Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Two Nudes, A Drawing Tutor and The Peruvian Soap Decorator

I haven't had much time to blog this past fortnight as the days are full of activity and the evenings I fall asleep on the sofa with one of the cats! I've enjoyed a few firsts in art starting with life drawing on the 14th where we had two models. We often have this in portraiture but with the life class it's tough enough finding one person willing to pose in the buff let alone two. Fortunately this married couple were old hands at sitting as they'd posed for art students in Christchurch. The lady was quite bemused by the fact that I described drawing them lying down in a very awkward position (and I don't know a better way to write that) as drawing a human landscape. After we finished they came over to look at what I'd done and the husband pointed out that they looked like the Ruahine Ranges...

Two days later on the 16th Nov Glenys and I went to Otane to attend a drawing workshop tutored by Tom Williams. He brought along many of his own sketch books and portfolios so that we could see what sort of work he did. I was impressed with the range and quality of his work- especially his old buildings as he really captured their soul. He had us working hard at drawing an old Bentwood chair all morning and after a lovely alfresco lunch held under the century old trees outside we sat and drew a tree for two hours. At the end of this I was more convinced than ever that I need to spend time learning to draw trees as my picture just looked like a tree having a quiet nervous breakdown.

Wednesday Blanca, a Peruvian lady who is here visiting her neice in Waipukurau, modelled for our portraiture class. Fortunately Jacqueline is fluent in Spanish (as she was born in Argentina) so she translated all our extremelly witty and insightful repartee. After lunch Blanca taught us how to paint on soap. I had bought a packet of six "budget" cakes which we shared and she demonstrated (with Jacqueline translating) how to smooth the soap, varnish and then paint on it. I painted a bunny but because it's so dark it looks like something nasty has died on the soap so I may have to rethink my colour scheme!

It is now a week since the Christmas Sale at Creative Hastings began and for the first time in all the years I have entered I have not sold one thing! Whether it's the slowing economy or my stuff just doesn't gel I don't know. I finished another three pendants and a brooch over the past week and dropped these off today with the fervent hope that everyone is just leaving their Christmas shopping to the last moment this year.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

National Wins

What a week of change we've had here with National sweeping to power in last Saturday's election. I was determined to vote this time as I felt the country needed a change from the nanny state mentality which has brought us to our knees over the past nine years. Gay and I went to Tikokino School to vote and although we passed some people coming out we were the only ones there so didn't have to wait in a queue. This is the only day when we truly are a democracy and our voices are heard and, more importantly, listened to.

I had so much work to complete over the last week preparing for the Creative Hastings Christmas sale but as luck would have it I ran out of one of my meds and as I couldn't get anymore until this week had to go cold turkey. Do not recommend that to anyone as I ended up dizzy, nauseas and sore all over as if I had the flu. Still I managed to complete four pendants and three more brooches although I think these cats look slightly under the weather by their expressions!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Obama and Otane Rock

I'm not American but I have to say even I became emotional watching Barrack Obama's speech after winning the US Presidential Election. I think his term in office will bring peace and hope to America and hopefully will raise their standing again throughout the world. After eight years of "W" the American People deserve a break.

Glenys and I spent last Sunday afternoon at the Otane Arts and Crafts Open Weekend. I was three hours painting a Christmas decoration I am donating to a project the New Zealand Art Guild are involved in to raise funds for Starship Children's Hospital. As it had to have a Kiwi theme I decided to paint a Perendale Sheep although he is without a Santa hat. A few people came into the art room to look at the paintings for sale (only one sold and not mine unfortunately) and to chat to the few of us working. I got to know another donkey person who took my business card. Also sold several of my cards- mostly donkey ones!

Today I returned to portraiture but my mojo had shrivelled up and died. Nothing I drew looked good and so in the end I gave up and went to sit in the art room where my friend Gine had laid on a celebratory home made sponge with sparkling grapejuice to celebrate the fact that she is expecting her first child. Everyone was so happy for her although the requests for her to pose while pregnant weren't long in coming. Never let it be said that an artist lets a chance go by!