Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Feeling ginger, weather haus and Hans and Gretel

I am thinking most people would know what this is and I'm guessing quite a few would own a Weather Haus, especially if you are from Europe. Like it's cousin the cuckoo clock I believe their  origins hail from  Germany and Switzerland and they not only cute,but practical too. I was given this dear little kitsch Weather Haus by a dear friend for Christmas and I just cherish it. Everyday without fail either Hans or Gretel ( not exactly original names, but nothing else seemed appropriate ) would pop out and really instruct me on the wily ways of our daily weather. This winter that is turning into Spring has really given them a work out. Poor darlings...absolutely no rest!
My last post was all about embracing Spring with yellow Daffodils. Well it seems the minute I posted the blog we had a massive hail storm. The sun strived to shine afterwards, but a howling southerly storm whipped any golden glow out the sky and for the next few days Winter returned like an angry tiger ripping trees over and lifting roofs off houses and it even closed our 'one-way in and out road' that connects Eastbourne to the outside world with wild waves cascading over the road littering it with huge tree trunks and debris. Then to add to the mix I went down with a serious head cold which included an inner ear infection, yucky!, but luckily I did manage to finish my latest Artwork inspired by my little Weather Haus and Hans and Gretel.
The title of this art work basically sums up how I think our locals feel;
'Even Hans and Gretel needed a break from the weather'
Just looking how Hans and Gretel who seemed to be in and out of their little house with such alacrity I was beginning to sense that they might be getting a little fed up with their job and the inclement weather. So they decided a break was what was needed and with their bags packed and followed by their deer ( well I couldn't let them be left behind could I? ) they departed for a much desired holiday! I finished this artwork and promptly fell sick the next day. So unlike Hans and Gretel off on holiday I  put a note on my shoppe door 'Not well, in bed,but back soon'. We just need the sun to shine it's healing light and heat to lift our spirits and entice Hans and Gretel back. Funnily, I do a rough sketch before I translate it on to canvas..and when I came to paint  Gretel she really did develop a kind of 'pissed off' look with not too much painting input from me and poor old Hans well I have seen that look before on my husband when they know they are in the wrong, but even though they are listening to their partners..it is sort of going in one ear and straight out the other! Which brings me to another title that might work...
"That's the last time I go on a working Holiday with you!"
Bless us all and roll on Spring...Pretty please........

Monday, 18 August 2014

Tins, Daffodils and Fantails

 In New Zealand Spring is not officially here until September the 1st, but we are experiencing days that are slightly warmer and then we start to see all those fabulous Spring flowers! We are already seeing buckets of Daffodils for sale at florists and markets and honestly every year I always fall in love all over again with this elegant but modest flower! The sun may not be shining, but the glow of yellow and gold they emanate can not help but raise a smile and a sense of joy! So I have been buying loads for the shop mainly for display...but also just to inspire customers to get happy.
I have been inspired by the daffs to create a yellow and aqua window display. Starting with a retro tin that once upon a time used to store Cadburys drinking chocolate and then I found the absolutely perfect shade of Daffodil yellow lampshade. Then its the job of my very clever husband to up-cycle the components and make up a 'one off' lamp. I'm in love with it and I am feeling a little reluctant to sell it. I have called it 'The happy lamp'. Beside the lamp is a simple is a little ceramic house that covers a tea light and behind the lamp is a framed print of an art work I painted several years ago.

The title is written on the Artwork...A very Rare Fantail...sometimes it just feels right to include writing on an artwork. No rhyme or reason however the space seemed to dictate that a balance of text in white would work...moving right a long.... for those who don't know much about our native birds the Fantail is one the daintiest and cheerfully cheeky birds that are commonly found in bush throughout New Zealand and easily a favourite of mine. Our house backs onto the bush and every now then I get to enjoy a little display of Fantails flitting and doing aerial acrobatics. Not shy of humans they seem to be natural entertainers with a song that sounds like pips and squeaks. The captivating quality of this delightful bird is their tail which opens up into a fan.
Obviously the fanned tail doesn't look as opulent as the one I have painted ...my imagination just went on a little stretch of the truth and here is, indeed A very rare Fantail with its tail that's morphed into a real fan. The fan is embellished with native New Zealand flowers and blooms. Kowhai and Pohutukawa just to name a few. Once spring has settled and the cherry blossoms have almost finished the Kowhai tree suddenly erupts into a cascade of golden blooms like large droplets of glistening jewels. when they are in bloom another native bird the 'Tui' comes out to feed on its nectar...but wait... I am leading you into another artwork story...it's time isn't due just yet..for now the Daffodil rules my heart and imagination..I can feel a painting starting to emerge.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Butterflies and Postcards

I have a passion or Magpie tendencies to make collections out of all sorts of nostalgic vintage bits and bobs. Here I have a photo of a few of my vintage postcards. I keep them in a large retro suitcase and I think over the years I have collected hundreds. Initially being the visual artist I am it would be the picture on the front of the P.C that may have been the attraction. my number one love being flowers in any format, closely followed by animals and lastly quirky pics of us homo sapiens. On the written side this opens up quite another love. The actual written word, the brief stories that are revealed to me, some are romantic others just wishing a happy birthday or Xmas and occasionally the card that bears very important news, joyful or sad. Each one in their own right are captivating. so apart from the written message I then look at the written P.C as a stunning little gem of an artwork in it's entirety. The calligraphy, everyone unique. Even the shade of the faded ink or paper, smudges, scribbles and colourful postage stamps with ink stamps revealing their date of being sent is...all incidental art to me.
                                          Title of this collage; Sending you all my love

Taking these PCs lovely as they are I like to explore one of my favourite artistic endeavors which involves assemblage or re-assemblage. I liken the written text on the PCs to the fleeting nature of the flight of butterflies. Words touching down briefly and then flying off into the mystery of the universe. How can we capture these words and make them into a precious composition...to be admired like the rare groupings of captured butterflies we often see now in musty museum collections.
I started by scanning the original PCs so I didn't ruin them which would be very sad. Then using a template I traced out three different sizes of butterflies using one PC for each of them. That way I felt they would look like individual species of butterflies. I love the way I can see little fragments of words written in such lovely handwriting. the second butterfly carries the address of where it was going to fly too and at its very heart is the little warmth of colour with the stamp. The cutting and placement is somewhat fiddly but so rewarding. In a box frame I can enjoy the collage/assemblage until it finds a new home.
                                         Title of this collage: Dear Heart........
                                         A close up...all those lovely little words and xxxxx
Being new to blogging and all things slightly techie like placement of photos,text and the odd spelling mistake...I do apologise....I will get the hang of it ...my dear friend Ellen Giggenbach will definitely give me another lesson...Bless her and bless you for reading this blog!
Onwards and upwards! 

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Getting to know me....

These photos show my business and passion. I am a working artist living in Eastbourne a tiny little village which shares the harbour with New Zealand's capital city Wellington. We have a small main shopping street with the usual Butchers, fruit shop, dairy, deli,cafe, library and me...and me is called Annie's Art and Treasures. basically the space is where I have a studio in the back and out front is my where my artwork is displayed along side a mixture of new and old wares. I think my life is pretty ideal..I walk to work with Ruby,my trusty little dog and open the shoppe by 11am and juggle getting artwork done and playing retailer until 5pm then its back home again. As I said this shoppe is my passion...and I call it a shoppe (pronounced Sssh HOPE) because I strive to make the experience of being in my space inspirational, hopeful and basically to give people the warm fuzzies..well I'd like to think I do...Oh and lots of humour..nothing like making people smile and laugh!

Right now being the end of winter (hoorah) I am having a yellow dot sale, with 15%plus off most stuff. I have loads of fresh flowers always on display and with Spring just around the corner yellow daffodils are my favourite. Sunshine even on a gloomy grey day. I live for colour in my life..the shoppe is bright and bursting like a rainbow,but I also enjoy and need quiet and  calming colours. The abstract on show I painted to reflect the subdued winter palette that surrounds us living on the harbours edge. It's entitled 'All is calm' Life can be so hectic I am hoping this artwork will be bought by someone who really needs to feed off its gentle demeanor and hang it in a nice quiet spot like the bedroom or quiet den.

you've probably noticed I have two distinct styles or genres. My whimsical figurative artwork is what most people know me for...but like a lot of artists we seek new ideas all the time, I guess that's called 'creating' hence I love painting abstract work dealing with colour and emotion.I love assemblage,box art and photography. If you follow my blog I will take you on my journey being an artist. Showing you what inspires me, what I'm creating at the time and the daily happenings of my funny little shoppe...see you soon.