24 October, 2016

Hey, Christchurch!

My Dunedin Gallery, Gallery De Novo, are visiting Christchurch with a pop-up exhibition.....and I am in it!

Only for this weekend, 29&30 October at The Tannery.

Go on.

20 October, 2016

Church, washing line and dairy factory

Titling paintings is hard work.

Oil on board
40 x 120 cm

Church, washing line and dairy factory

Naming a painting, giving it a title, can be the saviour or the death of said painting.  I know of an instance when someone bought my painting because she thought the title was good.  So , conversely, someone might have chosen NOT to buy a painting because of a title. See where the dread sets in?

I almost called this "The Washing line between" I may still yet.

Here are the others I was mulling over.

Are we there yet?
Blue sky driving
The road out of town/the road into town

I would be delighted if you commented and left your own thoughts on the above titles. Feel free to suggest an alternative title.

30 September, 2016

29 September, 2016

Life imitating art

I painted this and then a few days, the skies looked like this.

 See what I did there?

I am a bit scared to paint the fire paintings, now........

First I painted this....

..then this happened.

18 September, 2016

And the moral of the story is....

Yesterday, I experienced a situation in the studio .

But first, let me set the scene: sunday morning, helpful husband has taken fractious teen and tween out mountain biking with the express purpose of leaving me free to paint. I am alone and ready to paint. I'm in my happy place. If allowed, I would have squealed. I know I was humming.Life was good.

Before I start, I decided to loosen up by priming some panels that need their last coat of gesso. Gesso, for those gesso-virgins amongst you, is a paint -like material that is binder, chalk, gypsum and pigment and is used to prime canvas and /or boards before painting them.It dries fast and is opaque. This stuff covers well. If I gessoed them, they would be ready for paint in a few days time.Perfect timing.

I picked up the pot of gesso by the screw lid, turned towards the panels .......and in doing so, the lid came off and the pot of paint sailed through the air, angling to the left like an cliff diver attempting a dangerous twist before plunging into the sea, hit the concrete floor and distributed half the contents of the pot in an arc of destruction. The angle of distribution was directly towards the large cabinet that holds all my completed, framed works. It also houses the corner where I lean large canvasses against the wall to dry. The area was crowded with works like a train station at thanksgiving or Durban beach on boxing day. Standing room only.

People. It was chaos. My world went very dark, very quickly. I had to prioritise. I grabbed the phone and took a few photos in case I needed to claim on insurance, then I dashed off to fill  buckets with water and grabbed rags. I came back and triaged the room.  Carnage.

  1. completed works and framed works
  2. works in progress
  3. equipment hit in line of fire
  4. furniture
  5. floors and walls
  6. carpet
  7. me
It felt like it took forever.  It felt like the paint multiplied in volume the longer it lay arounds. The splatter range made me wonder if the tub of gesso had had a pulse. Have you any idea how far paint can splatter?! It beggars belief, but let me just say, FUCKING FAR!!!

It did hit a lot of paintings and I did have to scrub it off. I hope I saved them all. The varnished ones were easy, but the ones in progress were not as lucky. Funnily enough, one splatter pattern on a landscape did give me an idea. I was too annoyed at the time to be grateful, but I did file it away in my pissed off little brain for later.

And yes, dear ones, it was my own fault for not having screwed the lid on the gesso pot the previous day. Lesson learned.

My hair still has gesso in it. At least it blends with the grey .

The moral of the story is: put the lid back on the tub and be grateful for lessons learned when the lid comes off. Silver linings and all that.

13 September, 2016

Stalking new sites and weighing the distance

I went painting plein air at the old Matangi Dairy Factory on a sunny sunday afternoon . It's an historical site because it is no longer used for it's original purpose and the buildings are from 1800's. In New Zealand, with earthquakes etc, any building older than 100 years is a miraculous find!

I have been here before and it intrigues me because it's unusual and I have access to it. Most unusual building are behind fences with notices telling me to disappear and not to try and sneak in .(The railway yard is notorious). I had previously asked the owner if I may return and paint and he agreed( rather bemusedly) and I took him at his word.

Anyway, I went, painted and took photos and scouted for my next painting. Frankly, I could paint 100 paintings here. I do, however, have to close the gap between my incompetence in rendering architectural and engineering shapes and my competence with the idea.  That gap is both
the fun and frustrating part. It may well take me in excess of 100 paintings before I feel I have it dialled. It does, however, require me to do some serious drawing and think about design a bit more, so that's the challenge.

See what I mean? Oddly intriguing. 

31 August, 2016

Sorry, I almost left.

I almost left, sorry.

I was going to sneak away in the night, not say goodbye and just start a new blog. Just like that. After 9 or so years of writing this blog, I was not sure I WAS a distracted painter anymore . I felt a shift in my thinking about the blog, my work etc etc. I was slightly embarrassed that I had been as bad as some of my earlier works and that there is evidence thereof. And then I had another shift in thinking . What the hell kind of message does that send when you are embarrassed by your  work and not celebrating in your improvement?! I am aware that one day (when hell freezes over ) my kids might read this blog and take that on board. I would never want them to think that way, so how could I act that way.

The shift is still there. I feel different about my work, it definitely consumes me ( I should start a blog called "The Distracted Mother" !Ha!) and I am no longer distracted, instead incredibly focussed. I have never been more focussed on anything in my life before. So, instead of a break, I consider the last few months a hiatus.

Sorry I almost left without saying goodbye or leaving a forwarding address. I'm back now.

And can you tell it's spring?

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