I have not really done any painting in the past week. I have two problems mainly:
1. The weather is so hideous. It is 24 degrees or so here most days and incredibly humid. My acrylic paints are giving me grief; they get to the tacky stage almost instantly. Awful. There is no way I would consider varnishing in this weather.
2. Our wee dog has been increasingly sick over the last week. We have it under control now I hope but it has been very time consuming. She is my only baby and I have been really worried about her. You can meet Faith here.
I’ve been going to bed early each night so she can cuddle up with me and get some ‘Mom sympathy’. So while I soothe her, I have been rereading some favorite art books. Such as the Acrylic Revolution, and some books about journals and mixed media. Then I scribble some notes in my art journals; so the time has not been wasted. It’s amazing what even that small amount of research does to rev up the brain and get the creative wheels spinning.
This is a work I did 3 or 4 years ago. I have been looking at it, thinking about some new work I need to do for March, and wondering if this is my kicking-off point. I still like this, so maybe, just maybe…
Why do I like it though? The vibrant colours, the drips, the sense of things hidden. Mmm, so maybe I have my kick-off point already!
Michelle Ward’s GPP Street Team Crusade No 28 is about “portion control” – using part of an image to create interest and mystery. Last month we were challenged to really explore a shape, I chose the pear. You can see some of the images I created here, here and here. I have kept using last month’s PEAR shape, and have been making new images on watercolour postcards. This way, I get to do the Crusade, and keep up my stock of postcards for sending off quick notes to people. Win win! For these three I used acrylics, gesso and Stazon ink pads, acrylic stamps and handcut stencils and masks.
This pear painting, inspired by Michelle Wards Crusades, is now being exhibited in Auckland at the Bruce Mason Centre as part of the LIFE Exhibition and Shave for a Cure. A generous portion of all sales from the exhibition will go to the Leukaemia and Blood Foundation of NZ.
Tomorrow night some donated paintings are being auctioned in a gala event. Some of the artists are even having their heads shaved for sponsorship money. How brave is that? I was especially keen to support this event because when my cousin Dean and I were 14, he died of leukaemia. The sale of my pear painting is one small way I can help stop that happening to someone else.
This week I have four days off work, and I intend spending the whole time painting. I have to get some big works done for an exhibition in Auckland. BUT this coming Friday is Waitangi Day. It’s the day New Zealand celebrates the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, the document that more than 150 years ago was signed between Maori and the Crown detailing how this land would be in the future. It gives Maori equal rights in law – amazing for a colony in the 1800s – and probably one of the reasons New Zealand has, in the main anyway, thrived as a bi-cultural society.
This Friday my town, Patea, celebrates with an event called Paepae in the Park. It’s a massive day with music, food stalls, speeches – all celebrating our diverse community (Patea has a high percentage of Maori, as has this area generally). Businesses are closed but to support the day I open the library, which is next to the park where the event is held. A top NZ band, Katchafire, is playing this year, and we expect about 5,000 people to attend. The library has disabled access toilets, and offers people time out in the shade and quiet. I also think it is good for the library, and me as library manager, to be seen to be involved in events within the community. Last year the event did not go ahead because of a massive industrial fire in town on the day. The year before I had more than 700 people through the doors on the day – amazing, because at that stage our usual weekly footprint count was only 500.What does that have to do with painting? Well — I am going to do some small, 4×4 or 6×6, acrylic paintings of Mt Egmont to display – and hopefully sell – in the library. The Mountain (Maunga) is very important to local Maori. When they have been away form the area, seeing Mt Egmont signals that they are ‘home’. So I have cropped a favorite photo of the mountain to square-ish, and turned it to gray-scale to make the values more obvious. And tomorrow head into my art room to get messy. Love it.