Sunday, January 31, 2010

Autumn Journey, Tikokino

On the 24th January I promised to go to the baptism of a friend's baby son in Waipawa. By the time I arrived home and had lunch it was after 1pm before I began continuing work on my pointillist painting which I had unimaginatively titled "Autumn Journey, Tikokino". I worked throughout the afternoon into the evening with the picture perched on a small easel on my knee, my paints arranged on a bean bag beside me. The night passed in a blur to the rumbling soundtrack of TV: "Enchanted", "Doc Martin", "Stargate Atlantis", "Wes Craven's Dracula 3" Legacy" and "Alamo". Finishing this not-quite-an-all-nighter I turned my lights off at 3am, getting three hours sleep before packaging the picture for a friend to deliver to Vidal's Winery for the selection process. It wasn't until the following Friday that I heard that the painting had been selected for Art Hawkes Bay's exhibition "Shapes and Scapes of Hawkes Bay".

Apart from the fraught hours painting my nemesis (trees) I attended two portraiture sessions including a life drawing session where the model was 78 years old. She enjoyed regaling us with the story of how she met someone in the Post Shop who knew she was going to pose for us. The woman asked her if she was going to have a Brazilian and our model, assuming in her ignorance that this was a stiff drink, replied that no but she needed one...

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Art Of The Pre-Raphaelites

Hard to believe a month has gone by since our last portrait session but today was our first for the year. How true it is that if you don't use it you lose it- my rubbery fingers fumbled trying to make an intelligible mark. Our model was a local girl who works on a farm near Onga Onga. What she thought of our mad group I have no idea. I don't think most of us know what to make of our mad group either.

Currently reading "The Art of the Pre-Raphaelites" by Elizabeth Prettiejohn. Gives an excellent insight into their working methods, how they began with a brilliant white background, painstakingly building up the picture with small brushes and completing every detail in the background before beginning to work on the main subject-their devotion to working from nature was their raison d'etre.Every part of the painting was considered as important as every other part. At the time this was considered a rebellion against the art establishment and the group were ridiculed until John Ruskin took up their cause. Although the male counterparts of the Brotherhood are famous their female associates such as Evelyn Pickering, Elizabeth Siddall, and Rosa Brett are rightfully becoming of more interest to critics. Their work is of equal quality but they were limited by education and lifestyle (in particular marriage). Thankfully times have sort of changed and women have more opportunities for pursuing their careers and passions.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Rocking Hobbit House

I have too many half finished projects sitting around the place so decided to pick just one to finish before New Year's Day. Found this rock on a river bed near the village of Onga Onga. Rivers tend to produce interestingly shaped stones and this one said "Hobbit House" to me. For months it has sat dustily on my dining room table with just its lawn roof completed.

I'm not sure how many hours I spent on this house. Far too many to make it financially profitable but that's not the point I guess. The bricks in particular had to be painted unthinkingly so I didn't fall asleep with boredom. The lead light windows are my favourite feature- I would love these in my own house.

It's interesting to look at a rock and then make features out of its bumps and lumps although I am sure I'll be asked how I added the chimney (that shape was already present). The sad part is that the finished product will just be regarded as "just craft" as it's merely painted on a stone.