It's true that time seems to fly as you get older, this year has gone in a flash , with some great highlights. The biggest one was the birth of our new grandson, Finn , in July, nothing can compete with a new baby!
I ran workshops both here and on the West Coast meeting interesting people and enjoying seeing them discover their painting skills (check out my workshop page for some 2016 courses, including "Watercolour for the Terrified ").
I took part in exhibitions in both Wellington and Nelson, as well as in the three galleries who feature my work (Van Helden and KiwiArt in Wellington, and Culverden Gallery). I've also completed several commissions this year.
I was filmed recently for the Australian Art TV series "Colour in Your Life" , which took me way out of my comfort zone! If you'd like to see how I paint and find and out a little more about me the episode goes to screen on 22nd April, more about that later.
In 2016 I'll be concentrating more on my own painting development , heading off to Australia to attend a workshop with a great artist who can help me with some things that I need to work on.
I'm grateful to be able to look back on a fulfilling year, and exciting to look forward to the next one.
Whatever 2015 has meant to you I trust that you'll take from it great memories, and that you'll be tempted to leave your comfort zone behind in 2016!
One of the nicest things about having a studio open to the public is the number of interesting visitors who come through my door.
Often they are artists themselves, from all over the world. Working away on your own can be lonely, so it's treat to have another artist sit down and talk about stuff for a while. Wherever they're from, they seem to face the same issues as me, and it's always interesting to hear how people have solved problems, discovered new ways of doing things or thought of new ways to tackle old subjects. Sometimes these travelers speak little or no English, but somehow we manage to mime our way through an enthusiastic "conversation" about what and how they create. Likewise , when I've called in to other artist's studios both here and in Australia I've always been welcomed .
Today's visitor was a lovely girl from Brisbane , backpacking her way around New Zealand for a few weeks. She explained that she hadn't brought her paints with her , and regretted that decision- it's expensive to start from scratch when you have no gear with you and your budget is already committed to petrol and accommodation. Lucky for her that I have a secret stash of spare visual diaries , so she has left for the West Coast armed with the tools to record her memories of our beautiful country.
In these troubled times when many people seemed to live in fear and mistrust it's nice just to be able to meet a stranger when your paths cross and spend a few minutes relaxing together as friends.