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March Madness? Take a Peek - Insights Into the Creative Process!

MY world is upside down. This is a good thing. My studio is 3000 miles away and I am enjoying a wonderful break in the wilds of Aotearoa - Land of the Long white cloud.

So glad to be back again.

It's been a while. Just over a year and the last trip was definitely memorable but not in a good way. It’s much calmer this year and  I'm happy to be with my family again and connecting with my motherland, my muse.

Cathedral Cove has long been a favourite place. I first discovered it when I was about 14 on a holiday with my parents and at that time you had to walk over the hills for over half an hour through paddocks, uphill and down dale, and then slide down a very steep bank to get down to the Cove.

These days there's a well-defined path and steps, and shock, horror, they had put up a life-saving tower there the last time I was there! Sometimes it's just better to go back to places in your memory because progress destroys them. Unfortunately, this is now one of New Zealand’s worst-kept secrets, and thousands of people go to see it every year. It's become a major tourist attraction. So if you want to see it without hordes of unruly people there you have to go very early in the morning and even then it's very hard to be there alone.

Even though I love it so much I'm not sure that I'll ever go back to this place now, but it will always have a sacred space in my heart and no doubt in some form or other will continue to make itself known in my artwork as I continue through the years.


Of course, it is harder and harder to find places now that retain their pristine beauty and don't have too many visitors.

They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder and I sometimes wonder if I had been living here all these years instead of Australia, whether I would have still had the same appreciation for this beautiful place. I suspect that I would, however, I guess that's something I'll never know now. I don't know what it is about the land that we're born into but so many of us who've had to live away from it seem to pine to come back.


I have always found NZ so inspirational for my artwork. This comes from two things really, a very deep connection to the landscape itself and also seeing the creativity of the Kiwi people. There are other things too and you don't realize you missed them until you see them again. Certain cultural foibles shall we say,  along with the Kiwi sense of humour and iconic Kiwiana of course.

So although I'm not showing you paintbrushes and paint and wild things happening in the studio, I am showing you something very important to my growth and development as an artist. These things are all a part of who I am which of course cannot really be separated from my painting. From time to time some of them pop into my artwork - such as the kiwi that shouldered his way quietly into my latest painting. - Look out for him when I get it finished after I go back to the studio in OZ.

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