Arthurs Point is Ablaze Tue, 21 May 2013
Hillscape of Arthurs Point
Hello, yesterday I was out in Arthurs Point and it was breath taking with the Autumn colour, here are some snaps of the area - autumn is gorgerous here!
The Barry Brickle exhibition at the New Dowse - Wellington Mon, 6 May 2013
A fantastic sensual exhibition on ceramics is on display at the New Dowse Art Museum - I saw it on the weekend here is the link to read more; http://www.dowse.org.nz/en/Exhibitions/Current-Exhibitions/In-His-Own-Steam-A-Barry-Brickell-Survey/
My North Island retreat Thu, 2 May 2013
Here is a photo of my studio that I come to for solitude to think about things, and most importantly to create. It has a lovely view of the Bay of Plenty. It is here at the end of year that I will hold my 'Papamoa Path' exhibition (November 30). I am planting up the garden madly and finishing off the driveway in order to have it all looking tidy and presentable for this show. As you can see the walls are in need of a paint but I will do that later on, as it really needs to be re-clad - I went for the cheap option in construction and it has not paid off! nails are popping out all over the place. But it is not leaking and will last a few more years....
Seaside sketching early morning Mon, 29 April 2013
I have flown up to my North Island studio as it was my Mother's 80th birthday on the weekend. I am staying for a few more days sketching for my end of year show 'Papamoa Path' (or something like that..) The weather has been stunning so I am really pleased with my results.
Plein Air Pastel Sat, 20 April 2013
Went down to the beach the day I arrived back to New Zealand and made this pastel using my new pastel box, and paper. So pleased I did as its been pouring with rain ever since!
SFMOMA cakes in the cafe Wed, 17 April 2013
Have spent the morning admiring works at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art - and went up to the cafe on the fifth floor to be humoured by such original cakes! So cool..
Painting in Monterey Tue, 16 April 2013
lunch time before the big paint out
Well I leave for Monterey today and I have thoroughly enjoyed the place. Beautiful colours, and stunning gnarly trees battered by the wind and sea. The people, the art - the whole event (Plein Air Convention) was fantastic and I look forward to using all the new products and information that I have brought and gained into practice.
Eric Rhodes, Ed Terpening, Leslie Saeta & Social Media Sat, 13 April 2013
At 6.30 am I had a rude awakening, not only from little sleep by being over stimulated whilst being at the 2nd Plein Air Convention, but I found that I had not being doing enough on social media - particularly when it came to my own art website. I know, I know - there is always an excuse! building, setting up a business, etc.. but like an art practice or a yoga practice, its discipline - right!? so I am not going to focus more on getting some art work of my own up on facebook, and learn to twitter (even if it kills me) and if I don't well post me back and complain!!!
2nd Annual Plein Air Convention & Expo Fri, 12 April 2013
Today was the first real day and its crazy there are two events going on at the same time the main stage with Oil painting demos and lectures then there is the 'Demo stage' where more demonstrations are happening. I have lost and found and now blown my credit card on all these fabulous new products I am so keen to get out and paint, sketch, draw and share my knowledge will keep you posted!
2nd Annual Plein Air Convention & Expo Thu, 11 April 2013
Thomas Jefferson Kitts and his demonstration
Well here I am at Monterey on the Californian coast and I am filled with desire to paint and buy some new products (that i have never heard of before!). I have been sitting in lectures for most of the day and feel ready for a breather so have come back to my room to post up a quick blog and say how fantastic it is to be here. Last evening I went for a walk along the boardwalk to Pebble beach and there were artists down at the waters edge painting away - it was really cool...some of the speakers I have listened to today have been Becky Joy, Lori Putnam, Kim Lordier, Thomas Jefferson Kitts and there are so many more - I will be overwhelmed with information by the end of it!
Preparing for the Plein Air Convention in USA Wed, 3 April 2013
Over Easter I took off up to my North Island studio which is situated in the Papamoa Hills above Papamoa Beach (Bay of Plenty). I got down to sketch a few scenes on the beach front as next week I am off to the 2nd Plein Air Convention held in Monterey California. I am extremely exicited as not only will there be lots of new products to ogle at, but artists to listen to about their techniques and approaches to painting in plein air. I am really thrilled to be going - the last 2 days we are painting on the coast line so I got in a bit of practice pre the event. i will blog next time in California!!
Perspective by NGV curator Max Delany Tue, 19 March 2013
I was reading this from the National Gallery of Victoria's magazine GALLERY and thought it was really interesting so wanted to share it with you....
Why is art important, what can it tell us about the world we live in? Art allows us to think and see the world differently; to move beyond what is (often mis-) understood as 'common sense'; it encourages us to embrace change, ambiguity and difference and to consort with strangers; it opens up gaps in the established order of things; and can, at the best of times, introduce events which lead to new ways of being and behaving. Ideally, art not only reflects a particular society or perspective, but also transforms society in turn, creating new worlds and worldview inspiring new communities and belonging.
The Routeburn Track Fri, 15 March 2013
This last week I walked the Routeburn track with 3 other women. The weather was brilliant and although there were a lot of people walking at the same time, there was plenty of space to be alone and to contemplate with awe, the tremendous beauty this country has. It is really humbling to be out in New Zealand's nature and to know that you belong to this beautiful country, when there were so many people from overseas in the Huts. I must say it has been hard to settle down, all I want is to get back out there again...
A sketch was sent to me by one of you.. Sat, 2 March 2013
Dale, from New Orleans kindly sent me a sketch of Mount Cook where she was heading after Queenstown. I was so thrilled to receive it and do hope that some of you that have been out sketching with either Megan or myself will do the same, its great to know that you are utilising what you have learnt and enjoying recording special moments.To see Mount Cook like Dale has drawn means she saw it on a beautiful day lucky girl - its a rare treat!
Your Sketch book Tue, 12 February 2013
At Art Adventures we use two different types of sketch books one being the traditional leather bound Moleskin, because of the weight of the paper and that it can hold watercolour and not buckle, (also because of its gorgeousness). An another smaller felt bound diary is used for the biking and sketching soujourns. Your sketch book should be full of fragments. Personal notes, and lists. Don't make it to precious, fill it with photographs, ticket stubs and maps, wine labels all help to record your time on holiday. Here is a quote that I think is relevant to sketching in your notebook;
" You have to be careful that you keep it portable. That way wherever you are, you have a studio. People say 'I don't have any place to work'. Well, you have your lap" Ken O'Connell
Wonderful Sketching group out in the Sunshine. Sun, 10 February 2013
Megan demonstrating whilst morning tea was in progress in the Basement Studio
We has a very attentive group out on Thursday morning. The weather was gorgeous, I tried to attempt a video recording but fear those skills are not mine!, so will have get a professional on board to take something soon so you can see us in action. We were hoping to start up high on a mountain side, but the low cloud prevented us from doing that, so we were down on the lake front and then moved to Frankton Beach after morning tea. Everyone did some wonderful work, I was very proud of their achievements and have posted them up in the Gallery in 'Tutors' under 'Excursions' have a look they are all great works of art.
Bendermeer Sketching Thu, 7 February 2013
On the Deck of the pavilion at Bendermeer
I have no excuse, yes I am a week behind on my blogging! Last Saturday I took Nina Karnikowski and Natalie Bannister from Australia out to a very exclusive location; Bendemeer. It was a perfect morning, sunny and calm, the most perfect location to sketch at. We sat inside and opened up the huge glass doors and sketcedh the gorgeous view. Bendemeer is a high quality rural residential development situated above Lake Hayes. It has 360 panoramic views with everything at the door step. We nipped just down the road to one of my favourite places for morning tea Amisfield Winery and returned to sketch until the wind picked up. Here is Bendemeer's website if you are interested to know more about this spectacular location. www.bendemeer.co.nz
A day in Central Otago Wed, 23 January 2013
Watertank and dry landscape in Central Otago
On Monday I ventured into Central Otago - I love driving through the open expanse and got so behind with my meetings - delivering our new brochure (which you can download off our website). The countryside was a hint of rose and burnt sienna, really stunning. I stopped at Kokonga Lodge for a drink and catch up. Dorothy and Malcolm really have the most stunning garden - its like a garden of Eden in the arid landscape, well worth a visit/ stay if you are biking the rail trail or want to escape to an oasis! www.kokongalodge.co.nz
Postcards of Aotearoa Sun, 20 January 2013
My Australian guest, Alana Rutherford speaking to some of the exhibiting artists
Yesterday I had an Australian school teacher as a guest on a Combination Excursion. She spent the morning sketching with Megan and then I met her for lunch and we toured the galleries and artist studios' in the afternoon. Finishing up at the QAS (Queenstown Art Society) for an opening called 'Postcards of Aotearoa' http://www.queenstownartsociety.co.nz/postcards-from-aotearoa.html. It was an exhibition by 3 women artists of postcard size work, a really delightful little show and reasonably priced. My favourite being works by local artist, Karen Hitchman. Keep up the good work Karen!
New Subject matter Mon, 14 January 2013
" We need to spend less time looking through our cameras, or LED screens and more time sketching and experiencing places we visit. When I hold still long enough to sketch something happens inside of me. If, I stop, look, sketch and write, I will never forget the moment"....
I read this and thought how true this is! Yesterday, I went for a bike ride along one of our many new biking trails and spied this lovely old shed, the owners have allowed Art Adventures to draw inside the paddock, so I look forward to taking you there....!
Papamoa Beach Sun, 30 December 2012
I am at my North Island studio for two relaxing weeks, but its rained nearly every day and is so frustrating as I have been in the sand dunes of Papamoa Beach and just totally capitvated by the colours in the dunes. I did hope to get more done, perhaps in another trip in late Feburary might do the trick.... I wish everyone who reads my blogs a Very Happy New Year and I look forward to writing interesting and exciting news! I have a lot planned for you...
Eastern Southland Gallery exhibits Gail de Jong's work Wed, 19 December 2012
The Eastern Southland Gallery in Gore, is considered one of our top public South Island gallerieswww.goredc.govt.nz/artgallery. We are very proud that our tutor; Gail de-Jong has been invited to exhibit her recent work there. Attached is last week's article in the Southland Times. Well done Gail!
The Glouscester Daily Times Wed, 12 December 2012
Spike is having a solo exhibtion in MA , USA of his marine paintings (which are really stunning). Here is an article that was written about him in the Gloucester Daily Times. Well done Spike!http://www.gloucestertimes.com/lifestyle/x1839364324/Schooners-on-canvas
The Opening of GREENBROWN Gallery Mon, 10 December 2012
Such a lovely evening
Its taken me a good two weeks to come down after the opening of our small gallery; GREENBROWN. It was a lovely evening and Josie, my new assistant did a fantastic job of which I was grateful for. People came from as far as Auckland. I delivered a speech which went off quite well and everyone drank and ate to their hearts content - I was really thrilled. So we are now officially open! and look forward to your visit. GREENBROWN is open by appointment only (03 442 3678) and we have our first phone appointment this week - having already sold 3 works we are off to a great start.
Blanket Bay and Glenorchy Sun, 18 November 2012
Last week I drove up the Glenorchy Road - to N.Z's widely acknowledged ultimate lodge; Blanket Bay. It was the most stunning day (as it always is here!), I just had to stop and take photos along the way (click on the photo to get the full view). Glenorchy is a good 45 minutes drive, you can't drive fast because the scenery is I believe - the best in the world. Glenorchy village, is at the head of the lake where the Rees and Dart Rivers pour their hearts out in Lake Wakatipu. The sign as you drive into the village says 'Welcome to Paradise" - I will write more about this special place in future blogs, as I am going to be spending more time up in this area painting and sketching with clients from Blanket Bay.
Blanket Bay is nestled down at the lakes edge before one reaches the Glenorchy village. Its is the perfect place to sketch or paint from, even as you drive down to it from the roadside, there is a painting everywhere you look. Its private, secluded, luxurious and very special. If you want to stay at the ultimate lodge then this is it. I am attaching a link for you to read more about it, and I look forward to taking you out from there to create, (or we could just sit inside and paint the breath taking scene from the lounge - there are too many choices!) http://www.blanketbay.com/
Summer Sketching at Walter Peak Station Sat, 17 November 2012
The historical homestead at Walter Peak Station
Last week I went out to visit Walter Peak Station as a venue for sketching over Summer, having not been out there for a long time I had forgotten just how beautiful it was. One travels across Lake Wakatipu in the old Steamboat TSS Earnslaw which is a delight in its self with a viewing platform over the engines and men pumping coal into her belly.
When you arrive at the old sheep station, you are confronted with dramatic steepness of the mountains, so close in proximity to the shoreline and bearing down on you whilst you walk along a tiny beach to the homestead. A sudden remoteness overwhelms you and it is easy to imagine how it has been for the inhabitants of this historical place - peaceful, but very isolated. Yet in such desolation there is this incredible abundance of colour and composition - absolutely perfect for those who want to spend a day sketching or painting under the umbrella of some gorgeous trees. I am attaching 2 photos so you can see for yourself what I mean. It would be an absolute pleasure to take you out there for a day to paint or sketch particularly if you have a love for beautiful gardens.
Click on the second image to get the real view!
9 out of !0 rating in the Mountain Scene Newspaper! Tue, 13 November 2012
We got a high score in the local newspaper for our business here is the link; http://www.scene.co.nz/304622a1.page
Cromwell in Thyme Sat, 10 November 2012
Travelling through to deliver some of our new Cycling & Sketching Bags to Clyde on Thursday, I just had to stop and take a photo looking back at Cromwell with the Spur Valerian and Thyme blooming on the roadside. It was so attractive. Thyme was initiated into the Otago region from the Chinese during the gold mining rush in the 1800s and now it has spread all over the region to the extent that there is an annual thyme festival held every year in Alexander is celebrate it; http://www.thymefestival.co.nz
Full page article in the Sunday Star Times Mon, 5 November 2012
A fantastic article with stunning photo was in the Travel Section of the Sunday Star Times yesterday. It was also on the Fairfax web site 'STUFF" here is the link http://www.stuff.co.nz/travel/new-zealand/7904047/An-artistic-journey-in-Queenstown
Sketching Excursion with Spike Wademan Thu, 1 November 2012
Sketching near the Ferry Hotel
Yesterday with overcast skies a group headed out to sketch at the Lower Shotover Bridge, under the tutelage of Spike Wademan. It is a historical area in that it is the only part of the Shotover river where the delta fans out and enabled people to cross with horse and cart during the gold rush era. In 1817 the first bridge was built, at the rivers edge where a blacksmith, school and the Ferry Hotel also stood there ground.
Later, when the bridge was destroyed by floods (1878), a higher bridge was constructed in 1915. Determined not to loose out on trade The Ferry Hotel was carted up the hill to where it stands now. A new two lane bridge was then constructed in 1975, further down the river and the old historical bridge is now used for bikers and walkers (and clients of Art Adventures!).
The Ferry Hotel is a quaint little hotel nestled in an English garden with a picturesque setting. The hosts are now going to work with us in providing afternoon or morning teas along with a historical chat about the area. I am thrilled, as the interior and exterior of the hotel has so many historical aspects, it will be an interesting destination point to have on an outing. http://www.ferry.co.nz/
Another oil work finished for the up and coming opening at GREENBROWN Tue, 23 October 2012
What a busy weekend Queenstown put on - The 150 years celebration of gold in Arrowtown and the centenary celebrations of the TSS Earnslaw - our steamboat that daily traverses lake Wakatipu. The weather could have been nicer, but in between snow, wind, rain and sunshine everyone I think got out at some stage to celebrated the region's historical milestone.
As for me, well I finished another painting in amongst it all....
Our Art Tutor; Gail De-Jong Wed, 17 October 2012
Artist and tutor Gail de-Jong is turning heads at present. Not only was she recently guest artist and judge at the Central Otago Art Society Alexandra Blossom Festival Art Exhibition (click on the article to enlarge). But she is also invited to be one of the 75 selected artists in the Garden & Art in Flaxmere, North Canterbury. http://www.artinagarden.co.nz/exhibitors
She also has a show at the prestigious Southland Gallery, at Gore in December - so more to follow on her...
Sketching Artist Ken O'Connell Mon, 15 October 2012
Sketching Artist, Ken O'Connell visited Arrowtown for the first time ever, last week. O'Connell is a master of sketching and was an art professor at the University of Oregon. Now retired, he instructs sketching workshops in Italy annually. Ken, is now onto; Sketchbook 72 and I do congratulate his devotion. He believes sketchbooks allow people to make mistakes, try things out, gives them permission to explore. " It offers both a window into the thought processes of the artist and an entry point for people who are new to art, helping them get past the " I'm not good enough" obstacle to drawing that many find intimidating." quotes O'Connell in his article 'Oregon Quarterly' magazine.
Ken, sent this sketch to me of Queenstown.. I do hope he gets to return soon, as Art Adventures endorses every thing he preaches about. I leave with one more quote of his.. " A Sketch, brief as it may be, will last for years in your sketch book, and lengthen the memory of that place and time, temperature and sound."
GREENBROWN Gallery Fri, 5 October 2012
We are opening our small Gallery on November 30th. Megan Huffadine and myself will be exhibiting works. We will hold exhibitions of other tutors works as Art Adventures develops, but I feel having all of the tutors exhibiting to begin with will be confusing and being a small space I think it will work better with just two artists works on show to begin with.
The name GREENBROWN originates from my two Gran-mothers, ironically one Grandmother was called Green and the other Hunter - Brown (originally Brown). Since Art Adventures directly encompasses excursions into the surrounding landscape, I felt incorporating those two colours in the Gallery title reflects our passion with the outdoors and art. So there we have it!
Above is the invitation (click on the image and you will get the full version) and time, this will be posted out to people on our mailing list, if you wish to receive an invitation do please contact us. We look forward to seeing you there ...opening starts 5.30 pm.
Fraser Island Sun, 23 September 2012
The Eliza Fraser Lodge
After a whirl wind tour of the Australian Roadshow with Destination Queenstown (visiting Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane in 4 days), along with numerous other tourism operators. I am now relaxing on Fraser Island for a week to paint. The Lodge I am staying at has only recently opened for business; 'The Eliza Fraser Lodge' located at Orchard Bay, (which is up the very tip of this long sandy island). Built beautifully from spotted gum, by owner and operator Nick Bevacqua and wife; Ellen. We had a dramatic four wheel drive up here yesterday to beat the incoming tide. Having been delayed nearly 2 hours getting on the ferry at Rainbow Beach, because of the enormous line of traffic (school holidays and Queens Birthday all thrown into one!). We scraped through Indian Head with only a meter of beach to spare...very exciting.
I went out this morning to paint - the sand roads are quiet fascinating with the strippy shadows across them from flesh like limbs of the 'Widow Maker' or Apple Gum. Its now midday and far too hot for me to venture out, so will head out later on in the cool and attempt another sketch of this unusual territory...
St Bathans Tue, 11 September 2012
Looking into the Light
We had an extraordinary array of weather yesterday. In amidst snow, rail, wind and sunshine Megan and I travelled to St Bathans with some guest from Central Otago. St Bathans is this amazing ghost - like village set in the back drops of tailing's from the gold mining era. It has a sweet old hotel called 'The Vulcan Hotel' where we had a typical country afternoon tea spread, enough to feed an army. The afternoon was spend in 2 Churches (away from the downpours); the first was Roman Catholic which needed a generator to run the power so it was pretty dark. The second, was this dear corrugated iron Anglican Church on a hilly rise. There were dear little chairs in rows and the interior was painted in a light yellow colour rather charming with howling winds outside. It was really atmospheric and I believe despite the weather everyone enjoyed the experience.
Central Otago Rail Trail Tue, 4 September 2012
Well I am surprised my bottom is not that sore! Have just returned from a 3 day biking sojourn in Central. Definitely worth doing and one must do it in 5 days not 3! It was perfect weather, cloudy and cool, little wind. Stunning skies and great food. The hospitality was exceptional. Places to stay that I highly recommend; The Old Doctor's Residence, and Kokonga Lodge, as well as Oturehua Railway Hotel. I was annoyed as I had no time to sketch for Megan, (my companion), had to get back to teach. We are working on a little sketching itinerary for those who want to sketch and cycle....so will be back soon with the launch of our Sketching & Cycling Sourjorn Kit.
Plein Air Painting Mon, 20 August 2012
Last Friday Megan and I went out and painted for the afternoon together. It was great fun and we are planning on going on the Rail Trail http://www.otagorailtrail.co.nz/ hopefully in 2 weeks to sketch and paint as we journey. I am so excited, just hope the weather is going to behave! It certainly has motivated me to get back out on the bike - which I did yesterday and i am suffering today!
One on One Sat, 11 August 2012
Greta with the Remarkables in the background
Greta from Brisbane, Australia was out here attending a convention and extended her trip by a few days to get in some one on one sketching time with me. We had some gorgeous weather and because it was only one on one we could travel in the van and sketch in it in comfort and warmth. Greta progressed so quickly it was amazing... she had one full day and then we did another half a day. By the end she was working across 2 whole pages in her Moleskin Diary, attempting huge vistas with no problem. I just regret not taking a photo of her work to show you... next time - another thing I must remember to do!!
We are going to meet up in Brisbane in September to view the latest exhibition at the GOMA (Gallery of Modern Art) - a rare look at some of the Prado's collection ; http://qagoma.qld.gov.au/exhibitions/current/portrait_of_spain_masterpieces_from_the_prado
'Forgotten Histories' By Megan Huffdine Thu, 9 August 2012
Megan Huffadine, (one of our tutors), won the 2012 Invercargill Licensing Trust Sculpture Prize last week at the opening ceremony.
In October this year we will be tar sealing the driveway and after that is completed, we will be opening our Gallery to the public. This will have works on display by all of the Art Adventures team, including Megan's all artworks will be for sale. Well done Megan...! I am hoping we can make a Christmas opening so watch this space...
Paintings of the Kimberly Thu, 26 July 2012
The Gibb River Road, (Kimberly) Australia July - 2012
It is almost a week since my return from Australia and I am slowly catching up with work. Whilst over there I met with Moleskin Wholesalers and I can reduce my price by $50 on our Sketching Excursions. Because my prices at fixed until Sept 2013 I am offering a 'First Timers Special' of a $50 discount. This will be advertised on my website next week.
I didn't get much time to paint whilst traveling in the Kimberly, we were up early in the morning (6.00am!) and it got dark at 5.30 pm. Painting by torch light was kind of hopeless (and I was sharing a tent - with my Mother), but I am was pleased with these two paintings that I did. I will put them up on my website; www.aliceblackley.co.nz.
I can't really get back into working on the other ones as I am not in that red, hot , dusty space. I am here in cold, crisp, snowless Queenstown so I am returning back to my landscape series that I am working on. The weather has been stunning however and I did get out and paint a quick work early this week... its too irrestiable when the weather is so calm and sunny.
16 Days in the Kimberly Thu, 12 July 2012
I am writing as the sunsets over the mangrove mudflats of Broome, Western Australia.
I have been on a wildlife expedition with my mother for 16 days in the Kimberly with a company called 'Coates Wildlife' it was absolutely fantastic. We travelled long distances and camped out every night which was pretty impressive of my mother who is 80 next year. There were 8 of us, and Mum was the oldest by 3 years. I was the youngest (well - maybe not - I never asked how old Rob was from Tasmania!) but regardless of age, we all got on well and enjoyed each others company. Up most mornings at 5.30 and off bird watching, walking, or traveling up rivers - we saw so many things. I tried to paint every day but sometimes it was just too difficult with sunset at 6pm. I will up load my pictures on return next week onto my web site for those interested in the mean time here is a photo of me painting a termite hill whilst others had gone for a walk...
I travel to Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane over the next week promoting Art Adventures and will hopefully get to see some great art exhibitions if I have a spare few hours!
Wild Earth in the Gibbston Valley Sun, 17 June 2012
One of our sketching locations is the gold mining center called 'Goldfields' in Gibbston Valley, (between Cromwell and Queenstown). Megan and I met there recently for a lunch to try out the new eating venue that is now associated with the premises. The highlight about this new eatery; 'Wild Earth', is that everything is cooked in Pinot Noir Wine barrels. It has a distinctive juicy favour, we were recommended to try the platter for two so we could sample the suggested wines to accompany each dish. It was so beautifully displayed in planks from a wine barrel. Very original and the food was delicious. Megan and I can't wait to take you, we have sourced a some great painting and sketching angles in the location that will delight you. After a lunch like we had, I am sure that masterpieces can be made....!
Sunday Sketching in the Van Mon, 11 June 2012
Sunday Sketching with the Remarks in the background
Yesterday was a gorgeous day, cold and crisp. I just couldn't resist going off in the van to sketch the lake front when it was glassy calm. The van I have purchased for Art Adventureswas imported especially from Germany. Its called a 'Mulitvan', and has swivel seats that move around 360 degrees and a table that pops up in the middle. Everything can be moved around or taken out and the back seat goes into a bed. I have slept in it once, being new the leather was a bit hard! Actually, it was in Skippers Canyon where I stayed the night and where I got the idea for my series of faces in the landscape (ref to the last blog). Anyway here are some pictures of the interior of the van - please note the snow has begun sprinkling on the top of the Remarkables Range (behind the van).
Back on Deck Thu, 7 June 2012
Back on Deck after 2 weeks away. A break I definitely needed as I was exhausted from TRENZ and building the house as well as setting up ART ADVENTURES. I went to my retreat in the Bay or Plenty and finished a book I had started six months ago. It was a great rest, the weather was calm and beautiful. I feel so much better and ready for action...
Here is a painting I have just about finished on my new series that I hope to exhibit here in Queenstown at the end of the year. It is about faces that I see in the landscape. This particular face I saw was in Skippers Canyon. It is a big work 2m x 1m and at present is hanging in my new living room....
TRENZ Tue, 15 May 2012
unloading the Van with TRENZ helpers
So I have survived my first ever TRENZ (Tourism Rendezvous New Zealand), and its taken me a few days to come down to earth. I have so many business cards to file and people to remember. Milson, my dear friend was Stirling all the way through. I really couldn't have done without him - so thank you Milson. Our booth was tiny! we filled it up with tussocks and had 3 banners covering each wall. Then our buyers sat in our outdoor canopy chair and I talked to them on the outdoor stool. We used one of our easels to hold the business cards and brochures upon. It worked well.. here are some photos of the event.
TRENZ Queenstown New Zealand May 7-10 Wed, 2 May 2012
TRENZ is upon us next week. It is the largest Tourism Trade Fair held in the country and this time its in Queenstown. I am participating as a 'New Exhibitor'. To be honest, I am scared there are over 500 overseas delegates and my schedule to booked up! (15 mins with each buyer). I just hope the weather is going to be good, as the dusting of snow we have just had makes it really a really picturesque setting.
To help me through this ordeal is my dear friend Milson Thevenard. Milson, has over 40 years experience in the tourism industry having been the General Manager for Quantas Airlines - (South Island division). He retired just before the Christchurch earthquakes (where he lives), I was glad that he wasn't in his high rise office when they occurred. I feel glad that I will have him beside me to guide me and hopefully make me laugh as its going to be an exhausting three days! I will take a video and post it on my blog to give you an idea - as its not open to the general public. Queenstown is buzzing with visitors, buildings going up all over the place and cameras are out where ever you look.... rock on Queenstown!
Artist; Tim Wilsons' TV 3 interview Sat, 28 April 2012
Tim Wilson is one of our the local artists that we visit on our tours here is a link of the interview by Jenny Harper this is worth looking at if you are interested to see a great painter. http://www.3news.co.nz/Default.aspx?TabId=817&articleID=251986&ce6335=1#comment
Autumn Wed, 25 April 2012
I am slowly coming down to earth after a fantastic trip away. But when you look at these images that are surrounding my countryside at present, it is no wonder I want to live and paint here. Here are 3 images that I took when I went to visit Megan (one of my tutors). She lives just out of Cromwell in the main Pinot Noir region of New Zealand; Bannockburn. It is golden at this time of year and you can see why...
Pastel work of Red Rock, Las Vegas, April 2012 Mon, 23 April 2012
So My Art Blog; (www.aliceblackley.co.nz) has also been very much neglected in regards my escapades over these last 6 months, but that is all going to change as Alice upgrades to Alice.2! whereby her blogging will be regular from now on! thanks to attending Eric Rhodes Marketing seminars at the Plein Air Convention in Las Vegas - from which I am still buzzing from a week later back in New Zealand.
If you want an up date on previous happenings visit my Art Adventures website blog; www.artadventures.co.nz, even better sign up for the newsletters or 'like me' as a Friend on facebook and you will catch up...
Anyway, here is my one and only drawing that I did at the Red Rock National Park - located an hour out of Vegas central. It was a bitterly cold day (who would have thought!) and we really only got about an hour and a half to do anything. Nine of us jumped in one of the buses to get out of the cold as where we had been taken (600 Plein Air artists) was honestly freezing. We persuades the bus driver to take us to the National Park Center which she did and thank goodness as it was interesting and warm! The attendant, on duty took us out the front of the building to an overhang where we set up our easels out of the wind and cold. This was the view from where we were, it was truly spectacular I wish we had more time there..
Escapade into the Grand Canyon Wed, 18 April 2012
Me in the Grand Canyon
So this will be my last Blog in America on this trip as I fly out tomorrow. I will post up the art work I have done on this trip when get back home this weekend. (It needs spraying and I can't carry spray on the plane). In the meantime, I will quickly tell you that I went to " The Strip" instead of painting on my last day in Vegas - well I couldn't not after travelling so far! and Vegas was a real blast its definitely Disney for Adults - I was amazed.... I went to a show that evening and finally got back to the hotel at 1am. The next morning I decided instead of lounging around the pool waiting for my shuttle I left early and got a helicopter tour to the Grand Canyon - passing over the Hoover Dam on the way in and desert land on the way back - here are photos to entertain you until the next posting....
Plein Air Painters at Red Rock Sun, 15 April 2012
Red Rock Canyon - National Park - Vegas
Well today was extraordinary in the fact that is was absolutely freezing! it was snowing up on the Mountain tops of the Canyon we visited. We were bused out - all so enthusiastic to paint after lunch - but it didnt take long before easels and equipment went flying for the wind was so bitterly cold and strong. I began something in pastel but wearing only a T Shirt and a really light sweater I couldn't endure it for long. Then came the rain, it became more like a test of endurance than of artistic competence. So I opted to go to the Red Rock National Park Center and its from there that this photo was taken. There was about 9 of us who decided to go, we were lead outside the Center to a covered overhang, it was warm, still and dry. Actually it was fantastic compared to where the other 500 or so artists were battling it out. Honestly it was great, I will up load my picture tomorrow( if I finish it). We really only had what felt like an hour before we had to leave again, returning to where the others were still working. From the bus window they all looked so miserable and cold that I was rather pleased with my decision to go to the Center and just decided to stay where I was in the bus, to return to Vegas. Tomorrow we are going to some kind of shanty town ...personally I would prefer to return to the desert as the colours were so dramatic with the light changing every second and even with the snow/rain showers passing over them it was has really made my trip memorable.
The 1st Plein Air Convention! Sat, 14 April 2012
So I have been very behind in my blogging I know. But if you haven't noticed Art Adventures has a new logo, website and brochure (which you can download). I have nearly recovered from an ACL knee replacement and the house renovations have just about finished - so in a nutshell I have been somewhat occupied.
But now I have something to tell you. I am in Vegas, attending the very first Plein air Convention, (Plein Air is the french term for outdoor painting - used originally by the Impressionist). We have had 2 days of demonstrations and seminars - tomorrow we go out to a Ranch to paint - all 600 of us (or there abouts). The organiser; Eric Rhodes (who runs the marketing workshops at 6.30 am - is in the photo) wants us all to be in the Guinness Book of Records. Something that I am not really into - but because he has been so generous in spirit with his knowledge on marketing and pulling off such an event I really must comply for the photo shoot. Only thing is the forecast is terrible for tomorrow - RAIN in VEGAS! can you believe it, I am going to wait to see it to believe it. Anyway on that note I will end and write again tomorrow!
Life and Leisure Thu, 15 March 2012
We were delighted to have the Editor of 'Life and Leisure' Magazine out for a midday Sketching Excursion along with her husband. The light was incredibly flat but we had a nice time and both of them did some good work. I hope they continue sketching....Click on more images and read what they had to say...
Queenstown: Mini-break mecca Tue, 6 December 2011
There's plenty more to do than just ski in this Central Otago town, reports Shandelle Battersby.
As my plane broke through the clouds during its descent into Queenstown, I got my first eye-popping glimpse of scenery I'd only seen on TV and in photos - the razorback snow-capped Remarkables range and crystal-clear Lake Wakatipu... Read more »