31 December, 2011

2012 Happy New Year

Last night someone one asked me if I had a new year resolution. I had not actively thought about it until then but I answered immediately " Do everything the same, just better" When I think about that sentence,it makes me feel very happy that my life is so good that I cannot think of a specific need or want that I would verbalized other than to improve. To be a better painter, to heal my runners knee and become a better runner, to be a better parent, to manage my time better, to spend more time with my family...all the same things ,just better. I am very much a " can't see the wood for the trees" kinda girl, but this morning, as I sit in my studio snug,reading through the lists of things I set myself to achieve this sat year, seeing my paintings on the wall and space where some have sold,writing I this blog, I can actually say I see where I am going, how I have got to this place and what I need to do to keep going. it is a good feeling. Thank you for getting me here, folks. - Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

27 December, 2011

Bigger psycho cows.

I painted these girls big.....I mean, very big! It is unusual of
me and I must admit I struggled to find the looseness and the same vibe as the smaller ones painted earlier in the year.

I am back to painting smaller, an achievable task given the boys are both at home for the holidays and seem to sense when I wander into the studio that the games can begin!!! I often surface after an hour of painting to discover that a raiding party has made a successfully bid to free the chips from the pantry, the sweets from the cupboard and there is jelly powder sprinkled on the kitchen bench.

I shall have to find an excuse to pop into town to the art store to buy a few more canvasses 8" x10", my new favorite size.

but first, I have to do battle with me broadband service provider....sigh.I feel very David and Goliath, but without the stone, right now.


26 December, 2011

Boxing day painting

I managed a quick paint after a supremely relaxing and surprisingly wholesome Xmas weekend, spent with friends.

My Xmas tripod has yet to arrive and I have used the iPad to take these photos...blurry but it,s all about the vibe, anyway!!

Hamilton train station platform, looking south .
6x8 inch(15 x 20cm)

Rukuhia road at the junction of Herman road, looking towards Mt. Pirongia.
8x12 inches ( 20 x25 cm)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

10 December, 2011

better photo

I hope this is a better photo of the Thomas farm, posted earlier today.

Travel at this way every Wednesday, on the way to the kids Karate lessons. I love the way the silo's catch the light...I will have to ask what is in them one day...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Ngahinapouri road

walking home from Dinsdale

Saw these two girls walking back to Templeview from Dinsdale,hoodies up ,late on Saturday afternoon.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Hamilton Train station

I used to bring Lucien to the station on a Saturday morning to see the Overlander, the train that travels cross the north island from Auckland to Wellington.My parents, the boys and I had a memorable trip on it a few years ago...for all the wrong reasons!!!
But Lucien has outgrown trains and Julius was never interested in them, so we have not been down to the station in years.

I was passing by and nipped in to see what had happened to it in the interim years....Not much,it would seem. the station and platform looked sad and dilapidated.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuhikaramea road farm

This is a farm just outside of Dinsdale, towards Templeview,on Tuhikaramea road.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Unexpected solitude

Charles and the boys have gone trail riding today and left me at home. It feels weird.But let's not look a gift horse in the mouth, now, sunshine!!

I have made the hay while the sun is shining...I have painted my socks off. But I have to rest now...I just rinsed my brush in my cup of tea( sure sign of tiredness!).

It's a bit blurry, but you get the vibe.This is the Thomas farm down Ngahinapouri road.

I will post the others when the camera comes back from trailriding.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

05 December, 2011

across the peat to the Kaimai Ranges

I had a good day painting today. I Need to paint fast to eliminate detail and fussiness. I am going to buy a kitchen timer clock for my studio.Yet another thing to cover in paint. The camera, kettle,door handle......you name, it, I have managed to get paint on it! sometimes the only thingI Paint is my immediate environment.

I digress.I liked this painting. I painted another of a building and it was TERRIBLE! Really, I mean it....I threw the entire canvas away. Then I fished it out the bin.....and threw it away again ,just for good measure.

I have to start selling some paintings. I am fast running out of space but am at a loss as to who to approach and how to proceed. I also want to fund a workshop that I am interested in attending next year and have set myself the goal of contributing to the workshop cost through my art. so, if anyone has an idea, let me know!!!

Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

04 December, 2011

Quality control...aka your photo's suck!

I have been told that the last few photos, taken with the ipad( lazy me!!) are not really good and do not feature any of the brushstrokes etc that you might wish to see. I agree. I love seeing brushstrokes and paint texture and the last few photos have fallen well below par, so my apologies, and back to the camera we go( head hung but lesson learned)

Today,s efforts. once again, all down Rukuhia road, towards Mangatautari.

I shared the studio with a freaked out bird( the cat is vengeful.I threw him off the kids bed this morning. when. Came back from the school run, he had left a poor, freaked out bird in my studio.Not sure if we are even yet) and a gazillion insects. I had to leave all the windows open to offer an avenue of escape for the bird, but it seemed I offered an invitation of a morning paint party to the insects who crawled all over the palette and wet canvas .I had to paint a cow in where a large fly went SPLAT across the canvas!

still, I am happy.That is what counts.

Ps. The party went well because the radiation therapists are such good event planners! all I did was smile and wave!
PPs. I give up...the photos are still not great. anyone have any suggestions. Mike, I am directing this at you!!

01 December, 2011

the tea break made me do it!!

Sorry, I had a cuppa tea, came back and changed it!!!! not much, but I like it better.You?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Gillard Rd,Ngahinapouri,New Zealand

rukuhia road...again

This is another interpretation of a photo taken yesterday.Still on the easel !!!

I have been a productive and busy bee today. I refrained from any family drama's this morning and got everyone to school on time.Score! I then packaged up all the raffle hampers for Sunday's Fishing competition raffle.Then I came home, went for a barefoot treadmill run, vacuumed, cleaned and did a general tidy up before settling not some painting. Now, why can't every day be this productive?! I even had time to watch the farmer next door re- fence his trees to protect them from the frisky horse abuse they seem to attract. The grass is long in the paddocks and I encounter harvesters, balers and monstrously oversized tractor machines on every country road I travel at the moment.

And now, I shall clean my palette and brushes,make a cuppa tea and settle down with a book and await the return of the heathen children. Then it will be "batten down the hatches "time all weekend.But I am set up for it because I got to paint.Score!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Gillard Rd,Ngahinapouri,New Zealand

30 November, 2011

Rukuhia road

I was a complete traffic hazard enroute home from the supermarket today, stopping to take photos ,often at short notice,to the detriment of the strawberries and eggs, I might tell you. But it was worth it....wonderfully sights and a lot of inspiration.

You would think that someone hosting a party for 58 adults and 18 kids this Saturday would need to be more focused, but I needed to relax and paint.The party will happen whether I stress or not, so I may as well not.

I also forgot to pick the kids up from the bus stop..and they managed to walk home without any problem and are all chuffed with themselves and their newfound responsibility!

I have posted the photo and my interpretation.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

27 November, 2011

A middle distance stare

When someone asks me a question that needs a carefully answer, or when faced with a situation that needs a considered response( think Lucien and his recent antics), I engage " the middle distance stare" in order to clear my mind of all other issues barring the one at hand.

I think this is what I need to see when engaging that tactic.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

21 November, 2011

statice and green chrysanthemums in vase

Statice is a weird flower.
Having said that, it is also a lovely color and lasts an inordinately long time.
I had a window of 40 minutes to paint this today....and for a quickie, I am pleased.
Not a masterpiece ( rolls around laughing) but ok as an excercise.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


20 November, 2011

Monday mania

I locked myself in the studio today.....I loaded new music onto the iPod,made sure I had enough rags,paint and tea...and primed canvasses...and I was off! I made a seat available to frustration in the corner, but put the music up loud so I could not hear him!

old MacDonald had a farm........nah,the music was better. Snow Patrol, Fallen Empires.

Not all finished, but I was, so I will leave the Scotty till another day to finish.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


19 November, 2011

The dune paths back from the beach

todays's painting. I multitasked and helped Lucien make a Lego robot and refereed a few arguments....somehow the serenity of the painting belies the circumstance of it' s creation!!!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


13 November, 2011

abscent without leave

I am swamped by demand from my other responsibilties so much that I have found little space for painting. I had a horrendous spell of wiping canvasses clean( 3 in one session...I almost drank the damned turps!). but then my eldest son,Lucien,told me he recognized my frustration and I knew that this was a perfect opportunity to model some ideal behavior for him. so, once I stopped swearing, I calmed down and told him how I felt and we agreed that a good tactic would be to imagine frustration as a person, welcome him into the room, ask him to take a seat and then explain that no matter what, we were going to continue until we had succeeded, whether he stayed or went. It was great to work it through with him, sharing frustrating experinces( he is learning to draw objects and finding the whole job of practice frustrating too) and I hope this visualization exercise benefits is both.

I finished a commission piece just as school went back and have not painted since, so tomorrow is D-Day for a start.Let me go make sure I have seat for my guest, in case he arrives.....!

I went AWOL to Auckland to visit the refurbished Auckland Art gallery( a must if you are in Auckland) and really enjoyed the wide range of art they had on exhibition. some is just plain mad and other is just plain beautifull. I like to have a balance of beauty and challenge in my art, but not necessarily in the same piece.Then I went to some smaller galleries to view their collections. I also savoured shopping at an independent art store,drinking coffee in lovely cafe,s overlooking the sea, catchin up with friends and eating fudge.My friend Shaun has a company that makes fudge...real, smooth ,gorgeous fudge in fabulous flavours like Almond and honey,ginger and, the most mind boggling best,liquorice! so, as you can imagine, I gave myself. Over to taste testing!!!!

Now home, a gazillion things to do in my garden that is fast becoming a jungle( the cat is delighted with the long hunting friendly grass. the rabbits and birds,not so much), school, and extra mural activities and an impending Xmas part for 100 people to be held herein 3 weeks time( suddenly need to lie down in a darkened room ).

but tomorrow is a date with the paint. definite.

24 October, 2011

Cow theme continued

I recognise that sometimes I get something right in a painting, but something else makes it a miss more than a hit. So I take the hit, try analyse what makes that part work and then retry it, often in a different format or colour or size. I like the looseness I get with the cows at the moment, so I am working with that and trying not to be too controlled and "right" about detail.
This is quite small,30cm by 15cm.

School is back and holidays are over, so hopefully, I can get painting again. We had a lovely time together but the boys are all about action, and painting, no matter what anyone tells you, is not on their radar as a fun filled activity.
Bless their manic little minds!

15 October, 2011

Sunday afternoon at the pond

I painted outdoors today for the first time in a very long time and it felt fantastic. I usually paint indoors, with the luxury of music, contained enviroment and a kettle nearby...but it is quite sterile.

I have admired this pond for a while now and today, with a window of a few hours grace whilst my kids went motorbiking, I asked the lovely owners if i could set up my easel and paint their beautiful view.

I was surrounded by the sights and sounds of nature, the wind gave me a good run for my money (I had to hang onto palette and easel a few times! That palette can become a sail!) and painted in the glare of the midday sun (The umbrella was a no-go with the wind) ............and it was amazing. I loved every minute of it and hope to paint the same pond again and again. Jim tells me he has plans to expand and develop the area, so hopefully I will be able to document the changes.

This is a photo of the scene

Can you see why I had such a good time...is it not fabulous?!

14 October, 2011

The Breakfast room at Adare Manor

This is from a photo taken by the lovely and talented Hector Van Der Walt. I am led to understand that this is the breakfast room at Adare Manor , Ireland. How I would love to take breakfast in this wonderful setting!

His glamorous job, at which he is terribly good, takes him around the world . He takes pity on us left behind and posts gorgeous photos. His eye for design shows in his photos and I frequently beg to paint them or use them as reference. Thank you for being so generous and keep posting photos.

I very rarely paint interiors, buildings etc, as I believe you need to be able to draw to do so......but I gave it a bash anyhow! People often ask me if I draw too...and I disappoint them by telling them I paint because I cannot draw!!!

It seems strange to not have a person in this view but I think it adds to that feeling of solitude. The empty breakfast room.
It is school holidays, my house is filled with children at all times, often many more than I actually claim blood-ties to, so solitude is something I crave right now. An empty breakfast room is the antithesis of my daily experience..more like a frantic kitchen!!!
One day, when they are all grown up and gone I will miss the madness !!!

08 October, 2011

Sheep admiring the sunset...yeah,right!

Sorry, clearly I am a bit silly at the moment. This was from an art class a few weeks back where I wiped THIS canvas clean about 3 times before I painted this scene. Frankly, the air was blue and my irritation levels at my own lack of focuswas on Defcon 9 . Then a watercolourist (such even mild,even tempered people!!) by the name of Karen let me look at some of her reference photos of sheep and this happened.

Not great, but not bad either.
The colour looks strange in the foreground( might be the photographer!) , not as dark in real life ,but the sky is about right.

05 October, 2011

Keira in The Blue Dress

This is Keira. Her mom , the photographer, is the very talented Melissa. She has a wonderfull blog about her very creative life in sunny Nelson, New Zealand.

I saw this wonderfull photo ofKeira and used it for inspiration.

She looks like she's hunting for something lost deep in her pocket! I loved that action and I hope she is happy with this painting.

04 October, 2011

Distraction central

I am supposed to be painting. Clearly, I am not...I am painting everything BUT a canvas. I painted these chairs a few days ago......funky little things.You like? I do!

Now I am trying to figure out how to access the wireless internet connection...and I have forgotten the username and password and cannot navigate my way round my PC to find it. I need a 12 year old!!!!!!!!!! Technology...sigh.

I want to paint a suitcase in a similar fashion(great place to put all the games etc)..so that's what I am going to do today.Bah humbug to the housework and washing.

Going to my art cave to get distracted....or is that engaged ..or reinteracted...or undistracted(focus,Jennie!)

25 September, 2011

Psycho cows and other things

I painted some cows....my monochromatic friends were black and white. I was not excited about them. Then I introduced a good idea(colour) but went a little crazy and hence,psycho cows are on the canvas. I like the idea but I will rework it from beginning with the colour in mind and be more carefull with the placement of paint. But, here they are in anycase....

And then, I painted this for my friend Helene. Well, I painted this with her in mind.

It is not massive, 25cmx50cm, but I really like it's warmth, much like Helene herself!

This is a detail of the painting.

I am on a mission to paint small for a while, not miniatures, but small enough that I have to THINK about my brushstrokes and the paint application as a one stroke exercise, not a three stroke mess!

11 September, 2011

It's spring!

We went skiing last week, hence the silence. Our family does an annual spring ski and we lasted for 5 days with spectacular weather...blue skies and sunshine all the way. By day 5 I was a bit over it and spent a lot of time gazing at the snow and the rocks and wishing I had my paints with me!
Day 5 coincided with me being bowled over by a novice snowboarder which re broke my rib just as it was healing. I took that as a sign! Off the mountain for me!!Anyhow, it was fun and the kids loved it.That's what it's all about.

Whilst away I celebrated a birthday and I received two of Carol Marine's books on her small paintings. These are gems and I absolutely love her work. Anyhow, I poured over them with glee and good intentions to learn from her. On our return home I discovered, via her blog ,that she and her family were badly affected by the fires in Texas and have lost their home, her brand new studio and all her private art collection.I have to say, I was quite devastated on her behalf. It made me reflect on what I would try and grab if a fire whipped through out home, and, to be honest, it would be other peoples paintings, not my own, that I would rescue. I have a wonderful collection of my fathers paintings, some from friends and family...all are priceless.But then again, if the kids are in the house I better take them first !!!

With that in mind, I studied her two books with great care and endeavoured to do a small painting...a still life. New for me and I enjoyed the process. These are my little glass salt and pepper shakers from Stellenbosch.

01 September, 2011


 I reworked the idea of Charles reading in the bookstore, omitted some of the distracting detail and did not add white to my palette till late in the piece.And the result is that I much prefer this rendition.

I shall work on his face(so to speak) at a later date, as I am not very good with that detail when the paint is very wet and thick, as it is now.

And that is all I have to say about that.

25 August, 2011

Browsers bookstore... a new family hangout

The boys are now old enough to go out to restaurants for a meal without reducing me to tears, so it has become the new incentive for good behaviour. This usually means a trip into Hamilton, our closest town,(God, that makes me sound like a country hick!) in the evening. Both kids rarely go into town and frankly, that's fine with me. But a town at night?! The lights, the sounds, the sights...now THAT is a different story! That becomes education!
After dinner we go for a walk along Victoria street and the boys get to see a whole different side of life...pavement diners, smokers outside bars, bouncers at nightclub doors, restaurant touts,graffiti on almost every surface possible,completely inappropriately dressed girls and the boys who trail after them...it is a whole gamut of experience.They love it ...and then we came to a bookstore called,Browsers. It is a second hand bookstore...but a wonderful second hand bookstore! No Mills and Boon here, just floor to ceiling books of all sorts but mostly, just interesting. It is open late and attracts those , like us, who love a browse and a book after dinner. The wooden floors, bowing shelves and books stacked on every possible surface , every which way, the art deco armchairs for serious browsers, the cardboard boxes of pot-luck books, the mustiness of ink and paper, the door disguised as a bookcase(a thrilling discovery for the boys) and impeccable taste in music(they were playing The National album, High Violet, a recent  discovery) all add to the wonderful ambiance...but I never thought it would become a favourite of the boys! It took me an hour to get them out of there...and $50 worth of books!  I took some reference photos to paint, which I have done. I shall do more and simplify them.


                              They had a big red rocket book stand for the Tintin books...we coveted it! It was a paint to paint! All that detail needs to be simple.


This is Julius, leaning on Lucien, as they peruse books. They stood like this for about 10 minutes. So sweet.

And then this is a little something I did as a experiment. Daisies in the grass.

Hurry up, Spring! I need some warmth!

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