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From The Studio To Panning For Gold

Come and take a studio tour with me. What’s been happening in my studio this week?

Well quite a lot actually. I’m working on a new series of works. Lots of drawing, thinking, working and re-working. This series is informed by the years I spent in Blenheim in the South Island of New Zealand.

It was out of this time period that my deep connection to the New Zealand landscape was born. I attribute this in a large part to the fact that I spent many happy hours during the weekends, with my parents, visiting places near and far.

We stomped the hills,

Waded streams and .....

We panned for gold
We panned for gold and .....

had picnics in the shade of the hundred year old school house at Deep Creek. This adventure was one of my favourites.

Deep Creek School House - Study,Blenheim,Oil_painting,Kadira_jennings
Deep Creek School House - Study

In the spring time there was a beautiful cherry tree blooming in the school yard. I often imagined that if I went to school there I would’ve snuck away to pan for gold in the lunch hour.

Did we ever find any gold....... hmmm well I didn’t and if anyone else did they kept it very quiet. It was great fun though sliding down the muddy bank to the stream, among the tree ferns and the damp mossy rocks.

Deep Creek  - Unfinished study,Kadira_jennings
Deep Creek - Unfinished study

Once at the bottom the parents would hand out the gold panning dishes and the work began in earnest. The trick was to grab a handful of finer river sand and stones and fill the pan with water. Then you swished it round and round, gently getting rid of the lighter stuff and hoping to see that gleaming golden flake staring back at you from the bottom of the dish, once the water stopped swirling. Of course hope springs eternal and it was all mum and dad could do to eventually drag us away as the shadows lengthened and our fingers had become crinkled frozen ice blocks.

Pix Credits: All photos by Kadira Jennings

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