Tuesday 27 December 2016

new abstract landscapes

I've been painting up a storm in my studio and have paint everywhere and on everything! Here are a few pieces that I have finished in the last couple of weeks.

"The Yellow House" - acrylics on unstretched canvas

"The Yellow House"
Acrylics on unstretched canvas
24.5 x 24.5cm

"The Crags" - acrylics on paper

"The Crags"
Acrylics on paper
28 x 19.5cm

"This one's for you" - acrylics on exhibition canvas

"This one's for you"
Acrylics on exhibition canvas
15 x 15 cm (4cm deep)
Not available. Collection of the artist.

"Summer fields, summer hills (1, 2 and 3)" - mixed media on wood

"Summer fields, summer hills" (1, 2 and 3)
Mixed media on wood (acrylics, collage, oil pastels and pencil)
18 x 13cm (1.5cm deep)

"Bridge" - mixed media on canvas

Mixed media on canvas (acrylics, collage, pencil)
40 x 30 cm (1.5cm deep)

"Migration" - mixed media on canvas

Mixed media on canvas (acrylics, collage, vintage image transfers, pencil)
33 x 24cm (1.5cm deep)

"Summer fields, summer hills 4" - mixed media on canvas

"Summer fields, summer hills 4"
Mixed media on exhibition canvas (acrylics, vintage image transfers, pencil)
75 x 50cm (4cm deep)

Details of above painting:

Detail of  "Summer fields, summer hills 4"

Detail of "Summer fields, summer hills 4"

Some photos of the beautiful, inspiring landscapes near my home are in my previous post.

Most of these paintings are currently available. Please enquire.
Commissions are also welcome.

If you are nearby Wanaka and would like to see these paintings in person, you can make a time to visit my studio. Just get in touch.

Sunday 18 December 2016

summertime : out and about

Flooded forest - lines, intersections

After many weeks of painting birds, and 7 whole months of just watercolours, I now have my acrylics out. That means lots of playing with paint, getting paint everywhere and on everything and abstracts. Abstract landscapes, in fact.

Where does the inspiration come from? As always, it comes from the world around me.

You could say that we've been getting out and about, or you could say I've been gathering inspiration. Lucky for me I can do both at the same time :-)

Flooded forest - lines and colour

Slacklining - lines and movement

Reflections and shadows

Beach, forest, clouds

Beach, islands, windswept sky, spot of red against green

Lake, mountains, sky, stripe of green

Big sky, poplars, lake

Movement, white, green

Often people look at my portfolio and have questions about what they see as my two styles - the illustrative watercolours and the abstracts. To me they're part of the same story ... a representation of the world around me.

Next post ... new abstract paintings I'm working on. Stay tuned!

Wednesday 7 December 2016

putting in the time : talent vs determination

Chaffinch - watercolour, collage and ink on paper

Here is a Chaffinch. He's the smartest dressed bird in my garden. He never goes out unless he is perfectly groomed :-)

And here's what I read about Chaffinches. They make lots of chip and cheep calls, followed by a long musical flourish that can last several seconds. They may repeat this song up to 3300 times a day!

Now that is dedication to your art! Who could fail to succeed in what they do if they put that much time into something? With that kind of repetition you're bound to achieve something awesome.

So that got me thinking about my art and how I (like most artists probably) often get complimented on my talent. But here's the thing ... it's really been dedication.

From 1999 to 2016. It's been a long journey.

The above picture is of 3 of my sketchbooks. The top left is my first sketch of a building done on location. It was done in 1999 and is of a cottage in Glencoe in Scotland. Pretty childlike, no? And very tentative too. But this was when I first decided I wanted to learn to draw on location and that I wanted to learn to paint watercolours. David bought me that little palette in the picture soon after this and I was so excited. That palette has been absolutely everywhere with me since.

Fast forward a bit. Running a business and a long stint of making pottery, I finally started putting the real time into urban sketching in 2007. We took break from our business that year and went to Europe for 3 months. The lighthouse sketch was done on our first morning, waking up in Mallorca. I sketched so much on that trip. I had no real plan, no real style, no particular choice of subject. I just tried everything. I sketched many, many, many pages.

Since then we've travelled a lot and I've filled heaps of sketchbooks. The right hand sketch is from this year (2016). Each year I seem to sketch more than ever. It is really this year that I have felt it all coming together. I finally feel I'm starting to understand watercolours, that I'm getting a strong, intentional drawing line and I'm brave enough to try pretty much any subject (although old buildings are my favourite). I sketch or paint most days. Even if it is only for 10 minutes.

So I'm not the fastest learner. It's been 17 years! And I'm still learning.

Some days it's a bit like the Chaffinch with just chips and chirps. But some days there's a musical flourish and it all comes together.

So whatever you're doing, if you really want it, just go all out. Put in the hours. Don't give up. It's often dedication that will win the day, not talent.

Some of my sketchbooks from the last few years.

You can listen to the Chaffinch here :-)

Tuesday 6 December 2016

little nz birds update

New Zealand bird books

Summer is here!

We've been having a lot of adventures outside (photos to come!), and in my studio my series of NZ Birds is ticking along quite nicely.

You'll notice I'm still on the little local birds. Birds I know well and see often. Everyone has been nagging for bigger, more 'famous' birds. Patience! They're coming :-)

Sketch for New Zealand fantail

Painting a New Zealand fantail

New Zealand fantail - watercolour, collage and ink on paper

New Zealand waxeye - watercolour, collage, and ink on paper

Drawing of New Zealand Tui

New Zealand Tui - watercolour, collage and ink on paper

Adding the collage wings to a New Zealand robin

New Zealand Robin - watercolour, collage and ink on paper


In my Etsy shop you can find the Bellbird, Fantail, Robin and Waxeye.
The Tui is sold.

You can also find all the birds as prints and on merchandise in my Redbubble store

NZ Birds on merchandise.

Thank you!

Thank you very much to everyone who has bought an original painting, or a tshirt or notebook or bag. Your support is appreciated hugely. And it is motivating me to keep going.

Commissions are welcome!

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