Thursday, September 7, 2017

little french villages

Archiane, south Vercors mountains, France

Two months in France have just flown by and I have finished my first large sketchbook - the Fabriano one shown above. I've also added scores of little landscapes sketches to my little pocket Moleskine I take hiking with me.

We didn't travel around all that much this time, just staying in a few of our favourite places and catching up with as many friends as we could.

Here are a selection of completed sketches from some of the little villages we visited.

Treminis, Devoluy mountains, France

The super, super old 'La Mere Eglise', Devoluy, France.

Getting caught up in the details. Old door, Le Seuil.

Little postcard, Fouillouse, France.

L'Abbaye du Laverq, Barcelonnette, France

The window on Chapelle Saint-Antoine, near Saint Paul sur Ubaye, France

Postcard love!

This summer, as we travel around Europe, I am sending original watercolour postcards to people all over the world. You can see one I sent from Fouillouse a couple of pictures above.
To enter to receive a postcard you should follow me on Instagram or Facebook.

Au revoir! Until next time which will probably be from Spain. 

Friday, August 18, 2017

sketching little spanish villages

Plan, Spanish Pyrenees

My poor blog has been unattended as we travel through Europe, because we haven't had enough mobile data to keep it up to date. Today I'm at a friend's house in France and I thought I'd hop onto their wifi and do a bit of time travelling back to little villages in Spain.

These are some of the sketches I did back in May and June this year while we were in the Spanish Pyrenees. We'll be back there in a couple of weeks and I'm dying to revisit unfinished business - so many villages, so little time :-)

Fields of poppies, a sure sign of spring in Europe. Organya, Spain

Tella, Spanish Pyrenees. This sketch is sold.

Torla, gateway to Ordesa National Park, Pyrenees, Spain.

There's a village called Sin :-)

Historic house, Sin, Spanish Pyrenees.

Ermita de la Fuensanta.

Watercolour postcard of a Ermita near Tella, Spain.

Historic building, Sin, Spain.

You can purchase my sketches

A number of people have asked if my watercolour sketches are available. They certainly are! They are easy to remove from the spiral bound book.
A few sketches have already been sold, but a number are still available.

You can purchase them if you see me in person. Or you can message me about a particular sketch and I will post it to you when we return to New Zealand.

Original sketches are 85euros + postage if applicable.

You can view all the sketches from Spain on Instagram.

Please contact me for more details :-)

Monday, August 14, 2017

hiking sketch kit

Sketching above Lac Premier, near Fouillouse, France

I've taken sketching gear pretty much everywhere with me. I even took a super super lightweight kit with me when we went on a climbing trip to Patagonia.

But over the years my hiking kit has become more and more elaborate. And when I bought a big, new, fancy camera I couldn't fit both it and my sketch gear in my bag. So, shame on me!, I've been hiking with my camera instead of my sketchbook for the last 6 months or so.

A couple of purchases was all that was necessary to create a new super lightweight sketch kit and I've been sketching (and photographing) in the hills again.

Here's is what is in my hiking sketching kit...

Hiking and painting outside - what is in my sketch kit

  • Small sketchbook - currently a Moleskine pocket watercolour sketchbook
  • Two waterproof black markers - a Staedtler pigment liner 01 and a Sakura Micron 05
  • A white pen - Uniball Signo
  • Small travel watercolour set - Winsor & Newton
  • Aqua water paintbrush - Pentel
  • Pencil, sharpener and eraser
  • And a little baggie from our flight on Emirates for putting it all in.

It weighs almost nothing :-) 

I'm having so much fun stopping on my big walks and taking in all the sights, smells and sounds. Catching little critters unaware. Taking time to breathe.

Sommet Rouge, near Saint Paul sur Ubaye, France

Les Eaux Tortes, Laverq Valley, France

I should have a follow up post with my more elaborate kit that I take when I do my urban sketches. In essence it mainly varies by having a much bigger palette, nice fountain pens, and a variety of good watercolour brushes.

As always you can see more on my Instagram account - @art.scatterlings

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

autumn inspiration

Clutha River in autumn

It's a crazy life. This week we've been immersed in enjoying autumn and next week we'll be enjoying spring. Yes, it's time to pack again for our annual migration to the Northern Hemisphere. Time to pack up the house, and my studio, say goodbye to our beautiful dog and head to Spain for adventures in our little van.

Last couple of days of the crisp, frosty mornings, calm days, spectacular autumn colours, bike rides and swims with Zulu dog.

Clutha River in autumn

Watercolour sketch of from the Lake Wanaka Outlet

Reflections near Alexandra

Norwegian Maple in autumn colours

Working on a pattern of Liquidambar leaves

Autumn campfire

Next post should be from somewhere in Spain :-)

You can follow my sketching adventures here on this blog, on Facebook or Instagram.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

group exhibition easter 2017

This is a little mini painting I'll be exhibiting in this weekend's group exhibition. It will be there along with 4 of my portraits and 4 of my watercolour/collage birds.

Opening night is this Thursday and everyone is welcome. There's a $10 entry fee for the opening, which includes wine and nibbles for you to enjoy while browsing.

There will probably be about 200 works of art on display - paintings, sculpture, ceramics, photography and fibre art.

The exhibition runs all weekend from 10am to 6pm.

Would love to see you there!

Monday, April 10, 2017

bridge 2 : new abstract painting

Bridge 2 - mixed media abstract landscape painting

You may remember a smaller version of this painting that I did last December. I was so excited about that painting (see it in this post) and I knew right then I wanted to do a larger version.

Then, for the last 3 months, I've been painting portraits. My abstracts have taken a bit of a back seat while I got my beautiful goddesses out of my head and onto canvas. But this painting still haunted me and as soon as my portrait pieces were ready for the Easter exhibition I knew I had time for it.

Going back to painting abstract landscapes after months of portraits is so freeing. I love painting these. They are so relaxing and they're my meditation. It feels like I don't really do anything, the brush just seems to know what to do.

Bridge 2 is part of a series of paintings that are my continual search for capturing the landscape around my home in Central Otago, New Zealand. You can view this series in my portfolio.

"Bridge 2"
Mixed media on exhibition canvas
Acrylics, collage and pencil
Ready to hang, no framing needed.
Sides of the canvas are painted black.

Available: NZ$700 + shipping

If you would like this painting, just get in touch.
You're welcome, as always, to come round to my studio to see it in person.


Detail of "Bridge 2" - abstract landscape painting

Detail of "Bridge 2"

Detail of "Bridge 2"

"Bridge 2" mixed media abstract landscape painting

If you would like this painting to be yours, please get in touch.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Friday, March 31, 2017

kamali (spirit guide) : mixed media portrait

"Kamali" : portrait of a spirit guide

The latest in my Gaia series is Kamali. This is a very old name and the origin is not quite clear - it could be Arabian, Hindu, Sanskrit or even Zimbawean. But the meaning really spoke to me - it means "spirit guide" and "full of desires". Both of these meanings feel appropriate for this bold, confident woman.

She's a little larger than life size and was a joy to paint. The idea for her was almost fully formed in my head for a few weeks, and I felt when painting her that all I had to do was make colour decisions.

Acrylics on canvas
76x76cm (30x30in)

Kamail will be available at the Wanaka Arts Society exhibition this Easter.


Detail of "Kamali" - portrait of a spirit guide

Detail of "Kamali" - portrait of a spirit guide

Detail - slightly metallic bronze paint for the head piece

"Kamali" - portrait of a spirit guide in my Gaia series

portrait of helen

I feel completely blessed and honoured to have been asked to paint my beautiful friend at such a precious moment in her life. And while I was painting this, she had her perfect little boy, so it was also quite special to still have her pregnant in my studio :-)

Helen told me she loved rata trees, and yellow and aquamarine and that her daughter loved butterflies. So, of course, I included all of those.

"Portrait of Helen"
Mixed media on exhibition canvas
Acrylics, collage, acrylic inks and vintage image transfers
61x91cm (life size)


Portrait of Helen

Portrait of Helen

Giving something back...
The portrait of Helen is part of my Gaia or Mother Earth goddess series. I plan to donate 10% of the profits from each painting to an environmental cause.
For this painting I chose to help Greenpeace get their new crowdfunded boat onto the water to follow "The Beast", a ship owned by Statoil, in their attempt to stop seismic blasting in the sea around New Zealand. You can find out more about Greenpeace's campaign to put a stop to new oil in New Zealand and make a donation on their website.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

abundance : step by step process

Abundance : mixed media portrait on canvas

While painting 'Abundance', one the mixed media portraits in my Gaia Series, I took a few in progress photos. You can follow the process below.

(Of course, the reality is that there aren't really just 5 steps.) :-)

Step 1 : the drawing and blocking in of the darkest shadows over the collaged background

Step 2 : modelling the face in shades of grey

Step 3 : working in natural skin tones. Blocking in the flowers and background.

Step 4 : adding more colour to the skin tones. Working on each flower petal and leaf to make them more 3D.

Step 5 : Final painting


If you have any questions, just fire away in the comments below.

out and about : february and march

Sunset, Colac Bay, Southland

Summer finally arrived in February. Rather lazy of it to wake up so late, but never mind, we made the most of it. 6 trips in 6 weeks!

Looking towards Stewart Island from Riverton, Southland

These 2 love the surf!

Glacierburn, Mount Aspiring National Park

East Matukituki Valley, Mount Aspiring National Park

On top of Sisyphus Peak looking towards Glacier Dome and the top of Ruth Ridge, Mount Aspiring National Park

Aspiring Flat, looking towards the Kitchener Cirque and Mount Avalanche, Mount Aspiring National Park

Spaniard Valley looking towards Pluto Peak. Mount Aspiring National Park

At Pluto Col looking towards Mount Apsiring

First light catching our tent on Mitre Peak, Milford Sound, Fiordland National Park

Cleddau Valley, Fiordland National Park

Looking down into the Dart Valley, Mount Aspiring National Park

New Zealand Tomtit

Alpine Daisy, Fiordland National Park

Relfections, Fiordland National Park.

Alpine tarns, Fiordland National Park

More reflections, Fiordland National Park

The mornings and evenings are getting cooler now, and the leaves are starting to change colour. Autumn has arrived. That means we'll be off to Europe again soon to pick up our van and live the nomadic life again. But until then, there's still 4 weeks to paint and adventure in.