Friday 31 March 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 21 March 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.

Sunday 12 March 2017

abundance : new mixed media portrait painting

"Abundance" - mixed media portrait painting on canvas

New in my Gaia series this this lovely goddess surrounded and dressed in an abundance of flowers. My first blue-eyed beauty too :-)

Mixed media on exhibition canvas
Acrylics, collage and ink
51x76cm (3cm deep)
Ready to hang. No need to frame. Sides of the canvas are painted black.
Finished with matte varnish.

NZ$600 (+ shipping)
Just drop me a line if you would like her to be yours.

10% of the sale of this new painting will be donated to a worthy environmental cause. I intend to continue to do this with each painting I complete in my Gaia series.

Detail of "Abundance" - portrait of a Mother Earth goddess

Detail of "Abundance" - mixed media portrait painting of a goddess with flowers

Detail of "Abundance" - Gaia goddess with flowers

Detail of "Abundance" - blue-eyed beauty ;-)

"Abundance" - portrait of a Mother Earth goddess with flowers

Drop me a line if you would like her to be yours :-)

I took a series of work in progess shots of this painting. If you would like me to write a blog post showing my process, then drop me a comment below.

Studio visits are always welcome! If you would like to come and see my paintings in person, just get in touch.