Laura enjoys the beautiful softness and subtlety of the watercolour medium as well as its unpredictability. She uses archival paints and materials including Winsor & Newton Artists Watercolours and Arches 300gsm cotton rag paper.
Eopsaltria australis. Framed watercolour, 14 x 10 inches. An eastern yellow robin perched on the gnarled trunk of an aged melaleuca (paperbark) tree. I took the reference photo for this painting at Eungella National Park on a week-long camping trip north up to Townsville in August 2015. In particular I loved the brilliant cadmium yellow of the robin's breast, against the peachy tint of the multi-layered bark, contrasting with the green moss and ferns.
Litoria wilcoxii. Framed watercolour, 14 x 9.5 inches. I took the reference photo for this painting of a stony-creek frog (Litoria wilcoxii) on a recent camping trip to D'Aguilar National Park just north-west of Brisbane. The adult male frogs in bright yellow-green breeding colours were abundant all along Neurum creek, sitting out in the open along the gently-sloping rocky/sandy shore.
Pandion haliaetus. Framed watercolour. 9.5 x 7.5 inches. Black ink and WN watercolour on 300g smooth hot pressed Arches watercolour paper. Osprey are such magnificent creatures. Some of the coastal towns nearby construct special raised platforms for osprey nests to encourage breeding pairs to settle.
Petrogale mareeba. Framed watercolour, 5 x 7 inches. Black ink and watercolour on 300g smooth hot pressed Arches watercolour paper. These little wild creatures are so tame that they would feed happily from our hands. This little one was paused in the process of looking for more food. Dedicated to my wonderful mother!
Tawny frogmouths (Podargus strigoides). Black ink and WN watercolour on 300g smooth hot pressed Arches watercolour paper. 24 × 20 cm. I photographed the reference shot for this painting in the early afternoon at Rocky Creek Dam on the edge of Whian Whian State Forest, NSW. First one frogmouth, then the other eyed me suspiciously before deciding I wasn’t a threat and going back to sleep! I suspect they were juveniles.
Poppies (Papaver somniferum). Windsor and Newton Artists Watercolours on 300g smooth Arches 100% cotton rag watercolour paper. 22 × 31cm. I painted this the week following the passing of my Grandfather. I gave this painting to my Grandmother after the funeral in remembrance of a happy life lived.
Pair of juvenile variegated fairy-wrens (Malurus lamberti). Ink and WN watercolour on 300g smooth hot pressed Arches 100% cotton rag watercolour paper. 28 × 22 cm. This pair were constantly together, still freshly fledged and finding their wings. They flitted around the forest together, often coming to rest beside each other and preening. Here they were leaning together to sunbathe and preen. I saw them a couple of weeks later and they had much of their adult plumage, though patchily feathered.
Plumed whistling duck (Dendrocygna eytoni). WN watercolour on 300g smooth hot pressed Arches 100% cotton rag watercolour paper. 28 × 20 cm. Plumed Whistling Ducks are commonly found near water, however unlike many ducks they feed by cropping grass on land. I’ve been fortunate to regularly encounter flocks in the wild throughout Queensland. This painting was commissioned for a colleague who studies the ecology and epidemiology of these ducks in the field.
Forest kingfisher (Todiramphus macleayii). Black ink and WN watercolour on 300g smooth hot pressed Arches 100% cotton rag watercolour paper. 28 × 22 cm. The agility and strength of these little birds is amazing. Somehow he was still able to fly with a singing cicada the same length as him in his beak.
Alpine tree frog (Litoria verreauxii alpina). Black acrylic ink and watercolours on Arches 300g smooth (hot-pressed) watercolour paper. 5 × 6 inches. The world is currently experiencing the worst biodiversity crisis in 65 million years. Amphibians are leading this anthropogenic catastrophe, with more species endangered or extinct than in any other vertebrate class. Next to habitat loss, the fungal skin disease, chytridiomycosis is the primary cause of declines.
Sacred kingfisher (Todiramphus sanctus). Black ink and watercolour on 300g smooth hot pressed Arches watercolour paper. 14 × 18 cm. Kingfishers definitely are some of my favourite birds. I am fortunate to regularly see them, and have the opportunity to observe a small part of their daily lives as they bring up their young in family groups and teach them to hunt.
Corroboree frogs (Pseudophryne corroboree). Black acrylic ink and watercolours on Arches 300g hot-pressed watercolour paper. 6 × 4 inches. Corroboree frogs are one of Australia’s most endangered frog species. There are now less than 20 calling adults in the wild (Kosciuszko National Park), and their populations have rapidly declined in recent years largely due to the globally devastating amphibian fungal disease, chytridiomycosis. They are being bred now in captivity.