The Monarch’s tale

Wrapping ‘Monarch’ to take to The White Room auction

I’ve just donated my ‘Monarch’ painting to an art auction! The auction is being held next month at Art Metro in Christchurch (NZ) to raise funds for The White Room, a very cool creative space that brings together disabled artists, non disabled artists and interested people to share ideas, learn, and interact through their common passions and interests in the visual arts. I’m so happy they asked me to be a part of this year’s auction.

Skillwise Art Auction 2016

Click on the image to visit The White Room Creative Space on Facebook

Monarch – acrylic on canvas, 405 x 510 mm, available at The White Room's Art + Auction in 18 November 2016

Monarch – acrylic on canvas, 405 x 510 mm, available at The White Room’s Art + Auction 18 November 2016

The art of shopping, part two

If you’ve read my last two posts, you’ll know that I am now involved in (yet) another social media website… Polyvore, a community that, in Polyvore’s own words, “disrupts the traditional e-commerce model by giving everyone everywhere a voice in shaping today’s trends and influencing purchases”. I discovered the site shortly after Etsy announced that it was going to take treasuries away (click here to see an old post that explains a bit more about treasuries). Over on Etsy, some of us were mad and some of us were sad, but there were also those who wondered what all the fuss was about.

Well, to some of us, the treasury was more than just a marketing tool; it was an art form. As well as promoting each other’s shops, we did things like A bird in the hand


…and I Regret Nothing (one of my last treasuries)…

This was me having a bit of fun and putting together items for one of my last ever treasuries...

Going Going Gone is one I didn’t make. It was created by a team member in the Flash Mob who made personal treasuries for many of us as a farewell gesture. It features only my art! What an amazing gift. Thank you so much, Donna.

I was blown away when one of our team members in the Flash Mob made personal treasuries as a farewell gesture... Thank you, Donna

At some point during the final days of treasuries, the Flash Mob discovered Polyvore, a place where treasuries are called ‘sets’ and the old familiar 16-square grid looks more than a little old-fashioned. Now we can edit images, resize them, remove backgrounds, and make really, really creative sets. They can be fairly standard magazine-style editorials about fashion, beauty, or home decor, or they can be quirky and arty and just about anything you want them to be.

Like Etsy, Polyvore is very group and community oriented. There are contests with themes and items to feature, and so it’s surprisingly familiar even as we learn new ways of doing things. My first set was based on the ‘in situ’ illustration I drew for my ‘Moon Over the City’ painting:

Okay, that’s pretty basic, but I’m happy with it and I love being able to style my art in sets. It’s way too much fun (which goes some way to explaining why there hasn’t been a lot of painting going on in the studio this month). Below is an example of a fashion set for an ‘I Love Paris in the Fall’ contest — I couldn’t resist using my autumn tree drawing in the background:


The opportunities for creativity are endless. You can use the images already on Polyvore — and yes, quite a few are sponsored — or you can import your own from any website (like Pinterest, Polyvore preserves the link to the site that the image came from).

I’ll sign off today with a set that has nothing to do with anything, really. It was for a contest that had to feature our “first device love in the Technological Age” and, for me, that was my trusty old tape deck. Thanks for reading.


The art of shopping, part one

I mentioned in my last post that I’ve been revamping some of the images in my Etsy shop, so I thought I’d show you a few of my favourites. These were all created with digital trickery : ) and each picture is a combination of three different photographs: the original painting + my black travel easel + the photo that inspired the painting (in the background & slightly out of focus to give a kind of ‘depth of field’ effect)…

Sidetracked, 12 x 12 inches

‘Sidetracked’ (12 x 12 inches), the railway tracks and golden sand near Koekohe Beach in Otago, NZ

'Boatsheds' (10 x 30 inches), the Banks Peninsula coastline and boat sheds along Duvauchelle Bay near Akaroa, NZ

‘Boatsheds’ (10 x 30 inches), the Banks Peninsula coastline and boat sheds along Duvauchelle Bay near Akaroa, NZ

'Thursday, Avon River' (30 x 20 inches), ducks swimming on the Avon River in Christchurch, NZ

‘Thursday, Avon River’ (30 x 20 inches), ducks swimming on the Avon River in Christchurch, NZ

'Riding the Falls' (16 x 12 inches), a Huka Falls jet boat on the Waikato River, NZ

‘Riding the Falls’ (16 x 12 inches), a Huka Falls jet boat on the Waikato River, NZ

The other idea I’ve been playing around with is showing how my paintings could look on walls in different rooms. Because our house is not very big and much too untidy for a photo shoot, I decided to draw the furniture instead of photographing it. This is the first of what I hope will be a series of illustrated ‘in situ’ paintings…

'Moon Over the City' (16 x 12 inches, unframed), living room illustration

‘Moon Over the City’ (16 x 12 inches, unframed), living room ‘in situ’ illustration

One of the other things I mentioned last week was that I have discovered the wonderful world of Polyvore… but I’ll tell you more about that and how I came to be involved in yet another social media site (I know, I know…) in my next blog post. Thanks for reading.

Summer, autumn, winter, spring

Blackout poem #13

Blackout poem #13

“Hearts will grow almost anywhere.
As long as they are handled carefully,
they will flower summer, autumn, winter, spring.”

It’s been a busy month… although you might not be able to tell that from my blog posts. I’ve been revamping some of the photos in my Etsy shop, I’ve painted a few landscapes (you may still see one of them in my Instagram feed over there on the right), and I’ve been discovering the wonderful world of Polyvore.

Oh and I’ve been preparing for the Pegasus Bay Art Show which is happening this weekend. Friday, October 7th is Opening Night and Saturday, October 8th is the Open Day.

My, that’s a lot of links… I hope that goes some way to explaining my absence from WordPress these last few weeks. No apologies. No excuses. I do plan to be around a little more often after the art show and then I can fill you in on recent events in more detail.

Creating brighter futures

Make For Good mini paintings * click on the photo to see them on Etsy *

I created these bright little paintings for this year’s Make For Good charity fundraiser which officially launched this week. Etsy sellers from around Australia and New Zealand have made items reflecting the ‘Creating Brighter Futures’ theme and are donating a minimum of 20% towards Plan International Australia’s ‘Because I am a Girl’ campaign, raising funds to support women and girls in developing communities around the world.

To learn more about this project, please go to
Make For Good 2016 runs until December 19th @etsyau @plan_australia

The Flower Gardener and The Butterfly Catcher * available on Etsy *

The Flower Gardener and The Butterfly Catcher * available on Etsy *