Monday, August 24, 2009

Friday, August 21, 2009

Still Life in Blue

This is a really basic piece of art - acrylic on paper - but I'm going to have it framed because I feel as if I've made a breakthrough. Why? Because for the first time since I began painting four or five years ago, I had a clear awareness of what I had to do to achieve something like the finished piece I had in mind.

A few months back I felt as if I needed to go back to the beginning when I leap-frogged all the sensible advice about making colour charts, doing tonal studies etc. I just wanted to rush in and make pictures - not muck around with basic stuff!

Now, I somehow have an understanding that in order to advance I need to regroup. Since I started painting I've hardly read anything except art books and magazines so I've certainly been searching for knowledge and inspiration, but at the same time trying to avoid the hard yards.

Instead of buying canvases and worrying about wasting money I've been using deskpads, card and bits of board for practise. It's been very freeing and I'm so looking forward to the warmer weather when I can move outside and paint more often than I'm able to during the winter.

Inspirational Art

One of my favourite things is to come home (usually on a Friday evening) with a new pile of library books. We have a wonderful library and there are always new art books and magazines to tempt me, or old favourites to re-read.

I recently discovered an American magazine 'Cloth, Paper, Scissors' which is full of ideas for mixed media artists. Inspired by the work of Kelly Rae Roberts I made the attached art for my daughter, hoping to lift her spirits a little as she had seemed downhearted. I used a map of Europe for my angel's skirt to symbolise my daughter's brave, adventourous spirit in travelling through various parts of the world, and the bellbird (one of our native birds) to symbolise her return home to New Zealand. For some of the text I used excerpts from New Zealand writer, Shonagh Koea's 'Sing to Me, Dreamer', a novel I absolutely love.
My mixed media piece isn't for sale so I hope I'm not contravening any copyright laws. For me, this was a tiptoe into mixed media work, but I loved making this picture and I know I'll be doing more. I'm afraid there's nothing original in my piece but I'm spurred to use my own writing in future. We don't generally give ourselves enough credit for the day-to-day things we achieve - they might not be especially glorious but they're so often done to make others' lives more cheerful and comfortable; I think having a special piece of art to remind us of our unique qualities is a wonderfully uplifting and inspirational idea.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

NZ Affordable Art Show

This piece of my art sold at the NZ Affordable Art Show. I was so excited to be selected for this show and delighted to sell a piece among the many hundreds of great art works exhibited. I love painting the play of light and am currently experimenting with different ways of achieving this. Amongst friends and family I'm known as a bit of a pessimist and cynic, but I don't think I can be at heart, because in my art I prefer to reflect colour and joy than the greyness of sombre thoughts. Some of my art, including sold pieces, can be viewed on my website

Whoever bought my art - thank you. Naku noa (peace be with you).

Hunters, Rogues & Heroes by Connor McKenzie

Few know New Zealand's backcountry and byways, and the hunters who often inhabit them, as well as Connor McKenzie. Throughout his 50-plus years of hunting high-jinks, misadventures and 'success stories', he has amassed all sorts of yarns - always worth the telling, usually hard-case and, sometimes, even true. McKenzie has been NZ Outdoor Magazine's most popular author for some years and this collection of yarns is told in his legendary laconic style. Published in New Zealand by Raupo, a division of Penguin. Available at all good bookstores (NZ).

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Suite101 Articles - Visiting Napier & Hawke's Bay

We had a weekend break away in Napier a couple of weeks ago. It had been many years since I'd visited. What a lovely place! Very colourful and vibrant with gorgeous architecture, not only the Art Deco buildings, but there are also lovely old villas in the city and perched high on the surrounding hills.

Some of the highlights were the Art Gallery and Museum, the Hawke's Bay Farmers Market and the National Aquarium. I also loved it that the city is so close to the sea. Must be lovely if you work in town and can just wander over the street for lunch on the beach. I know I'll be visiting again and won't leave it so long next time!


All material on Art and Writing is owned by Lyn Rasmussen. Permission to republish in print or online must be granted by Lyn Rasmussen in writing.