Friday 5 September 2014

Miss Daffodil, her friends and an organ grinder

 This photograph is a view looking south out of Wellington Harbour across to the South island. On a clear day one can see the snowy peaks of the Kaikoura Range glinting in the sun. As you can tell by this photo there isn't any sunshine, however the morning felt silken,soft and definitely spring like! The harbour was like a pond and Ruby ( you can just spy her on the lower right corner, yes, its a bit like spot the dog!) was keen for her morning walk  along the beach front. After chasing balls and meeting up with her doggie friends we aim for the village and open up the shoppe.
The week before the weather was miserable with storms and then turning on a sixpence the weather this week heralded a true sense of spring with a gentle warmth in the sun... a huge sigh of relief was echoing around the village. Mother Nature parades her Spring glory; The grandeur of Magnolia blooms, rich pink camellias and Kowhai trees with blooms of golden droplets that can be spied in nearly every local garden. The biggest star in the flower realm is of course the Daffodil. With its sunshine yellow colour it  is captivating everyone's attention by either popping up in gardens or being sold by the bucket load at every florist, dairy or fruit store.

I am inspired every year by Spring flowers and this year it was the turn of Miss Daffodil to be showcased . Being the showy girl she is Miss Daffodil entered the 'Spring Bonnet' competition. With her glowing yellow petals radiating out from her golden bonnet like sun rays she really didn't have much competition and proudly accepted first prize! Second prize went to Miss Tulip and third prize went to Miss Magnolia. Miss Daffodil is showing off her beauty at most places near you...hurrah for Spring! Miss Daffodil, beaming, nods in agreement!
                                                                    Tui Tango
Miss Camellia awaits her time

In both of these artworks I have a half man/bird. Let me introduce to you another native bird...Mr Tui, slightly larger than a blackbird and bedecked with shiny black and dark green feathers with a tuft of white fluff on his throat his throat. All very aristocratic and slightly pompous. Living where I do  which is almost rural by the sea we also have the benefit of government protected bush land on our adjacent hillsides. So come Spring the bush teems with fervent bird life and Mr Tui is without doubt  the loudest when it comes to birdsong. I can only describe it as melodic gurgling..from low toots through to swooping crescendos of cackling! In my artworks I am showing Mr Tui behaving as a paramour dancing amongst Spring shrubs and trees. In 'Miss Camellia awaits her time' you can see in the background  Miss Daphne is in a passionate embrace with Mr Tui as he flirts and flits from bush to tree. As Spring evolves  Miss Camellia resplendent in her spring robe waits rather impatiently for the attentions of Mr Tui because her blooming time is almost over.

Mr Tui does have a true love in Spring. With the giddy golden blooms of Miss Kowhai Mr Tui goes into a spin. It is a match made in heaven!. When Mr Tui sips on Miss Kowhai's golden nectar it sends him into a crazy dance of passion! It isn't unusual to walk past a Kowhai tree that's populated by several Tui's. Apart from the raucous birdsong, drunken brawls of territory bagging can happen. This all reminds me of drunken sailors squabbling outside a seafaring pub....all the while Miss Kowhai watches on delighted but slightly bemused! Her blooming time in Spring is brief so to celebrate the union of these two lovers I have painted them embraced in a passionate dance.....The Tui Tango!
To finish on a 'spring is in the air' is a photograph of a local character called Mr Moonen   
playing his vintage Organ grinder on Rimu st. The sound that emanates from these gorgeous music making machines is captivating. One can't help but feel joyful when you listen to the music it creates...I can just imagine my flower folk and the Tui's twirling and dancing up and down the street...rapturously in love with life and living in the moment of movement... and I would have joined in and for a glorious second I could imagine that I was in Paris...Paris by the sea!
Suddenly a gentle spring shower breaks the spell. Mr Moonen wheels is music maker away. Families turn their attention to shopping for dinner and soon the street is empty....time to close me thinks it"s Five o'clock the distance I can hear Mr Tui singing Goodnight..I wonder who he will flirt with tomorrow? 


  1. I've so enjoyed reading the wonderful tales of Miss Daffodil, Miss Camelia, Mr Tui and all.

  2. Such a delight Annie, I'm loving seeing your posts! keep it coming! x x

  3. Hi Annie! I came across your work years ago when I was working in a little shop in Balmain NSW. I have many of your cards scattered on my walls and love them dearly :) I'm so pleased to have found your blog via Ellens! Have a wonderful day! Alisa x