Author: Ocean Wilson, artist

Ocean Wilson is a largely self-taught artist and illustrator from Brisbane, with 5 years’ experience in painting, illustration and design. She has most recently completed commissions in portraiture, commercial illustration and graphic acrylic painting. Ocean is very happy to discuss a customer’s preferred image and style and tailor the commissioned artwork to suit the client’s needs exactly. Ocean’s preferred painting style has commonality with Symbolism, Realism, Romanticism (especially Pre-Raphaelites), Surrealism, Renaissance and Baroque styles, and uses acrylics on canvas to create a rich and glowing image. Occasionally she likes to loosen up with a jaunt into Fauvism or simple watercolour, pencil and pastel sketches. Currently she is working on a series of portraits of local musicians, including Pauline Maudy (Mzaza, Daisie May), Joshua Byrd (Velociraptor), Edward Guglielmino (solo, Lost Of Love), Helen Franzmann (McKisko), Dan James, Stew Riddle and Matt Wedmaier (Drawn From Bees), Paul Bonetti (solo) and others. She is also currently working on a portrait of Wally De Backer, Kris Schroeder and Tim Heath (The Basics, Gotye), for the Archibald Prize. She comes from a background in fashion design/production and music composition and performance. She was formerly responsible for songwriting, lead vocals, guitar, art design, promotions etc for the Brisbane band, Hot Liquid Sex, and worked for seven years for the Brisbane fashion label, Easton Pearson. Continuing her involvement in with the local music industry, Ocean regularly designs posters for local blues musician, Jimi Beavis. Ocean is also represented by Black Canvas Acoustics Email: Commissions taken; go to

Marvellous Miscellany

photo (2)

Lately in the studio there are some big developments. Those of you who follow my Instagram account would know that I’ve been working on a series of books collectively titled Marvellous Miscellany.

Marvellous Miscellany comprises an A5 colouring book, an A4 colouring book and a 2016 diary in an A5 size. My original artwork been inspired by local native flora and fauna, geological samples and pop art. Different levels of colouring skills are catered for, with some simpler and some more complex designs included.

Each book comes with either a fabric cover (supported with a cardboard backing) or a natural tan coloured card cover. Inside every book is a perforated sheet of postcards that you can colour in and send.

All of the cardboard, paper and cardboard used in the Marvellous Miscellany range of books are either recycled, reclaimed or remnants.

There is an emphasis upon first using existing stock that would otherwise go to waste, or, when it is fabric stock, using fabric that has been used before. Fabrics are usually salvaged from charities’ opportunity shops, industrial offcuts recyclers, remnants bins, garage sales, etc. They are selected for their design and durability.

When ‘new’ cardboard and paper stock is used, it is, wherever possible, 100% recycled, with a preference for paper made from 100% post consumer waste.

It is very important to me to reduce the amount of energy used in production of the books, so whenever I can I source my materials from local businesses. When there is no-one in the Brisbane area who can supply the required materials, Australian suppliers are shown preference. This practice often reduces the amount of energy expended in transporting materials from place to place. In future, I am hoping to be able to transition to using renewable energy in the production process.

All the pages inside the books are currently printed in Brisbane on a printer (we call her Lazy Panda) that has already served many years working for a local draftsperson. Its toner cartridges were leftovers, salvaged from someone whose identical printer had reached the end of its life. Many thanks go to MisterScribble, aka Peter Crees, for his constant support and help in the printing process and for reading my mind half the time (“I have no idea how many copies I need printed!”).

This week I am testing a new glue for construction, which is made from starch and has a very low toxicity. Previously I was using an aerosol spray adhesive, which made production a lot easier, however, this product has some serious environmental drawbacks, so I have switched to manually rolling on the starch based glue. More work, but much more satisfying.

I am using recycled paper for all packaging at the moment, and hope to continue to do so.

Get your own Marvellous Miscellany books at, email me at or visit my stall at the Boundary Street Markets, West End, most weekends.


I am sorry that I haven’t been at the markets lately – I’ve been ill for most of January. I’ll let you all know when my stall is up and running again.



poster montage

Sometimes I design posters for Jimi Beavis, a fantastic Brisbane-based blues musician.

You can check him out here, here and here.

If you would like a poster design, drop me a line at

Breakfast With The Basics


I decided to enter the Archibald prize this year.

Here is my entry, Breakfast With The Basics (91x61cm, acrylic and coloured pencil on linen).

A few years ago, when I was playing in a pop-rock-punk three piece, we used to do gigs with these guys and, as I recall, maybe even a short tour. They were absolutely inspiring with their incredible musicianship and stagecraft, and their unbelievable resilience in the face of a grueling touring schedule. They also happen to be damn nice people to be around.

I was thrilled when they agreed to sit for me. We had a skype date while I sketched and they chatted, sipped hot drinks and nibbled breakfast, in a very informal setting. They were telling me they had just played a gig the night before with some of the greats of Australian music.

It was so nice to connect with them again, this time in a new way. In the painting, I tried to show something different about their individual personalities while maintaining a sense of their accord as a group.

Thanks, Kris, Tim and Wally. You’re just great.

You can connect with the music of The Basics here. It’s a treat for the ears, but your dancing shoes will be in for a punishment.


This painting is now for sale. Please contact with your enquiry.


This painting is no longer for sale from me, as it has gone to Victoria to live with The Basics. 😀


The Happy Prince

The Happy Prince

I got pretty excited yesterday when the Lethbridge 10000 finalists were announced, and I saw that I had made the online finalists category.

This is my entry, The Happy Prince (61x35cm, acrylic on canvas). It is a retelling of the short story of the same name by Oscar Wilde, illustrating the parallels between this tale and the story of Siddhartha (a Nepalese prince who later became Gautama Buddha).

Making this painting made me more aware of the need to focus on tonal variation when creating a composition.

The work is for sale at the Lethbridge Gallery website

Great Great Aunt Vera

Great Great Aunt Vera

I recently discovered that my great great aunt, Vera Cummings, was a New Zealand painter of some note. Born in Thames (a town at the southwestern end of the Coromandel Peninsula in New Zealand’s North Island) in 1891, she painted portraits of Maori people of the Auckland area. She attended the Elam school of Fine Arts in Auckland, and later became a student of
C F Goldie, who was a famous painter of portraits of Maori people.
The people in our family don’t have a lot of information about Vera, however, my mother tells me that she was a spinster, who, along with her sister, cared for their mother in her later years. She is said to have complained about the necessity to produce “pot-boilers” in order to support herself and her mother. In spite of the pressure she must have felt to paint this kind of portrait, she was still able to produce works of a very high standard.
My mother and uncle recently visited the Auckland gallery, where they were able to view Vera Cummings’ painting, Portrait of a Maori Woman. Above is a snapshot of them with the painting. You can see an image of the painting here.
Maori portraits of the kind painted by Vera Cummings, and her tutor, Charles Goldie, have enjoyed popularity and are considered an important part of New Zealand cultural history. If you wish to find out more about this style of painting, and its cultural significance and associated controversy, try the following links:



This one is a small commission I completed last year. It was intended as a wedding gift for a couple who enjoy vintage styling and getting away from it all. Acrylic on canvas, size approximately 30 x 20cm

Enquiries about commissions are always welcome 🙂



This is a fairly quick pencil and watercolour painting I made for a friend, Amy. It is entitled Amy In Wonderland.

At approximately 30x42cm, it is a composite portrait of Amy and her two pets, Esther (cat) and Luna (rabbit). Sadly, Luna the rabbit has now passed on, and Amy is now separated from Esther while she is overseas, so it was nice to be able to put the three friends into a painting together.

Here I imagine them all under a tree in Wonderland, enjoying the dappled sunlight and a spot of Amy’s favourite tea.

The edge gradient was added to the photo – the original work is on a white background.

The Finer Things


This tiny work (approximately 8x6cm, not including the frame) is entitled The Finer Things, and was made as a gift for Peter at The Daily Massage. He has provided much support in the last year for me and has encouraged me to try to fulfill all my artistic aspirations. He also helped me figure out how to create this blog.

Go and check out his website, and maybe book in for a massage if you’re in the area. You won’t be sorry.