Monday 28 February 2022

it's always better together - out and about in february


Mount Gold and the Clutha River from Albert Town

I'm lucky enough to belong to 4 different painting groups now, so there's always someone to paint with. It seems to me that as an artist I have a tendency to be rather a loner. My head is full of ideas and projects I want to tackle and I've got lots of places I want to visit to sketch or paintings I want to do in my studio. If I wasn't careful, I'd be seeing nobody at all except my husband and dog!

But creating with others is wonderfully special and always so inspiring. There's nothing like everyone painting the same scene with completely different approaches to spark something new and exciting in my brain. And time spent talking art, art supplies, art business, art, art, art is always so refreshing - hanging out with folks who know exactly what makes your heart go pitter-patter.

So, not a week goes by without me meeting with others for a sketching session and I'm incredibly grateful to my painting buddies for being there and supporting each other.

Here's some images from out and about this month. Some with my painting buddies, some with just David and Zulu. Every single image holds memories of the place, but even more of the people who were with me.

Old baches, Taieri Mouth

Historic Mitchell's Cottage, Fruitlands

Hawea Playgroup - the old Hawea Flat Post Office

Alpine Tarn, Upper Wye Creek

Friday 25 February 2022

art retreat france , june 2022 - change of date


10 day painting holiday in Southern France with New Zealand artist, Renee Walden

We've had a change of date for this year's French painting retreat. We're now going from 28 June to 7 July - summertime :-)

There are only 3 spots left!

For more information please visit this page and get in touch with any questions you might have.

Wednesday 9 February 2022

it never rains but it pours

The old jetty on Lake Wanaka high and dry with the lake really low. Late Jan 2022.

One of the fun things about sketching outdoors in sketchbooks is documenting the same place again and again. Sometimes I can go back to older sketchbooks to see the same scene in a different season or from a different angle or with different people or animals in the spot. But these two sketches of the old Lake Wanaka jetty didn't need a big timespan between them. They're only a week apart!

Above, the jetty high and dry after a couple of months of no rain and the lake incredibly low. Then, below, a week later after a couple of days of wonderful rain and the lake had risen 1.5m :-)

One week later and the lake 1.5m higher. February 2022.

Friday 4 February 2022

2 years between sketches - it makes a difference


Stewart Cottage painted in 2020 and 2022

Visiting the Bannockburn Sluicings is such a treat. Especially a visit up to old Stewart Town, because you know how much I love old stone buildings.

I was up there recently with a couple of sketching buddies and I was there almost exactly 2 years ago with another local artist. When I got home this year I pulled out the 2 year old sketchbook to have a look at the difference. It's one of my favourite things about sketchbooks, being able to track your progress as a painter and to relive the memories of previous outings.

It's interesting to me how much more relaxed and free my sketches seem to be now. For me it's especially noticeable in the sketch of the Bannockburn Sluicings below. I don't think you'd describe my watercolour paintings as loose (I have abstract acrylics for that!), but I can certainly see a growing confidence in my approach when I look back at the same scenes from 2 years ago. Plus, it's really obvious to me how much difference the 100% cotton paper in my new sketchbooks makes.

I highly recommend sketchbooks for this type of reflection on past work. You may think you'll keep the old paintings in a drawer somewhere, but in my experience I'll often tip those into the recycling in a fit of studio cleaning. Not my sketchbooks though, I'll always have those to go back to.

PS - someone online asked about the trees in the 2020 sketch above. They're 100 year old pear and greengage trees, and don't worry! They're still there. I just left them out this year in a flurry of artistic license, giving the Vipers Bugloss place to grow and the cottage room to breathe. 

Bannockburn Sluicings - 2020 and 2022