Winning with Kandinsky – NZ Art Guild Masters Challenge

Every month NZ Art Guild members are given an artist to study. They have the next 4 weeks to paint/create something inspired by the work of that artist. These challenges are completely voluntary. Submissions must be original, be of any size, medium or style, must adhere to copyright laws and be completed during the 4 week time-frame. The most recent Masters Month Challenge was the work of Wassily Kandinsky.
I spent some time looking at his work, including here, and decided the circles appealed to me. I thought they were a good chance to have a play with oil pastels on top of an acrylic underpainting. The finished piece is 4×8″ on gallery wrap canvas.
My piece won the “People’s Choice” for the month as voted by fellow Guild members. Thanks everyone.
Circles after Kandinsky

Circles after Kandinsky

Remembering summer’s colours ;-)

The weather has been beautiful here for the last few days; to be honest it’s been a bit too hot for my liking. But this afternoon the weather has taken a turn for the worse. I have gone from wearing a sleeveless cotton dress round the house, with barefeet, to jeans and a medium weight top. But I can still enjoy the colours of early summer with another of the series of four wee canvas I posted about the other day. Here’s a second from the set.summer-garden-8

Summer’s colours

summer-garden-5I’ve been playing round with more 4×4 canvas, stocking up for the Christmas and summer trade. While I was taking photos for my files etc I realised there were some recent works I hadn’t blogged about. Well, can’t have that! Not when there’s nothing else to post about today anyway…

This is one of a set of four that was done about a month ago, and the colours were inspired by wandering round our garden, where the rhododendron are starting to flower. All those lovely mauves, blues, pinks and purples – and that wee hint of yellow or white in the centre. Stunning.


It’s years since I was tagged, and the tag comes from my good blogging friend artist Martha Marshall, so what the heck. Why not? Here’s how tagging works —

List 5 unusual things about yourself. Put a link in your post to the person who tagged you. Tag 5 other bloggers at the end of your post and comment on their blogs to let them know. Let the tagger (me) know when you have posted your list.

Five unusual things you might not know about me are:

1. I have a scar on my upper thigh where a sheep race gate fell on me as a child.

2. I have a terrible phobia about an insect we don’t even have here in New Zealand – I can’t type the name sorry, even knowing I’m kind of thinking about it makes me feel hot and sick.

3. My husband Tony and I have been living with my mother as her caregivers for the last 10 years. Hard work? Yes. But also a privilege few daughters get these days.

4. I love Hokey Pokey ice cream and chocolate chips – together.

5. I have a degree and post grad diploma in sociology. I loved my time as a student, and would love to do more study one day.

I’m tagging:

Sandra at Dreamswork – she’s a wonderful New Zealand artist; I love her life drawings.

Denise at Melancholie Dreams- another Kiwi artist who makes the most amazing ceramic works.

Trish at Liquorice – wonderfully supportive TLC art tutor and textile artist.

Sue from It’s a dog’s life – a good friend and a colleague, who blogs on behalf of one of her dogs.

Shelly at Gift of Art – a lovely new Kiwi art gallery, where owner Shelly wants to provide art classes for youth.

And an aerial view

This is a view of Mt Egmont that I guess relatively few people see – taken from the air. Incredible. If you fly from New Plymouth, my nearest airport, to Auckland – NZ’s largest city -you get spectacular views of Egmont as you fly past. Providing the clouds part that is 😉

In my two libraries we also act as information centres, so deal with a lot of tourists keen to see the mountain. Especially after it was made famous by Tom Cruise filming The Last Samurai in the region. But the reality is that a lot of people passing through simply do not get to see her – because of cloud cover. Lots of cloud cover!

This is another wee 4×4″ in acrylics on gallery wrap canvas, based on a photo taken on a clear day when there was no real cloud cover, and not a lot of snow either to be honest.

Mt Egmont from the air, 4x4" in acrylics

Mt Egmont from the air, 4x4

There’s plenty of snow on the mountain

But it’s easily 20 degrees here again today. I am sure we don’t normally have this much snow left by mid November. I blame global warming.

Anyway … I have been painting Mt Egmont ready to put some small works into Red Rock Cafe. Here’s the first one completed. Acrylic on 4×4 gallery wrap canvas.


New place to hang my work

For the last 10 days or so I have had painting on display with the local Patchwork & Quilting exhibition as part of the annual rhododendron festival. There’s been 30 to 50 people through a day; good numbers for a rural town of 1,000. I took my Mum to see the exhibition yesterday and while I was there I was approached by the owner of Red Rock, a 7 day a week cafe here in town.

Michelle has some art on sale already, but the only painting she has of Mt Egmont, our amazing mountain, is $500 — too much for the average passing tourist. The painting attracts a lot of attention though. She wondered if I could supply smaller, cheaper artwork featuring the mountain. Heck, yes – I love painting Mt Egmont. I’m going to start with some little acrylic 4x4s and them perhaps some 8x8s in oil.  

In the meantime, here are some of my reference photos for you to enjoy.

Yes we can

Okay, so I live on the other side of the world. In a different time zone. In a country about to have elections of its own. In a land 17 hours ahead of the USA. And yet, despite those differences, I feel like the world I live in changed today, changed for the better. And changed irrevocably.

Today the people of the United States of America voted overwhelmingly in favour of Barack Obama for their new President. Leader of the most powerful and influential country in the world. Barack Obama; an African American President of the USA. The world has changed tonight.

I keep a small 8×11″ scrapbook which is filled with personal stuff. How I feel about things, what is important to me, major events in my life. It has the day the Berlin Wall came down, the day the Princess of Wales died in a car accident. This weekend it will have the day the American people said “yes we can” to Barack Obama.