Today I went to a moving ceremony down by the Lake as two Great Spotted Kiwi were welcomed before their release into the National Park. The re introduction of kIwi here is part of the Rotoiti Recovery Project. This project has involved an extensive predator trapping programme, involving large numbers of dedicated volunteers as well as DoC staff. I feel privileged to live right on the edge of the National Park, where the kiwi can sometimes be heard calling at night, thanks to the commitment of these hardworking teams. Welcome to our new neighbours!
Last weekend we went to Wharariki beach , the north western corner of the South Island. This can be a wild spot, so I just took my little sketchbook and the camera with me. If I do this i sketch out the landforms, make a few colour notes and take some photos to make sure I have things in the right place, then when I've drawn up the composition in my studio I put the photo aside and paint from memory(mostly!).I was hoping for one of the spectacular days which you sometimes get out there, dramatic lighting anad miles of wet sand, but we chose a perfect spring day with calm , sunny conditions. Well, I thought to myself, I can always use artistic license to edit the light conditions later. When I got home I set up to paint and had a vision in my head of wild grey clouds and golden highlights of sun. But as I worked on the painting it steadily looked exactly as it had last Sunday! My memory of how it looked and felt was just too strong to conquer. I admire painters who can imagine a scene in their head and put that on canvas, but for me I guess it will always be about how I see something - and my brain won't let me tell (many) porkies about it! We plan to go back and camp there for a few days, so I can see the beach in some of it's different moods and light...watch this space.
Is E.L.James a watercolourist? I have just been showing a student how to mix greys , and thought you might like to see three of my favourites. Left is unltramarine/burnt sienna, centre is viridian, alizarin and a touch of quinacridone gold, and right is viridian/alizarin ( a lovely transparent mixture). I don't own any grey or black paint - it's easy to mix your own from the three primaries and the result is a lovely glowing dark which I prefer to the flatness of a premixed colour. What do you reckon?
This is a little painting I did recently of a bellbird (Korimako - for which my studio is named). We wake up each morning to the sound of their breakfast call - an amazingly pure ripple of notes. Today the weather is very very wet and the bellbirds are all silent.