Showing posts with label life in New Zealand. Show all posts
Showing posts with label life in New Zealand. Show all posts

9 Jun 2011

Still crazy after all these years ...........

But Mum - it's warm in here! (Prudence)

But Mum - I'm only helping to lay the table! (Oliver)

15 years old and they still think that they are kittens!!!
How can I not love 'em to bits!

21 Mar 2011

Going, going, gone .....

Every year the Port Chalmers United Rowing Club hold a Fundraising Art Auction at the historic Carey's Bay Hotel Seafood Restaurant and Bar. This annual event is very well supported by both local people and visitors to the area, and is an opportunity for local artists to display their work in a very pleasant venue. Artists choose beforehand what proportion of the auction price obtained for their piece will go to support the PCURC.

The Hotel is a great supporter of the arts and hosts a pre-sale exhibition for two weeks prior to the Fundraising Auction proper which was held yesterday (Sunday 20th March). I was a little disappointed that my entry "Burning Bright" did not sell but am pleased to know that the amount raised towards the Rowing Club funds will be in excess of $6,000 (NZD)!

'Burning Bright' (Acrylic, 12" x 12") - did not sell

This is a similar story to last year when my entry of a small abstract did not sell either. Since then that particular painting has been hanging in the rear meeting room of Carey's Bay Hotel (for over a year) and, strangely enough, someone purchased it over the weekend!

Night Moves 2 (Acrylic 12" x 12") - has SOLD after a year!

It just goes to show how unpredictable it can be when it comes to selling art. Just like anything else a painting needs just the right person to see it at just the right time in order to effect a sale ......... But, when and if it happens, it is such an encouragement! And worth the waiting!

16 Oct 2010

A Birthday girl ....

My youngest grand-daughter was 10 years old a couple of weeks ago and I took some photos of her on her special day. One of them shows her standing, resplendent in her new dress, beneath a painting I did of her and her older sister a few years ago ......

They grow like weeds .... but (unlike weeds) they are a gift to be treasured!

3 Feb 2010

A roving guitar-player!

In 2001 I painted a small acrylic depicting a 'travellin' man' seated playing his guitar. At the time I was living near Tauranga, North Island, NZ and the painting was bought by a lady for her son (also keen on guitar) as a present.

In 2003 we moved to the 'deep South' of the South Island, NZ ........ this is several hundred kms from where the picture was sold. However, this week I received a nice e-mail from an Australian lady living in Mount Isa, North West Queensland. She asked if I minded if she made a mosaic using my painting of the travellin' man as a pattern!

We have since established that it is indeed the same picture I sold nine years ago, and that she had bought it in a local garage sale!

My roving guitarist now hangs in her home office - a true traveller it seems!

5 Dec 2009

Pastel Workshop - Improvers/Intermediate

Intermediate Workshop - what the students produced

Thursday I tutored another pastel workshop for our local art group, and again there were 9 'students' ... so this month there are 18 more (I hope!) confirmed or converted artists using pastel as a preferred medium! Although this session was intended for people familiar with using pastel several attendees were novices/beginners, and I think they did very well. Here are more detailed shots of some the excellent work produced on the day:

Diane's goose (beginner)

Deckchairs by Frances
(complete beginner and only her second time using pastel)

Winsome's Gecko (after Miro)

Gulls by Di W.

Micky's landscape

Bev's Greek idyll

Margaret's 'Girl with penny roses'

Eskimo boy (a work in progress by Jill)

27 Nov 2009

Pastel Workshop - Beginners Please!

Peter's coastal scene

Frances' beach scene

Eva's pepper

Yesterday I tutored a Pastel Workshop for Beginners for the East Otago Art Group. We held it in a local Church Hall and had a lovely productive day. Of the nine participants most were complete beginners in the use of pastel and at least two had only just begun to draw and paint in the past couple of weeks, ... I think the work that they produced is pretty amazing!! Well done all.

29 Oct 2009

Fab four trip, exhibitions and sales ....

Me, Gill and Di

Gill, Jill and me

Monday saw the "fab four" back in Invercargill to visit the Anderson Park Gallery for the last day of their Annual Exhibition .... 7 paintings out of the 15 we entered between us were selected for inclusion (sadly this included only one of mine!). It was a very interesting display and we thoroughly enjoyed looking and discussing the works on display.

Again we stayed overnight, meeting up with other acquaintances at various stages of the proceedings. Then picked up our paintings on Tuesday morning, before a nice bit of retail therapy in H J Smith department store, and the return journey home. Having eaten and drunk far more than was good for us we are all now on a diet!

We returned home to find that each of our entries to the Dunedin Art Awards 2009 have been selected for inclusion, .......... great news! And today I have had the satisfaction of selling two of my "Shearers" series.

Its been quite a long while since I have sold anything so it is very encouraging to finally do so.

Shearer #1 (SOLD) / Shearer #2 / Shearer #3 (SOLD)

29 Sep 2009

An exhibition, a trip and a new painting

This week I was disappointed to hear that only one of the four paintings I'd submitted for the 2009 Anderson Park Gallery Exhibition in Invercargill, Southland, had been selected - this pastel painting called Winter Vase (the three 'unsuccessful' paintings were all acrylics).

However, one really good thing about the exhibition is that it involved 3 painting buddies and myself taking 15 paintings between us (in two cars) 'down South', and enjoying 2 nights away on a jaunt! Anderson Park Gallery itself is a beautiful "stately" house in lovely grounds with an excellent permanent art display, so it was well worth the visit.

It was also great to have a 'girlie weekend'.... and as you can see they are all mad like me!

Di, Jill and Gill (artists and friends)

Quite a long time ago I purchased some 12" square canvases ..... some were black and some white and I don't know why I did it, but it seemed like a good idea at the time! Since then I have tried a couple of ideas out on them with varying degrees of success (mostly failure) ... as it is surprisingly difficult to design a painting in a square format!

However, I have recently been chewing over an idea for a series (will I be able to manage more than one painting though!) which I hope will fit the bill. The inspiration comes from some photographs that my daughter, Debbie, took in a shearing shed when she visited us from UK in August this year.

Here is the first one - it is acrylic and done mostly with a palette knife.

The Shearers (1)

27 Jul 2009


On Saturday our local art group held a 'Drop-in and Draw Day' at our village Bowling Club. From 10.00 until 15.30 enthusiastic scribblers came to try their hand at various drawing challenges. These included a couple of complex still-lifes and the chance to try their hands at portraits of their fellow artists, some of whom willingly sat for varying periods of time for us.

I went along for a short while after a fortifying and delicious lunch in our village cafe (Crema Cafe, Karitane), staying for about an hour. Members had supplied some terrific home-baked scones, cakes and muffins, so strength and spirits were well kept up! I managed three quick sketches but only two that I was pleased with.

Bev (charcoal on Ingres)

W.B. (Charcoal on Ingres)

I was pleased with the drawing of Bev ... and it is quite a good likeness, but my favourite is the one of W.B. This is because this was a very rapid sketch but I know that I have captured a certain something of this lovely lady's inner sweetness.

27 Dec 2008

A Pictorial glimpse - St Bathans Workshop

St Bathans - Part of main street (just beyond the local hostelry!)

St Bathans blue lake - big water, big skies

Old mine castings nearby

- derelict but once 2,500 people lived and worked here!

Our jolly group of artists enjoy lunch and some liquid refreshment

Anne Wright's studio - and a lovely venue for painting in!

10 Nov 2008

Pastels - playing away!

This weekend I am off inland to Maniototo area in Central Otago, to a tiny place called ST BATHANS:

"Beneath the Hawkdun Range and the Dunstan Mountains is the tiny township of St Bathans. With a present population of 5 people and one hotel, it is a far cry from the days of 2000 people and 13 hotels. Situated beside the beautiful Blue Lake (created by the sluicing and channelling of the gold diggers), the intense blue colour of the lake is caused by the mineral content of the surrounding cliffs. The 120 metre high hill the lake site was, is now a 69 metre deep hole, the deepest mining hole in the Southern Hemisphere. The adobe (sun dried mud brick) buildings, notably the Vulcan Hotel, reflect a theme common throughout Central Otago."

I have been invited to attend a small painting seminar being held by members of the Pastel Artists of New Zealand as guest demonstrator. I find the thought of trying to demonstrate in front of my peers terrifying in the extreme - but must follow in the footsteps of the early settlers with determination!

I will be staying in the local hotel ... it is said to be haunted, and I hope to keep you posted on that aspect of the adventure ..............

Anyway, the first evening (Friday) we are meeting up for a social get-together and are taking something towards a communal supper. Should be fun!

26 May 2008

Head to Head ......... a good day!

Well, in spite of it being a cold, wet and grey day yesterday I'm happy to say that our local Head to Head Art Tour was very successful! Participants reported a good number of visitors during the course of the day, doors opening at 10am and closing at 5 pm, and a steady stream of people.

I had over 80 visitors come to view my work (+ a toddler and one dog!), and the interest and comments were very stimulating. In fact, the event did a lot to blow some life into my artistic embers! And I even sold a painting which was icing on the cake ...

Row Boats, Karitane
Palette-knife painting
(acrylic on canvas, 40cms x 50cms)

13 Apr 2008

this sporting life!

I have never been much good at sport and from an early age realised that prowess in the field was not for me. Netball, hockey, tennis, it was 'no go' ... I could never make the team! In athletics I couldn't run or jump, in gymnastics I was terrified of handstands, flick-flacks and walking a beam! As for swimming I just about mastered the breaststroke but hated the crawl and refused to learn to dive. In fact I was a complete and utter washout! This I felt was entirely unfair as I love most sports .... but I resigned myself to life as a spectator.

Unlike me, my husband always excelled at sport at school, especially soccer, and has natural ability but early fatherhood and the demands of his career prevented regular sporting activity. However, a couple of years ago we joined our local bowls club, mainly because it is the only place in the village that has a bar! We initially joined as social members but in early 2007 were 'encouraged' to start playing for the club in the local league. John of course showed his natural sporting talent straight away and, much to my surprise, I found that I was equally suited to the game .... this came as quite a shock after a lifetime of believing that I was a complete dud sportswise!

This season, October - April, I have been playing competitive bowls 3 or 4 times a week (hence the lack of paint on canvas!) and have improved my game quite a bit. In fact, in our club championships I was winner of both the Ladies Singles and Ladies Doubles. Of course, I was beaten at the next level, in the district championships, but that was only to be expected.

But, apart from winning, the wonderful thing is that we have both had lots of fun, met a whole crowd of new people in and around this area, and improved our level of fitness. John has also taken up golf and already has an 18 handicap - although that does make me a bit of a 'golf widow' when he gets to the 19th hole!

Vive le sport!

4 Apr 2008

Head to Head ......... in my own gallery!!!!

Well here's a bit of news (hope you are there, Shez and Jafabrit!) .... as I am posting about a forthcoming venture AND announcing my new 'gallery' space.

First of all there will be an exciting event in May when a group of more than 20 local artists are getting together for a 'Head to Head Art Tour'. The artists all live within the vicinity of the bay which runs between the heads of the Matanaka peninsula and the Huriawa peninsula, and will be displaying their work for one day. Some will display in their own homes or galleries and others will get together in local halls.

My house is the very last one along the Huriawa peninsula and I now have a small gallery area all my own in our new basement extension. The extension comprises a large lounge (which I will also use to display a few paintings), a bathroom, and the 'gallery' which has a small kitchen area at one end.

I have spent today happily hanging some of my paintings in my new gallery!!!! .................

View through part of the new lounge to the 'gallery'.

Closer view through the double doors of the lounge.

View of main wall of gallery area.

View of opposite wall (showing double doorway)

Foot of the stairwell at far end of gallery

Closer view of some of my paintings in situ!

I feel very lucky to have this space to display my work, and now must get some brochures and business cards underway for the Head to Head Art Tour.

22 Dec 2007

To my artist friends and visitors to my blog

Wishing you all a
and plenty of

plus a big Thank You for your support this past year

28 Oct 2007

a wedding in the family!

A big surprise and much excitement for the past couple of weeks .... my eldest daughter in the UK and her partner decided to get married after being together for over 18 years! They had a very quiet wedding with just my son to give the bride away, their 16 year old daughter as bridesmaid and two good friends as witnesses.

We managed to keep in touch frequently via email, telephone and text messages through the pre-nuptials and the BIG DAY itself ...... which made the fact that we could not be there in person a bit more bearable.

And as you can see she looked beautiful, and very happy!

17 Oct 2007

Save our dolphins!

New Zealand is home to the world’s smallest and rarest marine dolphin – the Hector’s dolphin.

Once distributed in waters all around the New Zealand coast line their numbers have declined to a degree that threatens their survival and the species has become divided into genetically distinct North Island and South Island sub-species:

North Island Hectors (Maui's) dolphin AND South Island Hector’s dolphin

Both are listed on the IUCN’s (World Conservation Union) Red List of threatened species, with Maui’s dolphin listed as 'Critically Endangered', due to an estimated population of just 111 individuals. The Hector's dolphins are slow breeders and because of this are at particular risk from human induced mortality through
set net fishing.


14 Oct 2007

painting against the clock!

Have you ever sent in an entry form to an exhibition when you haven't yet done the painting? Lately I seem to be doing that too often ..... but at least makes me knuckle down and produce a piece of work!

Last week I sent in an entry for a painting I called 'Nude II' which has to be delivered next weekend, so today I decided that I really must knuckle down and paint it. This was not so easy as John wanted help finishing off the basement conversion we are frantically trying to get ready for visitors next week, plus my daughter, her husband and our two grandchildren were due for Sunday dinner around 5 pm!

But I did manage to get a painting done + some cleaning, furniture moving and meal preparation! The painting is acrylic on gesso covered tissue collage, - luckily it is only a small canvas measuring 12" x 9".

28 Aug 2007

my cats ........

Pru and Ollie

... are brother and sister

... are ten years old

... are wonderful house guards

... have thrilling adventures (which we humans could well do without!)

... insist on being side by side on my lap

... call very loudly on moonlit nights

... still play a wild game of 'tag'

... bring wonderful (!) presents of dead rabbits and skinks

... are the nosiest I have ever known

... like their tummies tickled

... follow wherever we go

... in fact are just PURRfect!