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Thermal Beauty

When travelling recently in New Zealand, we visited the Wai-o-tapu (Maori for sacred waters) Geothermal area, just outside Rotorua. Within this was a geothermal pool called Artists Palette – well, what a perfect subject matter for abstract painting ideas! The colours were out of this world, and all created by the various gases bubbling in these pools.  I took just a small section of colour as my inspiration for this one, and it is just one of my paintings based on this wonderful area.

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Hot Summer Days

Hot Summer Days

This painting was inspired by the hot summer days here in Greece. We recently spent some time exploring the dramatic Mani Peninsula, just across the bay from where we are in Messinia. This area is so very different from where we live. The landscape is mostly harsh and mountainous, with bare hillsides and haphazard rock walls and tall dried grasses.

Created on canvas, my intention in this painting was to convey the dry rocky landscape and the heat of a Greek summer.

Click here to view details of this painting

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Keeping up the Creativity in my New Zealand Lockdown

Its certainly been a long time since I’ve written a blog but now seems to be an ideal time to kick start that habit again.

A little bit of background …. Peter and I left Greece at the end of January for a trip to Los Angeles, and then for me, onto Sydney and then New Zealand. All went well until it was time for me return to LA to meet up with Peter, celebrate his Mum’s 91st birthday and then head for the desert for a bit of exploration and sketching (for me anyway) amongst the wonderful desert rocks in Arizona and Utah. Covid-19, which was something happening only in China when we left, had taken off on its devastating path, which led to my flight to LA being cancelled, although I had pretty much decided staying in NZ was a safer option. Peter tried to come and join me, and the day before his flight the NZ Govt restricted arrivals to only citizens and residents, so he was unable to get his flight. He did finally manage to get back to Greece, and is just ending his 14 day isolation and very much looking forward to being able to go for a walk along the beach.

New Zealand has gone into strict lockdown very quickly, and I’m very lucky to be holed up in Taupo with a lovely friend from way back, Christina  who is sharing her house with me. So far we’re doing lots of lounging about, like everyone else worldwide I imagine. I don’t usually travel with much in the way of painting materials, particularly when visiting family and friends, but did thankfully throw in my trusty sketching pencil case and White Knight watercolour paints. I also managed to get 2 watercolour pads, 5 coloured inks and a tube of gesso in Auckland, when I had no idea of the severity of thing thing. So now its time to think creatively on how to use these and stay sane in Lockdown.

I’ve decided to do a daily Lockdown Drawing in conjunction with my Koroni On Location friends, some of which are elsewhere – Geneva, the UK etc. So far these have mostly been hydrangeas which I’ve rediscovered a love of. Growing up in the 50s and 60s in New Zealand the gardens were always overflowing with these, but I don’t think anyone really appreciated the beauty of them….. except perhaps the gardeners who planted them. They’re just so intricate and each tiny petal has so many gorgeous shades which make up the large flower.

 

 

So plenty of time to create, but with very little materials. Here’s a sample of what I came up with on the dining table in Taupo…..

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Morning Calm, Koroni

Photos taken in the mornings of the lovely harbour in Koroni usually capture the beautifully calm waters of the bay, stretching across to the Mani Peninsula in the distance.  It’s not necessarily so calm later in the day!

Details of this painting can be found in Gallery – Greece.

Details of this painting can also be found in Gallery – Oceans.

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Waving in the Breeze

As the weather gets hotter, these wonderful plants start flowering everywhere in Greece. They thrive in the hot dry summers, and there are swathes of them everywhere along the sides of the roads and up in the hills. They sway majestically in the wind and are often adorned with an insect of some sort sitting right in the middle of the huge flower!  I know them as Queen Anne’s Lace but I believe they’re also known as ‘Wild Carrot’.

Details of this painting can be found in Gallery – Greece.