Monday, 29 June 2009

Latest Painting, as yet untitled

When I first began writing this blog I intended it to showcase my paintings and photos but looking back over the last year I realise I have been neglecting the art content. So here is a pic of a painting I have just finished. I am yet to come up with a title, a task I often despair over!
Its kind of a strange image, as usual full of metaphores but heres kind of what it is about. Lets begin with the hens eggs. Commonly eggs symbolise new life (& resurrection but not in this case) and to me they always remind me of childhood. A hard boiled egg for lunch was common when I was four years old. I always rushed to scoop out the entire content with toast soldiers so that I could turn the empty shell upside-down and set it in front of my Dad when he arrived at the table. Perhaps I fooled him the first time but after that he played along, pretending to be surprised when he cracked open his egg to find it empty!
The Teddy was Troys but I had one just the same as a kid. So here it is in my painting to symbolise the happy but distant memories of childhood, well used and worn by the passing of time.I almost always include a bird in my pictures and in this case the fantail was chosen as it is common, instantly recognised and sets the whole theme as something which has its roots firmly in New Zealand. Not to mention it is well-loved which makes it work when juxtaposed with my final two elements -a dead branch of boxthorn set in an empty glass. A reference to reality. How life that was once happy and innocent suddenly contains sharp and nasty thorns! Its about growing up and dealing with the sinister side of life and realisation of mortality. Perhaps this also has parallels with some of the nasty introduced species of flora (& Fauna) which have ravaged the New Zealand landscape and put an end to the image of an unspoiled paradise.
The empty glass is seen commonly in the Vanitas genre of painting literally meaning that life is empty and meaningless in the end. HELL How did I get so depressing!

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Frosty mornings and persimons

Another freezing morning and a beautiful sunny day to follow. Billy the wonder dog doesn't seem to care about frost beneath his paws on one of our morning walks. Last Saturday morning I gave him a bone straight from the freezer which he took out onto the frosty lawn to chew on. I wonder if dogs get ice-cream headaches? Just as well he has a thick fur coat.

One nice thing about winter are the persimons which are in season at the moment. Diced on cornflakes they are yum...... and a favourite winter food source for these waxeyes too. I photographed them in a friends garden recently.

On a visit to Sullivans lake last week I was enchanted with the number of fantails there. I stood in one spot on the lake edge and counted twelve! On a still day they flit surprisingly close as they feed on airborne bugs. One almost hit me in the head although I think if it had the fantail would have ended up with the worst headache. I was really pleased with this shot of a fantail in the flax as its quite difficult to photograph them with their tail spread. I can't help but be charmed by them, they are so tiny. I once owned a fantail skull - a most fragile little object but it was stolen and eaten by a mouse. I'm still bummed about that.