What inspires me…

When I look at my local ranges – the Tararua Ranges – I am lifted up with a sense of freedom. I am in awe of their rolling contours, their strength, their unmovable presence and grace.

My painting and drawing reflect this freedom, with lines and marks; steady and determined, light and delicate. I walk, I fly across my paper – I am the brush, the pencil, the pastels, the eraser, the piece of black velvet charcoal. With water I merge each mark and rework and re-walk each line, building layer upon layer. This process places my feet firmly in the land, my mark firmly on the paper, with this familiarity my relationship with the subject deepens, my appreciation grows, I am awake….my work is a melding of my spirit and the land, we are at that moment one.

His and Hers II – Gouache on Hahnemuhle 300gsm HP paper.

Back to my gouache studies today. This is the second gouache work around the subject of the avocado and the geranium, it was also the subject for my submission to the ‘Purely Pastel 2022’ exhibition at the Pataka Museum. Image and details at the bottom of this post.

Gouache has a whole new set of qualities and challenges; I love the opaque nature of the medium. I recently attended an on-line workshop on Skillshare by Kate Cooke an English artist and illustrator. I really love Kate’s style and her wonderful use of colour.

“His and Hers” – PANZ Pastel Artists of New Zealand – Submission 2022


Horowhenua Landscape – colour studies.

Although smaller in size these four colour studies were just as challenging as my larger work. I wanted to maintain fluidity and freshness with each whilst at the same time bringing depth through layering a mix of media. This included charcoal at the start, followed by watercolour, water-soluble wax pastels, soft pastel and back into each one with either black or indigo water-soluble pencil. I will endeavour to replicate parts of these works into a further series on Colourfix pastel board – a completely deferent surface from the smooth hot pressed Fabriano Artistico paper these studies are painted on.

Each study is 10.5″ x 7″ unframed and available to purchase. Please see my Landscape Gallery for further details.

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