Wednesday 9 December 2015

new painting available - the silent hour

"The Silent Hour" - mixed media abstract landscape

Central Otago, where we have our home, can be so very dry. As soon as summer sets in, the greens disappear quickly from the landscape. The fields and hills turn golden, yellow, orange, red. And when the wind blows, which is often does, the air fills with dust. These hot colours are a wonderful contrast to the blues of the lakes and rivers, sometimes seen as only a sliver of cool relief in the distance. I'm sure you've noticed in my abstracts a continuous search to capture this.

"The Silent Hour"

Mixed media on canvas - acrylics, collage, inks and pencil
Canvas Size : 50cm x 50cm x 4cm (deep)
Sides painted red gold
Initialled on the front, signed and dated on the back
Ready to hang, no framing necessary

Available. Enquire about this painting.

Detail of "The Silent Hour" - mixed media abstract painting

Detail of "The Silent Hour" - collaged vintage papers and touches of silver ink

"The Silent Hour" - abstract landscape

Enquire about this painting.

Friday 27 November 2015

more feathers

"Feathers 4"

For the longest time I've been wanting a painting for above our bed. I have had several tries and finally decided we needed something big. Much bigger than I have painted before. Even once I'd decided on the canvas I didn't get it right first time.

But this one? I'm so very happy with this one :-)

Now all I need to do is move the hook so the picture hangs above the middle of the bed.

"Feathers 4"
100 x 80cm
Mixed media on canvas

You can view my other Feather paintings in my portfolio.

Some work in progress shots...

Painting out the background to isolate the feather shapes

Using a dipping pen and acrylic inks to doodle fine details

Happy me with "Feathers 4"

Monday 23 November 2015

new painting available - fathom

"Fathom" - dreamy, abstract seascape on canvas

There is a lovely depth to this painting. Painted in many layered glazes of turquoise, blue, magenta and yellow over a textured and colllaged surface. The collage pieces are pretty, esoteric circles. These are matched by the drips, drawn circles and textured circles throughout the canvas. This painting is calm and dreamy, reminiscent of a deep blue ocean.

Painting details:

Mixed media on exhibition canvas
40cm x 50cm x 3.5cm (deep)
Sides painted white
Initialled on the front, signed and dated on the back
Ready to hang, no framing necessary


NZ$300 + shipping

Detail of "Fathom" - abstract painting on canvas

Detail of "Fathom" - mixed media painting on canvas

Detail of "Fathom"

Detail of 'Fathom"

Enquire about this painting.

Friday 13 November 2015

new painting available - fly

"Fly" - large painting of a flight feather. Acrylics on canvas.

Painting details : 

Acrylics on exhibition canvas
91cm x 45.5cm x 3.5cm (deep)
Sides painted white
Initialled on the front, signed and dated on the back
Ready to hang, no framing necessary

"Fly" - acrylics on canvas

"Fly" - side view

"Fly" - detail

"Fly" - detail

Tuesday 10 November 2015

Saturday 24 October 2015

island time

David and I love the Mediterranean. It suits me especially because I love the sea, but I'm a real scaredy-cat when it comes to waves. It's not that I'm not a good swimmer, it's just that I was born way inland and the sea, I believe, demands some respect!

So each year when we visit Europe we try to take a holiday from our holiday and visit an island. Sardinia was our choice this year. Our second visit to this little paradise confirmed that is is just right for us - the sea is warm and clear with lovely snorkelling, there are mountains with big, unspoilt places to explore, lots and lots of rock climbing by the sea, old villages to sketch, and new BASE jumps to open. And the people are warm and friendly. Perfect!

Here are some pictures from the trip...

Pedra Longa - a limestone rock tower by the sea.
We climbed this one morning. The other side to my sketch. 

Climbing on Pedra Longa. 7 lovely pitches with the waves crashing below

Pedra Longa from the top of Punta Giradilli. 
A very special place to make a BASE jump from, with landing on a beach by the sea. 

David jumping from Punta Su Malone with a view of Pedra Longa. 

Red granite sea stacks near to Cea. 

Chiesa di San Nicola, Baunei 

In the back streets of Baunei. 
The little stone building is a for sale and a nice 'little' fix-me-upper for someone keen. 

In the back streets of Baunei 

The two of us on top of Agulia Goloritze 

We're boring everyone at the moment with constant photos, stories and videos. We know we want to go back next year. Who's in?

Monday 5 October 2015

getting lost in venice

Recently I left the boys in the mountains and hopped on a train to Venice. Just me, my sketchbooks and paints, for 2.5 days of sketching. Well ... not just sketching ... also lots and lots of walking and getting lost.

David and I were last in Venice 20 years ago. I was really blown away by the place, loved every minute of it - it's so very unique. But I wasn't doing any painting back then. So imagine just how perfect Venice is for me now. I love to paint interesting, old, European buildings. And Venice has about 10 lifetimes of these. But it also has a number of other challenges I had to get my head around - boats, water, and people. And they just won't stay still! People you can make a composite of, or cheat a little from memory. But it's pretty annoying when you're half way through a boat and someone moves it! And they do. A lot. It's easy to forget from tranquil looking photos and paintings of Venice that the canals are 'streets' and the boats are 'cars'. There's constant action, and I had to get used to that.

I also had to get used to getting lost. Since I was on my own I made myself a deal I'd be back at the bus stop before dark each night. Of course, I broke it on my very first night. And got lost. Hopelessly lost. You know you're really lost in Venice when you see cars! Luckily some nice young students rescued me and walked me to the bus station. The next day I bought a better map and got lost straight away. So I thought ... that's just how it's going to be. Plenty of spots to sketch, so just I just drew wherever I was.

I do have a bit of 'crowdophobia'. Yes, I know, not the best phobia in Venice. So although I did visit the major sites, I didn't stop to sketch these. There were plenty of quiet spots, so my preference was those.

Below are the 9 sketches I did in the 2.5 days. I'm already looking forward to another visit. And I took heaps of photos ... it just may be that for the first time I'll be inspired to work from photos. We'll see.

Chiesa Di S. Giorgio from Punta Della Dogma, Venice

Santa Maria Gloriosa Dei Frari, Venice

Campiello Del Librer, Venice

San Simeon Piccolo, Venice

Fondamenta Del Squero, Venice

Rio Terra De La Mandola, Venice

Grand Canal, Venice

Santa Maria Dei Miracoli, Venice

Santa Maria Della Salute, Venice

Thursday 17 September 2015

a week in chamonix

We recently spent a week in Chamonix, France. Famous for its location next to the Mont Blanc massif it's full of fit hikers, climbers, and people who like to fly. And so the town is, therefore, full of cafes and sport shops. And lots and lots of people. It was quite a contrast to the peaceful little villages further south in Devoluy. And the brown wooden and plaster buildings, big snowy mountains and green grass also took some getting used to sketching-wise.

At first I tried to find quiet, peaceful spots to sketch. But after a while I decided to embrace the chaos and even sketched some people.

Here are some of the sketches from the week...

Getting to be autumn now, but the flower boxes are still in full bloom everywhere.

Just a quick little one. The blue shutters against the dark wood caught my eye.

Typical Swiss-style chalets. And a beautiful blue and gold clock with musical chimes.

The view we had everyday from near where we camped.

Starting to add people now. My attempt at a crowd  :-)

After several attempts at trying to sketch a nearby cafe that kept being obstructed by
people, cars and motorbikes,
I erased that sketch and just drew the people.

I went to watch David and friends BASE jump from Aiguille du Midi (3800m). We were last here 20 years ago, to climb Mont Blanc and I had forgotten just how amazing the view was.

Now we are in the Dolomites in France. Back in peaceful, little villages. Hopefully not too long until the next blog post.

Wednesday 19 August 2015

exploring little french villages

Our climbing life and my husband's BASE jumping take us to some wonderful, beautiful places. Places way off the tourist track. We avoid the famous, busy places and enjoy exploring parts of countries that, for us, feel far more real.

One of the things I enjoy about sketching in these places is getting to meet the locals. They'll so often stop and chat. Of course, they'll alway's ask where I'm from. When I say I'm from New Zealand, the reaction is almost always the same. First there's a pause as they try to place NZ, then their eyes widen as they pin it on the map and realise how far, far away it is. They glance at what I'm sketching and I know just what's going through their minds (because they often tell me!) ... 'why have I come from so far way and chosen to sketch that?'

I can't always explain why I'm sketching that particular scene. It's difficult enough in English. It's hard to express why that particular barn, or that vegetable patch, or that little wall is worth sketching.

Sometimes I've chosen something because it's part of our travel story - a scene or an object that reminds me of a place. Or perhaps the scene is just beautiful to me - the light, colours, sky or stormy clouds. Perhaps it's something that's unique to the place we're in - the types of roofs, the colour of the shutters, the stonework, paved roads or the types of flowers in the window boxes. Sometimes, it's something way more practical - I felt like sketching today and this was the only place I could find to sit in the shade.

What I do hope, though, is that by making the locals pause and look at what I'm looking at, they then look at their own surroundings in a new way, and realise that what's just on their corner is special. It was worth coming half way across the world for.

An old press in Les Petits Moulins, Devoluy. Sketched from the front seat of the car while it was pouring with rain.

Old barn in Les Petits Moulins, Devoluy. Quick sketch with storm brewing. Lightening and thunder chased me back to the car.

Tiny Le Perrier, Devoluy, France. Getting perspective right is still difficult for me ... so I often choose a scene that forces me to practise.

Archiane. A very tiny village surrounded by a cirque of big cliffs. Fantastic hiking and climbing here too.

Chatillon-en-Diois. I sketched in this lovely medieval town last year. So many perfect little nooks and alleys to explore.