Monday 30 January 2017

january out and about

Calafornia Poppies, John's Creek, Lake Hawea

Although my sketchbook is never far away on pretty much every trip outdoors, I do also have a new SLR camera, a Nikon D5500, that has become my constant companion. I've had to start using a bigger day pack too, because along with sketchbooks and paints I now also have to carry a tripod, big camera and lens and filters.

So far my 'models' have been very patient. Thank you!

Photo bombed! But I don't mind :-)

Near Makarora, Southern Alps, New Zealand

Wingsuit BASE jumping, Mt Aspiring National Park, NZ

Westland National Park, New Zealand

Westland National Park, New Zealand

Westland National Park, New Zealand

Reflections, Westland National Park, New Zealand

Evening Light, Westland National Park, New Zealand

Slacklining on the beach, Westland, New Zealand

Going savage, Westland, New Zealand

Fire jumping!

Perfect calm day, Wanaka, New Zealand

View of Lake Wanaka & Roys Peak, New Zealand

Fresh snow and view of Mt Aspiring and the Southern Alps, New Zealand

New Zealand Pipit having a little bath


Me high above home. Southern Alps, New Zealand.

Southern Alps, New Zealand

Southern Alps, New Zealand

Next stop February...
Here's hoping February brings more settled and more summer-like weather for longer adventures!

Sunday 29 January 2017

windswept : portrait of a woman

'Windswept' - portrait of a woman. Original painting available.

Recently completed...


Mixed media painting on exhibition canvas
Acrylics and collage
Size 45 x 45 cm (4cm deep)
Side of the canvas are painted black.
Ready to hang. No need to frame.
Initialled on the front. Signed and dated on the back.

Detail of 'Windswept' : mixed media painting of a woman

Detail of 'Windswept' : mixed media portrait of a woman

Mixed media portrait of a woman. Detail.

'Windswept' : portrait of a woman. Original mixed media painiting on canvas.

Sunday 15 January 2017

portrait of heidi

After completing the last portrait 'Reflection' (see previous post), Heidi and I decided we should quickly dive into another to prove to ourselves that it wasn't beginners luck!

Not to be faint-hearted we also decided to up the challenge a bit. Someone on Facebook had an idea we paint each other.

We've discovered the pressure of painting someone you know! While that person is in the same room with you, painting next to you and peeping over your shoulder frequently to check progress. And offer suggestions!

Here's my process....

Monochrome underpainting in teal and white

Face and body underpainting complete. I think I have a likeness! :-)

Adding a bit of green to the shadow areas.

Yay! She's no longer a corpse. Adding warm skin tones.

Face and body complete. Now working on the hair, flowers and background.

'Portrait of Heidi'

'Portrait of Heidi'

Acrylics and collage on paper
56 x 56 cm

Not available. A gift for Heidi.

PS - Reflection for sale!

'Reflection', the portrait in the previous post is now available for sale in my shop. You can view her here...

Thursday 12 January 2017

reflection : mixed media portrait step by step

'Reflection' : mixed media portrait painting on canvas

It has been years and years since I've done any 'proper' portrait work. With Heidi here in the studio we both felt it would be awesome to do something we're both out of touch with.

As I mentioned in my last post we followed an online demonstration by the super talented Jane Spakowsky. I highly recommend learning something new once in a while, or brushing up on a skill with a talented teacher. If you can do it with a buddy, all the better!

Here are the steps I took in completing my portrait ...

Collage and stencilled underpaiting

Modelling the face in grey and white

Further modelling with a hint of green

Adding the hair

Warm skin tones

Finishing the hair and the background

Finished portrait : 'Reflection', mixed media on canvas


Mixed media on exhibition canvas
50 x 40 cm

What's next? Another portrait for sure :-)

Here's the vintage photography I worked from...

Vintage photography of a woman for inspiration

PPS - Paintings for sale!

I'm slowly adding acrylic paintings to my Etsy shop. They're of all sizes, and are mostly abstracts and landscapes and abstract landscapes. If you're after one of my original paintings and live in New Zealand you should pop along there -

Wednesday 11 January 2017

studio buddy

For 3 weeks we have our friend Heidi visiting from Norway. She's a climber and an artist and so our interests are super compatible.

There's now more than double energy in my studio and each day we're torn between going outside or painting in the studio. So far the studio is winning hands down.

Here are some pics of what we've been up to...

Heidi in the chaos of two people creating in a small space.

Collaboration pieces for warm up.

Heidi adding collage papers at the beginning of a mixed media piece

Whoa! Who tidied up?

Underpaintings, mixed media on canvas. Heidi on left, mine on right

Yes, we have been getting outside. Heidi after sketching at the Clutha River, Wanaka

Our sketches at the Clutha River near Albertown, Wanaka

Some mountain time, Mt Aspiring National Park


One thing we decided to do was work on something different for both of us. We chose portraits and have been following an online demonstration by the super talented Jane Spakowsky. This has been a extremely absorbing and exciting process for both of us and we can't wait to start the next ones.

Grey underpainting to model the skin tones. You can see the vintage photos we are working from.
My painting on the left, Heidi's on the right.

Heidi adding tiny details to the underpainting

We've been taking lots and lots of in progess photos, so my next blog post will show my completed portrait step-by-step.

Back to the easel :-)