25 February, 2017

Colour workshop or How not to mix MUD

Colour workshop for Oils and Acrylics
A one day weekend workshop

Jennie De Groot and Pieter Swanepoel

5 March (Sunday) 10 -3 pm
Waikato Society of Arts
Victoria Street

Workshop includes:
Introduction to colour theory
Explanation of colour temperature
How to mix correctly
Colour wheels and their relevance
How to mix the colour you want and not make mud
The differences in oils and acrylic mixes
Greyscale and value.

There will be lots of practical application of the theory and participants are encouraged to wear an apron or old T-shirt.

Please bring a packed lunch. There will be a informal lunchtime discussion and a slideshow.

Tea, coffee and water provided.
Class limited to 15
$120 per person
Course includes materials
To Book : Jennie De Groot 0274534307

21 February, 2017

It's not about me

I have been very lucky in my life to never have to run for my life, flee a situation that was untenable and dangerous to live in, grab a few key belongings and my kids and run, run, run.I cannot imagine what that must be like to flee my home , lose my family and yet it happens, on a daily basis to MILLIONS of women in the world.

South Sudan
Central African Republic
Democratic Republic of the Congo
...the list goes on and on. It is shameful that this continues to occur.

I feel very helpless as an individual. I am  not a terribly political person, but I am very lucky to  have a rather public opportunity to use my talents and try and make a difference. So try I must.

I have a small exhibition running at the David Lloyd Gallery 17-19 March.
I am offering this painting as a silent auction with the entire proceeds going to Unicef to help them with their job. It's what I can do and it's how I can help and do it by adding good to the world, not taking from it.

This painting is not an easy painting to look at. Not initially. Washing hangs  neglected or forgotten, on a line. The atmosphere is filled with smoke and dust, ruined buildings loom in the dark, illuminated by possible explosions or gunfire. Sparks hang in the dust. This place was abandoned suddenly, washing remains the only evidence that domestic life once reigned happily in this place.

Now Let me offer you another scenario

Its a celebration. Fireworks are being let off just beyond the buildings and everyone is celebrating peace and reunion. Families find each other and life start to become normal again. Washing hangs on makeshift lines , this time forgotten in the delight of watching fireworks and spending time together, celebrating peace.

Whatever this is , please help me send it out into the world with some good to it. If you feel you would like to offer a bid on the silent auction but cannot attend the event, email bids will be accepted until midday 20 March.

The Celebration
oil on board
64 cm wide x 44 cm high

The exhibition is not about me. 

Exhibition details
David Lloyd Gallery
78 Lake Crescent
New Zealand
 Reception 17 March 5:30 till 7 pm
sat and sun 18&19 March 11 am till 3 pm

Silent auction available on site and vial email.

17 February, 2017

Results may vary

Last night saw me attend the award ceremony for the NZPPA (see past post for acronym explaination). It was a marvel I even made it there !A torrential downpour, akin to a monsoon ,turned roads into rivers, carparks into lakes and drivers into homicidal maniacs. Thrilling start to the evening.My shoes were soaked and I walked around, squeaking, all night.

The supreme award went to Rose Meyer. Rose's work has strong conceptual basis, but more than that, it was quite pleasing and those two aspects rarely make good bedfellows in this kind of scenario! In a blind sighting, I had picked her piece titled " Journey: from Pen to Print to Paint, as a contender, so trust me, it was worthy. She was worthy. Her work times time and effort and is beautifully simple and she made a delightful , short acceptance speech. I liked her and so did most everyone.

I have no photo to show you but have a look at her website to get an idea of her work www.rosemeyer.co.nz

I believe only 3 pieces sold at the opening and mine was one of them!

This is where the story begins for me.....
The couple who bought my painting are young and they have just bought their first house. In fact, the deal went unconditional yesterday, so they were out celebrating their status as new homeowners. This couple then bought my work as the first bit of art for their new home. I cannot tell you how much this touched me. Anyone who owns a home knows the trepidation of that first purchase , mortgaging yourself to the hilt and the knowledge that you are now in debt for many years, the belt must tighten. Most people start tightening. This couple bought my painting. A most un-tightening gesture , to be sure.

Success |səkˈsɛsnoun [ mass noun ] the accomplishment of an aim or purpose: the president had some success in restoring confidence.• the attainment of fame, wealth, or social status: the success of his play.• count noun ] a person or thing that achieves desired aims or attains fame, wealth, etc.: to judge from league tables, the school is a success | I must make a success ofmy business.archaic the good or bad outcome of an undertaking: the good or ill success of their maritime enterprises.
I was looking at the definition of success and the first few lines did not sit well with me. It was the last one (archaic, had to be!) that rang true. "The good or bad outcome of an undertaking. "

I did not win but my painting was loved and loved, in particular, by two people DEEP in the quagmire of fiscal debt, who threw caution to the wind and bought a painting they could probably ill afford but did so anyway.

I lost and I won.
I had both!


Also, I only had one glass of wine and didn't have to say "fuck off" to anyone.
Success again.

Ps. Sorry about the swearing

15 February, 2017

New Zealand Painting and Printmaking award 2017

The New Zealand Painting and Printmaking award ( from now on referred to NZPPA before carpel tunnel syndrome takes over my poor typing wrists) is announced tomorrow evening.

Frankly, I am just delighted to be in as a finalist. True story! Ultimately, the winner gets a nice stash of cash and kudos, but there's a lot of bitching about the work too .  Trust me, I've been in the audience many years and heard it!  I'm not sure my fragile sensibilities (yes, yes, my ego. Give it a name!) could take it without yelling " Fuck off" after a while. Not a good look. I got in and I got noticed and I am delighted.

I like my work.

I like it very much.

 I am proud of it . It is technically sound, it pleasing to look at without being obvious and its not obtuse enough to make people look at it sideways and edge away muttering " my kid could do that". It holds it's own.

Technically, its quite an interesting painting. I painted in oil onto mylar (otherwise known as architectural drafting paper) which I then mounted onto archival photo mount paper. I then cut the painting up into squares 5 x 5 cm( or maybe 6 x 6 cm. I misremember) and reassembled them into a grid- like pattern. This device abstracted the original botanical image of grass and the reconstruction of it lent an otherworldly yet recognisable air to the final complete image

The Grass is always greener...we all know how the old saying goes, but I beg to add my own twist to it.
The grass is always greener ...wherever you water it. Makes sense.

The Grass is always greener
Oil on mylar
36 cm h x 26 cm w 

On show at the NZPPA 17 February 2017 till 26 February 2017

My accompanying statement:

My painting occupies a space where reality, imagination and memory all hold equal tenancy.
My status as immigrant informs my work, exploring loss of familiar with the excitement of new opportunities, linking them through the vehicle of landscape.
The tension between realism and abstraction, coupled with my interest in introducing memory and imagination into my paintings manifests in the "broken image" quality that I have emphasised by cutting up and existing landscape and reformatting it to create a new landscape. The image is recognisably familiar to be comforting but different in a way that keeps the viewer interested and invested in establishing a personal understanding.

Ps. Sorry for swearing. 

05 February, 2017


skite |skʌɪtinformalverb [ no obj. ] Austral./NZ boast: she did it just so that she could skite about it.


I am skiting.

I am a finalist in the Molly Morpeth Canaday awards and the New Zealand Painting and Printmaking awards 2017. Two times a finalist! 

Seriously skite-worthy, would you not agree?

Ok. I will stop.

I Lied.

THIS is the painting I sent to the  Molly Morpeth Canaday Awards. I sent 2 and both got into the second round, but only one made it through to the final round.

oil on canvas

Selvedge is a sewing term. Its the edge of the fabric, created in manufacture, that prevents it from unravelling. In sewing practise, it is used as a reference point and pattern pieces are orientated in relation to the selvedge. It's a big deal. The orientation of the pieces determines how the garment hangs and if it wrong, well, then the whole garment just looks wrong, does not fit as it should and should be relegated to the rag pile ( or so Mrs Revill used to say).

My mother arranged for me to have sewing lessons with Mrs Revill when I was in some lost year at University. I have always liked sewing but I was sloppy about things like using pins, measuring and the importance of getting the basics right.Mrs Revill was the Julia Child of sewing.  It was in these lessons that I understood that the devil's in the details . It was a hard lesson to learn for a sewing slob.

Full circle and the detail of the selvedge became the focus in this painting. I wanted it to be the very thing the entire piece hinged on. I wanted that unpainted canvas selvedge to anchor the quiet little landscape painting and allow the eye to wander all around till it returned, fixed, the the selvedge.

You may just be able to make out the little X sewn onto the corners of the canvas, blocking the tracking of the eye off into the whiteness of beyond, returning it to the painting. That detail was the inspiration of my clever framer, Emily Rumney. SHE has an eye for detail and totally got what I was trying to do here .

So, on show 28 January till 12 March in Whaketane at the Molly Morpeth Canaday Awards, my Selvedge.

Mrs Revill would have hated it!

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