Wednesday, December 23, 2009


It has been quite a year! After finishing at the restaurant I thought I would have time to contemplate life but as usual I have filled it up again. I'm obviously that type of person. My art has improved a little (I hope) but my respectability (shiver) as an artist has grown a lot. Sometimes overnight successes happen but mostly it's just sheer hard work and persistence that brings recognition of the value of what you do (not that that is what I do it for of course!!). I hate the self promotion and just love the doing.
The loss of my good mate Ronny was hard but it made me think long about what I want from life (and it's not respectability!). Maybe it's time to move on.
My kids are busy in their separate lives and the grand children grow inward and outward every time I see them. Life has a habit of rounding off sharp edges and I have to work very hard not become a rotund little ball.
I wish you all (the 3 of you)a very happy festive season.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

An inconvenient truth

I have always thought that even if we are wrong about the effect man has on global warming, what we do to fix it is only going to help the environment. But now I wonder. Big business has got hold of trading in emissions and taxing a country to it's knees is only acceptable if it makes a blind bit of difference.
A few figures from Air Con - The inconvenient truth about global warming by Ian Wishart
CO2 levels now - 385ppm(parts per million) - average temp 14 degrees
Co2 levels around 180 million years ago rocketed up from 1200ppm to 2500ppm and the temp dropped from 22 degrees average to 16 degrees with no cars, planes and coal fired power stations.
Are we being conceited in thinking our 3.4% of carbon emissions as compared to natures 96.6% are tipping the balance or is it just a natural, cyclic change which has happened many times before and we can do nothing about.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Quote of the day - Jim Jarmusch

From Happy Famous Artists

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Poor, poor artist

With the arrival of the sculptors last week it struck me again how poor most of them are. If any of them have a decent vehicle it's because they have a second job to pay the bills. Is this right? Do we really undervalue our artists so much. I'm sure we respect them just as much as the plumber who earns $40 an hour. It's as if people think they are doing what they love to do and if they want to make a living go and get a proper job like the rest of us.
I think it is making people aware of the value of art in their lives. I was trying to sell a sculpture (not one of mine, I find it much easier to sell someone elses work)) to a woman this week, she loved it and kept looking at it but said she couldn't afford it. I asked her what would happen to her if she bought it. Would she be thrown out on the street, starve, have no Xmas presents for her children, die... no no no no. I told her in six months time she would have forgotten the struggle to find the money and would have a beautiful artwork to raise her spirits and fill her life with joy. She teetered back and forth and then left with an apology. I guarantee she is now regretting that she didn't follow her heart.
Most of the artworks I have purchased still 'talk' to me every time I see them and so enrich my life experience. How do we get that message across to potential buyers??

Monday, December 14, 2009


I have been traumatised all week! We entered our first yacht race with the Whitianga Yacht Club last Wednesday and the first buoy was set at the entrance to the harbour with a full tide running out at 8 knots. I was sure I had sailed far enough past it but when I turned the boat sideways to the current it swept us onto the buoy which hooked up one of the rudders and we were left stranded in full view of the town while the rest of the fleet sailed away.
Now you can say what's the problem but it's a small town and I have a reputation to keep up and of course Mike the mailman was there so I had no chance of keeping it a secret.
So we struggled to get free for an hour until a power boat came to our rescue and we sailed round the course with the other boats far in the distance.
Still we should have a good handicap for this weeks race!!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

2009 Symposium

I've been a bit tardy with blog posts (as if anyone noticed!). Below is the finished work and artists from our symposium with thanks to photographer Hazel Shepherd. The winning work by Chris Van Doren is at the top. The auction went well, we sold 15 of the 24 pieces.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Bring it on!

Wow it's all go here. I had a visit from an old friend above. She was one of my very first artworks and bought from me by my good mate Jimmy for a far too cheap a price (now that I'm famous Jimmy!). She has come home for a few minor alterations and leaves again tomorrow. I hope she enjoyed her stay!
Travelled down to the Maratoto quarry to select the stone for our sculpture symposium which starts on Monday. We have 16 sculptors from around NZ coming to work in the garden for a week culminating in an auction of the new works on Sun 6th Dec. with fun, food and live music. Five of them will be working wood and friend Roger and I have to carve up a 150 year old macrocarpa tree to provide material. Come on, don't be like that, the tree had to go and it's being made into artworks. Roger is going to carve a big fish hook in situ with what's left.
Three personal chef jobs coming up next week and lunches every day for the sculptors and working on my own piece. Bring it on baby!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Form versus construction

Still painting away! I'm happy with the results because it seems to concentrate the eye on the form rather than the construction.
I've had good reports about my family group in Whitianga. They are becoming a bit of an icon at the entrance of the town. I'm sure when someone new sees art when they come into town it alters their perception of what Whitianga is like.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Why no blogging this past week? Ronnys' death has left me empty, with thoughts of why bother. We have been with Samantha and the boys every day to help them through this terrible time.
I am usually one that moves on fairly quickly but sometimes something hits you at a vunerable time and makes you reflect on the big issues of love, life and death.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

R.I.P. Ronny

Lost a best mate to a car crash yesterday, 35 years old with a partner and three little kids.
Ronny applied for the job as our chef seven years ago and within a week we were best friends. He arrived with his partner Samantha in an old van with only the clothes on their backs, cooked for us for three years then started a landscape contracting business, bought a farm, built a house and did a hundred other things. Amazing man with such a zest for life, he gave me so much and I'll miss him terribly.
Every fish will be for you Ronny.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Artists intent

Interesting concept. Does the artist own the meaning of his/her art work. In the strict sense of the sentence of course not as the interpretation by the veiwer is tremendously varied. He/she (now known as would own some of the meaning and would own completely what they say the meaning is. I wonder sometimes when I read a critics long winded statement of an artists work whether is secretly amused/disgusted because it has absolutely nothing to do with et.als' intention.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

High on a Hill

Son Sam and I installed my sculpture 'Group Show' in Whitianga yesterday. It's in a marvellous, prominent position beside the main road into town but very handy to be assaulted. I had some trouble with a sculpture I put on the main street of Hamilton being rolled around and broken on a Saturday night. I don't think there was any malicious intent just alcohol and high spirits so we will see what happens. Maybe I can get some good press if it is attacked!!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Language barrier

I am learning French. Why? Mmmmmm. I guess when I had to learn the big part in the play in three weeks I was amazed my old brain still had the ability to retain knowledge so thought I would throw it another bone to see what it could do. And I love the sound of the language and France and French philosophy. Enough?? I enjoy travelling but don't enjoy not being able to hold a decent conversation.
I must dig out my beret, I wonder if that would help!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Machine art

Great video from Vvoi at New Art

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Vortex Too

Another one finished, it will be nice when I've painted myself out of the corner.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Tap the rostrum

Does the sun orchestrate
The canvas
Every morning

Or is she lucky
She has a cloud
To throw her colours at

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Podcast - one of mine

and the painted chair

Paula the gallery curator with ceramicist Ian Webster

Spent the day setting up the sculpture area for the opening of the Little Gallery of Fine Arts in Tairua on Saturday. It's small but a nice area with a good feeling.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Last Night Blues

Final night. Sellout season. Where to now!!
'12 Angry men' become pussycats over beers and songs after the show.
In the euphoria surrounding the success the drama, director Chris Carter said if she can handle being couped up with twelve men twice a week for three months then the sky's the limit for the next production. As the bleery night continued 'Tommy' was mentioned and they just fell short of 'War of the Worlds'. I think! With the sharp (ouch) morning light the 'Tortoise and the Hare' sounds good.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Group Show

Finished my family group. They look a bit like penguins with their splayed feet, I will dig them in when they are in their permanent place.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Sorry America (well those that are embarrassed about it) but Obamas' peace prize is the worst decision since Henry Kissinger was awarded it (cause a war + broker a peace does not = the most prestigious peace prize [used to be]). Here is what Hitler thinks of it via Exiles site

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

It's a matter of degree

The sun is rising 35 degrees closer to the east since our shortest day. OK I did use a small protractor on the desk so it is not an exact reading.. Spring has been good until the last couple of days when an antarctic blast caused snowy havoc on the roads (not ours, further south) and killed many new born lambs. It seems incongruous that we pull on sheeps wool jumpers to combat the cold. Heading out for a sail and a fish today before the weather closes in again tomorrow. And to get away from painted sculptures!!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sand art

This video is of an amazing and beautiful story told through sand animation. Artist Kseniya Simonova was the winner of the 2009 Ukraine You’ve got talent. This one is well worth watching.
From Arts Waikato

Friday, October 2, 2009


It's October already. The restaurant opened yesterday much to the relief of the locals who haven't had a watering hole for 5 months. It's the first time in 11 years we haven't been involved and my son and his partner have done a great job.
My heart goes out to our friends in Samoa (we were there last year). After the tsunami in Thailand, warning systems have been put in place here in all beachside communities and we had our first trial two mornings ago with sirens wailing and the fire brigade shepherding people to higher ground. We are 500 metres back and about 50 metres higher than the beach so felt safe enough and only a 40 cm wave eventuated but it was a good trial mid morning on a nice day for when/if the real deal comes along.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Painted sculptures

I've been installing my latest painted sculptures in the garden at Eggsentric It's starting to look like a fair ground, makes me smile though.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Guilty as charged

I like!!

click here for miranda's website, or see & take a pic of yrself standing on/beside/behind/next to the "eleven heavy things" @ venice biennale until november 22nd this year

From happy famous artists site

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Sure I've been out sailing. Couple of times in the last week. The sea is getting that sparkly, summer look and the fish are biting. I love the islands offshore, stacked up like pancakes ready to topple over. The penguins are cute in groups of two or three fishing in the swell and the horizon beckons like a siren on the rocks.

Why is it that I always get this leaving feeling?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Play with words

We played our third night of four last night of '12 Angry Men' to another full house (OK we can only fit 90 punters in our little theatre). It seems to be received well. Looking forward to the final performance party tonight, it's been a long 3 months to be angry!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


SOMEONE is trying to throw Venus into the moon this morning!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Committed for life (NO)

I'm having an interesting life. But if you are looking for a 9-5 man who will wait 35 years for his gold watch I wouldn't look in this direction.
My many professions. Does being paid for what you do make it a profession?

Farmer ........Dairy, pigs, beef, milking goats, poultry
Portable sawmill owner & operator
Fish factory owner
Concrete water tank builder
Actor.....Film, television, theatre
Logging contractor
Artist........Sculptor, painter, collage
Art teacher
Cooking teacher

Who knows what the next 10 years will bring.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Curve Ball (ball coming)

I'm having fun! What are you doing?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Creativity lost

I have always bemoaned my lack of talent which is made up for by dogged persistence. But now I come to think of it, I can't lose my creativity like so many artists, if I never had it in the first place. Watch this space for "Still sculpting at 90". It's not that far away!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Piano Men

So now we have Piano M(a)en the ultimate in frustration to paint inside and out! Maybe too much white but I ain't going to paint them again!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Paintbrush blues

Never in a 1000 years did I think after cutting, sanding, glueing and nailing my sculptures together I would be painting each little piece of wood....twice! Undercoat and topcoat. I haven't got room to store them inside so the wood is weathering which looks good on some but dowdy on others. I hope I am doing the right thing!!

As usual I have my next big project on my mind but I must finish present projects or it will all get out of hand. Oh to have lotsa little assistants.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Changing characters

My character in the play '12 Angry Men' is a basic working man who champions the underdog and is willing to use his fists to prove it. Simple but fair he allows other people to do his thinking for him then seizes a decision and sticks with it. I have cut my hair and am growing a beard to suit him but noticed one of the other players has a similar beard and he is a gentle sculptor who plays the saxaphone! Oh well, back to the drawing board. Only have 2 weeks before the production starts, who knows whether we will be ready.
Picking up Denise tomorrow after her 7 week sojourn in Australia, I had better clean up the place!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

My house, is a very, very fine house

I have just about finished demolishing our little house to make room for the new one and as the protective walls came down I couldn't help but think of what they had seen. The very private moments of joy and despair, the family holidays by the sea with wet togs and sand on the carpet, the dinner parties roast lamb and pavlova, lamingtons and black tea cos the milk has gone off, fish scales on the bench but she forgave you when she tasted the fish, the steady stream of ants down the wall and up the table leg and the mozzies at nightfall to remind you it ain't never perfect!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Donald Buglass

Friend Donald Buglass has just arrived back from the Czech Republic where he completed the contemporay public sculpture above in Hadrec Kralove expressing his concerns about human conditioning and selective knowledge gathering. The planes, racing cars and ballerinas were on the walls of his and his sisters' bedrooms.

I love the piece and it adds to his growing reputation as an original thinking contemporary artist

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Chica Bonita has a clean bottom and I have a sore back! Checked her rudders and annodes, propellers and hull for any blemishes. She's sweet an ready for summer adventures

Thursday, August 13, 2009


So the new government has sent 70 of our elite SAS troops to Afghanistan. I feel sullied and surprised by the lack of protest. The usual rhetoric from our Prime Minister about containing (not defeating) terrorism actually means kissing the arse of America and Australia so they believe we are part of their silly and deluded world that thinks by killing women and children they can stop the spread of hatred.

Of course I abhor the bombing of innocents by the Taleban also but instead of looking to their religion for an answer look at where the hatred has its origins.

To the people of Afghanistan I say sorry, I wanted no part of your invasion.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Go with the wind Raeleen

Friend and fellow painter Raeleen died yesterday after a long illness which she fought tooth and nail and with great dignity and humour to the end.

You are at peace now but your colours will continue to fizz and bounce. Lost but never forgotten.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Self Portrait

Started a self portrait today. Well there is no one else around!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

2 new collages

I guess I've finished, but you never know!

Saturday, August 1, 2009


My temporary studio at the moment and I don't mean temporarily messy! It's always like that.
I take heart from the photo (above) of Francis Bacons' studio in Dublin. Great art can come from chaos and I'm working on it (the chaos!)