28 December, 2012

Plein air with small, barking dog.

My boys are out motorbike riding today . So I have taken this opportunity to paint outdoors, en plein air is the arty term, and get used to making field studies to work on later in the studio. In the field you get a far better sense of the place and the paintings from those painting, along with my photos and notes, make for great studio paintings.
I can work on more than one painting from a single en plein air study and just being out there, painting in nature, is a thrill.

 I took the dog, Freddie( named after Mercury, not Kruger). To be honest, he is a 7 month old puppy, and as such, really a teen. I thought he would come, lie down and be mellow whilst I painted. Noooooooo, I was wrong. He had other plans. His agenda went as follows: bark at everything and anything, animate or inanimate(single blades of grass , waving in the wind, fair game) Bark at cars, bees, cyclists, cows, things in the distance, clouds, shadows, your own shadow, my shadow...the list went on and on. So did the incessant barking.

I snapped and popped him back on the car ( 2 meters away from me) and he was fine. So, I opened the windows, ties him to the carseat and settled back down to paint. Then he decided  NO, and barked at me. Loudly and with intent. So I hauled him out again, tied him to the fencepost in the shade and told him he was a good boy.I lied, but it was worth a shot.

This was not the peaceful experience I was anticipating at all!! I decided to carry on regardless and tuned him out ( mothers of small children can do this after years of practise)..and he settled down, ate the grass and chilled out in the shadow of the fencepost.

Later on, when I was packing everything into the car , he sat on my painting! He now has a cadmium yellow left paw and tail and a blue nose!!!

I thoroughly enjoyed meeting some of the new home owners on McGregors road and had a brief chat with them. They too love this view and we agreed it was worthy of a painting. I shall post the studio painting when it is done, but till then, a bit of evidence of the days painting events.

 Aren't you glad there is no sound with this!!!!

27 December, 2012

Post Xmas, pre New year painting

I have had a huge windfall of a present...a new, Italian, sexy H-frame studio easel. Wowsa! Almost as sexy was the under- the- breath swearing of my lovely husband as he assembled the beast from the  instructions, published in Italian.!!! I know he loves me because he did this on Xmas morning before he went on a bike ride on his new bike....the sacrifice! Thank you, darling!

So, I painted.....and I painted big! But the bad weather has not allowed me to photograph that painting yet  ( i take all my photos outdoors, in natural light) so you will have to suffer this little painting that I painted and managed to photograph just before the rain started.

25 x 30 cm
oil on canvas
Ohaupo towards Managatautari, from the school hall

I had trifle for breakfast yesterday. Just thought I would throw that out there.

18 December, 2012

It was the week before Christmas..

It was the week before Christmas,
and all through the house,
mayhem and havoc
made me grumble and grouse.(bah Humbug!)

I hate Xmas shopping
 the stress and the panic
 the car that then broke
and needed mechanics.(plural!)

Money's  been spent
and not just on stuff,
but bills and last notices
and than kinda guff.

My headspace is crowded with so many things
that painting and crafting are quite foreign things.
So, off with computers, out with distractions,
kids off from school means parental interaction.( oi!)

I need to recharge and get back my vooma
my vigour and vim and some kind of mantra
that lets me slow down when the world spins too fast
and helps me look forwards when I look in the past.

Whatever your faith
whatever you say,
enjoy the small things
and enjoy the next days
with friend or with family
whatever you choose,
rest and relax and maybe a snooze.

Tell those that you love
that love them you do,
and have a happy holiday
from me to you.

I have had a frantic few weeks of school productions, various domestic catastrophe's ( fridge , car and computer all broke!), bouts of extreme forgetfulness ( almost forgot to post my Xmas cards!) and general lethargy. So, in light of the above, I am downing tools, going to watch a few art DVD,s and learn a bit, draw a bit, play with my kids and enjoy the summer holidays and generally chill out. I will be back in the New Year. Happy Holidays! Thank you for reading my blog this year!

10 December, 2012

Bokkoms 2

Dried, salted mullet. That is what "bokkoms" are......and possible a delicacy but I have never had the stomach for them. They are, however, a standard roadside vendors trade in summer months along the west coast of the Cape in South Africa. Ramshackle stalls made of wattle or such wood with a zinc aluminium sheet as a roof  would shelter the dried fish from rain but not much else.

I guess I am homesick for familiar sights . And go figure how dried fish makes me feel better!!!!

oil on canvas
35 x 45 cm

I painted like a mullet this morning. Maybe that's why I chose the fish! This was painting number 3...the others were wiped due to serious atrociousness.

09 December, 2012

comment issue

It seems there might be an issue with comments on my blog...to be precise, some of you cannot comment( and lordy, you know how I love to hear your thought!).

So,if you can, leave me a comment......I will try and sort this issue out ASAP.

In the meantime, here is a photo for you to look at.

06 December, 2012

Plein air painting of Shelly Bay.

As promised, here is the painting I painted on top of the hill.....please note the bugs and grass seeds still in it!

I am chomping at the bit to go painting again, but the recent appalling weather, my hay fever and family needs have all shunted that to the sidelines.

I am setting my alarm clock for an early rise, preparing my palette and easel etc and going to see what I can paint tomorrow morning, really early, sparrow fart early.No wine for me tonite!

I have been using the inclement weather as an excuse to watch some painting DVD's. Quang Ho, a Denver based artist, has a wonderful way of explaining things and lots has fallen into place for me. The first DVD is called Nuts and Bolts .
Quang Ho explains some basic principles which, while I did not have a name for the, I knew them.( no, that does not make sense, but it makes sense to me!) I think it is all part of the echo that I have been feeling and hearing about various principles in painting. Now they have names, it makes it easier to remember and relate to.
The basic principles need to be adhered to, no matter your painting style, be it impressionist, abstract, expressionist, realist or whatever. If those elements are missing , no matter the subject, the painting will not read as a good painting.
If this atrocious weather continues, I shall get through my stash of DVD's and online videos pretty soon...but I better get some brush miles in too. somehow, indoor painting is not an attractive option right now...I really enjoyed the outdoors experience.

04 December, 2012

Richard Robinson painting experience: part 2

After a second breakfast or early first lunch( sorry, Hobbit reference) and buoyed by our early success, Richard suggested we climb to the top of a small hill and paint the next cove along, called Shelly beach. I ditched some of my equipment, the extra canvas panels, and by mistake, my palette!

After a climb through chin high grasses we set up looking down onto the beach but also with an amazing view of just about everything else in sight.

What to paint, or rather, what NOT to paint. Richard had earlier explained how painting a scene should be akin to describing it in poetry. He described his plan of action and chose to focus on the small beach area rather than the whole vista, as it presented itself to us. I nodded, grateful for the direction and insight.

It was too windy for the umbrella's and we knew we were going to battle the sun and yet we forged ahead. I was deep in thought , painting away, adjusting values and examining colour choices, when he suddenly threw his canvas across the grass and jumped on it a few times. His water bottle came out and he liberally doused the whole thing then , declaring himself satisfied, popped it back on the easel. What a laugh!

We painted for a while longer and then I realised my eyes were starting to get sore from the glare of both canvas and the canvas palette I had to improvise....I knew I was flagging. We took the opportunity to chat some more and he described something he called " abstract expressionism".....and the lightbulbs went off in my head again! I get it!

The last photo is of the beach, the other side of the hill, at Waipu.

We finished off, carrying our completed paintings down over our heads to prevent the long grass heads adding to the brush marks on the canvasses. My completed painting contains a few bugs and some authentic Northland grass seeds!!!

I love my painting, not because it is especially good, but because I had such a good time making it.
I hope you looked at Richards's blog to see his completed version.

I shall post mine tomorrow. Today I am battling ferocious hay fever and trying to sort my new computer out.

03 December, 2012

Richard Robinson painting experience:part 1

I have just returned from a much anticipated trip to sunny Northland to paint with the highly successful and experienced New Zealand artist, Richard Robinson. I have been looking for something to nudge me forward with my painting...there has been an echo in my head about how I want to paint but I have been unable to put my finger on what it was, exactly, and how to proceed. I hoped a day painting with him would be the nudge I needed....and Boy, I was not disappointed.

I drove up from Hamilton( about a 5 hour drive) the day before and checked into a local beachfront motel. I threw my gear in the room and went for a walk.....2 minutes from my room , over the dunes and there it was, Bream bay in all it's splendour. Is this not an amazing place ?!

1December traditionally heralds the start of summer and there were quite a few hardy souls in the water. The lifeguards were in action, flags up and patrolling in their quad bike.

The next day saw me wake at 6.30 am( yes, AM!!!) to be on Richards doorstep at 7 am to go painting.
I was very nervous.....what if I was an idiot and painted like a chimp all day?! Best I concentrate and focus on what he had to teach me.
Well, what a lovely and generous teacher he is! He is a gentle spoken man with an easy manner and a great way of teaching. In fact, I did not feel he was teaching me but that we were having a conversation about painting and he said many a thing that made lightbulbs go off in my head like paparazzi on the red carpet.

We started painting at Waipu, a place he has painted many times, in the shade of Pohutakawa trees with a view over the sandy shadows out across the sea to Bream Bay beach. We set up our easels alongside so I could watch him and so we could paint a similar scene.
Whilst I had paint smeared on my face before I had even started, Richard is amazingly tidy. His easel is pristine, his tubes of paint organised and all had lids( some of mine are wrapped in tinfoil, the lids lost somewhere else a long time ago..o the shame) his brushes look new.....all his paint is on the palette in ordered blobs and even his puddles of colour were ordered. I felt wildly out of control!

We started, chatted a bit about composition, colour, shadows and how the eye is fooled by light and shade etc. He spoke of his painting experience outdoors and with other eminent painters....it was heady stuff. Then he dropped his first bombshell statement. I paraphrase this, but what he said was to this effect: at any stage of the painting, the abstract shapes should be beautiful . The abstract shapes should render the subject. A painting should read well at all stages. BOOM! it does not matter if you have not drawn a tree and a beach and a river, but if you have rendered the shape abstractly with attention placed on the values(the lightness or darkness), the painting should read as a tree,beach and river. I don't explain well, but he sure did! I got it!....now, how do I make that happen....

We had blocked in the abstract shapes( well, he had, I was still trying to get my head around some stuff) and we stood back to eat a banana and look at the paintings from a distance when a freak wind mini tornado- ed towards us...and tipped his whole easel over. My old Grumbacher stayed put ( possibly due to all the crap I had in it) but his easel ,palette, brushes and canvas were planted in the sand.


Cool as a cucumber, he took this as an opportunity to try something different. He was using the Holbein water soluble oils, so went off to find a tap, washed most of the sand and some of the paint off and attacked the canvas with new vigour and less inhibition...because what did he have to loose? and man, it was a fabulous result!!!
I could see how pleased he was with this effort and just watching him and the energy he used when painting it was a masterclass in itself. To see his final effort click here. Go, do it now!

We then stopped for a bite to eat and a coffee at a lovely local cafe, right opposite the beach where we sat and critiqued the works. He gave great, constructive feedback and, once again, some lightbulb moments with regards values and composition. I was having such a good time I did not notice if anyone looked at us or the paintings.

I will continue with my story tomorrow.

28 November, 2012

Bakers delight

I used a palette knife today with much abandon. I smeared, scooped,dragged and smooshed paint around....it reminded me of icing a cake. I am trying to use a variety of brushstrokes/painters marks in my paintings to add interest and texture.

I had a very interesting , albeit quick, chat with a local artist, Gillian McCready. She does amazing things with oils and resin, working in layers to carefully construct incredibly luminous abstract paintings.They are quite beautiful and very organic. I wish I had an example to show you, but I did see her exhibition at the Artspost Gallery earlier this year and was most impressed. It reminded me how much I enjoy talking with other artists and that I need to incorporate that into my life.

25 x50 cm
oil on canvas board

24 November, 2012

unfinished business

I have yet to complete this painting. I know that sounds a bit odd ( why did she post it unfinished?...nutter), but I am not sure who needs to be in this painting: the cyclist or the hitch-hiker. Both know the meaning of the lonely road and both have been on my mind recently . I have a soft spot for cyclists....some of my best friends are roadies and I love how fantastically scary hitch-hiking can be ( I swear, of all the things my mother made me promise not to do, not hitch-hiking was the one I kept.) . The good weather has seen an increase in cyclists on the country roads and hitch-hikers have been waiting on the side of the roads at the major state highway intersections. I think they herald summer.

But that aside, this painting is not about the figure in it, it's about the lonely road, the sky and the stillness that is so rare these days. The right figure will present itself.

oil on canvas panel
25 x 35 cm

I am a week out from travelling up North to Ruakaka to spend the day painting and learning from a great talent, Richard Robinson. I have been slightly freaked out by this and managed to paint like a complete twit for a while until I reigned the self- doubt in, told it to pull up a chair and watch quietly whilst I pulled myself together, and then continued to paint as normal. I have not heard a word from it since!

I am very excited and I hope you have a look at his work....he is amazing and self taught to boot.He recently traveled to Hawaii and has a free downloadable book...well worth the read.

21 November, 2012

Island clouds

In the afternoon, the clouds build up into great banks off fluffy "island " clouds. They rise tall and bouffant into the sky, making for fabulous sunsets and the odd afternoon shower. They have the most glorious shades of purples, greys and whites that change so quickly it is almost impossible to record them. Piantings skies is really, really difficult because you have to paint the impression, not the reality, as that changes so quickly.

I painted this in my garage!~
I was looking out north, past my neighbours house, to the Hakarimata range in the far distance, the farmers fields devoid of cows which are probably grazing other pastures to allow the top paddocks to recover in spring.

oil on canvas panel
22 x 30 cm

20 November, 2012

Busy days

My days have been very busy with everything bar painting, lately. The children have had a variety of activities that have required my complete attention and the new puppy is not as restful as I would like, so adding "walk the dog" into my day has sneaked a few hours out of my painting time. But the days are warming, the sun is out, the sunsets have been spectacular and there is a lot more daylight time to play with.

This was the second warm up exercise I painted a few days ago. I have a box full of reference photos and I challenged myself to grab one, sight unseen( a bit of a lottery there!) and paint an interpretation of that photo. I am enjoying the transition from blindly following photographic reference to the detail  to using them as inspiration and using artistic license.

This was one of the sunrises at Whangamata beach, photographed by my mother ,who woke each morning at some ungodly hour to witness the dawn.

15 x 20 cm
oil on canvas board

13 November, 2012

Muster demonstration

Here are a few photos taken as I painted today's scene...a wonderful South Island muster .

 I watch a New Zealand TV show called Country Calendar and they often have shows about the annual musters on the massive south Island farms ( they call them stations). I would love to go on one and paint and take photographs...that would keep me busy for a whole year!!!! Maybe one day......

 stage 1. Block in and establish direction and the lightest areas.

 Stage 2. Block in the colour

 stage 3. more colour and some shapes

 stage 4. establish the shapes using the negative shapes...!!! I know, crazy stuff!

 Stage 5. work on the shapes and add texture to the landscape, small details to the pack horses etc

 Stage 6. Fiddle but not too much. Move the paint around to make the shapes.Do not think about what a horse looks like anatomically but think about what the train of pack horses feel like. ....and then paint that. Fine tune the colors.

Stage 6. Walk away and think about it for a few days!
20 x 25 cm
Oil on hardboard

Then I made a collage on the computer for the FB page...like this!

So much fun!
I hope you enjoyed seeing the progression and evolution of the painting as a process. Let me know if you would like to see it again.......and if you are a station manager or owner, please can I come with you next time?!

11 November, 2012

Glendhu Bay beach

I wanted to paint a landscape over a black gessoed canvas ground with a massive brush. I almost used an ordinary house painting brush, but  had recently purchased a huge , long handled brush that is almost 4.5 cm across at the tip and that was just the ticket.
I used my oils, stood back and really enjoyed the looseness of the impression.

30 x 60 cm
oil on boxed canvas

Glendhu campsite stands at the bottom of a big mountain, which casts it's shadow onto the water...which was still and completely reflective the day we visited. Saying that, my boys started skipping stones and paddling around, so it was soon less than tranquil!!!

07 November, 2012

Sheep Grazing on Te Mata Peak

These sheep were grazing on the steep  hills of Te Mata peak, Havelock North. I love this part of the world.....they have it all, vineyards, mountains, sea, orchards, fine weather, great towns and quaint villages.

I took this photo and have painted it before, but I have no idea where that first edition is hiding, so I used the opportunity to paint it again. If i find the original, I will post it.

The weather is warming up and my easel is seeing a little bit of outdoors action, but the truth is, I should get up earlier to paint but am a lazy so and so!

oil on hardboard
25 x 30 cm

05 November, 2012

Botched paintings and studies

There is an attrition rate in painting.....for me, about 1 in three. That's pretty high, but not as bad as it once was!!
For every canvas I paint I LOVE one, I am dissatisfied with one and undecided with one. The successes speak for themselves, but what to do with the others? Throwing them away is a waste and I want to learn from the mistakes, but I don't want to be faced with them all the time.
Well, I now place them upside down on the easel and paint over them! I was previously unable to tear my eyes from the original design but the upside down trick works well and I tend to paint looser and faster( to cover the mess!) and usually end up with a painting I am delighted with.

If the original painting is compositionally sound etc, just boring, I go back and work on it with some reference in mind so that it becomes a tutorial of sorts. It is not precious and intimidating like a blank canvas, yet it has potential.

This was OK, but boring.

So I reworked the foreground and it looks better. I am always happy to add the creeks!

I won't paint over any more studies, but I will use them to paint larger, studio paintings. The bad paintings will continue to be recycled.....the texture created by the dried paint alone is magic.

I have a new giveaway on my Facebook page .....have a lookYou can always gift if you are the winner...a good  Xmas present!!

November already.........wow.

03 November, 2012


 A continuation of the theme of looser, abstract painting in an effort to attain the right feeling or atmosphere ....the reference is .from a family holiday to South island two years ago. We had a great holiday and especially loved Wanaka, Arrowtown and Otago in general, the autumn colours helping out with the visual feast.

Charles and i cycled along the banks of the river Clyde to where it reaches Lake Wanaka, along a path so strewn with yellow poplar leaves that it looked illuminated from beneath. It was magical. We went back later with the whole family to show them the path, the crystal clear waters and the sandy beach.

60 x 60 cm
oil on stretched canvas
click here to purchase

31 October, 2012

Slave to reality no more

One of the biggest hurdles in painting(  for me) has been to create a sense of familiarity or recognition in a subject without being a slave to the original image, be it a photo, real life or whatever.
I have often ask friends if I may use  their photographs and use them a a jumping off point or as inspiration for a painting only to have them say " But you left the ......out" or " the colours are different".

As captain of my own ship I now cast off from reality......I want to paint how the scene FEELS.

20x 24 cm
oil on hardboard
click here to buy
ps. I love this painting.

30 October, 2012

The Curious Mob

Curious Mob     
I used this reference photo before, but wanted try it again.
oil on stretched canvas
30 x 24 cm

28 October, 2012

A sunday painting

I don't often get to paint on a weekend, let alone a Sunday. Sundays are wake up late, kids all over the place, be mellow and potter around the house kinda days. Charles goes for an early morning bike ride, the kids take advantage of me sleeping late to hog the computers and I like to use the day to reorganise myself for the coming week.
This Sunday was different....I got up at 7 to go help at a school fundraiser, Charles took to the kitchen and made a huge fry-up breakfast feast for the boys and then took them all mountain biking. Cool dad!

I arrived back to see them leave.I seized the opportunity and threw the easel outside and painted my view for a few hours. I had to paint quickly as the light and sky changed quite quickly.

This is fairly big for en plein air, but seeing as I was close to home, I gave it a shot.I was using an old canvas that I had wiped off and then smudged it with a reddish tone. I feel less intimidated by a toned canvas. I have white fright!

So, here I am on Monday, disorganized and  looking down the barrel of the ironing......never mind, it was worth it!

35 x 45 cm oil on canvas board
click here to purchase

26 October, 2012

Fishhook for Ngahinapouri School Fishing Competition

I liked this idea of fish, freshly caught, with the fishhook in sight.

25 x 35 cm
Oil on Canvas

I will be offering this as a prize for our school fundraising Fishing competition held on 01 and 02 December 2012. How cool that we have a fishing competition as a fundraiser....better than a bake sale! if you like to fish, live in the Waikato area, contact Jan Thomas on email letscatchfish@live.com for a great day out.

22 October, 2012

The View from the Farm

Long ago, in the days when I was very fit and mountain-biked up crazy steep hills and such, I used to enjoy this view. It is from the west, looking east, back towards Hamilton . In the autumn we would see the hot air balloons, rising above the city and in spring, we would be sharing the track with lambs and their noisy mothers. To enjoy this spectacular view we had to do a lot of climbing, often through a few flock of sheep and the odd smattering of young bulls( who all need lithium ). We usually stopped here to catch our breath after our panicked climb away from those sexually frustrated teens and marvel at this magnificent view. We being Big Luce and I . He has since left for the warmer climes of Australia and the big city lights.Bastard.He was such an amazingly fun friend and his genuine terror of the bulls made that ride worthwhile.

Anyway,Charles still cycles here and I thought that it would be a nice addition for his office......he can daydream about the view and mountain biking.

I used a palette knife on this painting , something I do not do very often, but it was fun and different and I shall have to experiment more with it.
30 x 60 oil on boxed canvas

17 October, 2012

Whangamata beach walk

Back into painting. Back into the oils and some landscape.....or  I should say, beachscapes.
25 x 35 cm
oil on Canvas Panel

click here to buy

Web woes and big dogs

My computer desk is strewn with the detritus of the last few days attempts to fix my website bugs. Empty teacups, biscuit packets and the minutest fragments of desperation chocolate litter the surfaces.Profanites hang in the air...they are always the last to leave.
Some of you can see my new website and some of you cannot. I have been wringing my hands and tearing my hair, Googling, YouTube-ing, , begging, pleading and occasionally sobbing.....but I am at an impasse. I need professional help with this web malady and have to exercise patience and wait for it to be fixed by those in the know. I hate not being in the know.I like being a know-it-all.

So, I paint.

This Rottweiler was inspired by a FB conversation with Vera and a huge sense of guilt towards my brother.....I have been promising to paint his lovely Rottweiler and , to date, have not.

As I do not have a recent photo of Marmite( her name!...the Chocolate labrador he has is called Toast!), I had to rely on another photo taken when I was running at the lake. Two ladies were standing on the path, mid chat.. One had a Rottie on a lead. It was seated but looked very intently at me as I came trotting towards them.Rotties have a distinct look....the eyes, the ears, the sense of power in those big heads....very distinctive.I ran wide past them.

I place this dog slightly left of center on the canvas but with her eyes slightly right,. I wanted to get the sense that she was looking past something in the immediate proximity( you!).....fixed on something in the distance, approaching.

25 x 35cm oil on canvas
NZ $ 100 excl p&p
click here to purchase
or email me jenniedegroot@xtra.co.nz

14 October, 2012

Giveaway and an announcement

I have been working on creating a website. WOW!!!That's a biggie ,I hear you say ( I know!!), and as always, these things go well till a point and then one has to learn how to iron out any problems.That's the bit that sucks.This is where you come into the picture.......

Always keen to learn new things but quick to ask for help.   So here I am ,asking you to test the site for me and let me know what happens. As this is a new site, some of you might find it instantly and some might not....such are the vagaries of being verified etc.....I just need to know!

click on the link and it that does not work, please type this in your header bar

Now here is the bribe in the form of a Giveaway:  please test it and let me know what you found. Leave a comment in the comment spot at the bottom of this blog or email me jenniedegroot@xtra.co.nz.

I will enter all those who leave  a comment or send me an email into the draw for this little gem.

Thank you so much

16 x 24 cm
Oil on hardboard

11 October, 2012

Night sky at the beach.

We have changed the clocks to herald daylight savings.....darker in the morning but lighter till later. This, my darlings, is the herald of summer hope.I say this with a timbre of desperation in my voice because I am still lighting the fire at 4 pm and have gone as far as to stack more firewood....summer is a few months away in reality.My lightweight clothes have to stay packed away for a while yet.

Summer . The epitome of summer for me is when I am not cold at night.....you can tell I grew up in warmer climes....but to sit on a beach, watching the moon play on the water ,without having to leave because I can no longer feel my feet.....mmmmmm, summer. This painting was all about wishful thinking.

Oil on canvas board, 20 x 40 cm
NZ$ 100 excl p&P
click here to purchase

08 October, 2012

How I love painting cows!

I made this collage after realising that I have painted cows in many ways, in different mediums and on different substrates ...and I still love painting them.

29 September, 2012

Don't all look at once!

You know when you are trying to show a friend someone but you don't want them to overtly all turn and stare at the same time so it becomes obvious that you are talking about the poor sod? These guys didn't get the " don't all look at once" memo.

Acrylic on canvas

24 September, 2012

Absence explained.

The last few weeks have been thrown into turmoil by an injury sustained by my youngest son ,Julius. It started off as a sprain and ended up in a weeks stay in hospital and a few operations. All this from a pillow fight . Being a kid is a dangerous occupation!

Obviously, a children's ward is no place to paint , but in these last few hours I have found peace if mind in the reassurance of the doctors that he will make a full recovery , and allowed myself to pull out the iPad and fiddle with one of the paint applications I downloaded.
This, believe it or not, is the sanitized view from the 6th floor of Waikato Hospital across the lake . I painted the hospital from the other side of this same lake not long ago.
So, whilst I have not had an opportunity paint ( nor the headspace) I have a renewed respect for the medical profession ( which is funny, given my husband is a doctor!) and enormous admiration for those who have chronically ill children.

I owe a great debt of gratitude to my very good friends who have supplied me with meals, housed my other child and puppy, collected my post and brought me coffee, tea and sympathy all week.

I will start painting again once I have caught up on some sleep or those psycho cows really will be psycho!!!

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