Back to staring at the wandering parallel lines in rock oysters. They are so complex in structure and colour. I am working on three at the same time so I don’t get too ocd about every little nuance that I want to capture. My palette consists of indigo, violet madder, burnt umber, black, heavy body titanuim white, white gesso and a gray pink.
I am building up layers with paint and light molding paste. Here are the photos that I am referencing. I also keep a stack of oyster shells on my workspace so I can clarify my perceptions from time to time. It is hoped that I can keep these painting loose and tending more to abstract but I have already had a couple tifs with myself about this goal.
Here’s a rough draft which means I have worked on this painting twice.
After a weekend away up north I felt compelled to drop all the carnage from my car and take Idgie down to the boatsheds for a romp. You may or may not know that I have failed to teach my dog to bring a ball back. I am convinced that she totally knows what I am asking of her, but chooses, to play a powercard on this particular behaviour. (on with the real story)
In typical fashion, I threw the ball down the fairway. She ran like hell to catch it after the first bounce and then turned around and crouched in a sheep dog stance, intensely waiting for me to make the next drive towards the green. It takes two balls to keep this action moving forward. We made it to the flame tree behind the boatsheds and I stopped to take a breath. Idgie is standing next to me with a ball in her mouth. All of a sudden a baby parrot falls out of the tree on top of Idgie’s back.
Chaos, drama, pain. This little dude although unable to fly can bite like nobody’s business. I attempted a rescue on behalf of the bird from a set of dog’s jaws and as a way of saying thanks, the half way feathered parrot grabbed the soft part between my thumb and index finger in a mighty death clamp. All this is happending while Idgie is climbing my frame to get to the bird. I got the bird released only to have him clamp onto to my finger. Choas, drama, pain. On and on this goes until I decide as if I were a sensible person to put the baby down and hold on to the dog.
With three really nasty bites on both hands, I held Idgie by the scruff of her bird hunting neck and watched the little guy hobble and hop through the grass to safety.
I just had to tell this vignette to someone other than William. I shared it with him on the way to the grocery store and he immediately regaled me with stories of when he used to trap possums and have to break thier necks in order to get them to release their jaws.
You know…I felt like wringing that little imps neck, but to be honest, he was too much of a warrior for me. Wonder what I would have done if the little guy had clamped on to Idgie’s ear? Might have had a Williamesque story to tell instead of this one.
Which means goodbye in Maori.
Emma and I picked and pulled at the garden until we had collected enough goodies from the garden to make a decent salsa fresca, a rhubarb upside down cake, a carot and baby beet root salad and a basil pesto. I drove to the fish market and bought a side of fresh yellowfin tuna then to the bakery for ciabatta bread. Naturally a few friends had to stop in to help eat and drink to a most wonderful Artist’s Garden 2013.
My friend Emma
Garthering the Basil
Laya looking for food
The tomato patch
My first normally shaped carrots
The girls in their segregated living space
Jim and Steph
My good buddy Jennifer Town
Moik and Scott
Finally found some decent tortilla chips in NZ
The girls table
The boys table
Artis Mattah and her fav chardonnay Saint Clair Omaka Reserve. Isn’t Artis a tart?
must come to an end. I am referring to The Artist’s Garden that I built in my backyard to try and sell other artist’s outdoor work. It is the first time that I have ever attempted my very own business.
“Was it a success?” I asked Artis a little while ago as I watered the beets.
“Financially? Personally? Creatively? The list could go on and on couldn’t it?” she asked smugly.
The one thing that always drives my alter ego is the: do what you enjoy and don’t worry about the money. The one thing that drives the fifty almost eight part of me is always money. Personally, I’m with Artis on this one…do what makes you happy. I could happily spend the rest of my life making art, teaching art, tending my garden filled to the brim with local artist’s work, tending chickens and Idgie. But!
Whether I do or not is going to depend on the money.
“One for Kelley,” Artis snarled.
Happy Easter from The ARTist’s Garden.
Thanks Donna for the rhombus.
Companion planting with bee box fish.
Hope someone buys Neil’s blocks. They are so inexpensive.
In the plum tree.
This pumpkin is growning inside the rusted bed spring that I saved from the organic collection two years ago.
In New Zealand they grow really big stick insects.
William carved these and I painted them.
kicking and screaming. It feels like the world of my garden is aging right before my eyes. No amount of Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair will help my chilies. They didn’t get a long enough season to produce very much. Wah.
Idgie’s and my routine for the past four months has orbited around; the chickens, the garden, the studio, the walk and coordinating with Stoney who gets the bore when. Up until a week ago I loved watering early in the evening. Now a distinct chill in the air has me grabbing for a hoodie on my way down the stairs to the backyard.
All of this verbal foot stomping to try and stop the summer from ending causes me to wonder why this season change is affecting me so profoundly.
Artis Mattah just arrived and told me to tell you that it’s time for me to stop rambling and get back to painting rock oysters. I hate it when she’s right!
By the way….this painting was inspired by Judy Wallace. I so hope she got her Golden Order.
I used a reverse transfer process to create two layered perspex works for an upcoming show called; Jostle. The pieces must be small and priced to match. It is always a cool show and fun to attend the opening.
Here are my entries; Iain of the Orapiu Bay Shell Bank and Starfish on Perspex
This dotterel still lives in the bay but is hard to distinguish from his parents.
Autumn on Waiheke is a very good time for setting your winter art exploration into motion. When Judy from OZ was here for an art getaway recently, we walked along the beach each day finding the most alluring of rock oysters piled up in the high tide shell bank. Oyster shells contain in a single form all the twists and turns that I love to build up into layers.
Taking the time to look deeply at something that you find beautiful, and then capturing it in a photo, a painting, a drawing or all three is exactly what my art getaway is about. Setting up a still life with oyster shells can be the start of an entire series.
Rock Oysters painting from 2004
Call me if you want a one of a kind art experience that I fondly think of as a art spa getaway. The focus is on indulging your creative self. To build your escape for autumn or winter, email me with some dates. kdiener7355@ gmail.com