Friday, November 25, 2011

trying out a diptych or two

I found this fantastic blog the other day of a Australian photographer who does these wonderful diptych, double image photographs. Her name is Louise Hawson and her blog is 52 Suburbs, and her mission was to take photographs of 52 suburbs of Sydney in her unique way, check it out.

Anyhow I thought I'd have a crack at my own diptych's. To make my life easier I used the stitch option on my photo editing program as don't have the patience to muck around in Photoshop. So the results are a bit hit and miss.

I like the juxtaposition of the images - some work better than others, I particularly like the last two which I took today at the Nelson Cathedral.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

drawing on lorna

Things have been VERY slow on the art making front since moving. I actually have a proper studio here - so exciting! In a shed away from the house (and the computer!). However, it's actually not usable yet - it's full of stuff, some of it mine and some of it not! We've had the builders here taking out the roller door and replacing it with a ranch slider for more lovely light, and concreting the floor and filling in the open wall on the adjoining shed. This work is almost finished, just waiting for a new roller door, so I'll soon be able to take out all the junk from my studio and put it in the shed, and some visa versa!

This week at art group we are having a lino cutting workshop. So last week I thought I'd better start drawing some ideas down before sitting in the workshop with a blank mind. I used a Sharpie pen and drew on pages from an old copy of Lorna Doone that I scavenged out of the free bin. I think some of the older ladies at art group were a bit horrified at me drawing on a book! Someone else after looking at my drawings said they were great so why am I bothering to make lino prints! Watch this space and see if the prints look anything like the drawings....

The last one won't be made into a print, as it'll be too tricky for me!

all the fun of the show

We went to "The Show" on Sunday. The said Show is actually the Nelson A&P Show, A standing for Agricultural and P for Pastoral. It's been running for 117 years, which for NZ is a long time! When I was a kid we looked forward to The Show just as much as we did for Christmas! In those days it was on a Friday and Saturday, and Friday was the day all the farmers took their prize animals to be showed. My mum and dad showed sheep, two breeds - Romneys and Suffolks. We were always allowed the Friday off school. And would spend the day roaming around eating hot dogs and candy floss and looking for fizzy bottles which we could take and get 2 or 5 cent returns on (I can't remember which). Then the Saturday was the day the town came to the country and all the "townies" descended on the show. Now it runs from Saturday to Sunday and there are no where near as many farmers about, there are hardly any sheep in the sheep sheds either. There still are lots of animals to look at, to talk to and to stroke. It's a tradition that I'm trying to foster with my kids, except we feel slightly removed from the action not having any livestock (yet) ourselves. What hit me was as soon as we got out of the car how all the smells took me back 30 or more years, it was almost like dad was going to be in the sheep shed, and mum was setting up the picnic blanket under the trees with bacon and egg pie for lunch .................
there were wee piggies to laugh at  - miniature Kune kunes (definitely not for eating!)

calves to pat - Fresian

and Jersey - the two breeds of dairy cows in NZ

Suffolk rams to stroke

alpacas who wouldn't be stroked

day old chicks to hold so carefully

baby goats to long for (one was asleep on the other!)
There were lots of other things other than animals, but they were all that I took photos of. On the Friday the kids school had it's Pets Day, another institution of rural schools around here. They took their bunny rabbit. But the highlight for me was the wallaby that visited. NZ has wild wallaby populations in a couple of places (not round here though) and the wallaby is actually a pest animal and people hunt them! They also catch them and have exported them back to Australia where they came from. Anyhow one of the local vets raises orphans by hand and she brought Rosie along to visit the school.

She happily hopped around the classroom, looked out the window, let the kids stroke her, and when it all got too much hopped back into her sack/pouch. What a special treat.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

belated bonfire and bangers

Yes Guy Fawkes was almost 2 weeks ago now and I have been meaning to put up some pictures of the night.We still call the event Guy Fawkes, not Bonfire Night, as seems to be the common name in the UK. After reading all the Halloween posts I wanted to share a bit of our culture, as Halloween was hardly even noted when I was a kid, let alone celebrated. Nowdays the long tentacles of commercialisation have stretched over the oceans to our shores, but I refuse to be drawn in! One thing we did celebrate on the other hand was Guy Fawkes, so in the spirit of tradition we celebrated this event. I didn't go as far as getting the kids to make a Guy for the bonfire, as I feel that is a bit too macabre!!

So we had a large bonfire from a pile of garden that I'd ripped out back in June and had been sitting in the paddock since then. Topped up with broken pallets and rubbish wood that the previous owners kindly left us! The night was a bit chilly, but at least the wind that had swirled around us all day died down. Living in a forestry area (although there are fewer and fewer pine trees around these days) and the long hot summers we get means that we have to apply for a fire permit. We obtained the required permit, which stated that we were not allowed to put any more fuel on the fire after 11pm!! The kids were so excited that I had actually brought fireworks (first time for everything!) and that we were going to have a bonfire, and toast marshmallows. They had lots of fun, H got to help with letting the fireworks off (we managed to find a responsible adult!) the highlight of the evening was setting off the rockets in front of the lights of Nelson. The audience stood on our front lawn or hung off the front gate, and the pyromaniacs went over the road and down a wee hill, and let off the rockets against the backdrop of the lights. The evenings festivities were rounded off with the kids being let loose with sparklers. It was lovely - I do enjoy fireworks.


Friday, November 4, 2011

new house feels like home

We have been in the "new house" for 18 days now, wow! I had to count them, as it feels like we've been here a lot longer than that. Straightaway, even before we had finished shifting (which took a mammoth 10 days to do - that's what happens when you DIY!) it felt like home. I am an early riser and every morning I am greeted by the view from the kitchen window - everyday it is different, and I'll never grow sick of it.
both of these photos were taken on the first morning, about half an hour apart
some mornings it's red
and some mornings it's misty
 Another great thing is that not only can we see the sea, but we can be at the sea in 5-6 minutes. We popped down the other night. The kids had fun jumping off the stormwater pipe.


and jump again and again!
 The boy found a very long stick, as you do.

We all gazed out to sea and felt very happy and glad that we had moved.