Monday, 4 May 2015

healing .....

I have been away - not physically but emotionally.  I am posting on this gap because to give it no space would mean I was not acknowledging the hugeness of a sadness within.

I lost my very best friend on April 12th.  Janie.  Who died from a brain tumour.  We had her many many months longer than I would have thought possible but she fought for those extra months to be with her children, Julia my goddaughter and her sister Alice.  My daughter lost her Godmother. Our friendship and memories go back 35 years - before either of us were married and had children.

This is not meant to be sad 'post' but rather one to say that I am moving on now, glad she is at peace.  A quote that I read in Donna's blog as I came online to write this really touched me as in the last couple of days after a fairly awful spell of weather at the end of last week, I have been wandering around our block of land and have been nurtured by it and am feeling restored.

I go to nature be be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.
-- John Burroughs


Nature does have a very generous way of putting our senses in order, giving us perspective.   Another way I find of really cheering myself up is to go and buy books!  Last week I did just that when I visited the Personal Histories Exhibition at Cleveland Art Gallery - part two of a series of International Book Exhibitions  organised and curated by Robyn Foster.

One book really caught my eye and it was a book titled 'Blindspots' by Jack Oudyn of whose work I am a great fan and I am lucky enough to have a few pieces of his work already.  I could only see one open page of this little book but knew straight away I had to have it.  It is very personal to Jack and is his story to tell, but for me it reminded me of a quote by one of my favourite authors Michael Ondaatje who wrote:

'we remember the time around scars'.



I am sure these photos do not do the books justice as I photographed them through glass with my phone but I am very much looking forward to having it home with me to linger over and enjoy.  It will remind me that scars do heal as they are wrapped around by nature and books - not to mention love and the support of friends.



Some would say I have been procrastinating this last few days by wandering about instead of getting down to things in the studio - and there may be truth in that.  However, I am here now and feeling better for the wandering.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

gorgeous green .....

Just back from a week away and so I am behind in joining in with the search for green this month.  I did not have to look back far in my photographs to see that all around us there is an abundance of green.  In all possible shades and blends.  

Am rushing this post so will let the greens speak for themselves!

























Monday, 23 March 2015

joining in with 'searching for Roy G Biv' ..... yellow

I always really enjoy looking at both Jennifer's and Julie's blogs when then post on their 'colours', and always drool over Fiona's and Lisa's as well.  For some reason I haven't taken part and I think it is because when it comes to all those colours I feel I just don't have them about me in the studio or home - earth coloured girl that I am.  HOWEVER, looking back through my photos I see that I have a huge number of photos with all colours of the rainbow, so here I am now, ready to take part in this venture. Actually I do think I posted once before and it coincidentally was a 'yellow' day and I sent in the photo of my yellow scary cat biscuit tin.  Here are my photographs this time and a much wider collection of all shades of yellow ... mostly soft landscape yellows.


all this gorgeous soft yellow in the foreground of a distant 'Uluru'

shadows on the wall in the Mexican area of San Diego

again yellow light and reflections - i think I enjoy the photographic qualities of aged and yellowed grasses more so that when they are lush and green

this lovely Lalique light of mine is white, though when the candle inside is lit - ah, warm, soft yellow

more glorious landscape yellows en route to Arkaroola

morning light turning tree trunks yellow

I love this warm yellow light filtering down through Richard Serra's sculpture 'the Matter of Time' in Bilbao's Guggenheim

and the yellow of this sandstone wall in the Mona Gallery, Hobart

the softest and most barely yellow image - light really covers everything with that warm yellow

I wonder if this sculpture started as white and has mellowed yellow - like parchment


even the rocks leach out yellow minerals

and look what the setting sun does to the walls of the grand canyon before they change even more deeply

a very deep yellow in Bryce Canyon - quite different from the rock in shadow

and our trees love their yellow

I had to put this one in as I am just back from the South Island of New Zealand and we managed to see these yellow eyed young penguins hiding in the bushes, presumably waiting for mum to come home

very yellow lichen on a rock at Moeraki

and again, the sunlight turning the beach yellow - though this image would do for gold or silver too

one of the boulders emerging from the rock platform at Shag Point

and some very yellow and necklace like seaweed

Saturday, 21 March 2015

soft look at boulders .....

While staying at Moeraki I was sketching ideas for further work.  Much of my sketching was fairly dark with inks and charcoal but on the day we were working at Shag Point, I started some quick but soft sketching on translucent paper which I had placed over rusted papers which I had brought along with me.  I made a book, not yet quite finished, but using this technique of softer drawings over the rust, though I also left some of the rusted paper exposed.

I think this work best represents the look or feel of the boulders at Shag Point though I can't see this way of working suiting the Moeraki beach boulders.  If i do work this way with them then I will definitely have to bring in some blues for the water that swells around the boulders as the tide is in.


























Perhaps some darker work using inks and charcoal will suit my work on the Moeraki Boulders more ... though I am putting away my ideas for now and concentrating on those things which I want to exhibit later this year.  No doubt I will find my way back here as I feel a very special connection to this place.


Thursday, 19 March 2015

shag point boulders .....

Surprisingly, not many people seem to find their way to the Shag Point boulders - in fact Steph and I had been to Shag Point already and had a lovely though incredibly windy explore and did not know they were there.  One of the locals who knew we were visiting artists, asked if we had discovered them and told us how to find them when we said we had not.  Even then a local lady had to help us find the entry point down to these treasures.

You will see from the photos these boulders and the colours here on the rock platform where they are to be found, are quite different and though they lack the symmetry of their more famous brothers they are quite beautiful.  The complete thrill was having a numbers of hours alone along this stretch of coast - not a soul to be seen.  You would think that was the same with the last set of photos you saw, but they were carefully taken amidst numbers of other visitors, or by being the almost first on the beach before sunrise and then late in the evening on other nights.  Certainly there are less people at Moeraki early and late in the day, but we were never there alone and somehow, that makes a difference.


Here at Shag Point you see fossil markings which are quite beautiful.


And because it was still early in the day and the tide was just receding, there were beautiful patterns of light on the rims of channels.


The boulders here seem to be rising up out of the bedrock.  Though on later photos you can clearly see small ones being birthed out of the cliff wall.


Glorious, and quite different colourings.



The birthing of smaller boulders.


I love the colours in this heart shaped puddle and the rock wall behind .... more like clay wall really.




Babies birthing - about 50 cms or thereabouts across.


You can still see how the water is on the rock platform creating these magnificent patterns in a myriad of colours.


I love this row of boulders .... baby boulders.  They were only about 50 to 70 cms high.


I had in mind to walk as far as those boulders at the end of this view but had already been away from Steph for quite some time and thought she may be worried.  Why, you may ask?  As I said the tide was going out but groups of very large waves still seemed be crashing through around this point and many a time I had to scurry onto higher ground .... usually one of the boulders, while watching the water well around me.  Quite beautiful and just a little scary. I do hasten to add I would not have been out there in the first place had it been an incoming tide ..... just in case you are thinking I am completely irresponsible. 




At this point, seeing those all too large washes pouring over the boulders, I tucked away my adventurous spirit in favour of a more sensible minded, long over due, grown up caution!



And headed back to where I had left an hour previously as the waters subsided giving me an exit path...

 One of many inspiring pieces of seaweed thrown up along the shore - still catching that early light.


And I returned back to my adventure starting point where I had left Steph who I had envisaged painting and blissfully unaware of the time, to find she had found this poor little baby yellow eyed penguin, whose arm on the other side seemed quite damaged, and had been trying to phone and organise his rescue.  She had also managed to do some painting but had been distracted by the plight of this terrified little fellow who was far from home.


This isn't yet the end of my photographs, but is enough for now.  I am keeping some of those 'arty' shots for the next post and then hopefully will be posting on studio activity.

It was blissful coming home and realising that the manic busyness of the last six months was over and that I could now settle down and work towards the Exhibition later this year.  There are many things I am wanting to work on and explore and I hope after this restful and creative break, the ideas in my head will be retrievable.