While I also do many other things (sing, sew, play harp, write, other crafts) I’m mostly known for my portraits – so I’ve decided that’s what I’m going to concentrate on – at least for now.

I’ve started an instagram account @elizaleahy and you can find me on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cute.by.eliza/

And here is my latest portrait…


The Elements

The Elements
24″ x 36″
Oil on Canvas
$1200 + postage – contact me if you are interested

This months painters challenge was a huge challenge, because I decided to use one of the larger canvas’s. I knew what I wanted, Mother Earth in perfect balance with the 4 elements (wind, fire, water, earth) but could I pull it off? And could I do it in a month?

I’m not really all that pleased – it didn’t turn out like it did in my head. But then, I’m my worst critic and everything looks better inside my head!

I also had a lot of trouble photographing it. I’m not sure if it’s because of the size, or the changes in contrast, but the camera will insist on making it fuzzy.

The Elements

Some close ups

close up of face

Close up of fire

Close up of sky

Black and White

Many years ago I did a lot of scratchboard (information about what that is soon). This month, on the “Monthly Painters Challenge” group on face book the subject was “Black and White” so naturally my thoughts turned to scratchboard.

Scratchboard is a medium where a piece of wood (or paper) is covered in white clay, then sprayed with Indian ink. The ink is scratched off using various mediums to show the white clay, and is either left black and white or coloured.

Without more ado I’ll unveil my challenge piece for this month.

Girl with feathers in her hair

And some close ups…

Close up 1

You start to get an idea of how many scratches goes into work like this.

Close up 2

We timed me several times, and I average 135 cuts into the black ink per minute. This picture took over 50 hours. So, on average, this picture is made up from 405,000 scratches. I used a very fine exacto knife for most of it, for some sections I used a needle in a holder.

Although the theme is “Black and White” I’m considering painting her lips and the feathers and maybe her eyes.

The size is 16″ x 20″ and it is for sale for $3,500. If you are interested please email me at songbird@elizasart.com

Rose Dreaming

This is my painting for the monthly painters challenge.  The subject was “something beginning with “R”, which is pretty “random” (groan)

Red Rose was pretty obvious, so I decided to do that.  Well, by the time it’s finished there is a red rose – be patient!

To start with, this painting is a grisaille – which means it’s monotone until you glaze colour over it. I did it this way because lately I’ve been painting alla prima and wanted to do something different.

Step one, the composition, I forgot to take a photo of. I never think to take photos until I’m half way though. Never mind. (clicking the pictures will open a larger version in a new window)

About this time I realised I should have been doing this on a very smooth board, not a canvas panel, but too late to start again now.

I had to let that dry a few days so that I could go over the whites, which were starting to blend in too much.

The “finished” monotone.

Then I had to let it dry completely – 10 days – before I could touch it again. Just as well I started early in the month!

At this point I have two focal points – the “rose” and the girls face. This could be a problem. But my thinking is that this will change once I add colour.

First glaze.

It actually took about 5 glazes, leaving a day or two in between. But to make a long story short – the final picture. “Rose dreaming” – but is the girl dreaming of the rose, or is the rose dreaming of the girl?

And if you would like to buy this – $200 + postage and just leave me a comment here, or on my facebook https://www.facebook.com/elizasart

I am Icarus

I kind of lost this one half way though, because mum had to go back to hospital. Click on the thumbnail for a larger image.

I was born with wings, but afraid to fly
My wings would draw attention to me,
You can’t hide when you have wings.
The conflict – I want everyone to know me / I want to be alone
My wings are my talent, my fear is success…
or is it failure?
If I never try, then I can’t fail.
But my wings exist, and I have to use them, even if I only fly alone.

Eliza Leahy

Bizzzy Bee

30cm x 40cm
Oil on canvas board
$200 – email Eliza Leahy at songbird@elizasart.com

Bee painting

I was a little worried about this months topic because there is one particular bug I have a phobia about, and I’m scared someone is going to paint it!
But I just had to take part, because one of my favourite things is the bee. They work so industriously, and I love painting them. I’ve painted bees in coloured pencil, but this is the first I’ve done in oil paints.
This bee was in our yard. I don’t know the name of the flowers, but they are actually yellow/orange. I changed the to pink for the purpose of the painting to make the bee stand out more.

White cat

Love the way the cats white coat picks up the surrounding colours.

White Cat

I’m working on two larger pieces at the moment. One is sandcrabs at low tide. They are everywhere here! I’m looking forward to getting back to it, the background (sandbars at low tide) has been drying. I hope it’s dry enough tomorrow.

The other is a little girl building sandcastles at Kings Beach, Caloundra.