Saturday, January 24, 2009


I have been spending mornings doing chores outside before the heat begins to kick in too much. After watching "Stargate Atlantis" reruns at lunchtime I sit and work on my fantasy painting "Seawitch". She's coming along although sometimes I wonder if the subject's green skin makes her look like she's decomposing rather than sleeping.

I took her along to art on Wednesday and did get a little done before it was time to leave. I was also lent books by three different people so must get down to some serious reading in the evenings. I often read two to three books at a time although I have long since given up on my childhood ambition to read every book ever written! When I think about it my family (and many of my friends) don't talk about books very often if at all. The only person who I could really talk to about them was my grandfather who was of course an ex schoolteacher and Renaissance man who would stay awake till 1am each night reading. Not too great when you're a farmer and need to get up early but I guess that's what he kept Granny for.

Often when Gay and I are on our own we discuss poetry, well actually my poetry which she has actually read (the woman needs a medal). Two weeks ago we sequed (finally I get to use that word) onto short stories of which I have written a grand total of two in the last nine years. I have promised her I will show them to her and I hope she can stand the shock as they're pretty dark.

When I was a child I used to write fiction incessantly. Horse stories mainly about young girls who tamed black/white/Palamino stallions or else owned riding stables. I kept notebooks full of stories but one day came in to find my mother and elder sister holding one and laughing while reading one aloud. It took me quite a while to get back into it by which time my fertile imagination had withered and fallen over.

But to end on a brighter note here are the little bugs I painted for the December sale. My favourite type of insect as they don't crawl all over you or need spraying.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Yesterday was the first day back at art in Otane. Took along my "Seawitch" painting and spent most of my time mixing and remixing colours so I could begin work on some of the decorative elements. When I got the picture home late yesterday I decided I still wasn't happy with the colours so will have to muck around again today. No one would ever believe I only had two weeks to finish this thing!

This afternoon someone from the Arthritis Society called. She'd also entered the Creative Hastings Christmas Sale and was approaching other exhibiters to see if they'd be interested in having a stall at a market day at Duart House in Havelock Nth in early March. This is going to be a fundraiser for the Society and if successful will be an annual event. I haven't attended a market in several years now but as this one only lasts for four hours and is in an affluent area it might be worth trying. She's going to send me more information next week.

Airini brought over yesterday's Dominion newspaper as she thought I'd be interested in an article on the front page. This was about a two year old girl from Aussie whose "abstract" paintings are selling for between $400 and $2,000 each. It made me want to lie on the floor and have a hissy fit at the unfairness of life. Instead of which I ate a piece of chocolate and had a quiet sulk...

Thursday, January 08, 2009


The thermometer under the veranda read 35oC (95oF)at 8am today so goodness knows what temperature it was out in the sun. Being stuck inside I decided to work on an exercise for the "Acrylics Into Oils" section of Stage One since oils would be the easiest to work with in the heat. After using acrylics it is such a pleasure to have time to blend and the colours are so much more rich yet subtle. However after an hour and a half painting with Edith Piaf in the background warbling about losing her legionnaire/gangster/boxer even I was ready to lose the will to live.

With the economy being so depressed at the moment (David Letterman says it's so bad that even the Salvation Army has surrendered) art becomes even more of a luxury item and I've had to rethink my goals for the year. Perhaps people will only be able to buy smaller items so I should concentrate on these as my bread and butter line. But then again I don't want to stagnate creatively yet can I really afford to paint some large piece that might not even sell? I think my grandfather's motto of "moderation in all things" is the way to go. Concentrate on the work that will generate an income but in those spare moments when I'm not stressing about paying the phone bill work on a painting for a competition or try something new to add to my non existant portfolio.

Buddha once stated that nothing lasts forever and even an economic downturn will eventually go the other way and that's when the artist will hopefully be ready to hit the market with some new ideas that'll make a potload of money and save some of us from continually trawling for a rich old sugardaddy...

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New 2009

My New Year's resolution is not to make any New Year's resolutions. You start with great intentions and they wither away before January is over. Well perhaps I can state one intention that I will try to keep during 2009 and that is to stop saying I could be happy if only this would happen or if something else doesn't happen. The better way forward is to live in the moment and just take what enjoyment out of it you can. I see too many people who think the grass is always greener somewhere else and end up never being satisfied. Life isn't perfect and trying to enforce our own view of what we think it should or could be will only make us unhappy.

I have begun back into my TLC course work since I still have 198 hours to complete before the end of Term One. For drawing we had to try and copy a Da Vinci sketch which meant I had to borrow a book from Gay who has an entire library on the great artists. Like all the masters Leonardo can give the impression of the sitter in few lines. The model's eyes seem to speak out from the surface of the paper although my version doesn't have the looseness of the original as I was too nervous of making a mistake. Thank goodness for erasers!