Today I had a family visit the studio for a watercolour session- a gift from their Aunty in England. (Yes, gift vouchers available!). Two hours is a short time to grasp the basics of watercolpur- didn't they do well?
Our community is busy making a panel for Velvet the eel (check out the story at bowmansart.com/portfolio/childrens.htm). This tapestry is travelling around NZ, with groups each making a panel which measure 2m x 1.5m, then joining them all together to tell the life story of a long finned eel. So far the quilt measure 128 metres! Velvet's story began here at Lake Rotoiti, so I was asked to paint a "backdrop" for our panel, depicting the lake, which will then be appliqued over....the white bit in the centre will be covered by our segment of the eel's body!Painting with silk dyes onto canvas was something I hadn't tried before, but it's given me lots of ideas.....
One day we stopped beside Lake Ianthe on the West Coast with two artist friends. Lucy looked at the stunning view and remarked that sometimes things are too perfect to paint and you should just enjoy them. Living close to a lake which is often mirror like the temptation is sometimes too much for me! But I'm not trying to portray perfection, just the total serenity that I find there. I hope you can feel it too.
I was fascinated watching the First Crossings programme last night, following the journey of Charles Brunner and his Maori guide, Kehu.We live near the source of the Buller river,where it leaves Lake Rotoiti - one of my favorite painting spots. The Buller is a big river with a huge catchment area - it can rise rapidly and is an awe inspiring sight when it's in flood. To consider attempting travelling down it's banks with very little food and equipment, in West Coast rain , was a mind boggling undertaking. But they did make it eventually...then turned around and came back! This is a painting I did on a benign summers day, when the river was quite low and friendly - a huge contrast to the threatening monster that those two faced.
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