Monday, July 28, 2008

Just A Little News

Last week was our last portraiture class to be held on a Friday. From now on we will hold them Wednesday mornings with the afternoons being for personal art projects as before. John had to adapt our existing plinth the models pose on so that it can easily be moved into the garden group's room which we will be using for portraiture in order not to disturb people not wanting to participate. He cut it in half and put castors on two legs on each part so that it can be easily rolled. Hopefully with the change of day more people will be able to attend the class as we were dwindling in numbers.

For our last session in the old room we had my favourite life model. I mainly used the Pitt pastel pencils (like in this drawing) but at home the next day completed a graphite pencil and linseed oil work which I was quite happy with but which is too large to scan. It is alot of fun moving out of your comfort zone and using new materials.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Inspirational Art

Tuesday I had my long awaited dental appointment to repair a broken tooth. As a reward afterwards I went to Aaron's Emporium in Napier, that evil shop which compels me to spend too much money. I was mesmerised into buying over twenty small paintbrushes which I wreck when painting my jewellery as well as six smallish canvases including a couple of minute ones measuring just a couple of inches with a small wooden easel to display them on. As a finale I bought more shiny glass things that I pile into glass bottles on the window sills so that when the sun shines through them I can indulge my obsession for shiny things. I am beyond hope.

Afterwards headed to the Hastings Community Arts Centre to replace the donkey cards I'd sold. While there I viewed an exhibition called "Odyssey" by Shirley Vogtherr, a Hastings based artist. There were a variety of works displayed including four dramatic charcoal nudes. However I was more captivated by her painting of two female nudes viewed from the back and painted in shades of grey and golds with an almost silvery sheen over the surface of the canvas. Her other works were landscapes, mostly of Hawkes Bay views but again these were not conventional paintings- rather they appeared fragmented as if looking through shattered glass which she says is inspired by Hawkes Bay's history of earthquakes. There were also a series of boat paintings painted in the same manner but again with oil paints which seemed to softly glow. It wasn't surprising to me that of the twenty-two works shown ten had sold on opening night.

Wednesday at Otane I worked on some calico cat brooches requested by Katz Gallery. As these are very time consuming I decided to do several at once in a kind of production line but even though I spent three hours on them I didn't complete much painting. Blame this on my propensity to chatter away, especially as we have another interesting new member of the group.

Today I returned to Otane with Gine and Gay late morning as the Wool Group were hosting the mid winter annual lunch for the combined groups. This was my first time at a lunch but I was so glad I attended as it gave me a chance to see people from the four other groups that use the building. There was a lovely lunch provided by everyone bringing a plate and afterwards we were given the chance to look at the sales tables (resisted this as guilty after my art supply splurge) as well as a raffle table (bought two tickets). The main event was a talk given by two locals who have an olive oil business. Afterwards the rolling raffle was drawn. Nineteen wrapped packages were on a table and after each ticket was called out the winner would pull out the next ticket before going to choose a parcel. I got the giggles as I constantly had the numbers before or after the winning ones. However our painters did well with Gine, Gay, Glenys, Lea, Colleen and Betty all winning something. I also had a couple of chats with the President of the Otane Arts and Crafts who told me my friend Maxine who moved from Tikokino seven months ago is selling her new place in Taupo soon and moving back down to the Bay. Next minute I turned and who else did I see sitting across the room but Maxine who had driven all the way down for lunch.

I have finally scanned my abstract work completed at Gine's workshop last month. Based on the Australian tree seed head I drew in graphite this work is composed of textured card overlaid with crumpled tissue and embellished with small stones, lentils and rice. I had great fun with colours and everyone says the work reminds them of looking into a river. I however think I've been watching too many episodes of "Stargate Atlantis" as it looks like outer space gone blue.

Monday, July 21, 2008

"Reach Out" New Zealand Art Guild Collaborative Work 2008

The New Zealand Art Guild's 2008 collaborative work "Reach Out" is now up for auction on Trademe with a percentage of the proceeds raised going to the Mental Health Foundation. The work itself can be viewed at the Bruce Mason Centre in Auckland until the end of July. My contribution is third from the left and two rows down from the top.

PARTICIPATING ARTISTS (Rows 1 - 9 left to right) ROW 1 - 1.Erika Hussellmann 2.Trish Muir 3.William Rutledge 4.Ronda Turk 5.Rochelle van der Werff 6.Jude Blake 7.Megan Morris 8.Sophia Elise 9.Viv Hansen

ROW 2 - 10.Sharon Burger 11.Julia Dungan 12.Jen Longshaw 13.Carol Winterburn 14.Tessa Birks 15.Damian Barnshaw 16.John Sargeant 17.Lisz Bodsworth 18.Margaret Ngawaka

ROW 3 - 19.Tereana Davies 20.Wendy Murphy 21.Catherine Outwin 22.Donna Steel 23.Angela Laby 24.Trish MacReady 25.Sher Green 26.Wendy Matthews 27.Helen West

ROW 4 - 28.Deanna Gracie 29.Christine Dempster 30.Tanya Dann 31.Sophia Elise 32.Melissa Muirhead 33.Lynn Morrison 34.Anne Lengauer 35.Terri Dangen 36.Maria Hartley

ROW 5 - 37.Jennifer Christiansen 38.Eleanor Wenman 39.Melissa Muirhead 40.Anni Morris 41.Beate Minderjahn 42.Ingrid Boot 43.Tineswari Maruthamuthu 44.Cath Sheard 45.Sandra Toornstra

ROW 6 - 46.Rachael Inch 47.Paulette Shepherd 48.Pam Buffery 49.Tracey Stringer 50.Elissa Ramsey 51.Tony Brown 52.Des Lattey 53.RifRaf 54.Marlene Faithfull

ROW 7 - 55.Ricky Kazmierczak 56.Shiree Meikle 57.Shelley Van Soest 58.Lyn Hurring 59.Elspeth Alix Batt 60.Lyn Murray 61.Liz de King 62.Chris Cruickshank 63.Cheryl Irwin

Row 8 - 64.Jane Bold 65.Tracy MacDonald 66.Natalie Makeef 67.Silver Dunlop 68.Kelly Gatchell Hartley 69.Helen McNamara 70.Peter Augustin 71.Sally Blyth 72.Cairyn Tomokino

ROW 9 - 73.Joanne Louise 74.Bobby Shen 75.Natasha Wheeler 76.Alison Mulgrew 77.Lesley Carew 78.Sharlene Ngatapuna 79.Ron Esplin 80.Michele Bluck 81.Fiona Woods -

ROW 10 - 82.Gail Boyle 83.Kirsty Black 84.Jane Santos 85.Lynette McKinstrie 86.Sarah Jayne Woodward 87.Chavah Kinloch 88.Teresa Rodger 89.Michele McCreedy-Shaw 90.Jan Amohia

Saturday, July 19, 2008


Helen bought me a present of four Faber Castel pastel pencils (two brown, one white and one black) as I have been enthusing to her about using the ones John lent me. I couldn't wait to use them so discarded my pencils and charcoal and sketched Friday's portraiture model with them. Their advantage over ordinary pastels are that they're in pencil form so much less messy as they don't generate the same amount of dust on your hands and the floor plus they're great for detailing. Yet another great medium to use.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Changing Times

Had one of my favourite models at portraiture yesterday. The grandson of one of the artists Mattie is always very patient and uncomplaining which usually results in us turning out some very relaxed drawings. I have been using graphite pencils the past two weeks and must admit that I really like the effect. However two artists were were achieving some wonderful results using Faber Artists' Pastel Pencils. John lent me three of his to bring home and I have been having fun working with them which now means I'll have to save up to buy a few for myself.

There is also talk of our changing the day of portraiture from Fridays to Wednesday instead. This would mean that we would spend the day at Otane, mornings drawing, afternoons working on our other projects. The main reason for the suggested change is the price of petrol which increased to $2.19 a litre this week. It is just too expensive to make two trips to Otane a week- especially if you live half an hour away as many of us do. I sincerely hope everyone will see the sense in this new arrangement.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Something Fishy

I was up until late Monday night finishing the two fish paintings for my brother's birthday present. Next morning was up early signing them with shakey hand, trying to get d-rings screwed in and both sprayed before he arrived. Made it with about half an hour to spare which is pretty good for me.

The two paintings are 4"x4" square acrylics. I've named them "Hello Goodbye II and III" after the first version I completed last year. Although the design looks quite simple they are difficult to paint as they need to be quite flat in tone plus being so small they're very fiddly in places. Still Rich seemed happy with them. He has always told me that if I have any artwork I don't want to give it to him because if I become famous and then drop dead he will make a fortune! Yes black humour runs in our family...

Got to Otane early today. Fortunately the painting room was well warmed with several heaters. Got my easel out and began work on my new painting which is a large picture of Briar. Purely done for commercial reasons- donkeys sell. Got the work sketched out and began laying in a wash for the sky before lunch. Gay, Gine and I left early though to do a little shopping in Waipawa before heading home to light the fire and to spend the evening convincing myself I did a good days work (not).

Sunday, July 06, 2008


The New Zealand Art Guild Annual Member Exhibition "Make It Memorable" opened on July 1st (last Tuesday) at the Bruce Mason Centre, Auckland. Five paintings sold the first night, unfortunately none of the ones I sent but it's a fantastic result for everyone else. The exhibition runs until the end of the month.

Wednesday at painting group I managed to get ahead with the two paintings for my brother's birthday. Also have been chipping away at two exercises for TLC which I am trying to finish this weekend. The weather is so bitter and wintry at the moment you'd think it a great time for being inside working but most of the day I am trying to thaw out which doesn't help the creative process.

Friday at Portraiture our model decided not to come and sent her brother instead. The long suffering boy was so patient and even contorted himself into interesting positions for us to sketch. This is a more conventional pose.

Finally finished reading a biography on Georgia O'Keefe which I have been dipping into over the past fortnight. A fascinating artist who has really helped wake me up to abstracts (along with Gine's workshop a couple of weeks ago). I wonder what O'Keefe might have achieved if she hadn't been married to such a strong personality as Streiglitz. Now onto "The Art Of Andrew Wyeth" which I first read twenty years ago. His paintings of rural Maine and Pennsylvania resonate with me, especially living in a shabby chic house covered with lichen. Everywhere I look now I see potential paintings.