Mirror image

Triptych composition sketches

triptych composition sketches

Mirror image of the sketches

mirror image of the sketches

I have finally completed the commission I mentioned in a post about a month ago: an abstract landscape triptych for the owner of a Christchurch hair salon. Sonya (who is a bit of a genius when it comes to cut and colour) is changing the name of her business from ‘Absolutely Fabulous’ to ‘Sign of the Times’ (yes, she is a huge Prince fan) and wanted to mark the occasion with a significant artwork ― ‘significant’ in both senses of the word.

Sonya told me that I could paint whatever I wanted ― the only guidelines were size (to fit a large area above the door), colour (grey and orange, to match the colours in the salon), and for it to include the new business name and symbol. And it had to be a surprise. Sonya didn’t want any WIP images… nothing until it was finished! Oh and it needed to look good in the mirror too. No problem!

I opted for an abstract landscape because I thought that would be a suitable background for the words and symbols. Quite a lot of my inspiration came from the salon’s location near Barrington Park (in the photographs below):

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We did make one final (and fairly major) change to the triptych before calling it ‘finished’ but I can’t show you the paintings until we’ve put them up in the salon and that won’t be until October 1st. Sorry for the long wait. I have, however, just started another painting…

The Last Autumn, 2015. AJ Scott Construction.

Showing off

The Last Autumn, 2015 — photograph by AJ Scott Construction

AJ Scott Construction

What a lovely surprise ― The Last Autumn has appeared on AJ Scott Construction’s website in a feature about my client’s beautiful Waitikiri home. I’m thrilled with the photographs they took of the painting (which only went up on the wall the day before the photo shoot). Click on the image above to see the complete slideshow.


“I invent nothing, I rediscover.” Auguste Rodin

Dandelion study — ink on paper, digitally edited, 2015

Dandelion study — ink on paper, digitally edited, 2015

Dandelion reference photograph, 2014

Dandelion reference photograph, 2014

Dandelion sketch — ink on paper, 2015

Dandelion sketch — ink on paper, 2015

Moving day

I wrote about Shand’s Emporium in one of my ‘pen vs earthquake’ posts a couple of years ago (click on the photograph below to read the article). Relocation has taken years rather than months but moving day finally came last week.

Here’s a link to a news report on the move, complete with a video showing how they lifted it over the tram lines: Shand’s Emporium touches down on Manchester Street, Christchurch.

Pen vs earthquake – Shand’s Emporium, 2013

Pen vs earthquake — Shand’s Emporium, 2013


I’m currently working on an abstract landscape commission but the big reveal will have to wait until my client sees it. She has asked for it to be a surprise and so I can’t even post the  WIPs here because there’s a very good chance she’ll see them.

During the meanwhile, here’s a poem I wrote more than twenty years ago that I rediscovered yesterday…

 Anna Cull Promises poem

Opening night

Here’s a video of opening night which was put together by the nice folk from the Christchurch Art Show. If you pay close attention, you can see my little corner of the exhibition at the two-minute mark : ) but you’ll have to be quick — blink and you’ll miss it.

The Christchurch Art Show

Anna Cull Artist Pass 2015

The Christchurch Art Show has come and gone… and what a fantastic event it was!

It was a privilege to be part of such a wonderful event. I met a lot of very talented artists and spent the weekend surrounded by beautiful art, quirky and unusual art, colourful and inspirational art…

We set everything up on Thursday afternoon. The installation went mostly according to plan with only a few minor adjustments (I was given a corner spot and had to swap the panels over so that my table, portfolio and business cards were on the right, see below). The plan continued to evolve over the weekend.

Opening night was a lot of fun — wine, cheese, good conversation — and the three (long) show days ended up going by very quickly. I was thrilled to discover that The New Zealand Artist magazine posted a photo of me and my work on their Facebook page. I’ve made dozens of new artist friends, I must’ve spoken to hundreds of people, and I even sold a couple of paintings while I was there. Yes, I’m very happy with my first art show.

The exhibition plan wasn’t the only thing that evolved over the weekend… I went from feeling like the new kid on the first day of school (will they like me? will I fit in?) to having a real sense of belonging. Going into the weekend was like coming to the high point of a very steep learning curve. I’m now buzzing with ideas and entertaining all sorts of possibilities : )

The Christchurch Art Show 2015, opening night

The Christchurch Art Show 2015, opening night

My thanks to you all for your kind words and encouragement and for supporting me on my big adventure. And yes, I’ve already started planning for next year’s show. First thing’s first though, I really need to catch up on some sleep.

It’s a plan

Christchurch Art Show exhibition plan

Christchurch Art Show exhibition plan

The Christchurch Art Show opens on Thursday night. This is a mock-up of how I imagine my paintings could look at the venue, complete with table, portfolio and business cards.

Having never exhibited my work before (apart from student exhibitions and last year’s mini market), this show is altogether unfamiliar territory. It’s a ‘cash and carry’ event which means that artists have to replace artworks as they are sold. As it is, I’ve already accidentally sold something I painted for the show, Landscape in the late afternoon (with cows), which was a totally unexpected and wonderful surprise (one of my best friends called in for a coffee and practically bought it on the spot). The sale has been a major confidence boost that couldn’t have come at a better time : ) and I do still have a few paintings waiting in the wings, just in case I need them.

Now if I can just master our new cordless screwdriver…