Category Archives: photography

Photos from the road

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Here are a few of the photos I took while travelling to and from Dunedin last weekend. Note the snow on the Southern Alps in the middle of summer! Well done, New Zealand!

I couldn’t help myself… the rolling hills, the purple mountains, the different textures and patterns in the landscape, the shifting light, the fascinating clouds… I think I took close to 200 photographs! And now many of them are whispering (quite loudly) “paint me”…

Beautiful seeing

Somewhere near Akaroa, 2015

Somewhere near Akaroa, 2015

“Your ability to see is your tools of trade; nothing else matters. Beautiful seeing is the desideratum. Remember, when you hear people say they can see a thing but not do it that they cannot really see it. If they did, they could do it even if they put the paint on with their fingers.” Charles Hawthorne

Challenge accepted.

Decide what to do

Shabby Chic Market Day, Christchurch — original photograph, 2012

Shabby Chic Market Day, Christchurch — original photograph, 2012

“It does not take much strength to do things, but it requires a great deal of strength to decide what to do.” Elbert Hubbard

Having decided to paint this photograph of bunting flags and sun umbrellas, I played around with colour options and cropped them to fit a square canvas (see below), and I ended up with two versions that I like equally — and so I’m now going to paint both of them.

Yes, I think Mr Hubbard makes a very good point.

WIPs to follow soon.

Market Day colour option 1 (digitally edited)

Market Day colour option 1 (digitally edited)

Market Day colour option 2

Market Day colour option 2 (digitally edited)

Five years and counting (pen vs earthquake)

Pen vs earthquake #6 – Christchurch Art Gallery, 2016

Pen vs earthquake #6 – Christchurch Art Gallery, 2016

Anna Cull Pen vs Earthquake Art Gallery 2016

I’ve finally been into the city to take the last of my ‘pen vs earthquake’ photographs. The Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna O Waiwhetu was closed following the 22nd February 2011 earthquake and only opened its doors to the public again last December. The building may look fragile but it not only survived 2011’s big shake, it was used as Civil Defence HQ for seven months after the event. Most of the repairs to the building are now complete and the new and improved gallery looks better, and shinier, than ever.

The sketch was originally part of a student project in 2011. The art gallery photographs were taken a few days ago. Ben Heine’s ingenious Pencil Vs Camera images inspired the series.

P.S. Five years on and we’re still getting the odd quake ― we had quite a big one on Valentine’s Day, of all days! My thanks to those who contacted me to see if we were okay. Yes, we’re fine. We’re still not in love with earthquakes, but we’re fine.

Bird on a wire

Bird on a wire — digital painting, 2016

Bird on a wire — digital painting, 2016

I’ve had a bit of fun using Photoshop’s ‘smudge’ and ‘brush’ tools to transform a slightly blurry photograph of a little kingfisher (see below) into a digital painting. It’s an interesting way of working because the photograph provides the colour palette and basic composition, but you still have to know what you’re doing to turn it into a painting (have you ever tried using those artistic filters? they’re very frustrating and no substitute for being able to draw). And the best thing about painting in the digital world: no mess and no need to clean up afterwards.

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