Monday 30 March 2015

a thing with feathers

It's rare for me to come home from a walk without some little fossicked treasure. I'm a bit of a magpie that way. I collect beach stones, shells, leaves, driftwood and, of course, feathers. Feathers are awesome because they can sit in vase, be used to draw with (I dip them in paint or ink) and go in my hair :-)

And, naturally, if you have a lot of feathers around, you're bound to paint them. Over the years I've done many feather drawings and paintings of all sizes and with all types of media - pen and ink, watercolours and various mixed media. Here are a few that I've done on canvas.

This large one was a Christmas present for my flying-obsessed husband.

Acrylic and ink painting by Renee Walden

This one was done in January 2014.

I've loved the painting above since I finished it, and I've had attempts over the last year to make another without success. Then this weekend, I did the one below. Yes, I'm happy with this one.

Modern abstract by Renee Walden

I'm really pleased with the big cheerful feather in the one above. The bright colour scheme is so uplifting and all the pattern showing through is such fun, so wanted to repeat those ideas, but with a similar composition to the one done in January 2014.

So here is the one I completed today. I'm pretty in love with this one. It makes me feel all happy inside :-)

Cheerful, happy, abstract painting by Scatterlings.

All 3 of the square paintings are available.

Mixed media on artist canvas.
Approximately 30 x 30 cm (4cm depth)

NZ$260 each + shipping

Saturday 28 March 2015

pattern play

For the upcoming Wanaka Arts Society Autumn Exhibition, members are can submit up to 8 pieces - 4 pieces need to be framed and/or ready to hang, and 4 pieces can be unframed works on paper. Works on paper? I haven't really done any of these this summer, so it was a good push for me to leave the canvas and wood behind and have some fun.

I decided to first make a number of colourful collage papers.

These are great fun to make and I use a similar approach to how I paint many of the backgrounds when I'm working on canvas or wood - that is, anything goes! But I do try to tie in all the pieces with either a repeating pattern element or a colour theme. I already knew what I was going to do with the papers, so the process was not as random as might think.

It's very messy ... this what my hands looked like afterwards.

Then I cut out shapes, glued them to some lovely thick watercolour paper and doodled more pattern elements on the individual pieces.

Here is a close-up...

And some of the finished pieces...

A super fun way to spend the day. These 4 works will be available at the Wanaka Arts Society Exhibition this Easter.

Sunday 22 March 2015

wanaka arts society easter exhibition

Entries are now in for the upcoming Wanaka Arts Society exhibition that will be running the whole Easter weekend.

I will have 4 paintings in the group exhibition. At the moment my studio has turned into a bit of production line kind of thing, as I'm priming and painting cradled hardboard to use as a type of framing to mount my mixed media pieces done on recycled placemats.

It's the less glamorous side of an artist's life, but it is very exciting to see the works all properly framed and ready to hang.

Looking forward to the exhibition.

Wanaka Arts Society Easter Exhibition
2 – 6th April, 2015
The Gymnasium, Wanaka Primary School located at 7 Ironside Drive, Wanaka.

Monday 9 March 2015

new art at old cromwell

I spent a wonderful Sunday painting outside in Old Cromwell with a group of great people and guided by local artist Nigel Wilson ( After a pretty overcast and chilly start, the clouds cleared and we were treated to a perfect autumn day.

Nigel pretty much let everyone do their own thing and he popped around occasionally to give individual advice. So everyone's paintings were unique. Very inspiring.

Some pics...

New art in old Cromwell workshop 2015

Oil painting

And one of my paintings from the day...

It was quite a lot brighter at one stage and then Nigel suggested I tone down at least some of it to create some "quiet areas". He also suggested I mix some black with some of my colours. I was horrified - I avoid black like the plague. But he was right and I learnt something new... the whole point of the day.

Thanks Creative New Zealand for sponsoring the event.

Wednesday 4 March 2015

after the rain

Mixed media abstract landscape on canvas by Renee Walden
"After the rain" - mixed media on canvas

After weeks and weeks we've had some rain. I feel like one of the plants soaking it up, feeling refreshed and clean. I'm a summer girl so I hope this doesn't mean the start of autumn, but I do appreciate the rain when it is very rare :-)

I knew when I started this painting that I wanted something light and cheerful. Something more like one from my "In a Happy Place" series from a couple of years ago. The other painting I'm working on at the same time is rather dark and moody, so I wanted something quite different for this one.

I didn't have a clear idea about the subject matter, only the colours, so I just dove right in covering the scary white of the canvas. Here is an early picture, laying down the background....

First layers of colour - in progress

As soon as I added the green over the pink I got all excited - the 2 colours worked so well together. I just wanted to do more and more of this. I also suddenly realised the green was a reflection of the sudden change in the lawn outside my window since the day of rain.

I then deepened some of the background colours and roughed in a landscape using a little colllage.

Mixed media abstract landscape in progress

And made the most of the various pinks next to various greens. Here are some detail photos...

Detail photo


And the final painting...

Mixed media on canvas by Renee Walden
"After the rain" - mixed media on canvas

"After the rain"
Mixed media on exhibition canvas
30cm x 30cm x 4cm
NZ$260 + shipping