Friday, February 27, 2009

I'm having lunch in Paris!!!

I tried a new hairstyle on my girls last night... a short crop type thing. I am liking the colour combinations of this piece, I have never used dark blue as a dress colour before and I think it works quite well. I showed my family last night and Hannah said if she saw it somewhere she wouldn't recognise it as a Katherine Quinn. It has got me thinking about how my work is changing and whether it is a good thing or not?... Stuart said it isn't a good thing or a bad thing it is just a thing that has happened.

As I have enlarged my girls over the last month (why I have felt compelled to do this I am not too sure, it just happened one day). As they have grown I've needed to put more detail into their faces, therefore their look has changed. But I do think there is still that vague Katherine Quinn stare that my girls sometimes tend to have. I am ok with the change so far and am enjoying experimenting with what is happening.

On other news... as the title of this post states I am having lunch in Paris!!! The tickets are being purchased today and we go on the 8th April. We are leaving from Auckland and going to Sydney then Singapore for a fuel stop and then stopping in Frankfurt. From there we will catch a fast train to Paris for lunch... and then on to England, Kent to be exact to stay with Stuart's family. Ben and I were practicing saying "Oh my" on the way to work today as we contemplate flying to the other side of the world...

Monday, February 23, 2009

So much for art deco weekend...

We decided to go camping at Waipataki Beach (about 37 minutes drive away from home) but man it felt like we had been away for ages. I kept expecting people at work to have really missed me and wonder how my trip was because I had been gone so long... but it was just a weekend.

the view down to our little beach from the road up the top

New Zealand flag
it was actually quite windy when I took this but I must have clicked the button when the wind stopped for a split second

We spent hours watching the stars at night (we owned a lot, A LOT, of sky) we saw about 20 satellites doing their thing and we are pretty sure we spotted some undiscovered galaxies. We swam in the sea and we played in the little lagoon making plop plop towers with the sand and building dams to change the flow of the water as the tide came in.

A funny story... while swimming in the sea I was standing with my back to the water looking towards the hills and a big wave caught me by surprise, it was so strong I nearly lost my false teeth (the false teeth are a result of a birth defect).

It was a good time away and will be going back...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

(am still working on the background)

(this is the one I fixed the face on)

These are what I did last night, neither are finished but both are coming along nicely. I am slowly getting the hang of painting the backgrounds and getting the effect I am wanting. One thing I am really loving is the new chalk pastels from Pebbles Inc I got a few weeks ago, the ones I think I mentioned that are like a blusher makeup kit. They are so much fun and easy to use especially with the little pom poms and applicator tool. I feel like a make up artist as I apply shadows and cheeks on my girls.

I don't know if any of you know of the Pebeo brand (I think it is French)? but they have a wonderful gloss varnish... Well, on the face I touched and wrecked late last week while waiting for the varnish to dry I was able to sand it and re-apply some of the chalk pastels and then do another coat of varnish and it looks pretty good. It comes in a gloss and a mat, but I find the gloss a lot easier to apply an even coat.

I am really enjoying this experimenting with mediums and materials, in the past I think I had such tunnel vision. I didn't seek out new things, thought they were a waste of time as I thought I knew all I needed to know to get what I wanted onto paper. But telling myself it is ok to experiment and play has been the most unwaste of time ever.

We are thinking of the possibility of going to England in the next school holidays (easter time) to visit my partners family. I am quite excited (very excited in fact) at the thought and a little scared as well. I am interested to see what the stars are like up in that part of the world.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Art Deco Weekend

(the second finished piece from last week)

Well I found her missing arm... I think this is the first girl I have done with bare arms, usually they have long sleeves? I have also done a few more faces, but mucked them up when brushing on the gloss varnish. Was trying a new thing with the hair and got a bit heavy handed. The others were fine but then I was compelled to touch them before they were dry and now they all have finger marks in them! Luckily I have learnt from that wee exercise... TO BE MORE PATIENT!!!

(sorting through the rubble after the earthquake)

We are celebrating Art Deco Weekend this week, where a whole lot of people come to Napier for a big celebration of the Art Deconess of our town. On 3 February 1931 there was a large earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale (New Zealand's deadliest natural disaster). The ground heaved upwards, swayed and 30 seconds later, there was a downward movement and violent shaking. Most of the town was destroyed and some land was raised from the sea (our airport has been built on land that was under the sea before the quake). It was all rebuilt in art deco which was the style of the time. The wall around our house was built using bricks from the rubble left from the quake, the house itself was built in 1929.

Anyway there will be a lot of people visiting Napier this weekend so I am franticly getting work ready for the two galleries I supply in town. I was pleased with the amount of work I got done last night, being cooler it is a lot easier to work.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday today...

(follow your heart)

This is one of the two I have nearly completed (bits not properly attached yet)... the other one I am having a few problems with as I have lost one of her arms? I know I put it in a safe place but I am just not sure exactly which safe place... So will post that one next week when she is all intact.

Going through all my old photos at the start of the week got me thinking about about tents. This was one of the things I really enjoyed doing as a kid, collecting all the umbrellas, sheets, towels, pegs and blankets to build these tents/huts. I really I think enjoyed the construction of them more then anything. And anyway they were usually built in the summer holidays and once built they would be too hot to play in (until we could sleep in them at night). So I am going to start a series on tents...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

My old self when I was younger...

After reading Kelly Rae's blog and seeing her pics of her old self I thought I would post a few of mine... it was fun going through the box and remembering those old times. I had a good childhood with lots of fond memories.

(the neighbourhood kids all ready for the first day of school... I am first on the left and my brother next to me)

(me and my brother... I loved those jeans)

(oh my goodness look at those shorts!!! seeing who could blow the biggest bubbles, I think I won)

(I got my photo in the paper during a holiday craft class... I loved the stripy top, it was black and red velvet)

(my cousin Shirley and me pulling faces with our overalls on, me on the right)

(one of my birthday parties... I am second from the left)

(my brother and the typewriter he wouldn't let me have a go of... this one is for Michele Maule)

(my brother, grandmother and me on the Tigerlily in the Bay of Islands)

I think I was a bit of a tom boy growing up, didn't wear too many dresses. Although once I remember going into a shop with dad and I was wearing a dress and the man behind the counter thought I was a boy. My mum always said that I would probably never grow my hair long... and so it was always short... but once I turned 15 I thought I would give it a go and it has never been short since.

I grew up in a neighbourhood where there were quite a few kids around and I remember we used to put on plays for our parents in the holidays. We would practice for days and on opening night would charge them to come and watch us. I also remember there was a witch who would walk up and down our street and you had to watch out she didn't see you or else. I remember days of playing with the lego and monopoly, making huts with the beach umbrellas and then sleeping in them for the night. Good memories, how much simpler life was back then.

Monday, February 9, 2009

It is so damn hot!!!

We are in the middle of a heat wave at the moment and I feel like I am melting... I have my fan going at work and I might as well have a hairdryer blowing in my face. Even though it is so hot I have got two works nearly completed for this week and another one under way for next week.

(work #1)

(work # 2)
(I seem to have a problem with extremes of colour, nothing in between)

I am not really sure why I am working on this size 12" x 12"... I think these started out as experiments that I continued to work on and have ended up as possible finished pieces. It seems silly but these are probably some of the largest works I have done. I have always worked on a small scale. I think apart from the fact that anything larger then an A5 has scared the daylights out of me in the past, small works are easier to carry around. I can slip them in my handbag and when I have an exhibition I can fit them into a small box along with the hanging equipment. And I think from a selling point of view, people are able to buy a small piece and usually have somewhere they can fit it in their home.

For a while now I have based my work around a quote by Barbara Kingsolver... 'She sits up in bed to get a closer look at her thoughts, which have collected above her in the dark' and a line from a song by Beth Orton... 'so much time gets lost in my mind'. It has always kind of fascinated me what people think about, the way they think, and how thoughts are linked (their in between thoughts). I read a book once about a man who could hear peoples thoughts. I always thought this would be very handy... but I think in the book it turned him loopy. I guess you would hear a lot of stuff you didn't want to know about. Anyway this is more or less the line of thought that these works have taken.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

This is where my good friend Gina had her wedding, the Mission Estate Winery. It was one of the hottest days on record, 37 degrees, but it was all so beautifully perfect. It used to be a monastery years ago but has now been converted into a winery and restaurant. Was so good catching up with friends I hadn't seen for years and meeting some people that just lived down the road. It is funny with some people how it doesn't matter how much time goes by between visits it always feels like yesterday.

Anyway back to work, here are two nearly completed paintings...

I am not sure about the colours of the things on wheels... so I will do a bit of work on these before adding them to my etsy shop. The colours look better in real life then they seem to on my screen and there are a few details that you don't really see here either.

This is the first one I did in its wholeness, I posted bits of it in my last post. I have added bits and changed the girls face. There is also a few more details I will add to it before I will call it finished.

I am going to do a series of these during February, two a week or something like that (I find it good to set little goals like that to work towards). I have enjoyed the different processes and trying new tools and methods in making these. I like the smoothness of the paint doing it this way rather then using a roller/brayer. I find it has an easier surface to add pencil drawings and lines, also the stamps come out better.

Thank you for all your kind comments and emails since I have been back, I hope you have a good Tuesday...