Day 8

I am 45, its been four years of stories I will smile about till the day I die.  We have just finished building the the house at Waiheke and we have just bought a setion in Queenstown that we plan to build on.  Waiheke has been such a fab project.  We started builiding it when we had no idea how we were going to do it.  We got plans made, consent drawn up and in the process the money started coming in.  My paintings started selling again.  My Day Club excursions quickly became popular in Auckland, to the point that I had a least two groups a week within a year.  During school term only.  But I would always sell at least one or two paintings and sometimes 4 or five.  It was very cool times.  Jess organised a major sponsor for me and we had our first big exhibition together in 2011.  It was my first sell out show.  It was fun times.  I started getting commissions, I started becoming very well known in auckland as both a destination to visit and an artist to collect.  By 2013 I was selling over 50 paintings a year and last year the average price was just over 5 grand.  Good times.  We rebuilt the studio first.  It is now a beautiful gallery structure with a mesine office floor where guests can also stay.  The house is still small becuase the site is still small, but its so well designed that has plenty of room.  Justin and Lou are up for a couple of design awards for the house.  I’m preying like mad they win them.  The house fits us and our life style so well its genious.  I love lying in bed and looking out at gulf in front of our house.  It wide and open and always changing.  The kids room is still small with its bunks and toys.  But kids don’t need a huge ammont of room.  We have one guest room in the house.  And only one bathroom.  It is accessed by our room like and ensuite and by the rest of the house behind the kitchen.  It was the only true compromise we had to make is not having two bathrooms.  But we had it and it hasn’t been as issue.   In queestown we have way more space and will build a totally different sort of house.  Maddie will know what its like to have a big room down there, but up here its all we need.  I have started making Dad Club booking for next year down in Queenstown as well as up here.  Graeme is about to build the studio down there first again.  That means I can start to mix my time between the two places.  Day Clubs in both places and ultimately a major exhibition in Auckland and Wellington.  And that will be enough.  Dad Club in Queenstown in a whole different thing.  It centers around flying into Queenstown for the day.  I pick folks up at the airport, we go spend an hour or two at the studio, then its off to blanket bay for lunch, then I get them back on a plane.  I also have a deal with Blanket bay whereby I come and pick up guests for a studio tour.  It is a lot of fun.

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