Sunday, December 30, 2007

Last day of 2007

Well I haven't been painting in the last few days but been busy sorting out work for a large exhibition and sale on 1 and 2 January, fifteen invited artists. I have eleven works in there, ten paintings, some mixed media incorporating my own photographic imagery, and one framed charcoal drawing (above). It's cropped from a larger drawing. I forgot to photograph it in the frame. Shall have to remember to take a camera tomorrow. Lots of little things to do - labels for the work, checking everything is tidy, everything ready to hang etc. As for pricing artwork, this is not so straightforward. Yesterday I finally settled on a formula and I can price according to size and be happy with the price. Another little dilemma was raised. I have one painting I, and my partner, are very fond of and he suggested it should be priced higher. Thought about this for a while, and decided that viewers and buyers don't have the same emotional attachment and it seems fair to price it the same as other works of similar size, so that's what I did.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Extracts from Trapped Self

is the title of this work. Spent all day on this painting today. It's 20" x 40" acrylic media on canvas. Lots of layers, colours in Atelier interactives underneath, then black gesso. Next I scratched through the surface and layers, then worked over the surface in acrylic glazes. The image is based on a charcoal life drawing I've been meaning to use in a painting for some time. When photographing it at the end of the day, I realised that this pretty much reflects how I feel today, the hot colours in the figure, the scratching and scraping through the paint.

It's been raining here quite a lot, so perhaps the summer weather is going to return. My new vegetable garden is enjoying the rain. Three new garden beds right beside the house (the other garden is down a steep bank and not so easy to access). I've got one planted up and within 3 weeks am eating out of it.

I notice that the date on blogger is 25 December - northern hemisphere time. It's actually 26 December here, Christmas Day was yesterday. Was spent in Auckland following by a drive around th coast.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Glass Earth series

Reposting because I've decided this is the correct orientation!This is a mixed media work created with an acrylic modelling medium and layers of acrylic glazes. I'm enjoying using Atelier interactives at present. It may be terribly obscure but this is an abstract painting of the open cast gold mine that we live very close to. I'm naming these works after one of the companies exploring in the area in joint venture with the owners of the open cast mine. Interesting concept, glass earth. Companies that hold mining permits in the area are busy exploring all over the place. Those that haven't the resources to do so on their own, work in joint venture with others. Many people are tired of the negative effects of open cast mining here. And then there are those who work at the mine or who subcontract to it, and find it difficult to imagine that the town could flourish without the mine. Waihi is in a fantastic location, close to Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, the Coromandel. The environment is absolutely beautiful. I can see no reason why it wouldn't attract more residents and businesses in the future.

Friday, December 14, 2007


is the title of this photograph I took recently. Creative Waihi organised an "Art in the Park" day at Dragonfly Gardens. Artists could set up some paintings around the garden to exhibit and/or sell, and there was live music. The photography group were to take photographs, some of which are now exhibited in the window at Barrons Kodak shop (probably not the correct name) and we met a week later to take a look at each other's shots. There are beautiful lilies in the water gardens, and flowers everywhere, and I made shots of those too, but this is the photograph that I like the most.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Glass Earth mixed media painting

This is another mixed media work created with the layered technique I'm experimenting with at the moment. I'm calling these works Glass Earth which is a theme I'll be working on in the next few months. I'm not sure how abstract/literal I'll go with it but it's still on the mining theme. With new technology companies are more able to 'see' into the earth, look for minerals and take apart the land to get them out despite the damage done to the land itself and the people who live on it whose lives are disrupted. Ordinary residents in such areas seem to be powerless, and often financially disadvantaged.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

"Then how will we track your journey?"

This is another in the Mine and Body seZealand,ries...seems to be neverending much like the activity itself here in Waihi. It's acrylic on canvas, 36 x 24 inches. Warm Winter is really part of this theme as well.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Warm Winter

This is acrylic on canvas 80cm x 100cm, titled Warm Winter, mainly after a song (Kid Rock I think) on a CD I listened to while painting it. It's a kind of mythological painting, links in with my ideas about the earth, myths where beings descend into it, and what I think about mining companies cutting into it and disturbing what lies below the surface. That sounds rather complicated, doesn't it!? It is rather dark, in nature and appearance. The figures are from life drawing class, I liked the pose and it worked for me as I wanted the male figure to appear from behind the rocks, to greet the woman there, I'm quite sure he has devious plans to take her into the earth - it's sounding like Persephone...

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Glass Earth

I'm working on a new series, and this is tentatively called Glass Earth 1. It's possibly not quite finished. It is a layered work, mixed media and the photo isn't the best. The work measures 30x15 inches. I started attaching papers - paper painted especially for this work with thick paint that took some time to dry; acid free craft papers, a grey green and charcoal paper with fibres and bits of silver in it; pages from a 97 year old book "Granite". I then painted behind and around parts of the work, and began to tear off or glue down parts of the paper, and add other paint to it. The process made me think about the way the land is mined, layers of earth exposed and either removed or replaced, causing permanant damage, left scarred and in a way bleeding as exposing it in this way to the atmosphere causes the leaching of heavy metals. The land is never the same again. Because technology advances rapidly, it is possible for companies to "see" into the layers to what minerals are there. Should they be able to take the land apart to get it?