Tuesday, November 22, 2016

All A Flutter with the Monarch Butterflies

I was trying to think what I could make for a christmas present for a friend who is butterfly mad. I painted a Monarch Butterfly brooch....and I liked them so much I made more!

I hand cut each shape from a polymer vinyl and then spend 4 hours hand painting in the details with acrylic paint. They do take a long time, and they're not going to make me rich, but I love them to bits! They're bright and breezy and fun to wear....and it helps that my favourite colour is orange :)

Sizes and shapes vary a bit due to the hand making process. The patterns are all slightly different making yours a unique one-off. Approx size 75mm W x 35mm H.

$35 NZD each plus postage

Monday, October 31, 2016

Abundant Yellow Inspiration...and the 30 hours that follow...

Down in the deep south the Kowhai trees are in full bloom now and the trees are heavy with glorious yellow flowers. 

I started taking photos of the flowers, which led to drawing the flowers, which led to drawing a tui....and then 2 weeks of mad-midnight-mummy painting to produce this: 

Tui In The Kowhai

Acrylic On Canvas

30 cm x 30 cm
FOR SALE  $325.00 NZD

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Flight Of The Kereru

My obsession with the Kereru (New Zealand Wood Pigeon) continues!  If you ever get to live in an area where these gorgeous birds reside you will no doubt also develop a deep affection for them (even if they eat your Kowhai tree half to death and leave it looking like a beaten twig).

The  2016 Great Kereru Count has just ended in New Zealand. I only recorded sighting three of them as I've spent most of my time indoors with a cold in the last week or so. Usually I see them every day that Im out in the garden. I've even had a conversation with one!  They try to initiate conversation with other Kereru by making an "oooo-o!" sound that rises in pitch at the end (sounds quite funny really). A Kereru was sitting on the power line about 3 metres above me but facing away from me. It said "ooo-o!" so I said it back. This happened 4 times in a row and then the bird turned and looked at me....and I swear if it could have rolled its eyes it would have.

This painting shows 3 stages of the display flight of the male Kereru which typically happens at the start of a nesting phase.  The bird flies up high into the sky until it is vertical with its wings outstretched and then plummets downwards again and flies away.

Flight Of The Kereru

Acrylic Paint on Canvas
65 cm W  x 25cm H

(Currently part of the Otago Art Society's Spring Exhibition Sept - Oct 2016
Exhibition Opens 30th September)

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Heriot Row, Dunedin

Dunedin is such a stunning city for its heritage buildings and architecture. 

One day recently I was driving around town and turned a corner to find this row of old houses. I absolutely love how the different styles of house are wedged up together in the same street like little doll houses. I just had to paint these!

Many of these wonderful houses are in a fairly run down condition, so I paint them in the colours I would choose if I owned them and give them a new lease of life...if only in the art world.

This painting is part of the Spring Exhibition at the Otago Art Society in the historic Dunedin Railway Station building in October (exhibition opens Friday 30th Sept).

Heriot Row, Dunedin, Otago

Acrylic Paint on Canvas
30cm X 30cm

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Plight of the Kakapo

The 2nd in the series of 4 bird paintings I am working on.

The Kakapo is a New Zealand native bird that is struggling against the threat of extinction. They are a nocturnal bird who are not prolific breeders, and remaining numbers are small.

In this painting I have tried to set the bird in his natural environment at night time but stepping out of the dark to be lit by a lamp commonly found in NZ homes. He is stepping into the limelight so that we can know him and fight for his survival. 

I see the male Kakapo as an old man who wanders the forest floor; a dear old gentleman who is unable to defend himself from predators.

Kakapo Stepping Into The Light
Acrylic on Canvas
15cm W x 20cm H

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Flight of the Rifleman

I adore native birds and we have so many stunning ones in Aotearoa. 

I've started a series of quirky paintings where the birds feature with props or settings that tell the viewer something about their habits/personality or history.

This is the first of the series = The Rifleman.  Others I am working on are the Whio, the Kakapo, and the Yellow-eyed Penguin.

It is thought that the name 'Rifleman' came from the similarity between the green of the birds plumage and the uniforms of the rifle regiments from the colonial era. 

The Rifleman is carrying a Lee Enfield rifle which was used in New Zealand in the Land Wars/Musket Wars against the Maori people. Here I have put a native bird of New Zealand armed with a rifle flying high above the land. Maori eventually came to own these rifles to defend their position on their land.

Acrylic On Canvas
20cm W x 15cm H

Friday, June 3, 2016

The Wishing Tree

A couple of years ago I drew a tree in pencil on a really rough surfaced canvas. I never wanted to paint over the pencil image and it took me a while to figure out what to do with it.

I decided to paint in a magical night time scene with birds and a fairy so that the figure of the tree would seem other-worldly .

The Wishing Tree
Acrylic & Pencil on Canvas
55cm W x 30cm H

I really like how the fairy lights came out looking a bit vintage, and that the owl is a bit grumpy looking as if he's saying "what are you looking at??"

But I think the fairy needs to have a makeover as her face looks a bit crumpled and old. I'd prefer her to have soft rounded features that glow with a greenish tinge....and maybe have a nose that isnt so huge!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016


This is a series of 7 little 10cm square paintings I started over 5 years ago that got shelved as we relocated from Auckland to Dunedin. 

I rediscovered them while unpacking some boxes a few months ago and still felt that these people needed to be painted. They have a reflective sadness about them showing past troubles, yet the fact that they stand upright shows their strength to continue on.

Acrylic on Canvas
For Sale Individually $55 NZD each or as a full set $285 NZD

Top Row SOLD

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Kereru Swoop - Flight of the Kereru continues

My second Kereru painting for the month of January.  The birds must know Im painting them as a flock of 9 Kereru flew over our backyard on Saturday. Ive never seen so many in one place at the same time. On Sunday one flew right up the narrow side of the house past the windows at speed - gave me a bit of a fright as I didnt know what it was at first! (Drone??) These birds can get up to 50cm in length so they're quite large.

Kereru Swoop
Acrylic On Canvas 25cm x 25cm