March is a really beautiful time in New Zealand, still warm in the middle of the day but cooler in the evenings and early morning. Grapes are ripe and the leaves of the deciduous trees are just starting to show signs of turning a multitude of autumn colours.
The image above, created for St Patrick’s Day 2016, is the one I’m most happy with this month. It is a small A4 size painting on Hahnemuhle Britannia watercolour paper which fuses some of the leafprints I’ve been incorporating into my work with soft forms suggestive of flowers and foliage.
I’ve also been experimenting with a blue and violet colour scheme, using prints from feijoa leaves to build up layers of paint. It is nearly feijoa season here in New Zealand, so it feels appropriate to be using these leaves at this time of year. I started using the leafprints in my work as a way to reference the natural world more directly than I had previously. I have also renewed my interest in using collage after reading a book by poet Molly Peacock about Mary Delany, an artist from the 1700’s famous for her intricate flower collages. It will be interesting to do a work that incorporates all of these elements.
Yellows have also made an appearance. This work in progress is on a small offcut of linen.
On March 22nd I posted this picture (below), on Facebook and Instagram. It is a small painting on an offcut of Belgium linen. Waking up the next morning to the awful news of terrorist attacks in Brussels I decided to dedicate this painting to peace and Brussels. Thoughts are with those who have lost loved ones.
“Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them. This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness. Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.” (Dalai Lama)