Tuesday, July 22, 2014

NZ Art Show - Wellington - THIS WEEKEND

Yay - my favourite annual event is about to happen - the NZ Art Show (used to be called the Affordable Art Show) this weekend, at TSB Arena in Wellington. I have been going annually for about 5 years now, and a lot of my paintings and sculpture at home and in my office have been purchased there (yes - another weakness - that, and buying chairs). The beauty of this show is that you often get to meet the artist, and in many cases, you are getting their work at the start of their careers, so you can still afford it!. Many of the original exhibitors have gained massive public attention due to their exposure at this art show.
New Town by Sue Lund - (not such a great photo, sorry).
My theory in buying original art is that I have to love it. Simple. 'Investment' doesn't enter into it - but is a possible bonus. I have a very eclectic collection. I learnt many years ago to go with instinct, NOT because someone else does or does not like it (husband), or because it might be a popular artist etc. Art is very, very personal! You don't have to justify why you like a certain piece. You just do!!
Sue Lund with an early abstract (my very first of her works), shown outside The Learning
Connexion buildings that Sue has been painting for the last few years. Should be put on the
tourist trail in my opinion.......
Island Bay - Sue Lund again, bought in 2013. Fantastic contrast to her usual explosion of colour.
These are just some of the art works I have bought from the Art Show in the past - and most of these artists are showing again this year - in fact, 2 of them (Catherine Roberts and Rebecca Phillips) have pieces featuring in the Signature Piece Awards, as Sue Lund did last year.  If you get the chance, do get to Wellington on Fri/Sat/Sun to have a look for yourself.
'Our Glory' by Rebecca Phillips. 2013
Detail of 'Our Glory'
Di Conway's gorgeous, generously built ladies! Di works in bronze, too. 2013 Art Show
How could you not love this face?
Detail of Marc Hill's 2011 water lily painting. I fell in love with this as I had just come back from a trip to Europe where I had seen Monet's Water lily series in real life for the first time. This oil painting takes me straight back to Musee D-Orsay every time. The colours are so intense. 
 I also have others I fail to recall the names of, from earlier years. These are just some I had photos of already. Make sure you have plenty of time to look around (without children or husbands....), and go back a few hours later, as the artists replenish the walls as their art sells, so there is often completely new work up on the walls within a few hours of your first visit. If you do go, I would love to hear what you think of it!! Please make a comment below. Rx

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Hail Storm!!

Well I was just putting the final touches to my last post when the hail started. Wow. Very heavy downpour!! The car park across the road is white. My pebble courtyard is not grey any more, but white!! That was very intense. Funny how we had just been saying how mild the winter had been SO FAR!! Thank goodness for office days. Keep warm! Rx
Hail on the pebbles.........

The road was white. I think I would have pulled over if I was driving. 

The Purple and Orange Perennial Garden in Mid Winter

Nothing much has changed over the last few months in this garden, which is lucky, as I forgot to do the month by month post I planned on. What I did do about a month ago is chop lots of the perennials back to ground level - the Salvias, iris foliage, verbena etc. This makes it look pretty flat for a few months, but gives the young shrubs of camellia, fothergilla, and buxus balls a chance to strut their stuff without all the fuss around them.
Camellia Yuletide - very early flowering bright red - one of my favourites
I then spread pea straw around. I am not a huge fan of pea straw, but I do acknowledge that it is wonderful for the garden soil. I think it is messy, the birds flick it around, and it can smother smaller plants! SO - I have waited until the plants are big enough in this garden to hold the straw between them. Plus I didn't sprinkle it, I kept it in 10cm layers so it would be harder for the birds to pull apart. I have a friend who uses this on her vege garden, and to keep the birds off she puts netting down over the top - fishing net, I guess. So it is not offensively visible, but keeps  it all together. She is very clever that friend.
Mid-winter in the garden
Trusty old geums and primula still with a few flowers
The pea straw in the back areas, for soil replenishment
A few polyanthus add a spot of colour over the dullest months of the year.
Yikes - it has just started hailing here! I think our lovely mild winter might be transforming into the usual chilly beast. Bugger. Lucky I'm having an office day today!! Brrrr.