Sunday, 19 December 2010

My art

Here are some pictures of my art over the last few years, with the newest first.

I love silver birch trees so much that I cannot stop painting them recently.

My latest piece is oil painted on five pieces of glass that are separated with a spacer and framed in a deep box frame. I entered this into the 2010 RA Summer exhibition but wasn't successful, although this wasn't unexpected due to the huge amount of applications each year and the severe lack of space available! It was a good experience though.

This is an oil on canvas, painted after my travels from a photo of Kaikoura, New Zealand, on a very moody day where the weather stopped us from going out to look for whales.

Birch trees drawn in pastel pencils (not sure of exact name) from my travels in NZ.

A collage I created using leaves, tissue paper and gold foil, last autumn.

Another collage, made with a base of tissue paper, painted over with white acrylic texture paste and then oil pastels used to highlight the ridges created.

This is an oil on canvas, birch trees again!

This is ink on canvas (i think, it might be oil but i'm pretty sure i did it in ink!) that now lives in Soggibottom cottage in Devon (link on the right hand side of the page). This was the kind of abstract work i did at University.

This was an oil on board, a self portrait...i'm not sure i like it anymore though! I was quite pleased with the background surface, built up in thin layers and the texture of the hair.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Rotorua, thermal wonderland

Rotorua is a lovely place and known mainly for its thermal activity, unfortunately is stinks of sulphur!!! Amazingly though, you can just walk around and stumble upon steaming pools of water and bubbling mud.

This is lady knox geyser, which lasts for about 1/2 hour or so once it goes off...crazy to think this is a natural thing!

The mud is very very hot but it isn't actually boiling, it is the sulphur coming up beneath it that causes the bubbling.

These pictures are from the thermal wonderland, a lovely walk around a really intriguing place
These colours are all natural, caused by different chemicals in the ground. It looks like someone just took a bucket of paint and splashed it around!

Wall of steam! Stinky wall of steam...

Tamaki Village, Rotorua

Our next stop was Rotorua, where we stayed for about 3 days because there was so much to do (despite being told otherwise!). We started by going to the Tamaki Maori Village as Rotorua is a good place to learn about their culture. It was a great night, not a completely honest portrayal as by becoming commercial it cant stay that way, but interesting and well put together!

Three 'chiefs' were chosen by the drivers (who were absolutely hilarious might i add..making us chant and row all the way there!) and then we were greeted formally by the tribe. They performed a war dance and one of the chiefs was challenged, to decide whether we were coming in peace.
Their village was more of a training village for the younger members, they showed us some of their typical warrior training methods and crafts. We were also able to answer any questions we had. They were all very friendly and welcoming.

We were then taken into the kind of theatre and they sung and did some dances. Really amazing to see, i loved this part so much. They even performed the famous is a clip from it:

After the dances etc we had a meal that they had prepared for us in the tradition style, called a Hangi. This is where hot volcanic rocks and heated on a fire until they are white hot, then all the ashes are brushed off and they are moved into a deep hole in the ground. Food is then layered in some contraption that can be lowered into the hole, covered with more rocks, wrapped in muslin and covered over with earth. It is then left for many hours.

The food was so so good! The meat was pretty much falling off the bones as it was so tender. Needless to say, we definately had our fill...kumara, lamb, mussels, salads etc...and for desert a traditional pavlova with fruit that included the golden kiwi..yum yum!
Definitely a night to recommend!

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Travelling conclusions

Hello everyone,
sorry for leaving my final week of travelling so long, I have some pictures so sort through and this post will hopefully encourage me to get on with it.

Lizzy is still travelling S.America and about to head off into the Amazon, she is having a great time and even has a boyfriend out there!

I've been back home for about 4 months now and still feel like im settling back in, work is keeping me very busy and I hope that now I am only back there 4 days a week I can get on with some painting and other projects. Hopefully I will start my blog back up with my paintings and arty things :) xxx

Friday, 5 June 2009

Taupo, Mountain Valley and Napier

Hi everyone! We are now in Taupo..where the lake is the size of Singapore..and very beautiful! Liz managed to do her bungee jump..although she didn't enjoy it as much as she thought she would, i was very close to joining her but yet again my fear of heights and hearing people scream repeatedly kinda put me off!! We are leaving today to go to Rotorua (bubbling mud pools and cultural dances/food etc), we have about 4 days there before we move on and continue to make our way upto Auckland. I have decided that I'm pretty much ready to come home so will be trying to change my flights so that my trip ends in New Zealand while Liz carries on to S.America to meet her friends from i shall see you all sooner than you think!

Natural hot springs..didnt put people off going in even though it's still freezing outside!
Huka Falls...we did a 2hour round trip to get to this point but it was definately worth it for the masses of water rushing down this narrow section and flying out the other end!
We spent a couple of nights in a place called Mountain Valley, about 45mins north of Napier. We hadnt intended to stay here but the bus driver told us there was a special offer on (as it's quiet this time of year)...if we booked an activity we would get one night free, so we decided to go horse trekking there. We were the only ones staying there! It was great to have the whole place to ourselves, just to go for walks and relax :)

Me on my horse, Minnie, who was a bit grumpy and even tried to kick Liz's horse (Tyler) a couple of times!! I hadnt been riding for years and years and Minnie knew exactly where she was going so it was a lovely ride with fantastic views. Our hut is in the shape of a Maori house and is the one on the far right..we kept it toasty and warm with electric blankets and a heater but the shower block was damn cold!!
Liz playing with the leaves!
We stayed a couple of nights in Napier, known for the major earthquake that flattened the town in 1931, it was rebuilt in about 2 years all in the style of the time..Art Deco. A very cute and quirky place, with lots of history..a great museum, nice little cafes, lots of wine tours (which of course we couldnt resist!) and friendly people..what more could you want! :)
The soundshell, Napier
We also did a quick stop at the Tui tasting place on the way up from Wellington...all of these different kinds of Tui for $2!!! that's less than a pound..!!
We only had an hour and i was pretty certain i couldnt finish them in that time so i joined forces with another girl who also wanted to try and we had a really nice time sat by the fire pretending we knew something about beer..hehe

Friday, 29 May 2009


We have just arrived back in Wellington after visiting Frog's parents, Vicky and Rodney, for a couple of days. We had a lovely time and it was great to finally meet them.. and very nice of them to put us up for a couple of is us eating the curry we all helped to make!
We also had a brilliant introduction to many NZ so many! We have been eating persimmons today..they look like rotten tomatoes but are kind of like a jelly dessert inside..yum!
Nice views on a rare clear day over Wellington
The Beehive parliament building, which we had a tour around

The Cable Car, Wellington...although it was more like a tram! (the cable was along the tracks)
Me and Ben on the Cable Car Vez and Ben Liz and Vez

Wellington and Kaikoura

We arrived in Wellington to meet Vez and Ben, thankfully the weather was in our favour this time as the ferries and the flights were back on track (although Liz still got sea sick on the rough seas!). We went to Tu Papa (if thats the right spelling), museum, we spent most of our time there in the new sections...where they had a multimedia wall, giant map of NZ on the floor, a room that imitated an earthquake etc..very fun day! There was even an exhibition called "we are unsuitable for framing" that i got a chance to look around.
Can you tell we were here?!
The collosul squid!
The view over Wellington...just as the mist came in to hide everything!
Beautiful view on one of our many bus journeys..
We didnt manage to see the whales, which was very disappointing but there was absolutely nothing to do here in bad weather..we were almost dying from boredom when we randomly bumped into our cousin Mallory and her boyfriend Paul again...such a small world!!!
They took us to a seal pup colony where there were about 50 playing in the waterfall (impossible to catch on camera!), absolutely amazing to see! We had a lovely day with Mal and Paul and were sad we hadnt known they were there sooner!

This was the lookout point, not only for the view but also because there are seals on the rocks