Full moon

I’m one of those people who are really affected by the full moon. Perhaps it is the light through our bedroom curtains, perhaps it is some tidal pull – who knows? What I do know is, come the full moon, I am *wide awake*, and likely to be found painting or emailing at 3am 😉

One afternoon Mum and I drove down to the beach for a quick look round and, quite by accident, I got some amazing shots of the full moon in a bright deep-blue sky, seen through the long grass. I have used the images over and over and over; and will continue to do so. Here is the latest moon painting. This one is acrylic on 30×40″ gallery wrap canvas and is heading for exhibition in Auckland in September.

Bare bones

As I’ve said before, I paint mainly with paper towels and baby wipes and hardly use brushes. So how do I start a painting? I use old magazines as throw-away palettes; I choose a colour or three and squeeze some out onto a fresh magazine page. I squeeze a baby wipe in a paper towel, so the baby wipe is a bit drier, and the paper towel is damp. I pick up some colour/s with the baby wipe and start smearing them around, covering the canvas.

If I want to remove some colour, I use the damp paper towel. If I want thin, even colour, I scrunch the baby wipe up and rub hard. When I want to change colours and the current lot of paint is used up, I throw the page away and start on a fresh one. Quick ‘n easy clean up!

I this series of photos you can see the bare bones, done yesterday, and the almost-completed painting, which I have been working on this morning. So far, I have not picked up a brush. The middle shot shows the texture and variety of marks I get with the tools I use.  


The other day I commented that I don’t use brushes often, and that’s certainly true. But it doesn’t mean I never use a brush, and it sure doesn’t mean I don’t own any. I own heaps in fact! I was lucky enough to buy a huge bundle of beautiful ones when an artists’ house was being cleared out. Here’s a bowl of them that sit on my desk.

Basket of brushes

I use brushes mainly for mark making towards the end of the painting process, now that I think about it. Most of the paint goes on with paper towels and baby wipes, and brush marks tend to come last, adding highlights here and there. I keep a small bucket of water beside me as I paint and the dirty brushes get dropped in the bucket as I go, so that clean up at the end of the day is quick and easy.

It’s not just the room that’s messy

I am one of those artists that wears almost as much paint as the canvas. I have more ‘painting in’ clothes that I care to think about. I sometimes often have slightly unusual coloured fingernails – where the paint has ‘almost’ come off in the wash. Putting handcream on before I start painting would be a good idea, but I loathe the feel of it.

I don’t often paint with a brush; most of the time I smear paint on with paper towels or baby wipes. Baby wipes are a favorite tool, but the paint does get all over me. I love them because I can move the paint around, strengthening colour here, fading it there. I use cheap, eco-friendly ones from the supermarket. Sometimes I keep the paint-stained ones as base for collage or using in my journals.

Has anyone else tried painting with baby wipes?

This ‘might’ be done – and the mess

Well, I did say I had art “stuff” everywhere – and I wasn’t joking. You can see what I mean about the bed being covered in paintings! And the winter light from the window is half blocked by my easel. Oh well…

On the plus side, I think I am happy with this large moon painting. Need to live with it for a few days and see if I stay happy. It’s a terrible photo by the way, but the best I can manage today.

Semi-controlled chaos

I have six paintings to finish by the end of the month for exhibition in Auckland. It is seriously freezing in my art room at this time of the year. So I am working inside the house, using my office as an art room. My office is really half of the spare bedroom, with a bookcase, desk, computer desk and a couple of printers – so it’s kinda cramped at the best of times.

Currently there are two large, partly painted, canvas against the wall just inside the door. Four long, thin canvas lying on the bed, drying after from their first coat of tinted gesso. And no gesso on the duvet cover. And a little gesso on the duvet cover. My desk is smothered in paint brushes, tubes of paint, reference photos, paper towels and so on.

It is a very good thing we are not expecting any visitors… 

Out of Intensive Care and home again…

Tony is out of hospital and back home with us. What a relief. They did a basic treadmill test to make sure it was safe to release him, gave him some new medication and waved us goodbye.

He’ll be off work for 4 to 6 weeks because, being an ambulance officer, the rules around driving are very strict. And besides, they don’t want to do a ‘proper’ stress test till then anyway, as they want his heart to heal a bit in the meantime.

So, a huge wake-up call, but all safe and sound. All I can say is, thank goodness for the medical teams — our family has a lot to thank them for.

Celebrating Mum's 84th

Celebrating Mum's 84th

Mum home … but husband in Intensive Care – far out!

Thursday night I went and got Mum out of hospital. We got home about 6.30pm and settled her back in. Her kidneys are on the mend and she’s feeling quite good. It had been a long week and I was really tired.

I’d been asleep about 30 minutes when Tony woke me, saying he had a pain in his right arm and a sore throat. Kept an eye on him for a few minutes, then decided to ring 111 for an ambulance. Of course being an ambulance officer himself he’s a hopeless patient!

We were in the Emergency Dept by about 11.30pm. One of the nurses look at me a bit quizzically and I said “just don’t say a word”. By 2am they were sure it was cardiac related and decided to transfer him to Base Hospital, which is another hour away. So, it’s a 3 hour round trip to visit him…

Turns out he had an actual heart attack, and the pain lasted through much of Friday. He’s a lot better today – off the drip, off the morphine, and feeling much brighter. He’ll be in Intensive Care all weekend hooked up to a monitor then on Monday they’ll do a treadmill stress test to see if he needs to be assessed for a stent or bypass or whatever.

Talk about out of the frying pan and into the fire…

Hospital not going so well

This post was put on blogger on the 2nd – but I am just finishing making the final transfer over…
We thought this would be a quick “in and out” hospital trip for Mum. Unfortunately things have not gone that well. Her kidneys are not playing the game and her blood pressure is so low she gets dizzy all the time. At 84, the risk of a nasty fall is high. That said, she fell last week and bounced no problem 😉
To add to her woes,the hospital food has upset her gall bladder – something we have had under control with diet alone for 2 or 3 years now. Bummer!
So, although she is not as sick as she has been in the past, she’s nonetheless quite sick; and of course older than last time she got really ill. So we watch and wait…