Day 145 25 May – autumn palette

As the sun start to set earlier, we have some of the most breathtakingly beautiful sunsets late afternoon. Today was no different.

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We have a long driveway and a row of large trees that soldier beside it. All these trees loose their leaves during autumn so the array of colors that radiant from each individual leave when the sunrays touches them is mesmerizing. Each leave is a different shade of orange, red, auburn, copper, yellow. I stood underneath one of the trees and at every angle a different part of the tree lit up.

An artists dream.

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Day 129 9 May – black&white

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I have mentioned in my post that I use to draw. I started art from an early age and discovered my knack for pencil drawing in my early teens. Although I was taught still life drawing while attending art lessons, drawing animals (mainly portraits) have always been my comfort and specialty.

The owl I roughly drew with pen is currently in our shop, not on display but it is visible to our clients. Today a client approached me and commented on the drawing. She said that she wondered how much it will cost to have that exact drawing done. Little does she know that I am the owner of it. I told her that there isn’t a price attached to the pen drawing as it is really just a draft so to speak. She went on saying how much value her mother-in-law place on owls as it is her Iwi’s crescent. She said that she would love to give her that drawing as a Mother’s Day gift. I hesitated and mentioned that I drew it and that it will take several hours to properly re-create the drawing. She was willing to pay for my time and seeing as we are saving for a family holiday (more info on that at a later time) I accepted.

I had 4 incomplete days before she collects the drawing. I was very happy with the drawing for the first 2 hours. Some aspects of the face was near perfect, but then I fumbled with the proportion of the cheeks and one side is smaller than the other. I didn’t have time to start over again and I don’t believe in using erasers when drawing. I informed the client but she was still very happy for me to continue. It took me roughly 5 hours to finish. I worked approximately an hour and a half per day. Self-doubt was constantly gnawing at me, making me want to tear the paper up and throw my pencils away. I find that the essence of therapy doesn’t occur until long after the drawing is complete. When I can stand back and look at the finished product as any other person would. When I am no longer the artist but an admirer.

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The client informed me afterwards that her mother-in-law cried when she received the gift and that makes it all worth my while.

 

Day 95 5 April – school’s out

I don’t know if any of you heard of cyclone Debbie that struck Australia towards the end of March. She left destruction and lost lives as she crossed over and unfortunately New Zealand lied in her path. The central and lower north island was hit the hardest. The ground is already very saturated after the floods we had recently so it honestly doesn’t take much for roads to flood again. Houses were evacuated in certain towns and road damage due to slips and floods occurred.

We received notice from the school this morning that due to the worsening weather condition there will be no school which means the kids came to work with me. We were able to access our road from the top as the bottom was completely closed off. It rained heavily during the day and there wasn’t much for the kids to do. My daughter played shop assistant and my son was glued to the computer screen. They each had a turn to lick out the bowls after I baked, which is the best part of baking.

 

 

I found my daughter’s digital art pieces on my Instagram story that she posted out of utter boredom 🙂

Priceless!

 

Day 92 2 April – stars in a jar

My daughter was very secretive this weekend about coming into her room. We had to knock. Now I don’t mind closed doors in the house, she is 12 and appreciates her privacy, but when I know she is up to something when she hints that she is making something for my husband and myself. She asked about using my scrapbooking paper so I thought perhaps she is making us a photo collage. How surprised was I when she came into the lounge tonight and handed us this jar filled with origami stars! Each one unique.

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She is our shining star!

Day 84 25 March – horror

A few months back I noticed the advertisement for Horror, a stage production from the Jakop Ahlbom Company, which pays homage to the horror-movie genre and will show during the Auckland Arts Festival. I jumped at the opportunity to see this piece of work and booked 2 tickets, one each for myself and my husband, and it is yet another excuse to spend an evening in Auckland city.

Tonight is the night! We took the train in as coincidentally this is the same weekend Adele is performing in Auckland. The roads would be manic and you save a lot of time and money using public transport. We took the train into Britomart, and took a short 15 minute walk to the Civic Theatre and Aotea Square. The streets were alit, lively and packed with city goers. There are a few small eateries opposite Aotea Square and we decided on Shawarmas and burgers. The food was so tasty and extremely filling. After dinner we slowly made our way to the Civic Theatre where a large crowd gathered inside. I knew the show is very popular but I honestly didn’t think that so many people would attend. We each got a drink, made a quick stop at the restrooms as we were warned that once they close the doors you will not be allowed to exit, or re-enter.

Walking into the theatre feels like a step back in time. The décor is a famous example of the atmospheric theatre style in which lights and design were used to convey an impression of being seated in an outdoor auditorium at night, creating the illusion of an open sky complete with twinkling stars. I feel like I should be dressed in Shakespearean style clothing watching Romeo and Juliet unfold. We took our seats and awaited the opening with anticipation.

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What an amazing, well constructed and immensely clever show. There were so many tricks that leaves you wondering how did they do it without the gadgets and camera work of an actual movie. The sound is intense, you feel how your seat vibrates with each beat. The actors/actresses do not speak one word (apart from a single ‘Hallo’ during one of the scenes). Spoiler alert, there is blood! And lots of it. The show was 1h20m long but surely didn’t feel like it. It has you in its clutches throughout and I personally jumped a few times, but there is a bit of humour worked into it to break the intensity. You can get a sneak peak here.

Once the show was over, we leisurely walked back. We made a quick stop at Starbucks and with drinks in hand made it back to the train station. It was such an adventurous night out, one for the memory bank.

 

Day 55 24 February – pen on paper

My co-worker is away for a few days so I had the short straw on being at the shop until early evening. I don’t have a problem with this at all as it was reasonably busy at times, but there were moments of ‘you can hear a pin drop’ silence which frustrates the living daylights out of me. I don’t like being alone with my thoughts and need something to distract me. So I did what comes naturally, and that’s to draw.

I am a self-taught artist. I have mentioned in my blog entry Colours that both my ouma and oupa were artistic people. From a young age my sister and I were encouraged to find our own creative personality, and mine has been to draw. My mother enrolled me for art lessons during my final year of school as a way to help my destructive ED thought pattern and focus on positive creativity. The art teacher was a renown local artist called Spies Venter. I had an interview with him as he wanted to see my portfolio before taking me on board. He was impressed that I was able to teach myself still portrait drawing, but he noticed several mistakes and saw potential for improvement. He agreed to put me in a morning class for the times when I couldn’t attend school. I was the youngest person in my art class which suited me as I didn’t feel the need to compete with the other ladies. And I learned so much: depth, shadows, colours. I was thrilled when I was invited to have 2 of my art pieces on display at an exhibition for young artists.

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I have since drew several pieces for family as gifts, but haven’t put pencil on paper for 10 years. Today, with a burst of frustration I took the nearest pen and paper and started drawing. Tension leaves my hand as I focus on the detail of the owl’s face.

Breath, draw, repeat.