A while back I had a visit from Rose and John who own Gleneffric Station on the wild north Canterbury coast , who invited me to go and paint there. They kindly loaned us their shepherd's house , put quad bikes at our disposal , invited us to to watch the rugby etc etc. Each day they took us off on a quad tour of the station, an amazing spot ranging from windswept ridges , vistas across rolling (currently grassless) hills to rugged clifftops which plunge straight into the ocean. Unfortunately it was a bit too windy to do much painting, though I did brave it one afternoon. We looked for fossils, walked and I sketched.
They also kindly arranged for us to borrow a bach up at Loch Katrine , so after a night in Lyttleton ,waiting for the snow and hail to clear, we headed into the high country south of Lewis Pass. We drove for several hours through stations , with the road getting rougher and rougher- lucky we were driving our trusty Hilux. Finally we reached Loch Katrine, where there's a little settlement of fishing baches. The owner had given us the instruction that the key was for the green caravan with an extension - and there were about 20 that fitted that description! I had visions of us sleeping in the truck, but Robbie set out with the key and was lucky on the second attempt. We decided that it possibly colder inside than outside , but was nice to have a roof over our heads. Next morning we walked up to Lake Sumner, a couple of hours away - such a beautiful place, with snow covered peaks surrounding a wide tussocky valley with the Hurunui river meandering through it.
I've gathered so much reference material in the past few days I can hardly wait to get into the studio and get to work. I couldn't have done it without my Man - making me cups of tea, feeding me sandwiches and giving me endless encouragement. Behind every painter is a good P.A. - thanks , Robbie - you can come on the next trip :)