Wednesday, 17 December 2014

My start in painting plein air

Still becoming used to painting out on location and looking at a view, attempting in my own way to translate onto a canvas or a board.   Time disappears when painting and all of a sudden two paintings have been completed and the afternoon has arrived. 

One has to work very fast in order to capture the light, as shadows appear where there were none, or the sunlight shines on past shadows transforming immensely.  This is proving to be a large learning curve, and loving every second.

From my first paintings en plein air at Karaka, - Jan 2013  ....

Then three months on (April 2013)....  On canvas. Maraetai, south of Auckland with lots of knife work.

To those below which were undertaken at Arkles Bay, a little way north of Auckland.   Unstretched canvas,  with lots of knife painting and actually quite pleased with the result.

Had a great day, chatted with the locals and thoroughly enjoyed myself.

The above two were purchased by a lovely American lady in the U.S. as these were the homeplace of her mother, who sadly is no longer here.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

A little background info

Whilst living in Australia living with my lovely mother and our little Maltese dogs - ChiChi and Snoopy - was working as PA (personal assistant), and also serviced offices at Sanctuary Cove on the Gold Coast.

Somehow (I have no idea why/how) I started undertaking animal portraits in graphite, utilising many different strengths of pencil, and using very large magnifying glass.   Many were undertaken and loved doing.   One of these being for some lovely people in Sydney - they sent me a picture of their little dog and I undertook and couriered back to them.

Had not heard for a little while and then one day an envelope arrived with a letter from them thanking me so much for what I had done. Apparently the drawing arrived on the day when their little one had to be taken to the vets for a last visit and they were so upset could not open the package.  Eventually they did, and broke down in tears. When I read their letter, I immediately telephoned them and again they were in tears on the phone telling me what had happened.   I will always remember that moment and their lovely words for what I had done for them by giving something to them they would always cherish.

Image below is one I first undertook of ChiChi and Snoopy. Our wonderful, loving and gorgeous - little Maltese Terriers sadly no longer here.

Have come a long way from then.   A few years passed and decided to take up watercolour painting of animals.  This proceeded for a year or so and then work and life took over and the 'hectic life' of today's world put my art on the back-burner.  Started again by teaching myself oils, exhibiting in the Easter Show in Auckland and 3 years running sold each painting.  From their approached galleries and ...

now....    am full time working with my art - in oils - and loving, adoring and enjoying the challenge each artwork provides.    Started with beach scenes and pohutukawas (our lovely red flowering Christmas tree) and being one of only a couple of people painting these, a friend said to me I had probably 2-3 years before others started to copy, and she was right.  Around 3 years others were doing similar, but none had been able to replicate the way my water 'rolled' in on the sand (thank goodness as people always say how they love the way this is done - big compliment!).

A little something of what is now being undertaken in 2014 ...

Monday, 15 December 2014

First posting - the start of a blog ...

This has taken a while, thinking, then re-thinking and now at last starting a blog!  For quite a while had been unable to pick up a brush after the loss of my mother (best friend/confidante/sister and of course, mother), as had affected me tremendously and for a period of four years - nothing,  not one painting could be undertaken.    Now... at last.... back to my art.

Have been trying to paint most days now, and thought perhaps should start this blog, and to upload some paintings I had first undertaken when deciding to try my hand at plein air (painting on location). Having never done this before, was of opinion may be a way of taking me out of the 'nether world' and back to my love of painting, thereby picking up my brushes again.

Also, in an attempt to make myself get out and about (instead of the recluse I had become), thought a good idea to start a plein air painting group in Auckland as so many excuses came up when planning to go each day. Thought if I organise a group, then no choice, as have to be there.

These are some of the first plein air paintings I did - Maraetai left and trees at Karaka Bridge (2013). 

Am loving each and every trip out. May not be the best paintings, but one must start somewhere. Thought by uploading will hope to see advancement as time goes on.

The days seem to be passing, in fact the months and this year have disappeared into the 'Cloud' - not sure where - but definitely gone.  If you know how to obtain more hours in the day and not seem to get up in the morning and go to bed at night with the day passing like a few minutes, please do let me know as am sure we could bottle your answer and distribute it to everyone!

From studio work to outside on location -  a huge difference.   If you would like to join a plein air group in Auckland (NZ),  then visit