Saturday, August 28, 2010


This is Jess!  My daughter Emelia took this photo.  She has a new camera and is taking lots of photos.  I particularly like this one she took of Jess.... she looks all expectant and trusting.  I want to do a painting based on this photo.  Just black and white and in a washy style...with paint dribbling and loose.  May be more than the table in the lounge can handle right now!  May have to wait until the studio is in a more rational state.

Te whare kuri

Clyde's dad just made a new kennel for Jess. When it arrived on the back of the ute we all thought it looked like a whare.  So I painted it up with Kowhaiwhai patterns and called it "Te whare kuri".  In Maori "kuri" is dog and "whare" is house.  Within a week, she has trashed her whare... chewing at the roof and constantly dragging out the blanket.  The chickens have taken a shine to it and are constantly popping in and out.  There is a bit of a battle going on between the dog and the chickens at the moment.  Jess is very keen to spend her day rounding them up... they look like they are over her antics... but I sense this is one story that has not been played out fully yet.  I like making signs, they satisfy me.  I love well labelled things...  My dad was a 'sign writer' and I may have got that from him.  Sorry Jess. (But I hope you still like it!)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Breakfast with Millie

This gouache painting is of me at home having breakfast with Millie when she was 5.  This painting has sold long ago.  It is filled with little things that were important to me at the time. (Millie is 16 now).  The 'Elmo' toy on the table, Millie's favourite heart gumboots, the stain glass window Clyde made, the daffodils from our garden, Millie's drawings, a kauri table I brought with my first husband, a variety of ceramics from local potters 'eyecon', the morning black coffee....the spiral key ring Clyde brought me.  I have been thinking about returning to this style of painting.  It is almost a documentary...a historical record of a time and place....

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Here is another one from London pushing out the 'London bus' idea from a previous post. I was not that happy with the composition but had great fun spotting the people on the way to work and then adding them into the painting when I got home! Painted in gouache on paper.  The reason for revisiting these paintings is that I have been asked to do a commission which I am doing in this older style/technique.  I have had to look back at some of my older works to remember how I worked then.  It has been an interesting exercise.

Monday, August 23, 2010

London Buses

I hope the quality of this image is okay.  It was taken along time ago when I did not have a digital camera.  I no longer have the painting.
A few years ago when I lived in London I did a series of paintings about London buses.  Originally they were in response to a painting I had seen at the Tate Gallery.  Each morning on the way to work I would watch someone I saw and examine them closely.  At night I would put them in the painting.  I was always in the paintings.  Usually I was carrying  the leather satchel that I had brought in Greece.  I was so in love with that bag! In the end the series numbered about 10 paintings.  Most were painted with gouache on paper.  Back in New Zealand I did a couple of Acrylic versions as well.  All have sold now

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A better picture of the baby!

The baby caravan out on the lawn. A 10 foot beauty!  Can't wait to get onto the interior in spring and have some fun with the Retro outfit!

Decay and mould!

Must be onto a new theme here! (decay/winter/depressing mud)...  It is not a new or original idea....but I have had fun lately experimenting with small projects that can be done around the studio overhaul.  I have been collecting plates from the hospice and painting new images over the old.  'HELP' and 'decay' have been added over the spring tulips.  I hope the link with a previous post is obvious!  BRING ON SPRING!

Bottle top bag

A few years back I made a series of bags from old bottles tops that I found in a school I was teaching at.  The tops had been used for counting in maths.  I loved how the tops were worn by all those years of being used and treasured by the little hands of the young students.  They reminded me of my own childhood and a time when things were simpler and less complicated. The bag was selected to be part of an exhibition that toured New Zealand and Australia for several years and featured on a calender, that was sold in galleries during the tour, of work by artists who work with 'recycled/upcycled' materials.  I was very proud of this bag at the time as it was all lined and damn fiddly to make.

Will spring ever come?

Just for fun.  The courtyard on a sunny day. I am missing the garden at the last house and feel impatient for spring to arrive here.  It is a whole different climate up here on the side of the mountain compared to down by the sea at the other place.  Since we have moved we leave for work in the dark and get home in the dark.  HOWEVER I did notice the daffodils are starting to flower here, so that has to be a good sign!  I imagine spring will bring a whole new feel to the place as the plants spring into action and we discover what is here!  I am excited!