Tag Archives: encouragement

Worry is a misuse of the imagination

“Worry is a misuse of the imagination.” Dan Zadra

Painting this little canvas was a joy. I had some paint left over from a project and didn’t want it to go to waste. I’m so happy with the colours that I’m thinking of painting a much larger version. No varnish for this one. I don’t want to change a thing.

Patina – acrylic on canvas, 100 x 100 mm, 2017. Available.

Everything you can imagine is real

An Answer to Prayer, detail – mixed media on canvas

“Everything you can imagine is real.” Pablo Picasso

‘An Answer to Prayer’ is my latest painting: an abstract initially inspired by, of all things, fridge poetry.* But the words were just the starting point. This painting has taken me on quite a journey. I’ve ventured way outside my comfort zone. Way, way outside. I have painted abstracts before but this was an entirely different experience and I’ve ended up with something that doesn’t look like anything I’ve painted before. I guess that’s to be expected when you’re experimenting. I would call it an imagined landscape rather than an imaginary one. It’s surreal and personal and creating it has made me see Picasso’s words in a new light.

*Fridge poetry is made from magnetic word sets that can be arranged and rearranged on a fridge door, providing endless hours of fun and amusement. I posted photographs of some of my favourites on Facebook a few years ago. This painting was inspired by one of those poems and was transferred to the canvas using the same technique as ‘Time’.

An Answer to Prayer – mixed media on canvas, 305 x 610 mm, 2017. Available.

An Answer to Prayer, another view

Any road will take you there

Any Road Will Take You There – acrylic on canvas, 405 x 405 mm, 2017. Available for purchase.

Any Road Will Take You There – acrylic on canvas, 405 x 405 mm, 2017 (sold)

God bless our contradictions, those parts of us which seem out of character. Let us be boldly and gladly out of character. Let us be creatures of paradox and variety: creatures of contrast; of light and shade: creatures of faith. God be our constant. Let us step out of character into the unknown, to struggle and love and do what we will. Amen.
‘A Note on God’ by Michael Leunig

Yes, I’m still exploring Arthur’s Pass in paint. ‘Any Road Will Take You There’ is similar to ‘A Road Runs Through It’ and ‘Summer Somewhere’ but also quite different. This time I’ve hinted at the telegraph poles and allowed the foreground to melt into the mountains. I really pushed myself to do something I hadn’t done before and I’m very happy with the result. And if the title sounds familiar, that’s because it’s a paraphrase of a line spoken by the Cheshire Cat in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland: “If you don’t know where you are going, any road can take you there.” It’s also a line from a George Harrison song but I didn’t realise that until after I’d named it.

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 www.etsy.me/makeforgood
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 *

How do you measure success?

The Christchurch Art Show 2016, opening night

The Christchurch Art Show 2016, opening night

The Christchurch Art Show has come and gone for another year. What a fantastic event! I had even more fun than last year and I’ve come away from it greatly encouraged and with a very clear idea of what I want to do next year. Was it successful? Yes. You will, I suppose, want to know how sales went. For me, sales were modest. I’ve returned with a lot of work that ‘almost’ found new homes. Am I disappointed? I guess I am a bit. But it’s not all about selling paintings. It really isn’t. If that’s the only measure of success, we’re all in big trouble.

Over the last couple of months, I’ve been getting more and more interested in painting semi-abstract work like Endless Possibilities, wanting to do more impressionist/expressionist art like Country Gate and Warm Night, Southern Sky, and to incorporate more graphic elements along the lines of Landscape in the Late Afternoon (with cows). Exhibiting at the show this year has helped me to fine-tune these ideas and has strengthened my resolve to continue my art journey (and to not get a day job just yet).

Working in series is still going to be key. I want to create conversations on canvas, stories and poetry that will spill over the edges of one canvas and onto others (I mean that metaphorically but who knows…). But that’s enough for now. I don’t want to give away all my secrets ; )

I’ll leave you with two of my favourite quotes.

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”
George Bernard Shaw

“Let it go. Let it out.
Let it all unravel.
Let it free and it can be
A path on which to travel.”
Michael Leunig