Archive for June, 2010


June 14, 2010

Toto in September is so good its almost spiritual.  The warmth as you step off the place feels not only happy, but it restores a sense of peace and well-being into every cell of your body.  Well, it has for the last few times I’ve been there.  I don’t go every years, its a real treat, but I do go at least every several years.  The sand is soft.  The fish bring, the people welcoming.  Its become a destination we go as a family.  Always with other family members.  Jane and David.  Justy and Lou.  Mum, Dad and Ann sometimes.  Whoever wants really.  One of the most special times is when we went for Maddies first birthday.  She often gets me to tell her the story.  She was uncharacteristically easy that week.  The place ride was a breeze.  She spent most of it chatting in her pre language burble to the delighted hostesses.  We slept.  We got there, she took to the beach with the energy of a race horse.  Chasing seagulls, picking up shells.  Squealing with delight.  She slept like a trooper, was easy to feed.  I think she liked having the family around her the entire day.  She is a social wee girl that one.  We had a party for us more than her over there and celebrated her first years.  She likes to hear about herself chasing the gulls, flirting with the airline staff, being a darling.  She likes to go to sleep at night imaging herself as a little girl at the beach.  Now that she is older, the beach is still one of her favorite places on earth.  That first family trip I had just finished my residency in Wellington and had sold almost the entire collection of work.  The trip was also a celebration of that.  I’d also been meet with success at a group show in Auckland.  We were feeling very blessed.  That blessing of success has of course continued.  I never take it for granted the way I did back when I first started painting.  My goals of selling 50 paintings for five grand in a year, within five years time became a goal that gave wings to my practice.  It inspired me.  It opened my eyes to many opportunities that without the goal I think I might have passed by.  I was still slightly unsteady on my feet with setting goals.  With allowing my desires to flourish on the winds of universe.  I’d expect, then I’d get downhearted, then I’d pick myself up again.  I’ve leaned to take the ups and the downs with equal measure.  Both offer greatness.  Both contribute equally to the stuff of life.  I await, still in the second half of my life with anticipation the opening up of the wonders in front of me.


Queens birthday weekend art festival

June 2, 2010

The festival has gone from strength to strength.  It started about 10 years ago.   We had six weeks to get it sorted and we did a pretty good job.  For the time and money spend on it, it was a raving success.  All of us sold work.  All of us meet intersting people.  By all of us I mean all the art studio’s that participated.  And now its one of the major art events in the NZ calendar.  Helped hugely by the sculpture in the gulf exhibition.  They are now as popular and renown as each other.  The fullers boats are full every Queens birthday.  Accomodation gets booked out months in advance.  Rental cars become hot property.  All the vinyards have special ‘Art Festival’ deals.  The whole island becomes one big art festival.  I’ve always had great sales from the festival.  In fact I’ve known to empty my studio.  Its a great feeling having an empty studio.  Having a blank space from which to paint into.  Everything gone. While walls.  It allows me to start a whole new collection.  That first year G looked after Maddie the whole weekend.  He would see people come in and leave with paintings in their hands.  I could see him getting more and more excited about it.  As well as the art people could take with them, red dots started appearing on the pieces too big to carry with them.  The theme of the festival has always been the red dot.  We all had big red dots outside our studios.  they looked amazing!  That theme has continued since the begining.  Its worked for us.  I love sitting in my house in Waiheke, where it all started thinking back to those days.  The starting out days.  The letting go days.  The fun days. Not that these days are not as much fun, but they are the days when the fun really started.  The Winter Festival each years starts a routine for me that has continued on for years now.  I do the festival.  Then have a month in Wellington with Jane and Anne – we always have a show at the end of the month.  Then we have a warm holiday at the end of July early august, before heading down to Queenstown for the rest of the year.  We usually stay in Queenstown until January, when we come back to Waiheke for the summer – until the end of Queens birthday weekend.  I usually go to Europe for a trip sometime around March, April.  Sometimes G comes with me, but he’s not as big a fan of Europe as I am.  He likes the adventure trips.  Treking, climbing, Kayaking that sort of thing.  We also love being at home.   Queens birhday weekend is one of the family weekends.  I of course are working, but Maddie and g are always around.  Clients love meeting them.  They enjoy meeting clients and we always have our time in the eveings.  A mid winter swim sometimes.  A big roast dinner.  Bottles of wine.  Good times.