News

Blog

Queer Tasting Tea

on Saturday, 14 September 2013. Posted in Blog

Queer Tasting Tea

I’m thrilled that “Queer Tasting Tea” won third place (the Jill Vollmer Art Award) in the 2013 Impressions Art Awards.

It was a fabulous evening and thank you to all the sponsors who made  the event possible.

"Queer Tasting Tea” is part of my most recent series “The Fall of Man”. The series title is drawn from the Book of Genesis and the casting out of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden.

In the context of this series the casting out is a reference to society turning its back on Walter Bolton (the last man hanged in New Zealand for the murder of his wife) through its judgment of him. Walter’s “fall” sees him cast from society though his execution less than a year after her death.

 

What You Think Matters

on Monday, 19 August 2013. Posted in Blog

What You Think Matters

While visiting a zoo as a young child a monkey pulled my Nana’s hair. Over the years the monkey story was retold and laughed about more than a few times. Other than that story I hadn’t given monkeys much thought at all.

Some years later, in the middle of a hot and dusty park in Bali, monkeys and I came face to face. It didn’t end well. It wasn’t a happy meeting and someone had to stop me crawling into the foetal position and I was escorted like a petrified statue from the park. It was all a bit embarrassing as until that moment I didn’t know I had a fear of monkeys.

The Fall of Man

on Thursday, 15 August 2013. Posted in Blog

The Fall of Man

I’ve just completed my latest series of work “The Fall of Man”. The series had its first showing at the 2013 Nelson Art Expo.

“The Fall of Man” is a series of works inspired by the trial and execution of the last man hanged in New Zealand on 18 February 1957. A jury of 12 men found Walter Bolton, a sheep farmer in his late 60’s, had poisoned his wife Beatrice with arsenic distilled from sheep dip.

The series title is drawn from The Book of Genesis and the casting out of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. In the context of this series the casting out is a reference to society turning its back on Walter Bolton through its judgment of him. Walter’s final fall from society was his execution.

The facts of Bolton’s case and subsequent questions about the reliability of his conviction were particularly compelling for me as were the issues of bias and predisposition which operate in our justice system. I was drawn to Walter an ordinary hardworking family man mourning the death of his wife. Facing the most extreme and final of outcomes Walter Bolton remained brave and stoic throughout his trial and to the very end.

I did sell a painting at the Nelson Art Expo. The Sheep Farmer was bought by a visitor from Canada. I’m delighted that Walter portrayed as a strong and capable man has made his way to Canada. Ironically in more recent times New Zealand has borrowed heavily from Canadian Law in drafting numerous significant pieces of legislation.

In August 1963 a Bill of Rights was introduced to the New Zealand Parliament based on the Canadian equivalent. Because of a lack of support and/or interest the Bill was allowed to lapse in 1964. It wasn’t until 1990 that Parliament passed a Bill of Rights for all New Zealand citizens. However, unlike our Canadian counterparts the New Zealand Bill of Rights is a non-entrenched statute meaning the courts do not have the power to strike down legislation that conflicts with our constitutional rights. It also means that at any stage the New Zealand Bill of Rights could be repealed.

Other paintings from this series are available for sale in the Work section of my website.

 

It's Art, But Not As I Know It

on Wednesday, 07 August 2013. Posted in Blog

It's Art, But Not As I Know It

Art weaves its way through Balinese life in the most magical way. The art isn’t clean and perfect and it won’t let you pass by without noticing it.

Art spills noisily from temples, it trips you up in the busy streets and just when you think you can’t take anymore, the heady scent of frangipane flowers lead you to a garden filled with calm and serenity.

 

Pick Me... Pick Me?

on Thursday, 27 June 2013. Posted in Blog

Pick Me... Pick Me?

 

Sunday afternoon tea at my Grandma’s house was quite something. The extended family would gather and my Grandma, an amazing entertainer and baker, would be in her element. Grandma would have an array of sweet treats to choose from.

 

As we travelled to Grandma’s house my Mum’s words would ring in my ears; “choose just one thing” to eat at Grandma’s. Always a difficult decision I would usually opt for the homemade sponge cake. It reminded me of a luxurious overstuffed cushion filled with jam and cream. One of the only ways round Mum’s rule was if Grandma offered us something else.

 

Thank you

on Sunday, 16 June 2013. Posted in Blog

Thank you

I love those weeks where positive interactions with amazingly generous people outweigh the negative ones.

Earlier this week a woman reminded me of the inspiring beauty of Swedish movie “As it is in Heaven”. I really must watch it again.

The Hum of Human Energy

on Wednesday, 13 February 2013. Posted in Blog

The Hum of Human Energy

Left Image:  Stephen Martyn Welch, 3 Nights, A Mirror & Loads of Coffee (self portrait) (2012).  Winner of the 2012 Adam Portraiture Awards.  Collection of the National Portrait Gallery, Wellington.

Everybody has a happy place and I found mine last weekend at the Adam Portrait Exhibition. Each and every work is deserving of its place. The Adam Portrait touring exhibition, currently showing at the Suter Art Gallery in Nelson is well worth a visit. With only a couple of other viewers in the gallery I was able to get up close to each work and revel in a room of paintings humming with human energy.

 

Sketchbooks: Worth the Effort?

on Saturday, 08 December 2012. Posted in Blog

Sketchbooks: Worth the Effort?

If you’re creatively inclined there’s no doubt that keeping a sketchbook is pretty important. It’s one of the essential tools of the artistic trade.  Would a builder attempt to build a house without plans?

A sketchbook is a vital connection to your mind and without it thoughts, ideas and observations would be lost.

Sketchbooks haven’t always rated so highly in my arsenal of art related “must haves”. My old sketchbooks were big and unwieldy. I tended not to use them.

The art of the self-portrait

on Saturday, 08 December 2012. Posted in Blog

The art of the self-portrait

Artemesia Gentileschi (1593 – 1656) was an Italian Baroque painter. In this self-portrait, painted in the 1630’s, Artemesia has portrayed herself as the allegory of painting. It’s a painting full of female strength. Painted at a time when it was uncommon for a woman to have a profession.

Frieda Kahlo

on Saturday, 08 December 2012. Posted in Blog

Frieda Kahlo

Frieda Kahlo (1907 – 1954). Frieda was a Mexican artist. In this painting “Self  Portrait on the Borderline between Mexico and the United States”, 1932, oil on metal, Frieda considers her long absence from her beloved Mexico.

Frieda’s self-portraits reflected her emotions, painful life events and her turbulent relationship with Diego Rivera (1886 – 1957).

Frieda Kahlo painted 55 self-portraits.

Story Telling Faces

on Saturday, 08 December 2012. Posted in Blog

Story Telling Faces

14 Reasons to Paint your Self-Portrait

1.    A readily accessible model prepared to sit for as long as it takes.

2.    Storytelling. A fabulous way to tell your story and what is important to you.

3.    What’s behind your face? Consider using emotion and feeling about events in your life. Self-portraits can be an outlet.