28 October, 2014

21 October, 2014


So, 6 months (or more) of planning and painting culminate in tonights preview of my exhibition "Under Big Skies", with my mate and totally nutcase, Charlotte Giblin.We are also joined by sculptor and fellow immigrant, Anneke Bester. Her collection of bronze sculptures is called "balance" and watching them being unpacked this morning was a real treat. She also packed chocolates in amongst all the works to make the job fun! Cool chick!

The exhibition runs for a month .

I am very happy with the paintings and I can see where I am going. Looking at the paintings painted 6 months ago is interesting, but the recent ones are even more interesting because I can see how I used what I was learning along the way in the later paintings.

No, I am not going to say which are which!

I will post photos tomorrow. Right now, I want to have a glass of bubbly and practise walking in heels (not a great combination!).


18 October, 2014

Podium position

I won a prize! Well, that's a lie, I came third but I feel like I won! I entered a small exhibition  called " Arts for Health" . It is run by a local mental health charity, Arts for Health,Community Trust who run art programmes and offer creativity as a recuperation service. The exhibition is held at David Lloyd Gallery and I exhibit there , so I wanted to support the cause and help attract viewers to the charity.

I took some friends with me .We had attended the opening of a creative collective called Story earlier that evening and were moving on to the exhibition. I had forgotten about the competitive element to it and was just trying to whizz round and see all the works before I dashed off to watch my youngest play his first basketball game.Ever.Someone rang a fork on a glass and the chatter settled . I was actually on my way out the door when an efficient gentleman shepherded me back in.

Third prize and praise from the judges! I struggle with spotlight attention . My vision goes blurry and I seem to get blinkered, sound goes fuzzy and all I can feel is panic.I hope I was gracious, but I think I was surprised enough that I had not time to freak out.

I went to watch the basketball game and sat next to one of my 10 year old sons friend, Max. I could not contain my excitement. " Hey, Max" I shouted in his ear (noisy basketball court). "I won a prize for my painting"
Big grin from him" I thought you won prizes all the time!Right on!"
Coolest kid in the world.

So, as my father says, onwards and upwards.

30 x 30 cm
oil on canvas

The winner was John Tilling with his intricate Ink on paper work titled "Mass produced art".It was a deserved winner.
Ps. Exhibition is open sat 18-sunday19 Oct 10 am till 4 pm, 78 lake Crescent, Hamilton, David Lloyd Gallery.

06 October, 2014


I recently joined Instagram.

For those of you who have not had the introduction, here are two versions.

1.Instagram is an online mobile photo-sharing, video-sharing and social networking service that enables its users to take pictures and videos, and share them on a variety of social networking platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Flickr.(as described by wikipedia)

2.Instagram is a fast, beautiful and fun way to share your life with friends and family. Take a picture or video, choose a filter to transform its look and feel, then post to Instagram — it's that easy. You can even share to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and more.(as described by Instagram, themselves)

Basically, for a person who likes looking at pictures, it's picture heaven.

I am addicted. I post, I look at others posts, I connect with others who like the same thing as I do or stretch me and show me things I did not know about and now I love. I have been introduced to new artists, new online friends and new worlds. Voyeurism at it's legitimate best.

It's quick, it's almost constant and it feeds that part of my ADHD brain that wants novelty and variety, hence it is slightly addictive. I am guilty of over participating in posting but the instant feed back about some of my work is very valuable. Feedback from people who do not know me personally and therefore offer honest critiques are invaluable. I like that. It's scary and that's good for me.

Then there's the hashtag issue #

Hashtags (#) are used so that people interested in the same thing can receive your images via recommendations(should you turn that facility on). If I post a painting, the proper way to hashtag is #landscapepaint# oilpainting   ..that kind of thing. Not me. I hashtag #ishouldbemakingdinner or #toomuchturpsmakesmehallucinate. Hardly correct, but more honest and fun.#iamanidiot

So, if you want less talk and more photos, follow me on instagram.

This is an instagram photo of the beehives at the apple orchard. About to spring into blossom, the bees have some work to do #showmethehoney.

04 October, 2014

Pull up a chair.

I have recently had to give a few interviews and write a few profiles about myself for my increased exposure into the world of art. The questions have been similar: Have you always painted?What is your training? Did you paint and a child? When did you know you were a painter?   All these questions are really about the origin of self belief and identifying myself as a painter. When did you become a painter?

I knew in the moment I thought I was going to die. 

2008, Waikato Hospital.I had an illness that was proving difficult to diagnose, hence treat. Lying in a darkened room, machines beeping at me, medical staff hovering around me and my roaring temperature, infection taking over my systems, my head exploding , my heartbeat becoming more and more erratic, hallucinations becoming more and more frightening. In that moment,  I knew. 
I knew I was sad to leave my young children motherless, my husband a widower, my parents daughterless. But I was furious with myself. Incandescent with rage. I remember wailing and the nurse trying to calm me down, comfort me. I bellowed at her " I forgot to paint. I was supposed to paint". 

I laugh about it now, but at that moment, the idea that I had missed what I felt I was supposed to have done with my life , was beyond comprehension. Had I been so scared of failing at painting that I had not even tried? Better to not experience failure than to try? I was mad with myself. I remember shouting and (oh, that poor nurse) crying at the lost opportunity. I was bereft.

Sedation worked, I slept till the morning and was woken with the same nurse, face beaming. A diagnosis of my mysterious illness had been made and it was curable. I would survive. I lay there, frail and weak but my relief was immense. And I had a plan, a purpose.

It took me months to recover, both mentally and physically. I started painting. I devoured information about painting, painters, art. I painted and painted. I grew my family and painted and painted. I grew my spirit and painted and painted. I just did it. Because every time I painted a totally crap painting, it was still 100% better than not painting at all. And when I painted something that I felt was a sign of improvement and progression, my heart and soul swelled and I became the bravest person I knew. I was painting. 

Why do I paint? I paint because I just have to. I see the world totally differently to the way I saw it before my illness. I still fear failure, but then, don't we all? When I feel that fear ,I invite it into the studio, pull up a chair for it, park it and tell it to watch.I sometimes offer it a comfy pillow! And then I paint and , trust me, that seat is empty by the time I finish that painting.

Painting has become something profound to me. I don't paint pictures of places. I paint connection, affirmation, memory, emotion, recollection, faith, love and hope. It's all in the paintings.They are invitations to share.  I share them with you. 

Ps. The illness was Murine Typhus. I was the only person diagnosed and treated  with it in New Zealand for 2008. Go figure.

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