Wednesday, 29 July 2015

The colours of Perth

I mentioned previously the colours Perth displayed in its glory.      The sea turquoise, emerald, azure, and list can go on.    Decided to take a day and travel down to Rottenest Island, one hour south from Perth, and across by ferry from Freemantle.

The beautiful waters surrounding Perth.
This one taken whilst traveling around Rottenest Island.
Walked from the ferry across to information centre, bought ticket for local bus which takes tourists around the island.  Once fare paid, was able to stay on the bus as long as I wished - and I wished!   Far too cold and windy, and was thoroughly enjoyable as took many photos from the bus and second time around knew what was coming up in order to have the camera at the ready.

One of the beautiful beaches at Rottenest.

Again the wind was up.   Terribly cold and quite a breeze.   The ferry across to the island was fine and a bit of up and down, but... oh my goodness coming back another story.   We went up, down, banged down, rolled and water coming over.   All ok even on a very fully booked vessel and must say was very glad to put my feet back onto hard concrete.   Was told it can get very bad and the boat had to pull out of harbour and sit out the storm/wind for several hours a little while back.    Thank goodness that was not us - have to own up to being a not very good sailor in those conditions.    In spite of the bumps coming back was a great journey and then back to that lovely electric train and home.

Just had to take this photo inside of electric train to show what
all the electric trains I traveled on were like. Such a pleasure.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Whilst in Perth, Australia ...and my first ever 'paint-out'

As am planning another trip over to Australia next week thought would post something which sort of continues on from my blog on my travel from NZ across to Perth last year.  

Quite a long flight across to Perth if flying straight around 7/8 hours.    Decided to break my trip and flew from Auckland across to Sydney, a couple of hours flying and then maybe an hour or so awaiting next flight to Perth, which was then 5 hours.  Good that I did as long flights are just not for me and up and down to exercise and use the 'you know what' weren't for me.

Painting en plein air at Mandurah Plein Air Paintout

Arriving well after 10pm was collected by the lady who offered to look after a stranger in her home for 2 weeks of which I was so appreciative of.  A single lady herself it must have been quite difficult to have a stranger in her home - but believe we did quite well.   We both agreed maybe two weeks a bit long and a break in between would have been great, however, having said this, we were a little 'lost' without one another;s company when I departed and arrived back home.    Wonderfully looked after and cannot say thank you enough to Shirley.

A few days after arrival we both participated in a paint out one hour south of Perth at Mandurah.  First time ever for me taking park in any plein air event - fabulous.   

My first every 'paint-out' and painting accomplished above on the second day,  undertaken looking back at the apartment high-rise and the Arts Centre at Mandurah.  Loved that town and roughly an hour from Perth on superb train.

Whilst in Perth, everyone said I took the NZ weather with me as lots of clouds, which they never have, and heavy rain and black skies.    This day a bit of cloud arrived, a chilly wind and later dark rain clouds.   And the sun of course came out, and definitely not complaining as enjoyed myself so very much.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Such a long time absent ...

Having now come back to Blogger after considerable time away.... I cannot believe that five months have actually passed.     It seems impossible, totally ridiculous and absolutely not at all possible - but it is true five months !!!

Rottenest Island, just off Perth.

After my previous postings and participating in the challenge of 30 a day for 30 days, had an opportunity to depart the shores of New Zealand and fly across our Tasman Sea to Australia.   To Perth.    Had never been there to stay, only passed through the airport - it was amazing, fantastic and wonderful.    If you have never visited, then from an artist's point of view it was all those things - colours so bright and clear, with the ocean turquoise, azure, emerald and the rest.    Gorgeous.

Traveled over to undertake a workshop and stayed with lovely lady also an artist, who put up with me for two weeks and took me all around like a tourist (which of course I was). 

Did not wish to return back home - everyone saying come back and live here as best place in Australia to live.    I believed every word they said and definitely wished to remain.

Well.. the story can go on, but will leave for the next visit .

Saturday, 31 January 2015

Last painting - an extra one for January

Last night thought I may as well undertake one more, and make that a real one month's worth of paintings for January.   Yes, know it was only 30 in 30 days, but as we have 31 in the month, well, why not.

Cheated a little on this one, as just could not get a good image from the one I completed, so thought would get out a picture of a painting undertaken quite a few years ago which I had stored and did not like - I took it out again at that time to add more clouds, bit more mountain and light in the water - which actually transformed the oil painting.  It sold just after to person I knew.   

Oil on stretched canvas - 11"x16".


Friday, 30 January 2015

No.30 of 30 Days Challenge - Southern land - back in time (gallery piece)

Wow, here we are 30 days later.  Two images posting today.
I started this thinking it would be quite hard to do, and have found it to be sort of easy, but sort of hard.    The difficult bit really is spending the time sitting to do small paintings to post online, as I have my large gallery pieces to finish and am not giving them the time which is required.
Therefore decided to start on a new oil which will be for galleries, still needs more work - on easel and needs to dry prior to the next stage.    However, as lots of work gone into this one, think I can post it as my number 30.  This has been posted at image number 265 on Leslie Saeta's blog of '30 paintings in 30 days'.

Painting No.30.  30th Jan.
Southern land - back in time.  12"x16" Oil on canvas board.

Thought I would show one of my early sunset pieces... It does have the copyright on top, as was not able to locate the one without.

Today just now I also posted on my blog one of my mountains.  This I uploaded to my Face book page (link on right) as part of the post 3 for 5 days challenge I have been nominated to take part in.   My intention is to undertake probably about 5 really good oils and then have these available for viewing by new gallery owner.  May take a little while as my 'good' oils do take ages to complete due to drying time.

Gallery piece - Winters Snow Waters Edge

Just posting for the fourth day in the challenge of 'post three paintings a day for five days and invite another to do the same' which is going around on Face book.

Thought I would upload on to my blog so can be seen here also.     It is an oil undertaken on unstretched 12oz canvas.


Thursday, 29 January 2015

No.29 of 30 Days Challenge - Park at Dusk

Whew.  Another scorching day.   No rain in sight.  Fires in South Island and firefighters are having very hard time down there, with others joining from around the country to help out.

Well... two days to go.    Yes, does say 30 days, however, January has 31 - so shall keep going to the end of month.   This is photo I took whilst in London.  Dreadful... but lost my images - deleted one and by mistake did all of them!.    Oh well, guess we all do this once in our lives and if you have don done yet, just be careful as it just may happen to you - which I hope it does not of course.

Painting No.29.  29th Jan.
Park at Dusk.  10" x 11" Oil on heavy duty canvas on board.


Wednesday, 28 January 2015

No.28 of 30 Days Challenge - Old Shed - end of the line

This time again painting on prepared board.  Had a lot of boards gessoed over Christmas and all made up ready to go.   A bit larger, similar to the one yesterday (10"x12").  

Took a photo of an old building/shed on the way to the coast after Christmas, and thought I would give this one a go.  Not sure on the colouring for the land, however, it is sort of true to visual, as everything was bright golden/brown with the lime colour green grass in-between.  Am quite pleased with the big tree in background - Macrocarpa.  Care to make a comment on this one?

Painting No.28.  28th Jan.
Old Shed - End of the line.  10" x 12" Oil on board.


Facebook 3 Paintings a Day for 5 Days ...

On my Face book page have been challenged by Bernd Huss, a wonderful bird portrait artist whom I know, to participate in the '3 images a day for 5 days posting and inviting another artist to do the same' - which is doing the rounds.

Am hunting out older paintings and will post these as well as my mountain artwork.  The challenge for me is to find 5 other artists who have not yet been asked, as most, from what I have seen, have participated.  However, have a few up my sleeve and, hopefully, they will not have been asked by the time my five days has completed.

Decided to post on day 1, three of my oils which I had undertaken quite a few years ago, when first starting out with galleries (all sold at that time) ...

Bit like network marketing, tell one, who tells another and they tell another, where does it end?    Around the world like a rocket, and surely every single artist, painter or whatever will eventually have this sent to them.   Wondered actually who thought up this absolutely crazy idea, where every person really is like a sheep - follow the leader.     Never mind as I am thankful for the wonderful wording said by Bernd about my art and to be nominated to do this by him and participate. 


Tuesday, 27 January 2015

No.27 of 30 Days Challenge - Homeward track

Start of the day, again on computer, and then putting everything away which I had left in the van yesterday as was just too tired to unpack.

Again another day without rain, very, very hot and this time very humid, which is something I normally do not feel.  Started my painting number 27 for posting for the Challenge - only a few more days to go, and simply cannot believe one month since starting.   Again, said it before so many times, but this year, my goodness is every day fast disappearing.

Painting No.27.  27th Jan.
Homeward track. 10" x 12" Oil on board.

Again three colours used, plus white, and two brushes.   Tried to keep this loose, slowly getting there step by step, but still have to hold myself back from details and too realistic.  Posted at image number 294 on the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge page.


Monday, 26 January 2015

Mission Bay with Plein Air group Anniversary Day Mond 26 Jan

I am having to own up to not painting a picture today.    Have been so so so busy, with getting ready for participation in this that simply have had no time whatsoever.   Had to make up signs, do cards, get boards printed and lots more - that am totally exhausted and to even undertake this page of typing for blog is sapping last bit of energy.   

Regarding the day today at Mission Bay ......

First time we had done this.  Booked two stall places for a yearly Art and Craft Market right on the beach at Mission Bay - amazingly hot, phew.    If it had not been for one of the members Bob bringing his gazebo, think we would have melted into the ground.

Lots of people, lots of interest - we will now need to see if the interest actually turns into members.  But not to worry, everyone said they thoroughly enjoyed themselves.  A couple of photos of the day.

Just set up

Bob painting

End of the Day -
Caroline, Estelle, Me, Bob and Steve.

Finished just before 4pm and then the long drive home with the traffic.  Had a fantastic day and those few who turned up for this were fantastic, talking to everyone and 'spreading the word'.

So retiring for the night, won't be early as still a few things to do, but then the welcoming wonderful comfort of a cosy bed - luxury.

No.25 of 30 Days Challenge - Matakawau overlooking bay

Missed posting my painting last night (Sunday 25th) as had a huge day preparing yesterday for today, and had the image ready to post a.m, however, had to be up at 5a.m. and out by 6.15am to attend Mission Bay Anniversary Day big holiday in Auckland, where the plein air group had two stalls to promote the Group.

Here is my image (completed yesterday and as said, which should have been posted yesterday, so busy completely forgot to post, as was ironing the cloths for the tables at Art and Craft Shop at 11pm!).   Appears at image 139 on the 30 paintings in 30 Days Challenge Blog.  This is a redo of a plein air work I undertook when out at the Bay.   Thought I would just have another go as did enjoy the plein air one.

Painting No.25.  25th Jan.
Matakawau, overlooking bay 8" x 10" oil on board - three colours.

Saturday, 24 January 2015

No.24 of 30 Days Challenge - Pinks and Mauves

This I must admit is becoming quite difficult.  Challenge is definitely the word for the 30 paintings in 30 days, I am participating in.   Again, completed this painting quite late in the day and the photography bit at night is impossible.    

Oil, something different. Tried my hand at painting really loose and lots of flowers, sort of blended together.  I am going crazy, so much organising of other things, that forgot to post this and saw the image space was 'blank'  - mad as a hatter I think I am going - or probably already there!   Anyway, here it is now.

Painting No.24.  24th Jan.
Pinks and Mauves.  10" x 12"  oil on board.

Today spent again on computer, even though we had the most tremendous summer day.  Again so very hot.   No rain and the ground is brown, grass dying and really do not know how the plants are surviving.   Down the south island there are terrible fires and believe arsonists are responsible. Firemen exhausted and fires keep burning.  Sounds like Australia, as they have had heat up to the 50degrees Celsius recently - a record for them.    Getting hotter and hotter there.


Friday, 23 January 2015

No.23 of 30 Days Challenge - New Zealand Foreshore - Gentle Water

Out today, such a crazily busy day. Wishing to make the most of our summer yet unable to do so as lots of little things to be undertaken as necessities of life.  Very simple painting today, meant to be calming and relaxed image.

Painting No.23.  23rd Jan.
New Zealand foreshore - Gentle Water.  12" x 12"  oil on board.

Things to do today ...
first off must water all plants, as so dry no rain yet they are fading fast, then drop washing off at Laundromat (still no washing machine when my one decided it was elderly enough to just give up) this works out fine, as saves so many backwards and forwards checking machine and then hanging out to dry, and then taking in and folding - all done at the Laundromat and I just need to remember to pick it up, bring home - all beautifully soft, folded and immaculately packed into laundry basket read for me to place into cupboard.   That's it, saves a lot of time.

Then to exercises (3x week with a friend in the park), next quickly home freshen up, then out to pick up tubes oil paint, pay bill prior to picking up paints, collecting jacket which was borrowed by someone and left for me to collect, obtaining four white box frames from framers, enquiring on printing costs for posters for the plein air group, remember to collect washing, drop off some things to the Hospice and... then .... hopefully finally home. 

To start computer, check emails, check meetup plein air group site, check Facebook (mine plus plein air pages), paint my painting for number 23, and update blog.  Whew - busy, busy.    It would be so so nice to have another half to do all the little bits, and me to just paint.   Ahh a perfect world for me - but perhaps not.  Oh, forgot to mention have to design poster to be printed tomorrow, and the lawns need mowing again!    And there we go... another day passes.

Seem to be lots dropping off as we are past the half-way post as was in the 400's if I posted in the morning, now my image is last to be posted at present - image 275 on Leslie Saeta's Challenge Blog.


Thursday, 22 January 2015

No.22 of 30 Days Challenge - Full tide

Worked on my gallery paintings today, the two large ones.   Need to wait for them to dry and then can add next 'bits'.    Long process when doing layers on layers.

Had  a spur of the moment want to do.   This time have undertaken another seascape (what else is there I think?).    Thought would give myself under 30 minutes and do small one, very loose with one brush (my 1 inch) with bright colours (again) and lots of movement.    Am trying to get loose in my work, hopefully, this one has actually achieved that.    Quite pleased with it, as only took 15 - 30 minutes.   However, is a small piece, so really not that difficult I guess, except I found it was due to fact not used to painting small or such a loose style.

Painting No.22.  22nd Jan.
Full tide. 8" x 10" Oil on board.

Again, just the three colours used and this time one brush (1").


Wednesday, 21 January 2015

No.21 of 30 Days Challenge - Matakawau by boat ramp

Wednesday morning and up to day 21.  Yes, have another painting to undertake, however, really have to get on and make myself set up studio easel and finish off the large studio pieces I have sitting here in my lounge.  Am constantly looking at them, but have not had inclination to pick up a brush and complete.

One is just under six feet wide and approximately 20" tall.    The other about 50" tall and 36" wide.  So quite large ones. Both mountains, and both need to have that 'extra' done on them.  I need to be in the right mood and have in my head roughly what those 'extra' bits will be.  .

Painting No.21.  21st Jan.
Matakawau by boat ramp. 10" x 8" Oil on board.

Completed the Challenge oil.  Taken from a plein air study. Used some bold colours on this one

Late this afternoon made a start on the long narrow mountain oil.  I cannot believe this, but ... within just a short time (around 15 minutes) I completed going over the entire mountain range with one large brush and it looks fabulous.   I have never said that about a painting before, but I am definitely impressed.  

Just goes to show, taking one's time and being finicky produces tight work, and with the plein air I am undertaking and only three colours used, plus only 2-3 brushes, my work has improved dramatically and hopefully becoming loose.

Note to oneself... Remember to take a step by step photo and post up when completed.


Tuesday, 20 January 2015

No.20 of 30 Days Challenge - Mitre Peak

Up to day 20.    Said this year was disappearing so quickly, faster than last.  Must be this one a day painting I need to do plus all the other bits and pieces around home.

Soooo busy.  Back to New Zealand theme, this one of an iconic landmark. A little bit of light reflection on image, as using different camera for photographing.

Painting No.20.  20th Jan.
Mitre Peak.  10" x 10" oil on board.

No.19 of 30 days Challenge - The Three Sisters

Missed posting this last night.  Here is No. 19 of the painting a day for 30 days challenge.

Small bright painting of NZ.  These are rock formations which have been worn away with weather and tides.   Third is no longer there.   Apparently the second upright also may not have long before it also disappears. Back to my familiar territory with this one.

Painting No.19.  19th Jan.
The three sisters.  5" x 7" oil on board.

Will place this in a white box frame, with white mat around and will give a modern and attractive look.
Posted at image 196 on Challenge Page.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Galleried Work

After posting so many for the 30 in 30 Days Challenge.   Thought I would show a couple of my paintings which are sold via galleries.  Unfortunately, I have no idea where they end up once sold.   It would be so nice to hear back from purchasers of my artwork.

If you are viewing this page, any feedback would be appreciated.   See comment area below. Thank you.




No.18 of 30 Days Challenge - Fruit and Glass

Sunday, another super day, not a cloud in the sky.    Please please let this weather last a while longer. Needed to start on a fresh painting for today.   Another... what shall I paint day.  Seeing I have to do something totally different than I have prior (my challenge to myself), thought would try my hand at some fruit in a bowl. Only had a few hours as had to be out for day plus evening.

This is the basis of a painting as there is still a lot to be done to it. Will let it dry and hopefully will turn out fine later on when added to. (Being in a rush, possibly why the accident with easel occurred - see below.)  However, as I needed to complete something each day am posting.  Really do not think this kind of still life is for me but... we all need to do items to take us out of our comfort zones and this challenge is definitely achieving this for me.

Painting No.18.  18th Jan.
Fruit and glass.  8"x10".  Oil on board.

Just could not get enthusiastic, was such a hot day and only had couple hours.  Had to try to remember to keep loose and not very detailed, found this hard to do.  Needed to add shadows/darks/highlights, but enough was enough for today.  Just cleaning up brushes etc,  about to photograph when easel falls - I was not in time to catch - damage? Yes.   Fell over and hit a wonderfully deep black frame with glass I was about to use for something else, dented the bottom middle edge.  Will use touch of black paint on it to try and disguise the cut, but still will have dent in.  Darn, darn and darn again.

Virtual Paintout - each month

Oh I am excited. Yes - me!    Don't get this way about a lot of things but this one yes.   As well as finding the 30 in 30 Days challenge, have now found another.    Fantastic.

Was sort of looking at other blogs, visiting links on various ones and somewhere down the track, found this.   It is wonderful.   Once a month have a challenge of painting something from Google (and yes, this is allowed, as they have done some sort of arrangement for permission of this) and posting online.    The one I have done for January I also included as one of the paintings in painting a day for 30 days challenge (see No.12).

Oil on board 8"x12".   I seem to be getting a handle on painting smaller - quite liking doing so, as do complete so fast (at least for me, as usually takes many weeks on my larger pieces).  Once a month another painting will emerge in order for me to participate in the 'Virtual Paintout'.   Quite a challenge, but isn't that what life is all about?  This one I just called 'old building' -  Google link. 


Saturday, 17 January 2015

No. 17 of 30 Days Challenge - Eggshells and Bowl

Being Saturday, decided to spend morning painting, and then into the garden to dig out that awful grass weed that seems to have appeared in patches all over my lawn.  Lovely in a beach place or somewhere that looks after itself as always stays green no matter how dry our weather.  But... I have mercury bay in my lawn and do not wish to lose this.

Painting No.17.  17th Jan.
Eggshells and Bowl.  8"x10".  Oil on board.

This time some eggshells with a pot. Haven't done either before so thought would give it a go.

Whilst painting above, could not believe my ears but was that rain I heard?  Plus temperature cooling down?  Yes - at last we have a little drop of rain, so light do not think it will do very much for our gardens and veges.  Well, that put aside my plans for weeding today.   Lots of painting hopefully now that 'job' is unable to be completed.

Friday, 16 January 2015

No.16 of 30 Days Challenge - Mountain snow miniature

Well, exhausted after yesterday and concentrated painting, slept like a log (or perhaps I should say like my cat) and forgot appointment today at 10.00 am.   Again a beautiful day - hate to say it... but the mornings do have a little touch of change, and grass is soaking wet with heavy dew.   Should not be happening so early in January, this usually occurs for us around February - does this mean a short summer?   Hope not as detest winter.  Would hate to live down in our South Island for winter, that is bad enough, let alone living in UK, USA etc - eek snow, ice, freezing cold - definitely not me.

Painting No.16.  16th Jan.
Mountain Snow miniature.  6" x 4" oil on unstretched canvas. All knife work.

Not sure why a snow scene, maybe as our temperature is so wonderfully hot, needed something to cool me down - another reason, no wine in the house probably (dieting or at least attempting to). Posted on the 30 paintings in 30 Days Challenge page at #21.  Again, limited palette used of 3 colours (plus white).

Such a long blog yesterday (painting No.15), should have added two other bits ...
  •   with all good intentions of leaving the location where was painting, it was such a great spot, and totally relaxing, but also several people drove past on a 'tiki tour' - one husband and wife lived a few bays away and offered me the front of their place to camp out if I ever needed to again.  (Wonderful offer, but not sure on the staying in van bit again!)  They asked me to pop in and say hi and see where they lived.     Due to this, did not manage to get to the plein air group's day, however lovely people and great contacts made.    Plus ...
  •  Whilst in the van for the evening, I had only put the duvet on top of mattress to make it softer to lie on (as was quite firm being a covered thick foam squab).  Had not brought blanket or cover for top of me (forgot). Only the spare sheet, which was being used as a curtain along windows.  
    Evening was quite chilly, so friend lent me his 'sort of woolley' jacket.   This I lay on top of me over the sheet, but it kept slipping off each time I moved - so that added to all the bits and pieces to keep me awake.  Decided to get up again, remember this is in a van, so quite bent over when standing up, and took duvet from under me and lay under it with duvet keeping me warmer on top - then eventually, after lights flashing and lighting up van, and putting hat over my face and sheet pulled over top of me, fell off to sleep!   Needless to say, a bit stiff yesterday morning.

From the last few days - Wattle Bay - January 2015

Thursday, 15 January 2015

No.15 of 30 days Challenge - Wattle Bay 2, Summer Days

Could not believe this, but decided to stay away for the evening and 'camp out' in my van, as was so lovely in the area where I was painting that could not give this up, thinking winter would not be far away and to enjoy as much as possible whilst the weather is so good.  Another undertaken plein air from same location as yesterday.  So many things still to be done to this, quite amazing how we see things when looking at a work from different perspective.   

Painting No.15.  15th Jan.
Wattle Bay 2, Summer Days,  11"x14" oil on board. Plein air.

A painting friend said he would go down to the beach and use a tent he had bought and never used. As he is a lot older than I, being in his late 70's, I thought, yes, if he can do this at his ripe age then I can definitely do also.  Mind you, have never done this before (except when 13 with my horse and the pony club). Plus would give me a chance to see if any accommodation available for the plein air group to use later on.

Well, here is the looong episode of my camping out evening ...  I had put a mattress which had owned for ages into the van a few days ago, thinking would travel off somewhere else and 'give it a go'.  So was actually all set for this anyway.   Middle seats were laid backwards and mattress on top.  Feather/down duvet folded into four and on top a sheet and pillow.  Art gear, shower bits, water, coffee, bit to eat and ... all prepared.

Drove down to the beaches, met up with friend and painted. Around 5.30pm finished then followed him to where he was staying. Drove into caravan park (on the beach), paid the $22.00 fee, was shown where to park next to my friend and hey presto that was my spot for the night. The dark of evening came, thought would cover the right side windows along van.  Had spare sheet and tucked that under the top covers at the end of windows which are on the roof of my van, and sheet hung down along the right hand side of van behind drivers seat right along to the rear window.   Great - all done for the night, at least one side people could not look in.

Well, kept slipping down on mattress, as was slightly higher where my head was, due to being on top of  where the middle seat headrests were laying down at the back.  Consequently no room for my feet.  Out of the car, around to drivers side on right, opened door quietly (because of other campers being asleep), put my drivers seat forward - good as now room for my legs. Back in van, cuddled up and snuggled down again, then a little while later, jumped almost out of my skin, as something fell on top of me which was quiet heavy. One of the covers over the window on top of van had fallen and sheet came down also with it.   So back up again, opened top window on van, tucked sheet outside, (bearing in mind pitch black outside) put the cover back over the window to hold sheet back on, checked the other window on top was secure and then lay down again. Still not good for my legs/feet.  So up again and slid the mattress over towards the middle of van.  Back laying down and now was good for my feet which came between driver and passenger seats. Yep can now get comfortable and go to sleep. 

But... now my friend decided he would read in his tent for ages with a 'huge light from his lantern'.  This was so bright lit up the entire left side of my van, as well as the caravan behind had a lovely lady who said she would leave her lights on for me in case I needed to go you know where.   However, thought that would be the little solar lights around edge of van, but she left her Christmas lights on - and had twinkly coloured lights on and off reflecting from rear window onto the cream sheepskin of passenger seat in my fan.    This went on for about an hour.  Enough was enough!    Took my straw Bunnings hat, lay down sideways and put the hat on my face - pulled sheet etc over me and ... yay lights stopped flickering, light next door disappeared and at last I got to sleep!!!!  And that was my second ever camping out episode.    First was with my horse and said then never again.

Good luck to all you happy campers, but do not think this is for me.   A bit of comfort is very much enjoyed.  Or maybe a camper van with the luxuries will be the next best thing?

After the 'exciting' night of camping, at 7.30am back to Wattle Bay to painting again.   This time the morning sun was shining beautifully reflecting on the orange/yellow cliffs, so another oil plein air undertaken.  Could not spend much time here, as needed to get back to Auckland to visit Howick Historical Village, for plein air group day out.

A little more.... visit No.16 of the painting challenge.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

No.14 of 30 days Challenge - Wattle Bay, Summer Days

Am packing art into the van to have a wonderful drive down to the beach on a glorious sunny, hot, cloudless day again to paint on location (plein air).  Up to 14 of 30 today, just about half way through this challenge and really cannot believe I have managed to complete a painting each day - marvelous.

Painting No.14.  14th Jan.
Wattle Bay, Summer Days,  11"x14" oil on board plein air.

A day like we used to get every day in summer, not a cloud in the sky, very hot, with a gentle breeze every now and then to keep one cool.   Started this oil at the beach, deserted with only occasional visitors.  Completed late evening whilst relaxing after dinner.  The sea was actually this colour, quite gorgeous, not so typical of NZ usually though.

Posted at 380 in the 30 in 30 Day Challenge.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

No.13 of 30 days Challenge - Country Stream

Scorcher of a day today.   About time our summer had arrived.   Simply wonderful to have this at last.   Not a cloud in the sky.  Gorgeous.

Completed this morning - number 13 of the 30 in 30 day Challenge - little stream in the countryside, undertaken in studio, not plein air - too hot for me out there. 

Painting No.13.  13th Jan.
Country Stream.  10" x 8" oil on board.

Almost gave up on this one, as totally foreign painting method used. However, persevered and think it turned out fine.   Again, a limited palette of only three colours used -  which is the usual for all of the paintings in the 30 day challenge by me.

Monday, 12 January 2015

No.12 of 30 days Challenge - Old Building

Today, the twefth day of the challenge.  No idea of what to paint.  Went through some photographs on my external pc drive, but could not decide.  Then went off onto the web ...

Found a blog which I thought was fantastic which would give me enthusiasm to undertake items I would never normally do, which is exactly what I am trying at present to undertake.   Found what I wanted and completed oil by 9pm.

Painting No.12.  12th Jan.
Old building, 8" x 10" oil on board.

Again,was evening with bad lighting of fluorescent lights therefore unable to do at night, wait till morning.  All now done. As usual a few bits I now can see should finish off but will leave till future to do or not to do.  Really enjoyed painting this one. Probably due to the old bridge and the Sun Inn paintings of last few days, also as result of plein air.  Has given me an enthusiasm to actually 'get on' and paint anything.  Quite pleased with this result.     Posted at image 192 in the challenge.

Work undertaken by students from classes

Thought would post something totally different.  I used to teach oils to beginners at a step by step process and the actual beginning of oils - difference in quality, makes, consistency, mixing colours/greys, tonal palettes, golden rule, notan values etc.    Unfortunately lost the ability to use the premises and nothing is available close to me, other than very expensive hourly basis facilities (including council buildings! - they are the worst!).

During some of the terms attendees undertook Old Master artwork with grisaille and glazing.  Thought I would post a couple of works here.

Below undertaken by beginners, who showed a need to 'listen' and 'take in' everything shown. Although these are not finished paintings, as still require shadows etc, am proud of what was achieved. by those who attended and undertook this process, and each was ecstatic at their completed art (unfortunately images of finished items were not taken - all thrilled with what was achieved we forgot to take).

Sunday, 11 January 2015

No.11 of 30 days Challenge - The Sun Inn, Barnes, London

Up to day 11 of the Challenge. This image is little bit brighter in colouring as wished to give very 'bright' look to it, however, turned out a little more bright in photo also.  Feel like a few little tidy ups need to be completed, but guess noone else will see what I see.  If have time I shall do in future, otherwise - just leave alone.    A learning curve for me, as this style of painting is so unusual for me, and determined to keep on undertaking - another challenge.  Oh, and then had left my brushes out in the car, only had two with me (was painting in the dining room as late again) - so... two brushes later and three colours, completed the oil below.

Painting No.11.  11th Jan.
The Sun Inn, Barnes, London, 7½" x 10½" oil on board

Today, being Sunday, was intended to just relax, something which I have not done for such a long time as do not seem to take a day away from art, computer, garden or... something.

You guessed it - this did not work out.   Woke up late with sun shining and a super hot beautiful day, which continued through with clear blue skies and birds chirping all day long.     What did I do?   Yes, there it was ... the computer!  

By the way, Dick Turpin used to visit the Sun Inn, in the days of highway robberies (many many years ago of course), pity the website for the inn does not display history - but then again, wonder if the owners realise - passed down from my great great grandmother and all the stories, long forgotten now unfortunately.

Above posted on Leslie Saeta's blog 30 in 30 days challenge at image no.22.  Link here.

Saturday, 10 January 2015

No.10 of 30 days Challenge - Panmure Yacht Club

Out this morning with the Plein Air Group in Auckland to Panmure.   Placed ourselves and unpacked gear on waterfront by the Panmure Yacht Club.

Super day, lovely sunshine, bit cloudy, then breeze constantly.  Which was problem as had to keep holding the easel whilst painting.  

Painting No.10.  10th Jan.
Panmure Yacht Club  11" x 14" oil on board.

Friday, 9 January 2015

No.9 of 30 days Challenge - Valley mist-snow capped mountains

Started on this every early in the day and wished to make a nice painting so took my time, however, had a few hiccups and needed to repaint several times the sky and mountain with mist until I was happy with it.   Then worked a bit more on the mist and the bush.   Sort of ok.   Still more I would like to do.    But as it is quite late - enough is enough.  Who knows what I shall think later.    Anyhow has to thoroughly dry prior to next stage, otherwise painting oil over tacky sort of drying oil could make the painting crack later on - something I definitely do not wish for.

Today disappeared and completed quite late in evening.

Painting No.9.  9th Jan.
Valley Mist, Snow capped Mountains, 30" x 15" oil on stretched canvas.

Really worked hard on this one, early morn and late at night as well as getting finished for the 30 day challenge, wished to have saleable item at the end.   As said above still a few things need to do, but happy at this stage.

Was hot again, and have had itchy bumps appear on my arms, itching like crazy.  Has anyone else had this? as really driving me 'around the bend'.  Remembered I had Aloe Gel from years ago, went and hunted it out of the bottom drawer in bathroom, found, applied... and oh what a relief, so cool, refreshing and the itch stopped.   But... have had to repeat several times during the day.    Once had this many years ago.   

Definitely do not envy those who suffer from the heat and have this type of thing happen to them!  I really did not think I felt the heat having lived in hot countries and not averse to humid weather, however, must be an age thing as really affecting me at present.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Bright spots in my garden, roses blooming

My poor garden, this year I have neglected it whereas last year we had some rain and garden was lovely.

The picture below is what my front garden was like last year.  Am afraid not like this picture as at present, grass is very dry and some of the flowers did not show well.  Very dry with no rain for days and days.

My roses have had their first blooming and starting to bud/flower again, probably very thirsty.   Prediction of rain every now and then however nothing eventuates.   Looks like the hose pipe is definitely going to have to be used.

Some of my roses .....