Sunday, 30 October 2016

More From New Zealand

                          The snowy alps from the plane flying from Auckland to Christchurch.
                                                          Art in the garden, happy pigs!

                                                   What you can make out of wire mesh.

I just love the expression on this seal's face!  Unfortunately I didn't have a catalogue and cannot give artist's names to any of these works.

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Things 2.

 I have never seen such a heavily laden citrus tree before. I think that it was a cumquat tree, but the fruits were larger than any I've seen.
 These red poppies in the garden of Huntingwood were obviously a variation on the poppy that we know from Remembrance Day, the Flanders Poppy, but with the black spots they were referred to as Ladybird Poppies in this garden. I love the colour against the stone wall.
           This figure was guarding the vegetable garden. I wonder if the birds took any notice of her.
                 Another lichen covered seat, but it obviously doesn't like to grow on metal.
                         This quirky figure had a corner of the hedged garden all to herself.

Thursday, 27 October 2016


 This baboon and infant is a most unusual sculpture sitting on a rock in a shady corner of  the 12 acre Ayrlies Garden in the North island of New Zealand. Begun in 1964, the garden now employs 3 full-time gardeners and is a real delight to visit. I didn't note the name of the artist who made this piece unfortunately.
 Here you can see the sculpture across the water in its little fern glade. The formations in the foreground are the aerial roots of the surrounding Swamp Cyprus trees. Weird looking things that are very other-worldly.
                         It doesn't look as if this seat has had anyone sitting on it for a while!
With the damp and often warm climate lichen, moss and mildew all grow quickly and well. This tree trunk is a veritable garden of things growing on it.

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Some Maori Culture.

 I just loved these reflections in the windows of the hotel opposite our room in Auckland. Parts of these may well end up in some artwork.
              Our first introduction to Maori culture was a visit to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds.
                  The meeting house with it's fascinating carvings that faces the wrong way!
 Inside the meeting house where we enjoyed looking at all the intricate carvings and the woven panels around the room. The seating and stage are for various performances that take place here.
                                   I loved the colours and patterns used in these woven panels.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Auckland Zoo.

 We just managed to be at the Spider monkey enclosure when a keeper came along to give them some pieces of melon as a treat. This one made use of his tail to form a self-hammock. Clever!
 The whole zoo was lovely, with water features and lush gardens throughout. The signage was very interesting, consisting of a series of simulated game watchers note books made of metal. This is a page of drawings of the animals that the mythical observer had seen.
     This book is mounted permanently on a rock and is again made of metal, quite amazing really.
I particularly liked the fabric for the upholstery of the bus seats, the ubiquitous silver fern, upper side of the fronds.

Monday, 24 October 2016

Holiday in New Zealand.

                              The view looking down on a superb stretch of native bushland.
 I have no idea what this lovely waterfall was called, but it looked splendid falling into the water below.
                                                The rugged west coast of the North Island.

             The famous silver fern which is  really very silvery on the underside of the fronds.
  Walking to the beach with its black sands through grasses and the introduced yellow Lupins.
                                                               The mighty Kauri tree.
                                                         The silver tree fern from above.

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Stamp Carving.

 A small fallen branch of a banksia was the image that I wanted to make into a stamp today. I had already carved the leaves some time ago, so it was just the branch that I wanted to work on.
                  The first very rough outline of the branch with the inspiration beside me.
 The first image from the cut out Soft-Cut stamp. As you can see there is quite a bit to work on, particularly the fine ends of the twigs which need to be cut away.
 It's easier to do the fine trimming with something to support the stamp, and luckily I had a piece of waste plastic which suited very well.
 I tried the first stamped image with a banksia cone that I had already carved some time ago, but it's too big for the leaves and branch. I might have to carve another similar but smaller one.
In the meantime I used an immature cone from another stamping session. The scale is much better.

Friday, 21 October 2016

Floating Ribs!

You have no doubt heard of floating ribs, the ribs that aren't connected like all the others to the human rib cage. Here I have created a piece of art from one of the banksia cone images that I came up with in Photoshop yesterday, I've called it Floating Ribs as that is what it reminds me of. The selected parts of the original image are layered over a picture of one of the eco-dyed fabrics from last week and the layers manipulated separately.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Photoshop Play.

 I selected a portion of one of the Banksia cones and began playing with simple filters in Photoshop.
First however I duplicated the image, reversed one of them, and put the 2 together, giving a larger size and a symmetrical pattern. Somewhere along the line the original image changed into shades of blue.
 I then just worked my way through the list of filters to find something that produced an image that looked as thought it might be useful as a background for something else.
           I like the greater contrast of the first image, but the one above is quite appealing too.
               Although it has plenty of contrast, I don't think this one has much potential.
                                       This one looks as if it is some sort of weaving perhaps.
 This one might find itself as the back of a beetle! Don't forget that any of these can be enlarged a little by clicking on the image,.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

More Stamp Desings.

 On the top row we have Banksia cones with both the open seed cases on the left and the closed ones on the right. There is a clump of unopened gumnuts on the bottom left with 2 different types of Bottlebrush open seed cases to the right.
 The Banksia cones are fascinating, like rows of open and closed mouths. I wonder what I can do in Photoshop with these!