Thursday, August 28, 2014

I'm Not Ready

Here is my latest artwork completed just in time for the West Harbour Arts Charitable Trust Art Auction in September at Port Chalmers.

I wanted to mix some illustration work with painted images and see if I could get a retro feel to the work. The boy is drawn on brown paper and the paint colours are mustard and aqua blue.

Mixed media on board
24cm x 24cm

Here I'm asking questions such as:  - how many of us are not ready to change from what is familiar but still feel external pressure to do so?  - how many of us would rather jump into the blue with our eyes firmly closed rather than openly admit we are not ready to? - are some of us never ready and spend our lives never quite making the leaps and instead remaining stagnant? - And if we were to always wait until we are fully 100% ready to change, would we ever reach a stage of being fully ready?

I can also relate to this image because I myself am afraid of heights and I have crouched in the same apprehensive way on the end of a high diving board when I was young - and ultimately chickened out!

Monday, June 30, 2014


My latest painting now hanging in the gallery at the Otago Art Society in the Railway Station in Dunedin. This boat shed is on the waters edge at the beginning of Portabello Road. Near this site is a historic cave where Taranaki Maori (who were brought as slaves to Otago to work on the roads and other projects) had to live in the less than temperate climate of Dunedin. The cave still exists today but not exactly well signposted...more brushed under the colonial carpet. Our history of shame.

Mixed media (acrylic, paper, oil pastel) on canvas
300 x 300
$195.00 NZD

Saturday, March 29, 2014

St Leonards School 2014 Art Exhibition

Well its that time of year again when local artists support the wonderful school at St Leonards in their annual exhibition.
Here is my entry for this year of a local place known as Tunnel Beach.

Mixed media (acrylic, paper, oil pastel) on canvas
300 x 300


Thursday, November 7, 2013

New Zealand Bird Cards now on sale!

In the lead up to the silly season I have printed off a couple of cards of my bird illustrations - the North Island Pied Fantail and a Kingfisher so you can send an original card to your loved ones.

Each card comes with a coloured CS6 Envelope, Card size is 10.5cm X 14.7 cm
$5.00 NZD per card               Free postage in NZ for orders over $25.00 NZD

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Stafford Street Dunedin - Miniature painting No.3

Its been a productive week in the land of tiny is number 3 of 4 paintings of houses on Stafford Street, Dunedin, Otago.  I do miss having paintings with a sea/landscape view, but these old houses are quite majestic on their own too.

10cm x 10cm (4 inches square)
Acrylic on Canvas

Stafford Street Dunedin - Miniature house painting No.2

Here is the second in the series for the miniature paintings of houses on Stafford Street....I could do every street in the city and create my own painted version of GoogleMaps!  ...but given it takes me 10-15 hours per painting I wouldn't finish it in my lifetime.

10cm x 10cm (4 inches square
Acrylic on Canvas

Friday, August 30, 2013

Stafford Street Dunedin - another vintage miniature

Well, its taking a long time: these works are tiny and take many hours with a brush that is about the size of a toothpick ... I have started another set of 4 miniature vintage street paintings. This time all of the buildings are along Stafford Street in Dunedin. Here is the 1st completed painting.

Acrylic on canvas
10cm x 10cm

Monday, August 12, 2013

New Zealand North Island Pied Fantail

This is my latest illustration in my bird series. This is a native bird to New Zealand - the North Island Pied Fantail, and they are gorgeous little birds with squeaky little voices who fan out their tails and tilt their fanned tail about like a geisha posing with a fan.

Watercolour & Ink
15cm H x 18cm W

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Metallic Mini Skirt Maid

At last a metallic Maid for all those household chores....just remember to be polite when giving commands or she will crush you like a pea pod!

Watercolour & Ink
14cm x 9cm wide

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Woebot series continued.... "Shiny Dancer"

Watercolour & Ink
20cm H X 12cm W

The final in the Woebot series....maybe....I think I may be addicted to these guys!

Cards going to print tomorrow and will soon be for sale online! How exciting!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Woebot Series continued - "Unrequited Love"

Love is blind....this wont end well...

Watercolour & Ink
20cm W x 14 cm H

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Goldfish Snatcher - The Kingfisher

One of my favourite birds is the Kingfisher....even though the cheeky bugger snatched a huge goldfish out of my pond and took it for a sky tour.

Watercolour & Ink pen
20cm H x 15cm W

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Woebots - The Robot Who Forgot

....a handpainted card for a long overdue birthday card....hopefully its cute enough to get me off the hook!

Watercolour & Ink
14cm x 7cm

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

What has he been up to? alec....has he filled the sugar bowl with salt? apple-pied your bed?  hmmm.....

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The stand off.....

A couple of days ago when I actually had time to sit back and sketch I just couldnt even think of something to draw. Sometimes you spend your days thinking "if I just had time to do more art"...and then when you get a whole afternoon the mind goes blank, the pencil rolls off the desk in a sulk, leaving you staring out the window like a zombie wondering whats for dinner (do zombies actually wonder whats for dinner? surely its the same meal every time?? - hmmm, maybe that was a bad metaphor...or a meat-aphor ...I digress)...

Sweet Thing - It's a monster candy sale - this week only at Illustration Friday!

Yet another question I asked in our household this week "If you were a monster what confectionery would you eat?"  - they're starting to look at me weird this week, too many questions, must remember not to verbalise these thoughts in future.

For Illustration Friday's theme "sweet" I bring to you - "The Monster Candy Sale!"

Ok, so its not a Monster Sale....its a pretty small pathetic sale... but it is Monster Candy - annnd its on sale! (drum roll please....pleeease?)

Watercolour pencil & ink pen
16cm x 8cm

Wild horses

I ask all the big questions in our house....for example "what animal would you be?" and "what clothes are associated with your job?" ....and then Cyril appeared (and wild horses wouldnt drag him away)...poor guy trapped in an office job.

Colour pencil & Ink pen
8cm x 7cm

Monday, May 27, 2013

The distant future (the year 2000) = Robots!

Outer space has crept into the inner space of my mind this week. Rather than robots who are shiny, perfectly manufactured and emotionally void, my collection of robots are a bit emotionally insecure and badly designed.These guys aren't about to revolutionize how we live or protect us from intruders ....

Sad people - sad cold people

Its the official start of winter in New Zealand tomorrow. In 'sunny Dunedin' we have a forecast for snow and the cold is biting. 
Its a hard time of year for some people I know...lots of anniversaries of losing loved ones, lots of changes in relationships and financial hardship....and theres nothing I can do to change anything for them...all I can do is offer to stand with them in their storm until it passes.

Watercolour & Ink on paper
15cm W X 10cm H

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Swishing about in your mortar board on Graduation Day

A friend of mine graduated last week and turned 30. Now the looming question is "what next?" Lucky that life always rolls on and brings opportunities to your door, so often we just have to keep doing what we love doing and it all works itself out. Meantime your illustrator friends can make you obscure birthday cards.....(details of bogus newspaper article obscured to protect the innocent).

Ink pen & Watercolour

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Baby Clothes

Here's an illustration I did recently for a friend who just became a mum. In New Zealand we have plastic clothespegs which are "sunshine" brand. I've had sunshine pegs my whole life and they seem to me to be a bit of a New Zealand icon because they've been around for so long. Made the baby clothes ridiculously small as it seems to look like that when baby clothes are hanging out to dry.
watercolour & ink pen
12 cm H x 14 cm W

Friday, May 10, 2013

Ballerina Aspirations - the pursuit of a dream

We all aspire to be our goal too idealistic? our goal someone else's 'should' and not a vision of our own making? ...more importantly - will we ever make it? I use too many dots in all of my sentences?  ....
(This is very deep and meaningful...cue orchestral music ...)

 Watercolour & Ink pen
10 cm W x 18 cm H

Monday, May 6, 2013

Summer Apple

Shiny, crisp and sweet, the summer apple is something we dream of in the middle of winter...sigh. A tribute to simple food with a crunch.

Watercolour and ink pen illustration
8 cm W x 15 cm H

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Aerosmith in Dunedin last week

Steve Tyler brought Aerosmith to sunny Dunedin last week, and it reminded me of a bogus invention I drew a couple of years ago - the pea fork (unfortunately the pea fork, the juice filled lightbulb and the peach waxer "get that silky sheen like a nectarine" never made it to production) here it is for those of you who missed it...

Introducing the Pea Fork, invented in 1709 by Percy Peasnabber in an attempt to prong more peas than the average utensil. Unfortunately the market for such a fork did not eventuate as no person actually owned a mouth 4 inches wide to wrap around the fork (Steve Tyler and Mick Jagger were not born until the 1900's). 

Aquarium Houses

Experimenting with using shared colours as the substance of houses, instead of each house being a different solid colour with detail. I quite like the effect...its as if everyone's houses all exist in the same aquarium regardless of their individual shape or structure. 
Experimenting is fun!

Acrylic paint and black ink pen
125mm W x 175mm H

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Whistler's father was a train...

Heres an illustration for the theme "train" this week.

I was thinking of the famous painting "Whistler's mother", and that maybe Whistler's father was a steam train....oh the things that come into my head!?!

Ink pen & watercolour paint
14cm H x 10cm W

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Wild Wolfman Steals Chop And Makes Haste

Hows that for a terrible caption!  This is an illustration Ive done for Illustration Friday's latest theme "Wild". I am mostly happy with portrayal of the innocent chop in this scene.

Ink pen on paper
18cm H x 14cm W

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Creative Process

I often think the creative process is like a form of torture, especially on days where the ideas don't flow into your head easily....or the idea is there but the skill to replicate it on paper/canvas is sorely missing. I love the days when my hands and brain actually do work it out and come up with great things...maybe the mental drought at other times makes us appreciate it when it does happen!

Ink pen drawing
10cm H X 21cm W

"Urban" - this week's Illustration Friday themed drawing

This week's Illustration Friday theme is "Urban" and it made me think about how we all live in a shared space in towns and cities, but each of us has completely individual thoughts on what the ideal lifestyle is.

Ink pen & coloured pencil
12cm W X 21cm H

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Extinction Extravaganza - The Huia Bird

A few weeks ago we went to the Porcelain Punch Travelling Circus theatre show which was full of old world acts (everything except the bearded lady) and Porcelain Punch being the "best elixir guaranteed to fix ya!" (we bought 2 bottles just in case).

This old fashioned show inspired me to think of what creatures we could revive or reveal in a travelling circus of New Zealand wonders (mythical creatures like the giant Canterbury panther, or the mystery moose herd of Southland...much fodder here for consideration) and I couldnt go past my favourite extinct bird the Huia. Last sighted in Aotearoa NZ in about 1907.

So welcome one and all to the amazing, the incredible,the wonderful and supposedly extinct Huia (on trapeze for your entertainment)....

Extinction Extravaganza - The Huia
Acrylic on canvas
20cm x 20cm
$220 NZD

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Happy Easter!

Hope everyone had a good easter! 

All the better to eat you with?

One of the felines at our house is a tad sinister looking, you never quite know whether he's summing up how much red meat you equate to or not....sleep with one eye open....danger lurks on the end of the bed.
Ink pen & watercolour illustration
12cm x 12cm

Wrapping up warm for winter - autumn down under

Well its that time of year again in New Zealand. Daylight savings is about to end next week, it will get dark early at night, and we will all be swaddled in layer upon layer of wool, looking slightly misshapen.

Ink pen & watercolour illustration
Greeting Card

And there in a small kauri wood a piggywig stood....

...the latest miniature painting from the Owl & The Pussycat theme....

Acrylic on Canvas
10cm x 10cm
 $40 NZD

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Owl and The Pussycat - a morbid tale by Gareth Morgan?

One of my favourite childhood poems was The Owl and The Pussycat (who incidentally went to sea in a beautiful pea-green boat, for those of you who were unsure of their whereabouts). I decided I would start on a children's series of paintings that were a bit looser and fun than my "historic buildings" works I have been doing lately.

So Gareth Morgan (who has recently said in the media that all cats should be kept indoors, or be eradicated due to their impact on native birds in New Zealand) - so, does the pussycat truly love the owl (because shes a beautiful fowl) or will he attack and kill her the instant the viewer averts their gaze?

                                            (click on the image to view a larger version of it)

Acrylic on canvas
300mm X 300mm
For Sale $155 NZD

Historic Cityscape of Dunedin, New Zealand

Here is last week's effort - a cityscape of some of the historic buildings around central Dunedin.  A painting like this takes me over 40 hours to complete as the detail in the buildings (because of the small scale Im working at) is very fiddly!
This is being exhibited in the Otago Art Society's latest exhibition opening Friday the 8th of March.

Actual size is somewhere around 400mm wide X 300mm tall. Acrylic on canvas.

(Click on the image to see a larger version of it).

For Sale $245 NZD

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Get your shirt together

Well its 2013 and I decided its time to ditch my terrible old brown boring painting clothes which were always the worst old clothes on hand....and move into brighter arty gear ....and what better for a painter & illustrator than hand painted t-shirts! 
So now if I  answer the door on painting days I wont look like I live under a bridge anymore....I will just or slightly unhinged  :)

Monday, December 31, 2012

Clyde Valley, Central Otago

Clyde Valley, Central Otago
Acrylic On Board
140 W X 90 H  plus frame

$ 135.00 NZD

"Exhibit No Fear" Exhibition starts today

Yet again Dale Copeland has organised a great online exhibition entitled "Exhibit No Fear". There are 54 entries from 8 countries and a book will be published of the exhibition.  

To view the main page for the exhibition go to:

To go straight to the second page to see my entry go to:

Demise of the Recorder People
Recorder people were thought to have become extinct after only four 
generations seemingly due to an inability to adapt to environmental changes.
Preoccupied by a series of personal archival audio loops on continual playback, 
it appears the recorder people also lost the ability to outwardly exhibit emotion
Acrylic on canvas 800 W x 270 H            $350.00 NZD

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Miniature Dunedin Street Scenes (Set of 4)

Ive just finished my 4 street scenes of Dunedin villas. Each painting is only 10cm x 10cm.
Acrylic on canvas.

(click on the image to see larger version).


Arthur Street, Dunedin.

Belmont House, York Place, Dunedin

Rattray Street, Dunedin.   

 York Place, Dunedin.



Monday, November 26, 2012

"Wish I had one of those"

"I wish I had one of those" - acrylic on canvas. 660 W X 400 H

A summer scene set in MacAndrew Bay, Dunedin.      
(click on image to enlarge)
Exhibited in the Otago Art Society "Spring Into Summer" exhibition in Dunedin.

For Sale $325 NZD

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Painted objects - some more old work

At one time I went through a phase of painting objects so that my design had to fit onto or around the available space....

Red Rowboat       $45 NZD
Acrylic on cork coaster

Fork Mohawk         $45 NZD
Acrylic paint on wooden fork