25 June, 2013

Pump-house as black hole phenomena

I walk this road at least once a week. I sometimes walk here twice a week. I have done so for years. Do you know this is the first time I have ever seen this pump-house next to this hedge? I think it is because I have always looked past it to the pimple on the landscape known as Kakepuku, a 449 m volcanic cone, a mount.
I say pimple because it pops out of the relatively flat-ish landscape that surrounds it like a pimple on a teenagers birthday face.Boing! 

I went abstract because my mind had just been blown by the Dr Who-ness of the pump-house. I am quite sure it has not been there before.......but the path next to the hedge was well worn....maybe I talk too much when I walk!

24 June, 2013

50 shades of grey

I live in a notoriously foggy part of the world. I don't mean mist that dissipates by 10 am, I mean fog. Fog that lingers and weaves tendrils of clamminess into your whole day. It leaves me lamenting for days  "where is the sky?" . wail wail, moan moan.

It was icy this morning, frost about and fog is threatening. Recently, we have had misty, frosty mornings. The sun beats through by about 11 am and staves off the mist till 5pm.....but today the fog is here. Bleurgh.

35 x 45 cm
oil on board
Through the Pines

23 June, 2013


Say it with me. SUPERMOON! If you saw the moon rise last night, you would know what I am rabitting on about. Wow! The moon was a third bigger than it's usual size (water retention...and I made that percentage up too) but is was fabulous .
For some reason, the moon really does it for me. I love the light of the full moon, the sliver of the new moon...the whole damned cycle, even the darkness of the no moon.....it pulls at the imagination and reactivates the wonder gland.

Clearly, I am affected.

Last night we drove home from a milestone birthday celebration (my father-in-law turned 80!) from the coastal city of Tauranga and had the priveledge of watching the moon rise over the sea, follow us home over the farmlands and Kaimai mountain ranges, wink at us over the Karapiro lake , and light the night all the way home.

I even woke at 2am just to have another look at it again.

Today I painted from memory what I witnessed last night...and toned down the cheesiness of the moon.

25 x 50 cm oil on board

I went a little abstract because that's what the moon does to me!

19 June, 2013

Happy Accidents

A happy accident using what Paint I had left on my palette....Ochre, purple,white and blue......

Things I discovered:
A limited palette is enabling, not disabling
Smooth surface makes for quick and direct application of paint
What I think of as casual is actually instinctual

Sorry about the bloom on the photo but we are in the middle of a storm week( we had a tornado down the road yesterday, there is snow on the hills, water everywhere and I have lashed the trampoline to the pergola to ensure it does not take flight. A photo taken outdoors is tantamount to a challenge for Madame Mother Nature at the present. Indoors photo will have to suffice)

Life drawing tomorrow.....I hope the model is hairy! ( for warmth, people, for warmth!)

16 June, 2013

Late for lunch

This is the beginning of a series of paintings from unusual perspectives, mostly from above.

My kids are mortified that I have been seen photographing crowds in the Foodhall at the local shopping mall, hung out the library window and tried to gain access to a rooftop to get a good photograph. Mmmmmmooooooooooooooooooommmmm, nooooooooooooo!!!!! I cannot tell you how much joy I get out of freaking them out...the look in their eyes is one of sheer terror that they might be associated with me and THAT, my friends, is the true power of parenting!!!!

Late for lunch
30 x 30 cm
boxed canvas and oil

10 June, 2013

Fieldays impromptu exhibition and an excellent horoscope

I shall start by telling you that I am exhibiting with various other artists' at the Kaipaki Community hall ( recently refurbished and looking awesome!) from tomorrow till sunday , 12-16 June. This coincides with Fieldays, the largest agricultural exhibition in the southern hemisphere. Relax. if you see me driving a tractor, know that I stole it!!!

I decided to join this impromptu exhibition last wednesday and have been grateful ever since as it has given me something to focus on. I made some screen on which to hang the art, I chose pieces and painted a few , made name tags etc etc......nothing motivates me quite like last minute arrangements!!!!

So, today is set-up day and  before I had everything sorted , another artist approached me and bought a piece. Then a second person approached me and bought a piece! Wow! I was blown away and so pleased.

So, all ready for tomorrow but I shall have to replace those paintings with others, now.Quick, quick!!!

I came home and read my horoscope...this is what it said


Group activities are favoured, as you join forces with others to produce a practical outcome. A fabulous new friendship could also develop from a shared interest and similar dreams

Gone to a good home

06 June, 2013

Drawing naked people and the use of euphemisms

"Life drawing" is what artists call it when they draw(or paint) from a nude model, in front of them.  You know the scene: nude and slightly cold model sits on plinth/chair/daybed in huge studio, surrounded by students all peering out from behind easels, pencils in teeth, beret's askew and all looking absolutely ok with the fact that there is aNUDE person sitting on a chair/bed/plinth in front of them . Like it's normal . Not an eye in batted not a breath gasped. Everyone does their level best to be ABSOLUTELY cool with this.

Today was such a day for me, EXCEPT, the venue was a fishing  clubhouse (complete with floor so sticky i wonder if it had been swabbed with sugarwater and various fish mounted on the walls......), the model bailed on us and no one was wearing a beret. So, one of the conveners dropped his kit and modelled for us and THANK GOD for that because there was no way I was going to do that without actually being on fire because winter is NOT the time to be modelling nude in New Zealand. Best thing ever, though, they stop for a wine half way through the session. I must let you know that the class runs from 12;20 to 14:30 ....it's a midday thang. I turned the wine down but I think it's a hoot! The model also gets to quaff a glass ( they should have a bottle and a straw in this temperature)...and quite right too.

It has been years since I have drawn a person from life and I loved  doing it again. I did this in Cape Town years ago (twelve to be precise) and never got back into it when I started painting.

We started off with a few short poses(5 minutes) then moved onto longer poses, none lasting more than 20 minutes.

And then the weirdest things happened and SHE walked in and I just HAD to draw her....!

When I doodled this at the end I know my concentration was shot! 1h30minutes of pure concentration is enough to start me seeing things!!!

Anyhow, let me know if you like what I did.I used conte pastel on plain black paper.  I might paint next time too, who knows.

so, "Life drawing" or "Drawing cold, Nekkid people" was a success for me.

04 June, 2013

Winter light

The colours of the landscape are quite different now from summer...the light is muted , the grass eye-achingly green, trees are either dull green, autumnal coloured or bare, the cloud-skies change rapidly with the winds.....and play havoc with my easel...and yet there is something in the freshness of it all that makes it worth the numb fingers and toes.

Farmhouse on the run-off
35 x 45 cm
oil on canvas board

I promise, the grass is really that kind of green.

01 June, 2013

Martins bay nostalgia

I was supposed to be cataloguing my photos and I got stuck actually looking at them and reminiscing about the holiday spent with my parents recently ( although it feels like a long time ago!). We are now, officially, in winter and to make sure I am in the right frame of mind I have soup on the stove and washing drying all over the house. It also seems to me that every child in the neighbourhood is taking advantage of my seclusion in the studio to rampage all over my house...I hear whoops and yelps occasionally! BOYS! I am too scared to leave the studio to discover what they have done.

So, distracted by photos and holed up in my studio, I decided to paint a little painting. It was that or go out and have a NERF battle. I didn't fancy my chances against the feral lot today.I plan to tame them with soup and marshmallows by the fire later.

Martins bay
oil on archival paper

reference photo

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