Akaroa 2.0

‘Bird’s-eye View’ — acrylic on canvas, 150 x 150mm, 2020. SOLD

Here is another reworking of an old painting. You can compare it with the original below…

‘Bird’s-eye View’ old and new versions for comparison ~ seen here alongside ‘On the Harbour’

There were elements I liked in the original version but, two years on, that background now looked like an embarrassing mess to me. So I painted over it with green, gold, purple and turquoise, redefining the hill shapes and tree lines. The seagull and little boats were also tweaked a little to put them more ‘in’ the painting. I had planned to leave the water untouched (I really liked the original water) but having changed everything else, it needed to be warmer and simpler to work with the other elements. Overall, I think it’s an improvement, and even if you disagree… it’s too late now!

Fortunately the new version still looks good alongside the other little Akaroa study. Both paintings* (sold separately) are currently available on Trade Me (NZ) as I continue with the Big Spring Clean of 2020.

*Please note that both paintings have now sold.

Magnetic art (…also known as fridge magnets…)

‘Be Yourself ‘

It has been fun making these teeny tiny art prints and turning them into magnets (that’s proper magic, that is : ) I have listed a few over on Etsy and will make more if they are popular.

The hardest thing about the process was deciding on the colours for the stick figure magnets (final image below) and then coming up with names for them. Happy colours deserve happy names, so I have ended up with Sky Blue, Violet Blue, Strawberry Pink, Pumpkin, Sunshine Yellow, Spring Green, Lavender, and Midnight Blue.

‘Through the Trees’
‘A Quiet Corner’
‘Blue’
‘Butterfly Catcher’ ~ ‘Flower Gardener’ ~ ‘Stargazer’

And now that I have the little magnets all sorted, I think it must be about time I started painting again…

Love Birds

‘Love Birds’ art print in the Drawing Room

This ‘Love Birds’ design was originally created for a student project in 2011. It was part of a boutique brewery branding campaign (yes, really) and was inspired by the textiles of William Morris. With a few minor tweaks and new text, it is now a quirky little art print.

‘Love Birds’ art print

Below are some of the original images that I created for the completely fictional Old Mill Brewers. The idea behind the campaign was that the brewery was located in a converted textile mill, a sophisticated venue where boutique beer is savoured like good wine.  As well as coming up with the name of the brewery and designing the logo and bottle labels…

Boutique beer branding campaign (student project, 2011, Design & Arts College)

…I also invented the six flavours: Red House (pilsner), Honey (lager), Vanilla (pale ale), Spice (witbier), Black Cherry (porter) and Chocolate (stout). Yum!

Boutique brewery logos (student project, 2011, Design & Arts College)

I even added the bird logo to the barcode on the back of the labels : ) It really was one of my favourite projects (as you can probably tell).

Barcode design (student project, 2011, Design & Arts College)

 

Art for Australia

‘Superb FairyWren’ — acrylic on canvas, 150 x 150 mm, 2020. Available.

It has been heartbreaking to watch the bushfires wreaking havoc day after day, week after week, month after month. We watch the news from the safety of our living room in New Zealand, more than two thousand kilometres away, and feel completely helpless. I have family over there. My mother grew up in that beautiful countryside. We spent many Christmases in Victoria when I was young…

How do you paint when the world is on fire? What do you paint? Why even bother? And then I found my answer in a Maxine Hong Kingston quote:

“In a time of destruction, create something: a poem, a parade, a community, a school, a vow, a moral principle; one peaceful moment.”

This little Superb Fairy-wren is the first of a series of small canvas paintings I’m creating to raise money for people and wildlife who have lost their homes as a result of the devastating fires in Australia. I will be donating 50% of the sale of these artworks to the Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund https://www.gerf.org.au and Wildlife Victoria https://www.wildlifevictoria.org.au. 🇦🇺

“the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognised as your own”

― Mary Oliver

Akaroa

A golden evening looking out over Akaroa Harbour

I was so happy with this scene that I decided to dust off the sketchbook…

A golden evening sketch

… and even though it’s not watercolour paper, it still handles the water from my little travel brush surprisingly well.

A bird’s-eye view of Akaroa

The other quick sketch from the weekend has been enhanced digitally using Affinity Photo.

Trying other things

Kererū Morning – acrylic on paper, 130 x 180 mm, 2016.
Kererū Morning – acrylic on paper, 130 x 180 mm, 2016, SOLD

“God is really only another artist. He invented the giraffe, the elephant and the cat. He has no real style. He just goes on trying other things.” Pablo Picasso

If the little kererū looks familiar, that’s because I sketched him earlier in the year with ink and watercolour. I’m not entirely sure how the magenta got into the trees ~ except that I was using it for the wings and when I wanted to make the greens pop, it was there on my palette and so I tried it and now I really like it. Note to self: keep trying other things.