Thursday, May 31, 2007

Drawing in a journal something I intended to do every day this year. It's not happening. But here's a couple of pages from this week, one of doodles in red chalk pencil and the other some obsessive colouring pencil drawing that took hours, copying from the work of Kay (pronounced Kigh) Nielson .


............................some drawings from this week's life drawing class. This is the model for the painting below which might be titled "In the Fall".

Warm and cool colours ...

Been working on this further. More to do. Getting the correct colour in photographs isn't so easy. Someone pointed out to me today that the highlights on the upper edges of the body were greenish and talked about warm and cool colours and where they were usually used. And I hadn't given a lot of thought to where I would place warm and cool colours, it isn't my way of thinking I suppose, I just play around with the colours I want and think in terms of light and dark. Wasn't my intention to get a greenish colour on those body edges - I've used some green here and there as I was thinking about the change from green to autumn colours in the landscape, but it must be in my colour mixing of glazes that give the greenish hue on those edges. Now, does this matter? This afternoon I was in the garden and picked some leaves that had turned red and they still had green in them and it wasn't anything to do with light and shadows. However, it's good to be reminded about it (and it's not the first time, having been pointed out by a mentor on another of my paintings some time ago). Doesn't mean I won't do it again, but hopefully will consider this when working.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

The Painter's Keys - Robert Genn

For a couple of years or so I've been receiving Robert's regular inspirational letters and in his latest letter he provides a link to " Forest Spirit ", a video he made of himself painting in the forest, a gift from him on his birthday. You see him pull up in his car, he and his dog get out, he sets up and starts painting what he sees. Here's the link to the short video:

After a few moments of watching I felt like taking my camera, getting in the car and driving over to Whiritoa to walk through the trees.

The main webpage is . Well worth a visit and subscribing.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

More life drawing

These are a few drawings from this week's life drawing, and a pastel drawing where I was practising capturing light on spheres (in this drawing I used cinnamon balls that are made from coconut and have the most beautiful cinnamon fragrance). I didn't use a template to draw the circle shape, maybe I should have!

Autumn Hills and Valleys

is what I'm thinking about for this painting which is the work in progress I've been spending time on this week, but as a title it's not quite right. It's 91cm x 61cm canvas, acrylic paint and glazes and mixed media. One of my life drawings is the starting point though the pose of one of the legs has been altered to create the shape I want.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Pumphouse open soon

Mixed media incorporating article in the Waihi Leader, the local newspaper. The Cornish Pumphouse, that cost some millions of dollars to move because it's stability was threatened in it's original location, has been off limits to the public while the landscaping is completed. Apparently it will be open soon. The last time I was able to go right up to it was about 8 years ago on my first visit to Waihi. At that time the gold mine, which previously had been underground and not operational for decades, had begun to be excavated as an open pit. Over the years the ground near the mine has become unstable and this historic building was fenced off after an old mine shaft collapsed in the area. In fact, not only the pumphouse was fenced off but residential property, part of the local rugby field and more was made inaccessible. People were paid for their properties, houses relocated, and an area where people lived, walked, played, is now out of bounds to the public. A lot of planting has been done by the mining company and it looks like it will take on a park like appearance. There were plans to let the open pit fill with water once mining is finished (another 3 years I think) and a park with access to the lake was going to be in that area. I'm not sure what will happen now. I've heard some people say they'd like the pit to stay empty, and I have to admit it is very interesting to view (and the subject of some of my work).

Sharp water dancing

is the title of this painting (acrylics on paper approx 70 x 46cm). I spent a few hours doing some quick acrylic painting on paper and this is one of the works. The inspiration is simply words taken at random from some writing. The colour is very different for me! I'm quite taken with this one, and hope to take it's energy and life into a painting on canvas but sometimes prep work has a certain kind of energy that's hard to repeat. It's a long time since I painted on paper for that reason - preferring to get that first energy onto a more permanent surface.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Taking photographs as a resource

Took some shots at the local railway station, I love the colours there - Waihi used to be the largest town in New Zealand at some stage during the mining boom, about 35,000, and now about 3,500 (don't quote me). Thanks to the efforts of enthusiasts the rail between Waikino and Waihi and the stations are maintained and operated as a tourist venture. It was the middle of the day when I was there, so I need to go back early or late as quite a few shots look overexposed, and even though I can tinker with the computer, I can't get detail in areas that were very shadowed or overlit by the bright sun. Amazing weather we're having, cool at night but sunny and warm days with fabulous light.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

I see red

After a lazy Saturday morning watching TWO foreign films, we drove over to Whangamata to take a look at the Beach Hop - an annual gathering of classic car enthusiasts. Took the camera and made hundreds of shots, but not many that I'm pleased with. Thought it would be a good opportunity to get shots of people in the crowd (the town is small and numbers were expected to swell to 70,000 for the days of the event). Looking at my photos of people, and the crowd, the lack of colour merges into a grey nothingness. The way we dress these days is pretty boring. Anyway, I've pulled out these shots so far.