30 July, 2013

Glamour Girls

It has been a wild few weeks. School holidays culminated in a weekend trip skiing...which ended badly when my husband had a spectacular crash on his snowboard, separating his shoulder. (eugh, sounds painful just writing the word "separate"). So, I was left to take the 8 and 11 year old all over the mountain. This is a bit like asking the queen mother to guide you up Everest. I managed to fall off the T-bar lift and provide the cafe  with a half hour spectacle of myself trying to negotiate the freestyle area of the mountain. To say I feel harassed and frazzled would be an understatement.

I have said a few very bad words over the last few days. I have also laughed a lot. I find the one cancels the other out, karmically.

So, a big week . I have 5 paintings in the Waikato Dio Art Exhibition, 1-3 August and 7 pieces at the Garden Art Studio Gallery in Cambridge.  All delivered today. On top of all that, I am driving Miss Daisy as Charles cannot drive himself to work for a while!

Glamour Girls is one of the paintings at The Garden Art Studio. I had a lovely chat with artists Caroline Blair who was busy hanging work the the August themed "Four legs, Fur and feathers" Cute title, hey!

Glamour Girls
Acrylic on canvas
900mm x 1200mm

23 July, 2013

Painting with new friends

I had a great day painting yesterday with Auckland based artist, Murray Stuart, and his wife Pat. I met Murray when I was painting Arkles bay ( lucky sod lives there!) and invited him to join me painting if he ever ventured south to the Waikato .  It turns out, he does.
Yesterday was the day we agreed he would skip babysitting his grandson and escape to the country and paint. I was holding out for some great weather, but the day was bleakly grey and quite devoid of any good light ( thanks ,fog) until the afternoon. We drove to Ohaupo, parked on the school grounds overlooking the vista facing west and just then, the sun started to warm the clouds and fog, and we saw our opportunity.

Murray is an accomplished painter in all mediums, and he chose to paint in watercolours which was well suited to the atmospheric conditions.
I did my usual throw oil paint at the canvas thing.

Jovial Murray..his cap has his name written on it, splattered with "paint"

My effort.....see the blue sky? It was not there when I started!

Painting and chatting alongside...very convivial.

This is how it looked when we arrived, all atmospheric and overcast

But the light started to arrive.......
By the time I left, the valley was flooded with the late afternoon sun which had broken through the cloud and fog and was doing it's damnedest to make up for lost time!

I will attempt a studio painting from yesterday's painting but all in all, a great time! Thanks to my childminders and Murray and Pat.

21 July, 2013

Remote crossing

I cross a few railway lines in my daily jaunts as child chauffeur and mommy taxi. These are mostly rural crossings, just a sign saying "The double lines perpendicular to the road indicate a railway line that is active. Please stop and look both ways. This is important, Dumbass" or something to that effect. I love railway lines. Not in a i-want-to-live-next-to-one kinda way but in the way they bisect the land so dramatically and the way they are either empty,portentous and draw the eye waaaaay into the distance or WHAMMO! busy, full of enormous machinery, noisy and downright dangerous. Anyway, whatever it is, I love looking down railway lines and thrill when I see a train (my kids are so embarrassed when I bleat "TRAIN" with such excitement ...eyes roll) ,train lights or even if a signal light changes.

Remote crossing
450 x 400 mm
oil on canvas
So, next time you are at a railway crossing,stop. Look ( yes, both ways) and if you have time, look again and see if you can find a thrill in it too.

17 July, 2013

Pop cows

It is school holidays and I am knee deep in kids, some not my own, but I have discovered the key to happy kids is a combination of various factors:

  • multiples work well together..the more, the merrier.
  • exhaust them, physically and mentally
  • make sure they eat breakfast (seriously)
  • introduce fun elements into their day
  • say "yes" when they expect "no"
  • do not discount old favourite like libraries, swimming pools and playgrounds as options
  • have an incredible stash of sweets that you offer as reward for good behaviour
  • ignore the bad, keep focussing on the good
  • playdates...make them in advance
  • earplugs
So, I am frequently interrupted and have to work from the home studio at the moment. I am experimenting with acrylics.....sounds tame but it has it's challenges and I am working through them. Inspired by Warhol and the vibrant colours.I like painting multiples of things...I am just changing the format a bit,playing around.

Pop cows
acrylic on canvas
450mm x 600mm

available on my website

12 July, 2013

Painting on location

The Start

Standing back to evaluate, easel at angle to sun to prevent the canvas blinding me.

The view

I think it helps to see the process , sometimes.

08 July, 2013

I made a mess and I liked it!

I wanted to paint Te Awamutu ( the next town along from where I live) from the vantage point of a hillside home. The lovely owners of the house let me park in their drive and paint. It was a fabulous winters morning, perfect for painting.....but i could not resolve some issues with the scene and was becoming increasingly frustrated, so I decided to take to it with my big , rubber paint-shaper to remove the paint in the foreground and start again. BIG GUNS!!!

I scraped it off and voila.....was left with an interesting, abstract effect. I like it! I like it so much I left it just as it was and will look at it in another week and see what else I can do, if anything. I don't mind that I made a mess ( I got paint all over my sleeves, my face, my hands...everywhere ) or that it did not turn out the way I had envisaged it. Rather, I relish the new experience of what ELSE could make the scene "work" and it certainly follows my recent thoughts about abstracting detail and forms .

Te Awamutu from the hill
50 x 40 cm
oil on canvas board

You know that feeling when a word is on the tip of your tongue but you just can't remember it? You know that feeling of deja vu? You know that feeling when  someone says  something really fabulous about you but you weren't supposed to hear?  That's how I feel about painting right now. Very . Very. Frustrating/weird/ exciting.

06 July, 2013

Small studio sale

I am having a small studio sale of works.  It feels strange to say it out loud ,but these paintings need to go to homes where they will be seen and loved by others rather than languishing in my studio.

If you are from outside of New Zealand, I will ship to you at the best rate I can find. Usually, no more than $40 for these sizes.

The rooster, George.
30 x 38cm
oil in canvas
excl postage

The summer villain
25 x 30 cm
oil on canvas
excl postage
Summer grazing
23 x 28 cm
oil on canvas
excl postage

04 July, 2013

Final Straight

I have been wanting to finish this painting for months now. I started in acrylics but just could not get the  paint to work the way I wanted it to work. I have a love/hate relationship with acrylics that is going to need some intervention in the near future. I love that it dries quickly so you can layer the paint but I also hate it for drying so quickly that blending is difficult...then there is the texture issue.

 Honestly, I just need a good play with a whole variety of acrylics ( fluid, heavy bodies, all the mediums) to get to the point where I know what I am working with.  Hardly seems like hard work but it can get expensive...! So I went with the oils because I know that mistress best right now.

Ok, back to the horses. I need to get my head round abstracting the horses shapes. What I mean is I want to paint horses that look like horses without actually drawing horses.




Step away from the turps..........

Final straight
oil on canvas
 45 x 60 cm

02 July, 2013

Bony- ass cow

Seriously, I need help with the titles of my cows! I am painting a herd, so there's lots of scope!

Bony-ass cow
45 x 60 cm
oil on canvas

01 July, 2013

Expressive cows

Do cows have expressions?

This is what happens when you mix loud music, coffee, mineral turpentine, free canvas, oil sticks and frustration.

I am happy with the painting but really freaked out at how freaked out and wired I have to be to be able to paint like this!!!!
I blame my kids. Today is "dress up as your favourite book character" at school. My oldest kid decided to write his own book last night and go as himself ,because he really did not want to dress up. Seriously. So he wrote a book but then put a unicorn in the book because he really wanted to go as a unicorn but was worried the other boys would laugh and make fun of him. Being a book nerd boy is hard on the self esteem when you are 11. So, 10 minutes to school starting, he caves and decides to go as Frodo Baggins from Lord Of THe Rings. Dear god. That sees me sewing hobbit feet out of felt and knotting a  tablecloth into a cape with my tiny elf hands at superspeed. As he is about to hop out the car at the school gate ( 1 minute before school !) , saying goodbye, I notice my wedding ring on a string round his neck. WTF? He explains that he is Frodo  Baggins. Bilbo Baggins kept the ring in his waistcoat pocket and wore it but Frodo really only wore it round his neck, on a necklace. For authenticity's sake, it is a necessary prop. Deadpan face.

While I was musing on an appropriate response(twitch twitch " WTF !!" is not ok, he tells me) I saw at least 6 unicorns on the playing fields. All girls. I think his last minute decision was a good call. I hope my insurance is good for this but I know my parenting kudos just went up a notch.

As my gorgeous cousin Janet say, my shattered nerves.
45 x 60 cm
oil on canvas

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