Turning adversity into a positive results!

Back in March 2021 we featured an Australian watercolour artist, Denise Faulkner. Her quirky paintings of Australian flora and fauna, especially birds, were very well received by readers at the time. You can revisit that post in the bookmark below:

Denise Faulkner - wonderful Australian watercolours
Today we look at the unique and colourful work of Australian artist, Denise Faulkner. Her study of the “personalities” of the Australian native birds and animals around her home has led to a series of detailed, yet warm and playful watercolours. Image: denisefaulkner.com.au

Denise lives on a 45 acre bush block just outside of Mudgee, New South Wales Australia. Mudgee is a large town in the Central West of New South Wales, about 260 kms north-west of Sydney.

It is in the broad fertile valley of the Cudgegong River, and, like much of the eastern side of Australia, has had unprecedented rain in recent months, resulting in substantial flooding. And of course, COVID has not disappeared, and still requires consideration in terms of crowds and activities.

But whilst Denise was protected from these challenges on her remote property, (except when having to come to town for supplies), an unforeseen disaster of a different kind severely curtailed her artistic activities……

Denise has reported in her recent newsletter to subscribers that a tiny scratch on her wrist by her cat landed her in hospital, requiring surgery and then a three month recovery where she was unable to paint for some time. You never know what can be around the corner when you least expect it!

However, this inactivity did not hold Denise back. Instead, it gave her the time and opportunity to do something which she had been meaning to undertake for a long time - to design custom printed card wallets to hold themed greeting card sets of her work.

There was a carefully considered thought process behind the groupings of these card sets.

Denise says in her newsletter:

The first set in the series is the Bird Greeting Card Set, featuring native birds. The second set is the Tea Party Set where the birds invite themselves to tea and eat the cakes! The third set, The Garden Party Set, moves out into the garden, with picnic rugs, bunting and comfy cushions and this time it is not just the birds which join in, there are echidnas, wombats and even a sugar glider helping himself out of the sugar bowl.1

”The final set in the series is The Flora and Fauna Set. This combines the local creatures with plants and vases, and a couple of ginger jars. They have finished their garden party and have cut some pretty flowers and have wandered inside to pop them in vases and hang out in the pot plants.1

Denise's boxed card series. Credit: Denise Faulkner © with permission

Denise also has designed a new range of tea towels featuring some of our favourite Australian native birds, from Lyrebirds to cheeky Cockatoos and even a couple of famous Maggies (Magpies)...1 You can look at them on her website by clicking here.

She also has a Calendar for 2023 showing some of her wonderful watercolours!

As with everything she has produced, they are designed, printed and made in Australia.

Denise was at last allowed to start some recovery wrist rehabilitation exercises, so what better way to exercise her wrist than to paint! She found that to paint some smaller images of the more unusual local birds she had previously photographed (plus one Gouldian Finch who posed for her at the local bird show) was terrific therapy. They are shown sitting on a few of the vintage teacups from her own personal collection.

The series is called The Recovery Series.

As much as we love Denise’s quirky artworks, we also love the humorous titles that she gives to each painting or print. You can browse through these on her website here! They are so quintessentially Australian !

Well done, Denise, in turning adversity into opportunity!


  1. With thanks to Denise Faulkner© She has kindly given permission for her newsletter content and the images of her work to be shared on AnArt4Life.