Monday, September 21, 2015

Glass Window II

Glass Window II


68 X 50 cm

Glass Window has been the starting point of my latest work.  The ideas have taken a while to develop but images are starting to shape up... in my head! However, more difficult than ideas, has been the execution of watercolour images to share the planned ideas. There has been quite a bit of practice, practice and more practice; with a drop of experimentation thrown in for good measure so that finally it is all leading to something new emerging.  So, Glass Window II, is the first watercolour painting of a wave that I have created. The image is an attempt to capture a combination of the free flowing movement of water with the idea of boundaries and framing that we see in stained glass. A move away from the soft transitions caused by the changing thickness of water to more deliberate shapes being captured.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Glass Window

Glass Window

Acrylic on paper
70 X 49 cm

This painting is the first piece in the development of some work that I have been thinking about for some time.  The idea began as I started to see the curtain of water framing the barrel more as a window. When I started to look at it in this way I was struck by the idea of it being much like a stained glass window.

This idea struck a cord relating to how we value things. Stained glass is a luxury item - well I suppose glass windows are fairly luxurious in themselves.  However stained glass has been used throughout the world to share ideas, beliefs, to advertise, influence and signify wealth.  All these aspects began to make me think about the precious nature of a 'water' stained glass window. They are produced on every shore but few people spend the time immersed in water, in nature, to catch a glimpse. They are here for a split second and cannot be owned and yet the effects created are incredibly beautiful.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Last Light

Last Light

Acrylic on paper
600 X 250mm

Last light was inspired by an evening sunset I experienced while I was in Borneo.

Wainui Water

Wainui Water

Aryclic on paper
250 X 600mm

I thought about calling this something like watersnake. The light strike on the surface of the water reminds me of a snake traveling towards you. It was an experiment to see how to display the above and below water worlds.

I am lucky enough to live close to water where you can see down to the bottom. Apart from after a storm when the sand gets churned up, the water is usually very clear. If you peel away the glistening coat, and look underneath the surface it is as beautiful below as it is above.

Having been fortunate enough to swim in water all around the world I know that this is not the case everywhere. In some really beautiful places it is really sad to find that the sparkly surface sometimes hides a layer of plastic lurking just out of sight.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Wainui Beach

Wainui Beach


Acrylic on paper
600 X 250 mm

Wainui Beach is a piece based on the beach over the road from where we live.  When we first visited the beach it was white sand as far as the eye could see. Then after a huge storm we visited the beach and discovered that it had been striped of sand and was almost unrecognizable. Large platforms of rock emerged from the water, it was hard to believe that they had always been there. Hard to imagine the quantity of sand required to bury them and that had moved in just one night.  Now we are familiar with this regular change in the beach. It makes every trip to the beach something new. Will a new form on the water line be uncovered or will we simply have white sand as far as the eye can see.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

My Iron Mask

My Iron Mask - 2014

Watercolour on paper

I have been interested in the idea that from our earliest years we develop 'the face' which we present to the world.  Like an iron mask created to conceal true identity it forms a barrier between ourselves and the world. 'My Iron Mask' (in my case with celtic and new zealand influences) suggests that our cultural experiences informs the ever evolving design of our mask faces; while at the same time this construction has an impact on the inner face, the inner person. We cannot see this effect ourselves as we look outwards and see the world through our mask, through our conditioning. Does the mask create permanent tattoos, scars or simply temporary shadows on our true face? It is unclear. Would we like the effect if we could see it? Or would the effect appear as distortions of how we see ourselves. The painting also touches on the point that this iron mask is not perhaps an enforced imprisonment imposed on us but that this person voluntarily holds their iron mask in place. Why would we cling to this when we are free to drop this barrier to discard what we have been influenced by? The painting suggests some of the fear we face in dropping the familiarity of our learnt beliefs and viewpoints. The difficulty we face in attempting to see the world without our history.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


Watercolour on paper
72 X 52 cm

A delighted child presented with a giant fish. 'Insight' presents the problem that we face in curbing our view to using world resources. As children the fish seems enormous and plentiful but behind the child's delight the nets and ocean are empty. The child though is looking forward and the delight and beliefs fostered at a young age are hard to change. The child doesn't question the need for so much fish on their plate, the idea of waste and overindulgence simply doesn't exist for them. The outcome, another generation with rights and wants and to a lesser degree needs.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

In the garden

It was about May 2012 when I visited the Isle of Wight  - the weather was beautiful and I thought we were in for an amazing summer.  By June the rain had set in and it was one of the wettest summers on record. Well I thought so.

'In the Garden' is part of the one going journey to get to grips with watercolour.  It is a long journey but I am really motivated. Although not completely non-toxic I think this is by far the least toxic of the paint options and so I will persevere.

Monday, November 7, 2011


Acrylic on canvas

Painted as a celebration of a new arrival. I was thinking about what it is that we wish for when we think about someone at that start of their life. I  quickly realised that this really depends on who you are and what influences you have had during the course of your own life. For the painting I wanted to try and step out of my own narrow life view and think about other approaches to the same question.

So 'Life' is perhaps a collection of possible wishes. Positive messages that you would think of as they begin their journey.

Friday, February 4, 2011


Acrylic on canvas
76 X 60 cm

The first wave attempt for the year, with a mixture of detail at the centre and patterning as your eye draws outwards. Still searching to create that image that does justice to this moment in time.


Acrylic on canvas
100 X 86 cm

One of the most enjoyable paintings that I have been able to create. I enjoyed being asked and then the free hand I was given to create this image. Thank you so much for the opportunity C&R.


Oil on canvas
70 X 70 cm

The underside of the wave as it rolls across you creates amazing patterns of light as the air and water mix together. The spiraling water and air creates visual vortexes which are amazing.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Prognosis for Gaia's Plastic Surgery

Oil and plastic garbage on hard board
120 X 180 cm

This piece is a triptych, the first panel is an oil painting of the shore line, as seen in the piece Commingling. The second panel is made from 13mm discs of plastic cut from plastic rubbish found on so many beaches all around the world. The arrival of this rubbish partly obscures the scene. While the third panel is constructed from 0.5 mm discs. It suggests that as the rubbish degrades we become less aware of it. However it is very much there affecting the environment, with largely unknown consequences. Hence the name referring to the hidden nature of the problem. Just because the plastic breaks up and becomes less noticeable this doesn't necessarily mean that the chemicals gradually released into our oceans will go without leaving their mark. 'Prognosis' was an attempt to represent this visually.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Relationships - Self

The next installment in my series of paintings based on relationships. '
Self' was created in 2010 and looks more closely at the 'roles' played by any one individual. In this work the boundaries of the canvas define the relationship. The image is again made from multiple figures, this time of one person who assumes different postures. Each posture is used to represent the roles we play. Initally when I started developing this work there appeared to be so many roles. However I found the more I considered it the more these roles could be described as forms of other types of interaction and so I ended up with simply four descriptors. The degree of overlap, the number of overlaps and the impact of overlap are all significant. Choosing any position within the boundaries of the paintings can result in a different outcome, just as each relationship you experience results in a different composition of yourself.

Friday, June 18, 2010


New Painting - a big thank you Vicky. This is the first of two paintings that Vicky has modeled for. This one was such a beautiful pose that I just had to have a go at it by itself. The pose was one of four that we chose for the next painting that will be part of the "relationships' series - coming soon.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


Sometimes you get an idea and you need to follow it through just to see if it works. I had this thought about the moment on a wave when someone takes off and hopefully gets onto the face. What if at the moment of take off you dropped in and the wave started barreling in both directions - I'm guessing you wouldn't even know. It all happens so fast that the choice is made before you know it was even there. However what if you could see, what would it look like. i thought I would experiment and this is what happened.


Evening nelson

'Nelson Evening.'

Acrylic on paper
490 X 330mm

After a gorgeous visit to Nelson during the summer in 2010, I was inspired to capture a sunset dropping behind the hills in Kahurangi National Park.


Right this was a bit of an experiment. I am really interested in trying to capture something of the place where the sea and the land meet. Water, sand, air all mingled together - led to the name 'Commingling.' I think this will be the first of a few attempts.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Left of Here

Here are the lastest works from 2010. The first to be completed this year was 'Left of Here'. It was the first time that I have had a go at painting a wave in quite a while and I was interested to see whether my approach had changed much. All seems pretty much as before although I couldn't resist a bit of metallic.