keep up the working from home routine; test, rinse and repeat… until Wednesday when the 5th RAT test decidedly announced that both my daughter and I were in fact covid-positive (I do find this a terrible misuse of the word positive, because there is absolutely nothing sunny about getting a virus the world has been fighting for over two years) and we finally had a name for what was making us feel downright awful.

While still not great, I think the worst of it has passed and the euphoria of feeling more human is worth celebrating :).

A Virtual Tour…

My paintings are inspired by the visual landscapes of dreaming…

Moonlight Revelations - Acrylic on board - Annette Abolins
Moonlight Revelations

Moonlight Revelations

Moonlight dances across ocean waves where two orcas leap above the surface to mingle with the dreamer. On a subconscious level she is aware of their presence and greets them as friends, knowing they bring her a message of truth and meaning. As her hair swirls to meet the waves, the shoreline blends with the waves, along with the feeling that all will be well; she is safe and can let go…

Fluid Connection - Acrylic on board - Annette Abolins
Fluid Connection

Fluid Connection

The dreamer is immersed in the ocean, tangibly flowing with the movement of each wave. She draws breath from the deep sea as her hair reaches and wraps around a whale’s tail fin. The sense of connection flows through the dreamer as she tastes the salty water and wind flows through her hair.

My Whale Dream - Acrylic on board - Annette Abolins
My Whale Dream

My Whale Dream

The comforting bulk of a giant blue whale carries the dreamer through a vast ocean seascape. A journey of exploration outside time, place and destination. She feels protected by the whale as her senses explore the slipstream and water rushing through her fingers.

In a Tornado of Dreams, follow the Red Kite - Acrylic on board - Annette Abolins
In a Tornado of Dreams, follow the Red Kite

In a Tornado of Dreams – follow the Red Kite

There is a a roller-coaster feeling as the dreamer flies from dream to dream, sometimes finding herself dreaming, within a dream. At breath-taking speed, the scenery changes, the storyline shifts and hurtles towards the next bend. The red kite floating towards the mountains, offers the dreamer a friendly hand, a tempting escape and a way home – all in one.

The Dream Reader - Acrylic on board - Annette Abolins
The Dream Reader

The Dream Reader

She beckons with her crystal ball and draws the dreamer in with a promise to foretell the meaning of any dream. As the magnitude of dreams wash across the subconscious mind of the dreamer; she sees through layers of emotions, connections and changes to the point where she understands that dreamer and reader are one and the same… And she smiles.

Beyond the Dream Veil - Acrylic on board - Annette Abolins
Beyond the Dream Veil

Beyond the Dream Veil

Drawn by an undercurrent filled with purpose and direction, the dreamer approaches the dream tree. A yellow veil, held aloft by dream spirits, floats in the breeze. The dreamer knows that beyond this veil reside the dreams of her deepest self and subconscious mind. Dreams, which although she may not remember them, have the potential to shape her waking mind.

Imagination Unleashed - Acrylic on board - Annette Abolins
Imagination Unleashed

Imagination Unleashed

Bridging spaces of time, possibility and universe, the dragon ploughs a path for the dreamer to follow. A journey inviting an unquestioning mind, along with the realisation that imagination makes everything possible.

Sueño Del Alma - Acrylic on board - Annette Abolins
Sueño Del Alma

Sueño Del Alma

Seduced by colour, warmth and beckoning lights, she falls gently through a dream guided by her soul. She absorbs her surroundings relishing a place of true self.

Sweet Dreams - Acrylic on board - Annette Abolins
Sweet Dreams

Sweet Dreams

Gentle dreams carry her mind away as her body languishes in the land of rejuvenation and blissful sleep. A safe haven, surrounding and protecting the dreamer, as she floats through space and time.