Sunday, 27 December 2015

More Time To Be Creative

                     More Time to be Creative

Having more time to paint and explore aspects of my life have been made possible now.
This has been due to the fact that since I have been back in New Zealand my arthritis has worsened as a result. I had to make a decision to leave my full time job as I was denied the chance to cut down my hours, was told I would have to wait. I could not wait so made the decision to go Agency nursing instead. Since 2014 I have had the wonderful opportunity to work for two nursing agencies and work when I can. My bosses have been greatly supportive at these agencies.

The factors that inspired me to take a serious effort to try and paint again were family members - My Grandfather Webster Nash was a watercolour artist from lake Taupo in New Zealand

and my mother Jeannette Walker was an oil and watercolour artist. Both were well known in Wellington - New Zealand.  
I remember when I was four years old being fascinated as I would watch my Grandfather paint. His studio was a very small space in between the garage and the entrance to the hallway in their house. Everything was in its particular place, there were so many assorted paints and paintbrushes, old watercolours stacked up and wooden painting frames. He captured such precious pictures of scenes on and around the lake and now, these scenes would not exist as lake Taupo has been developed so much over the last thirty years.

  Also I liked to watch my Mum paint too. One of the old bedrooms in the family home was converted into a studio. It was such a busy room. One thing that the dog would do would be to fall asleep right behind her where she was standing and painting at the easel. On numerous occasions Mum would nearly trip over the dog when she would take a moment to step back and review the progress she had made on her painting. 

Over the school holidays in the summer time my father would take us up to Lake Taupo in New Zealand. From as young as three years of age I remember that long drive from Wellington to Taupo. In those days distance was in miles and the number 240 miles to Taupo would be stuck in my head before our journey.
I remember when I was eight and Dad bought a speed boat. It was a Bertram and about 19 feet long, it wasn't fancy by any means of the imagination but big enough to haul a family out on the lake - lol. 
So Dad would tow the boat with the Range Rover all the way up to Lake Taupo. These are events in my early life that influenced me in the creation and outcomes of my paintings. 
I thought a good way to start my painting would be with plants and animals in different settings. Gouache is the medium I have been mainly painting with, some acrylic and fine ink pen and to make the bright colours fade out and into other complimentary colours. 

On one of our boat trips of the Waihaha River in lake Taupo the following occurred. Dad had decided to navigate the boat from one of the mouths of the lake up the Waihaha River. What happened that day was truly etched in my memory forever and I was only eight years old at the time.
As we journeyed further up the river the following happened over a period of hours:
Due to large boulders on the riverbed one of the inboard motor propeller blades snapped off, the windscreen cracked, my sister was stung by a wasp, my brother sustained cuts and bruises. As the boat could not fight the powerful river current it veered up against tree branches and bushes at the side of the river. My other sister got her hair caught in branches. What with the searing sun too there was alot of crying and screaming that day. Large rocks on the river bed posed a major problem. ​

So many spiders and beetles were coming into the boat. To me it felt like nature was telling us we should not be there. It felt that we were going to be swallowed up in these surroundings as if the river and the bushes would not let us escape. It was an eerie feeling as at on many occasions there was no sound, no birds singing, nothing, only the sound of the river water current.
We the younger ones were crying on and off.
Eventually in the end we were rescued and towed back to three mile bay.

The ideas for my third painting was when we went on a trip of the coast of Mana, it was incredible. Our dog started to bark while we were out on the water.
In the distance a large pod of dolphins, there must have been at least fourty of them.
Our dog - Honey must have smelt their scent quite early. 

Me and my twin sister and brother, clambered towards the front of the boat and sat on the top deck with our legs dangling through the front railings. The dolphins were approaching and our dog was going crazy and barking heaps.
The dolphins were racing with our boat, they were really fast, you could see their smiling eyes and snouts as they were swimming on their sides looking up at you and going at a great speed. Eventually they would just shoot up out of the water in front of the boat. It was truly wonderful as our feet were within inches of touching their fins as they jumped out of the water.

What inspired me to paint my fourth painting was that when we went on many of our trips by boat across Lake Taupo the native surroundings were amazing. There were a lot of beautiful beaches, rivers and waterfalls. 
It was interesting to see how  different these beaches were from each other. Some beach shores were covered in pumice, some with fine pebbles and others sandy. One day I walked through an open volcanic field not far from one of the beaches, I started to collect different types of volcanic rocks, the colours were varied and visually pleasing.
Some of these beaches were accessible only by boat. Dad would anchor the boat and we would set up a picnic spot for the day. My brother and I would go exploring up in the bushes. We often came across wild pig trails. Some of the walks involved walking along volcanic cliff tops, the view was astonishing.
One day my brother discovered a cliff  which was fifty feet above the water, we would dive of this into the beautiful blue clear water. We were a bit nuts I guess, as on the way down after you had jumped off you would have to dodge a small tree sticking out of the cliff wall.
Also standing on the edge of rocks where the water was quite deep, often large trout would come swimming up towards you, they were a little curious I think, and would just stare at you as well.
Some areas of the lake had tiny lagoons that were filled with lake water. These were great spots. Some parts of the lake were very deep, up to three hundred feet. When we swam there we noticed that if we looked at each other underwater (without our goggles) our arm and knee joints looked like big circles. It reminded me of a Human Artist Model for teaching people to draw humans in different poses. 
For More info about my paintings please see below as prints of my paintings will be available in 2016