31 January, 2015

So, I got distracted....

So, I got distracted by the family holiday to South Island, Otago, to be precise. And trust me, it was well worth being distracted . If you don't know the place, think Hobbit, Lord of the Rings and THAT"S where we went! It is beyond beautiful: rugged, mountainous, valleys, rivers, snow, lakes, wide open vistas, colours ...I loved it all. I took a thousand photos.( you know that's not a joke). I decided that painting on holiday was going to be a bit selfish of me and I was right to give myself that break. So, sorry 30 Paintings in 30 Days, I got halfway and it fell apart a bit.

It was a great holiday but I had to transform into Sporty Spice to keep my boys happy. We biked and hiked and swam and played games and, honestly, I enjoyed it immensely( except for the sore arse from riding a bike!). They refused to do museums or shops! Heathens!

In Queenstown I went to all the galleries I could whilst the boys were doing their downhill bike ride  ( my sore butt was my get-out-of-jail=free card for that one!). I even got to hang out an an archaeological site (my major at university) being excavated on the waterfront. The focus of excitements were the latrines they discovered from the first days of settlements! Glad that was not me doing the digging! I much preferred my digs in Africa! Less historic and more pre-historic.

Anyway, now we are home and I have spent the last week settling my oldest son into high-school. My shattered nerves. I was nervous for him, he was nervous for him and yet I can say after 3 days of high school , he is going to be just fine. In fact, he is going to thrive. Second son starts school this week, so we should all be back to normal routine soon. Frankly, they need to go to school and leave me alone for a while! I have missed my solitude of the studio.(bad mother)

I have, by the way, started a MEET_UP group for plein air painters. This is a group for those who want to paint outdoors in Hamilton and want a little company, a little community. I am hoping to encourage painters of all levels and abilities to join me at various locations around the area, painting together and enjoying the occupation. I have advertised it on the meet up site and around locally, but I hope to encourage a meeting at least once a month , on a weekend. First one is 15 february and is at the Hamilton Lake. Click here for more information. If you are in the Waikato, please join me!
Hamilton Plein air Painters meetup.

Here are some photos of my holiday. You may well see these in a few paintings soon...

Buritos dinner from this retro Caravan then ate them on the beach


Kawerau gorge...yes, that is the colour of the water

Postbox parade

more sketching

strong  shadows

Dart river

lake Hawea

Skipping stones into lake hawea

more pretty

and more

and more

view up the matukituki valley on the way to Rob Roy Glacier

pretty rock

wanaka yacht club

When it's been a hot bike ride, a dip in the lake is the ticket

he swam everywhere

Clutha outlet.....the colour was amazing

I fell in love with this view in Alexandra




and more Alex....

The river at Alex

my tribe



Port Waikato and the mouth of the river


16 January, 2015

Day 16

 Instead of painting, I have made 2 crates to transport paintings to various venues. trust me, Painting is more fun. Making crates sucks.

 Day 16, Acrylic on paper, Black and Blue moo.

13 January, 2015

Day 13

We are housebound because the kids are sick

Acrylic and crayon on paper

12 January, 2015

A painting intervention and being a bad mommy.

There has been an intervention in my household. It is the height of summer holidays here .My kids and husband have requested I don't paint as much as I am, at present,  whilst they are on holiday. I think this is a fair call. I have been spending WAAAY to much time buried in the studio and not enough time with them. They are still young and need my time, so I am going to step away from the studio for a while and play with them. I might not paint everyday, but I can still sketch. So, if I sketch every day(say, whilst watching them swim) and post it, it should still count and I still create and feel I am doing my thing. I might even go hunt for my travelling watercolour set.....
It's all about the balance and it got out of kilter, recently. Sorry, kids.

This is a bigger work I am working on.

It will have to be the image for today.WIP ( Work in Progress)

My new Rosemary brushes arrived today!

Some long flats, some short flats, a rigger or two, an angles brush.....treasure!  I am excited to give them a trial run( when the kids eventually tire of me and push me back into the studio).

Family time:

We went Blueberry picking yesterday. This is them, under the nets. They ate more than they picked .They joked about having blue poo ( because we are in that humour range, STILL), rescued a few birds trapped in the nets, made smoothies as soon as we returned home and swam for hours.

Picnic at the swimming hole

Walk on the beach with the dogs

I am making up for the lost time!

11 January, 2015

09 January, 2015

Day 9

This is a WIP (work in progress....new acronym !). It is big...1.2 m x 1.2m...so I am working on it over a few days. Not necessarily a painting a day but it was the painting I painted yesterday. Today I give it a rest and wait for it to dry before I continue and sort out some of the "problems".... too yellow, too same/same, not enough something, too much other thing...

But, the bones are good and I am in that "middle" phase of painting when the chaos still reigns...

08 January, 2015

Day 8

When I was a child, I loved crafting. Remember, this was the 70's, so painted rocks were the height of cool in crafting. My Dad would take us to the river where we would choose a few rocks (my brother would spend the time lobbing heavy ones into deep pools)and bring them home to paint. I loved painting Ladybirds on them. He still uses one as a paperweight in his office.

Yellow Ladybird
Oil on canvas
15 x 15 cm

I need to find a rock and make myself a paperweight.

07 January, 2015

Day 7

Well, one week down and 3 more to go and I will be honest, my enthusiasm is wilting. I think this is where I have to dig deep and start getting organised. I am setting today aside to work out what it is I want to paint and line them up for the next week so the inspiration is taken care of and I can just get on with the painting.

I have just realised something. To take advantage of opportunities, to be able to see things as opportunities and to be in the position to take advantage of the opportunities in a stress free manner, one has to be ORGANISED. I had no idea it worked this way, but it dawned on me recently and that is what I am trying to become: Organised! My spreadsheets are in order, my calendar for next year is up and being used, my cashbook balanced and my inventory catalogued. I know what I have and where it is and now I want to organise my reference material (rather than trying to delve into files, scratching head and muttering " I KNOW I've seen it somewhere...")

An iphone photo....I need to organise a better camera! Oh irony, how you love to visit me constantly.....

Oil on drafting film

Day 6

Acrylic on paper

600 x 400mm

Ears looking at you

05 January, 2015

Day 5

I almost forgot to paint this one! I am busy working on some larger paintings and time got away from me before I remembered to paint for the challenge. I also had to cook dinner......

Acrylic on paper
300 x 400mm

04 January, 2015

Day 4

The quarry in the valley.

Oil on drafting film
800 x 400 mm

I see quite a few quarries on the various flights and walks that I take in the area. They are often a surprise find amongst dark foliaged forests, a sudden scar on a landscape.
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