May is the month of my birth so I am taking ownership of it in this blog. Before I start on May I must finish telling you about my April Adventures. After almost 3 years we got to have real hugs with our daughter and grandchildren ❤️❤️❤️ They came from Queensland Australia for a week over Easter. They love being with their older cousins and of course the first port of call was my studio.
I have joined the Tauranga Urban Sketchers. They meet once a month and paint in and around Tauranga. I am enjoying meeting and painting/drawing with a new group of artists. At the end of April we met at an historic homestead in central Tauranga.
In the beginning of May Sharron, from Exclusive tours, brought a group of 7 women on a visit to my studio. They said they enjoyed the opportunity to learn about watercolour from the demonstration that I did and several went away with cards they had purchased. Beautiful day and lovely ladies.
Day 1 of my Beginners watercolour class was held yesterday. They worked hard but we had some laughs as well. I look forward to next weeks class with them.
What’s coming up for the rest of May?
A long weekend in beautiful Nelson. ( I’ll take my sketch book).
A luncheon for our art group Unlimited Palette as we farewell one of our members who is moving up north. 🥲
A workshop on 21/ 22nd in Rotorua for the Geyserland Art Group.
A watercolour workshop for Waihi U3A on 30th May.
Whew. I might need another holiday in June.
Thank you all for reading my blog and for those of you who gave me feedback during my daily April Adventures. I was thrilled that so many of you said that you looked forward to them each day. It made it worth it.
Sadly we have left Paihia and the Bay of Islands. We headed for Auckland. A stay in Auckland is never complete without a visit to the Art Gallery.
Albert park gave opportunities for sitting in the sun and sketching. These ladies really are on a roll now.
There was other art forms in the park too.
At the Black Door Gallery in Parnell we met with Sharron’s friend, artist Terry Prince. He talked about his work that is showcased in the gallery.
Another artist exhibiting in the gallery was Ben Young, who has connections with our home area of Waihi Beach. His sculptures are hand crafted from clear sheet float glass, concrete and steel. Stunning.
Several other galleries were visited before we headed for our accommodation. This evening we ate at the Vietnamese restaurant Saigonz
In the bus bright and early on the way to Kerikeri. Had to stop at this place!!
Back in the bus and travel down the road to the Stone Store and Kemp house. Kemp house was built in 1822. Two hundred years ago. So we sat on the verandah to sketch and paint.
Unfortunately it was deemed highly inappropriate for us to paint on a 200 year old verandah, so we were moved on…
It was a lovely afternoon so several artist sat on the bank that looked down onto the orchard and the back of Kemp house.
Blind contour drawing is one of my favourite techniques. The drawing is done with one line while watching the object, not the paper. How about these sketches of my friends?
Part of the itinerary today was to have show and tell. For everyone to put their work up so we could look at them all. Unbeknown to the artists, Sharron and I had arranged to hang the paintings on the wall of the dining room.
We have left the paintings up until we go to breakfast in the morning.
Such a lovely end to painting in Paihia, Russell and Kerikeri.
I was so surprised this morning when I woke to see that the sun was up and the predicted rain and thunder storms were not present. So it was with great delight that after breakfast we made our way to the Ferry at the Paihia wharf. Sharron calls us kittens as she tries to herd us in the right direction. So I think she was surprised we had time to spare when we got there. Wendy and Alison south (As we have 2 Alison’s they are north and south, Waihi beach and Dunedin) they found a comfortable seat and began sketching as we waited.
It was a beautiful morning in Russell and we had a little tour of the town then settled down to draw and paint.
This little cottage sits right on the road, opposite the beach. Architecture is always a challenge for me so I took the challenge here.
We had lunch at the iconic Duke of Marlborough hotel. We sat in it but didn’t paint it.
Some more painting and sketching after lunch.
Then back on the Ferry for the ride back to Paihia. While we rocked in the boat I photographed some of the images produced today.
Just a quiet start to the day today. It didn’t stay that way though. At 9am we were out on the street with our bags and painting gear ready for Sharron to take us all to breakfast. Sharron was full of apologies that she couldn’t take us to the original restaurant for breakfast as again they had been affected by staff off with COVID. I felt a little disappointed until we drove to the waterfront at Whangarei and the imposing structure of the newly opened Hundertwasser Gallery was before us! We walked towards the building and the magnificent dome of the gold cupola in the distance.
The restaurant for breakfast was on the first floor of this magnificent building. WOW! It is amazing. The fountain in the entrance courtyard is to remind us that Hundertwasser loved the rain. Misty cloudy days especially as it made all the other colours brighter.
Before having breakfast I went to the bathroom to wash my hands and view the typical Hundertwasser toilets. Straight lines were boring, he believed. Even the floors are undulating .
Pam Toothill was our guide. What a wealth of knowledge she has about the life of Hundertwasser. Not just out of books but as a personal friend who she often visited with her husband.
We headed north again after lunch and visited the Kawakawa public toilets which Hundertwasser had designed and built in the 1970’s. These are an iconic landmark and I know that the gallery and museum in Whangarei will soon be known around the world as well.
We left Hundertwasser and headed for Paihia in the beautiful Bay of Islands, where we spend the next 3 days.
It’s already day 5. So I will publish this and prepare for todays post.
So the day has finally arrived. Sharron and I have been planning this art tour since August last year!
It started off quite funny really when Sharron arrived to pick everyone up in the bus and no one was waiting. Unfortunately she had missed adjusting her watch to daylight savings time and arrived an hour early. Never mind, her and Charmaine went off for a well deserved coffee. Just before 9am everyone arrived on mass and after the photo to record how many of us there were we found our seats on the bus.
Next stop was morning coffee at a cafe by the Thames roundabout. Unfortunately CLOSED due to staff with Covid. Two other options were also closed but we finally got the coffee’s in Karaka.
After picking up Alison from Auckland, we carried on to Orewa for a lunch stop and walk on the beach. Several of us put pen to paper, or in my case, paint to paper.
A very busy little coastal town with lots of shops and cafes.
Sharron had a pleasant surprise for us with a visit to the Puhoi Organic Distillery. A lovely Ukrainian family who are making alcohol for a very specific market and exporting to many places over the world.
Back on the bus after a very interesting visit to a very interesting place. Especially in these times of war for their friends and family back in the Ukraine.
After arriving in Whangarei we all went out for an Italian meal. A great ending to a very busy day.
So, April is going to be a busy month. It started yesterday with a beautiful group of ladies from the Garden Bloomers club who came to visit my art studio. The eleven women were very interested in hearing about watercolour painting.
This is the 10 stroke demonstration painting that I did. I think it came out very well and everyone enjoyed the quick gestural strokes that made the little watercolour.
It’s only the 2nd day of April so I haven’t much else to tell you, but tomorrow a group of 10 women will board a bus to take us north for a week of painting, sketching and visiting awesome places. So I’m going to do a blog for you as we travel and sketch. Keep watching this space.
Welcome all my followers. We are enjoying a beautiful long hot summer. The kind I love. Lots of days walking on the beach and swimming in the 22deg.C water. (So I saw today). To immerse yourself in the sea and float on the waves is so good for the soul. I’m not looking forward to cooler evenings and darker mornings for l love the light.
Last month was not productive for paintings. Since my solo show in Hawera in November I have not painted my large abstract watercolours. I feel a little ‘shy’ of them. Preferring to do small sketches and make some lovely cards.
My sketches have been inspired by the art group Unlimited Palette and the 28 day challenge for the month of February. A wonderful discipline to reach for the little sketch book every day and create an image.
Usually I am a quick impressionist artist. Capturing the essence of the subject in a moment. For the purpose of my daily sketch I have spent more time on drawing the image. First in pencil (2B) then in ink, using the pen to create shading and contour. But then I like to throw the watercolour on, not worrying about line or shape, trusting that the drawing will hold it all together.
On our overseas holidays I have taken many photos thinking “ one day I will paint that”. With the challenge, that ‘one day’ has come and I have used photos to extend on my drawing skills and draw.
On the 11th February the Waihi Plein air artists met at the Reservoir in Waihi Beach. It was drizzling so it was decided to go for coffee and catch up.
An enthusiastic little group. I’m looking forward to catching up for our next session at Brighton Park. Waihi Beach. 9.30. Then coffee at the Beach House Cafe. All welcome if you are in the area.
Well that’s it for this month. Love you to give me feedback about my blog. Thank you to those who do . I love it.