Collaborative works – part 2

The MuseSo remember the piece of work I did for the Art Metro collaboration (if you don’t you can see it above – click on the picture to see it larger!). Well the lovely folks down at Art Metro have now put all the pieces together. I took a snap of this last night and thought you might like to see it.

Collaborative work - Art MetroLooks pretty good doesn’t it??!

In other news, I met the Dalai Lama today¬†and wow is he a lovely person. He really pays attention to people when he speaks and he has a wonderful ‘presence’. I met him when he visited the hospital I work a. The Dalai Lama wanted to meet the patients and staff who had been caught up in the February earthquake here in Christchurch. We had a wonderful opportunity to talk to him ūüôā

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Collaborative art works


Click on thumbnail to see the full size image

This post is all about the two collaborative works I’ve completed. The one above, titled, The Muse’ is for the local art school (the background image is a large coffee cup), which is going to hang in their new cafe and be auctioned off after a year for charity. Each individual image is about 14 inches wide and when put together makes one large image. I really like this work and is a portrait of my Muse who inspires me to paint :).


Click on thumbnail to see the full size image

The above image is painted on a very small board (about 10cm square) and forms part of a collaborative work for the NZ Art Guild. The main image is kept a secret and the resultant composite work will be auctioned off on TradeMe for charity. I’m looking forward to seeing what this will be!!

This is the third year I’ve taken part in the NZ Art Guild collaborative work and I’ve enjoyed the challenge every year. Though I’ll be honest this years colours were my least favourite, but the theme of ‘our future’ was a good one. I painted my home town’s future representing the people who died in the earthquakes and the strong spirit of Christchurch rebuilding and repairing.

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Commission finished – slighty delayed due to shaky ground

I finished the painting of the kakapo family for my commission – the finishing off was somewhat delayed with the earthquake we’ve just been through. Funnily enough it was the first object I looked for in the house when I got home! I’d, of course, checked on my husband and cats (one turned back up 5 days after the initial quake) before that. Despite complete and utter chaos in my art room and having to force the door open the painting miraculously survived without out a scratch!!


The person who commission the painting is very happy with it and it will go to its new home in the next day or so.

On the easel at the moment is a painting of a snowy owl (wol :)) flying in front of a snowy, sunset callanish stones…watch this space!

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I’m working on a commission at the moment. I think it’s an honour for someone to ask you to paint something just for them, but it’s also a massive challenge! This particular commission is for a friend of mine.

I’ve restarted this work once, which was for the best and I’m so much happier with it. This time round the piece has a much better composition and I’m so much happier with the overall look. I should say at this point that I didn’t finish it first go round and that it just sat on the easel almost finished for a while before I worked up enough courage to paint over it!

I’m not sure how other artists take on commission, but I take them on risk free, as I will only paint subjects I enjoy and will only ask patrons to buy what they like.

On other news, A tui moment, sold, which is another huge honour and the peron who bought that is keen on a kea on the same size canvas. Watch this space!

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A Tui Moment

Yipee, I finished my tui painting, ‘a tui moment’ – click on the picture to load a large version, then click on the picture again to read the text.

A Tui Moment

This painting is the first one I’ve done with a real layer technique. All my paintings prior to this one have been painted predominantly in one go with some finer detail added as a second layer, usually with turps to thin the paint. This time round, after priming the canvas, I did an underpainting, a first detail layer, followed by a couple of other detail layers. Each layer was successively thinned using linseed oil.

I’m pretty happy with the results – what do you think?

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I’m currently working on a couple of paintings, one is of¬†tui, which are one of my favourite NZ birds.¬†

If you’ve never seen a tui they¬†are surprising birds. If you look at them quickly you could be forgiven for mistaking them for a blackbird.¬†But, if you look at them closely, especially¬†when they are in the light – bam – lovely bright flashes of colour hit you. A melody of blues and greens. They also have fluffy white puffs of feathers under their beaks and long fluffy white feathers on the back of their necks. These are a lot of fun to paint!

All the under painting is done so far plus some of the background detail. I’ve also made a start putting in the detail on the tui itself – to be specific his eye! I always like to start with the eyes on birds. It gives me a connection to the painting and the birds themselves seem to develop a personality under my brush. I suspect this tui is a little on the cheeky side!

I hope to be posting a picture of the finished painting soon.

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Ron Mueck exhibition

I went to see the Ron Mueck exhibition yesterday Рin one word, amazing.

The exhibition is on the ground floor of Christchurch Art Gallery and is paid admission. Once you enter past the ticket admission the first sculpture that you see is, ‘Dead dad’. The work is approximately 3 feet long, highly detailed, appropriately corpse coloured and apart from the scale is utterly realistic.

You turn the next corner and you are met my an enormous face, a mask in fact, lying on its side. Hyper-real and somewhat creepy. Sculpture after sculpture of mainly nude people, that are utterly realistic with a warped sense of scale. The 8m long baby girl was mind blowing but I think my favourite piece was the pregnant woman. Her face was so real that if you stared at her for long enough you would swear that she moved.

In the middle of the sculptures are 3 short films. There is plenty of seating and I highly recommend watching them. I am in awe of the time and dedication it takes to make these sculptures.

To check out some photos of the exhibition check out this post on Before you click, please note that there are pictures of nude statues, if you are easily offended then do not look.

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New painting – gravity

First new painting in a while, mainly as life seems to have an annoying habit of getting in the way of painting time! The media for this is all oils and I used a hogs hair brush on the background to give it a slight texture. The feather is loosely based on a turkey’s feather that I picked up at a bach in Motueka.

As you can probably tell I had a lot of fun with this one.

The title, ‘gravity’ came to me while I was thinking of Newton’s laws of physics while painting the feathers. I know I have some very strange thoughts rambling through my brain while I paint!

Hope you enjoy it.

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Updated website

bigskyart has undergone a much needed update.

The old site was starting to look a bit dated so I felt it was time to give it a fresh new look and WordPress fit the bill. It has lots of different themes you can use and is simple to use. There are also a vast array of plug-ins you can add to a blog to do all sorts of whizzy and amazing things. I currently have a gallery plug-in and a social networking sharing plug-in – pretty nifty!

There are now several galleries to browse through, unlike the one massive gallery page I had before. I’ve put some images in more than one gallery as some paintings aren’t that easy to categorise. Each gallery displays the images as thumbnails, simply click on one to see a larger image and browse through.

Enjoy the new site and feel free to leave comments or contact me.

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