Friday, March 21, 2008

Hippy Cat No 3

Despite being so close to moving last week I worked at finishing Hippy Cat No 3 to send down to The Learning Connexion end of term student exhibition. It turned out differently than I envisaged in a deep yellow, purple and antique gold finish. Measuring 4"x4" I painted in acrylics on box canvas. I managed to get this into the mail Friday the 14th along with Celtic Mandala and Old Friends.

After the big shift I was really happy to go along to Otane for art on Wednesday. I have no idea where my canvases are at the moment so worked on a cat brooch I found in my paint box. The big excitement was that Helen's husband Jack had completed an easel for me to use. He had adapted Marie's design so that it wasn't as tall. It will be kept at Otane with a sign "Jen's Easel" on it while Jack makes another for my use at home. At last I will finally be able to work on large canvases.

Only got an hour's painting done before we all went to Abbotslee for a final lunch before it closes at the end of March. We sat outside in the garden under umbrellas which was very pleasant. I took along my camera and got a couple of shots of the house as well as a lovely one of Gine sitting in the dappled sunlight working on some embroidery. Would make a great picture I thought .....

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Nekkid Male

I was so pleased to be able to get to Friday's life drawing class after missing the last one. This was the first time our model was a male so to celebrate I broke out the new papers that we'd bought from the pile Helen arranged on behalf of the group. This was also my first time working at a full size easel since my table one was proving tough on my shoulders. Marie (hi Marie) had brought along one she had designed herself which dropped low enough for me to work from. This made such a huge difference to my drawing as I was able to use the whole of my arm making for larger work that Helen has suggested her husband make a copy to be kept at Otane for me. She also gave me a lightweight drawing board to work from which has made a massive difference compared to the heavy one I use at home.

We drew for nearly the whole two hours taking only ten minutes for morning tea. The model was extremely experienced and got into some challenging positions (and I don't mean that to sound the way it does!). The last two poses he kept for 25 minutes each so I was able to complete two pastel drawings of which this is my favourite.

When I arrived home I found a business card tucked into the back door. A minister representing the local Anglican Church had called while I was away. I wonder what he would have thought if he'd known what I was actually away doing that morning?

Thursday, March 06, 2008


Last week Helen took a digital photo of a leaf drawing (A3 size)that I had completed as part of my Learning Connexion course. Yesterday at art she gave me a print which I am happy to have as the picture was too large to fit on my scanner. Makes me want to return to doing more drawing as I used to in my teens.

Some good news was that I received a cheque for two patchwork cat brooches I had sent to Quiltworks in Waipukurau. Donna suggested I make more for the shop so I will get onto these after I've moved. Also a drawing called "Rat Watching" that I did for my other blog sold on Trademe last night for the grand total dollar! I would have only thrown it away otherwise so at least it's something plus the purchaser wants me to sign it.

Sunday, March 02, 2008


For the first time ever I wasn't tired after portraiture on Friday. Glenys and I usually chat furiously all the way to Otane and then yawn all the way home but for some reason this didn't happen this week. Our subject was Pat who had a lovely strong face to draw and was so incredibly patient, sitting stock still for each pose.

I had received another folder of work back from the TLC on Wednesday so was able to put some of my tutor's advice into practice. Mainly trying to draw more freely, noticing where the light fell etc. Carrie is much harder on me than Irene but I have learned a great deal already. Often I will look at a painting and think that something is not working and I can't tell what it is whereas Carrie can pinpoint the weakness and tell me how to improve. Perhaps I need to use a greater variety of brush sizes, the colour is wrong etc.

This morning I have been making business cards for Martina also from the painting group. She is a very talented artist who paints floral/natural subjects in an unusual way. She will concentrate on a small area, perhaps the centre of a curled up fern frond, a piece of paua or kina shell or else the heart of a succulent. Martina is preparing for a mini exhibition at Electra Gallery in a week's time and I hope this will be the beginning of great success for her as she has worked so incredibly hard for it.

As for me I am currently working on Hippy Cat No3 in garish gold and purple for the Learning Connexion end of term student exhibition at the end of March. I am also sending "Old Friends" and "Celtic Mandala" to Wellington as well.