Monthly Archives: September 2011

One of my favourites…


Hanging in there, under the (Taranaki) mountain…

Hello dear blogger friends…I’d like to say how sorry I have been for being a bit erratic with the blogging recently…its been one of those times in life when feeling creative has been swamped by a tidal wave of  pressing priorities, illness and actual, real life problems.

I try to follow my own mantra – to try to find beauty in the everyday  and to noticing the “small stuff”.  This helps when life threatens to engulf me. I don’t have any morsels of glorious advice to share, but just to say that even in times of uncertainty and stress, it is a great joy to see the mountain covered gloriously in snow, the blossoms starting to bloom on the cherry trees, the sun starting to show its face, kids starting to talk about summer, surfing, beach trips..the simple, free pleasures on offer!

So, if you are like me, struggling to find that creative inspired side of yourself, which you know is buried under a mountain of other “stuff”, just hang in there! Find some simple beauty in your day tomorrow, write about it in your journal, or photograph it, or draw it, or capture it in some way..or simply stop and enjoy it… and smile. You are not alone.

What I am not.

I am not still waters that run deep.

I wear my heart unashamedly on my sleeve.

I feel. Deeply.  

For better and for worse.

Thats what makes me who I am and makes my art what it is.

Just do it!

I have been reflecting on why it is that I feel a pervading sense of inadequacy some days. On a good day I can look at other artists work and feel inspired, positive, encouraged. Yet other days (like today) I just end up feeling intimidated, inadequate, not quite “good enough”. I don’t know why it is. I really know I am not alone, also. I guess its part of the vulnerability of putting your heart and soul “out there” for public inspection and comment.  Anyway the point is, I guess that if you are reading this, and feeling like me, then don’t! I am here to tell you that it’s a waste of energy, it’s a waste of your talent. You are good enough! Your talent is unique. Don’t let the voice in your head distract you from your purpose. Just follow the global brand we all love to hate and “just do it”…just carry on, one step at a time, keep moving forward. Learn from mistakes, or even better don’t think of them as mistakes but opportunities to evolve your artistic skills. So, thats the pep talk for today…I feel better already! 

New Plymouth is buzzing with rugby and art supporters, as it turns out! There are lots of people checking out the latest Len Lye exhibition and also plenty of people out and about and lots of arts to see. Welcome  to Taranaki, world!

Beyond a name…

I have been on an urgent mission to name my painting, even though it is unfinished as I have to get my entry form in today. The problem I have had is that all the titles I think of, are about what the painting means to me…the words I think of when I think about this painting, which you may think is fine, but I also know that other people see completely different things in my paintings from what I see. I really feel its important that the title I give it does not distract them from that enjoyment. So, it is a dilemma, as the the problem this then creates, is that by not giving it a deep and meaningful title, it runs the risk of looking like you (as an artists) have had no inspiration and no explanation for the painting….which is far, far from the truth. So, I will put it here, the words I think of when I look at my painting, the words that came to me before, during and after I finished painting it…radiant, fragments, memory, link to the past, tie that binds, love, lineage, primitive marks and symbols,  keepsakes, ribbons, family, imprints, humanity, blood markers, ancestry, stories, sacred, memories, handprints…I wonder what it mean to others who stop and look at it? Maybe something completely different? The title will not tell them anything….not a clue about my interpretation. Its simply “Beyond”.

Closer to the finish line…

Its big. Its bold. It’s nearly there! Quite honestly, its been a huge challenge. I am feeling better now about it after having a serious doubt about it over the last few weeks along with a crisis in (artistic) confidence generally.

finding beauty in the everyday, even in old sheds…

I photographed these old timber gates while out on a walk one day. I love the patina and the various faded shades of blue/grey. I think this look like an abstract painting, yet it is an untouched photo.

I will use this photo as a colour reference for my own paintings, as well as just enjoying it for its own simple beauty. I must confess to collecting a fair few photos of old corrugated iron shed and walls and peeling paint fences and wrought iron gates…just for the colours, textures, shapes and simple faded beauty they have.

Resting places and lasting titles…


I took this shot several years ago. It is in Taranaki, but it looks like someplace else. In the background is the sea as far as you can see, and beyond that, big sky. A perfect final resting spot I think.

On to matters more pressing…a name for my painting…something that captures the essence of it, doesn’t sound to wanky and try-hard, or too clever for its own good, or too’s not easy! But being “untitled” makes it seem that you have no imagination, no inspiration, no ability or willingness to even attempt to define your work, or your inspiration, or your purpose…I think viewers deserve more than that, personally. Not that you have to spell it out to them, but a painting deserves a title at least, don’t you think?   


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