Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Central Gold - the finished article

So heres the finished piece - Central Gold, acrylic on canvas. I tweaked it here and there and I'm pretty happy with it now, hopefully this piece will be winging its way to Christchurch in the not so distant future. I've decided I'd like to explore this style of painting further - see how well it relates to other landscapes and perhaps even figures. Unfortunately in this pic you cant see the extent of the textured effect I've given the lowlights within the hills - but it is there, similar to how I worked on Accessorise, but with a couple more layers, in some ways more subtle while still allowing several colours to show at once.
I've hit a slow patch with the world series - I can't get past one idea I have which will use one very large canvas, and unfortunately that is really not possible right now. I have been sketching additional ideas but the pile of screwed up paper is getting bigger and bigger - it's definitely a walk away moment!
I also desperately need to start work on a charity project for the starship hospital. I have agreed to make some decorations but once again that wall has popped up. I had a great vision - the reality of the construction was a little out of my league though so I'm back to the drawing board. I really want to have something original going on but as I'm more used to working with paint than other mediums it's becoming a real challenge - fun in it's own way but I'm running out of time, projects are starting to stack up and well it's starting to feel a little like work.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Central Gold - acrylic on boxed canvas

So heres a piece I recently began working on. It's inspired by the rugged strength of the central otago landscape. Its funny when I first moved to Cromwell I actually found the hills quite claustraphobic, they were so large and imposing. They didnt feel welcoming after the more rolling green hills of Kaukapakapa where I had come from. After 2yrs I found their impressive strong qualities to be warm and comforting. I began to actually see the changes with the seasons, appreciating the purple thyme and golden hue on sunset. Now, well I'm in love! There is so much history embedded within the mountains. Definitely a subject matter I shall return to when I need a lift. Definitely food for the soul.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Monday, August 18, 2008


So heres the second piece - once again simple imaging, in acrylics. This one incorporates the quote "the world is awesome" kindly given to me by Nathalia 6yrs. I have now titled the series "A Childs Eye View" although I have some concerns surrounding the upper age of some of the participants - 15 and older. I'm just not sure they'll be happy with the "child" label , I mean some of them are in paid fulltime work - not really kids anymore. Anyway this was quite a fun piece fairly challenging in its own way - how to define "awesome", I looked closely at my own children who are roughly the same age and well - fun equals awesome in their book. I went for a simple image with a limited palette trying to leave interpretation predominantly in the viewers court, sometimes I feel heavily detailed pieces can leave little to the imagination and lets face it one of the defining features of childrens views is their imagination. I am constantly trying to free mine back to the days of childhood, when I wasnt as jaded. Before I knew too much and just let my feelings free.

This series is definitely challenging me as an artist and as a mother to look closely within - to all I've forgotton and all I shut myself off from as an adult. Still enjoying myself which has to be a good thing - and learning also surely a good thing. I firmly believe that when we cease to learn we cease to live.

Sunday, August 17, 2008


So heres the first piece in my new series based on the viewpoints of children. It's possibly a work in progress but so far I think I'm happy with it. I'll look to expand on the series over the next week or so but with sick kids (still) and a need to go out and get more suitably sized canvas.....yeah so we'll see how it goes. I have so many ideas rumbling around that I've taken to carrying a pad and pencil with me - to the point of having it next to my bed at night. So many times I've thought of something, loved it, gone to paint it and yup you guessed it - lost it completely. Anyway just thought I'd get this up there - see what you think.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Afternoon - so stayed up way past my bedtime, ran the risk of turning into a pumpkin but it was well worth it. I'm well underway with this latest series (or at least the first piece!) Thanks to some very supportive folk at the nz art guild and my friends and family I'm gathering a lot of relevant information. The diversity of reactions to my requests are astounding, and quite surprising too. I think the biggest challenge lies in doing the quotes justice without coming off as steriotypical or trite. The positive attitude displayed by the majority of teenagers I think is the most surprising - although I'm starting to wonder if in some ways this is a front. Immediately on writing that it has occurred to me that - of course it is, I just dont know how to get past that. I'm thinking I need an additional approach. It is also difficult to gage interpretation when I'm being handed reactions second hand in some instances (obviously I am incredibly grateful for these as my sphere of acquaintances is limited)It comes down, I guess, to building a level of trust - which is hard under any circumstance let alone these ones. It's also difficult in that I'm not giving much away as I don't want to influence the reactions to my request, I just want initial first reactions.
Oh yeah and it's snowing :)

Friday, August 15, 2008

Trying to paint

Morning all - as I said I'm trying to paint I have a whole pile of stuff trying to come out but it's just hard to focus on where to start (so I'm posting this instead) I've had sick kids who thankfully are perking up today, but it's very draining! So the dilemma I'm having is really about the form that my new project will take, it involves a rapidly growing number of quotes and so the debate rages inside me - do I make one enormous piece (which will definitely have wow power and keep viewers engaged)or should I have many smaller pieces (more possibilities for hanging, more chance to play and let ideas seperate and then join for the overall effect)It's a hard one. So is it really a dilemma or am I just procrastinating, which can be a tendancy of mine as has been proven in the past.
Besides all that as any other mother out there will know - when children have been ill, the demands grow (and rightly so noone wants to be crook!)And so you ask yourself why are you wasting time writing blogs when they're obviously occupying themselves now? The answer to that is easy - my kids are prolific painters, and completely interested in the whole process of creating and with just one little whiff of a painting in progress the questions begin. Now ordinarily I'm happy to chat away while I paint but today as I mentioned before, I'm drained and when I start to paint I don't think this morning is time for interuptions.
Well this isnt getting a darn thing done so I shall away to do........something. Something tells me it wont be painting not just yet anyway!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Acrylic painting titled "Accessorise"

Hey so heres a piece I entered in a nz art guild theme challenge - Accessorise, acrylic on canvas
The theme was "fashion" so I tried to think about the origins of some of todays jewellry.
This piece was voted "most creative use of theme" It was my first attempt at a challenge and well I think I may just have to enter another one (or two......)they really flex the creative juices!

A Big Day

Well - hi all, todays a big day my first post on my brandnew blog! So what've I been up to - lots! I'm working on a new piece, really just in it's infancy at this stage but I'm pretty excited about it. I'm trying to explore the process of growing up. Yeah I know some of us never do but when you think about it - when is it too early to grow up? Are our children losing their innocence too early? Should children be exposed to the negative sides of our world today(poverty, violence etc)? Does an early awareness lead to adults who care or cynical adults?........the questions are endless. I'll keep you posted as I travel this path to understanding - or possibly more confusion.