Last night I spent hours awake worrying about the amount of commitments I have taken on board - things have a habit of getting out of hand quickly when you have an inability to say no! I got out of bed this morning and decided to turn my back on it all and paint outside all day. I began standing in the frost painting the sun coming over the St Arnaud range then moved round to paint Mt Robert, then I came home and cut the grass- tomorrow I will face my responsibilities again!
Photographer Stephen Attwood has very kindly given me permission to paint from his photos of a fledgling native falcon at Zealandia Wildlife Sanctuary in Wellington. We have a pair which live down the road, but I've never managed to get a photo of them, so thanks Stephen, it was amazing to get a chance to paint this very special bird.
When I first began to paint I had a very wise teacher named Janet Andrews. Janet watched me struggle with cheap watercolour paper which buckled as the paint hit it and dried looking like a crinkle cut chip. I'll never forget her comment "Sooner or later you're going to paint something that you want to frame and you're really going to regret painting on that!" She was so right. I threw away my cheap pad and bought decent watercolour paper- (I usually use Fabriano Artistico rough).In actual fact, buying it by the pack and cutting it myself works out only slightly more expensive than buying student grade pads.
As for paints- I have watched others struggle with student grade in both oil and watercolour. The joy on my students faces when they try out artist grade paint for the first time is amazing! Cheap paints contain fillers and artificial pigments ,and are so much harder to paint with. so do yourself a favour, buy the best quality materials you can afford and see your painting skills take a giant leap. If you would like more information about the materials and equipment that I use please get in touch- firstname.lastname@example.org - I'm always happy to help.
This morning the mountain forecast was diabolical, so I went out painting with another artist from Nelson. I must admit that I would rather have curled up by the fire with a book, but once we got going it was very invigorating! Sometimes you need someone to poke you and remind you that places can be beautiful still even when it's freezing.And now I can curl up by the fire with a clear conscience :)
While the huge full moon kept me awake last night I lay there trying to figure how to paint it. Oil?How would I see to mix my colours in the dark?Watercolour (would the moon exert a tidal pull on my paint?). In the end I decided it would have to wait till I enter my gothic phase, and drifted off to sleep.