Art Studio and Life #6 featuring artworks and painting

Hello lovely family and friends

Greetings from characterful Wellington.

We have been here almost four years now. Sadly, we are getting more able to understand the Kiwi accent. Sadly, because it made life very interesting when we first arrived, trying to figure out what people were saying. Kiwis have a habit of switching vowels – i in place of e, so when they say “teddy bear” it sounds like “tiddy beer.” When someone asks if they can borrow a “pin”, you aren’t sure if they want to do some sewing, or some writing.

They also sometimes swap an e for a, so “and” sounds like “end”. “End, of course, we are famous for our rugby All Blecks.”

Sometimes, just to freshen it up, i can sound like a u – “fush n’ chups” rather than “fish and chips.”

My rellies (relatives) may be starting to hear a trace in our accents, and our descendants will probably be Kiwi as. Unless they spend lots of time on YouTube (like some kids we know), in which case, they will probably sound American.

If, my lovely kiwi friends, you feel hard done by, rest assured, I will pick on Southern Africans too in future missives.

Please tell me some of your regional language specialties? I’m always keen for a laugh.

You may well ask, what’s with all the jokes? Why do my art blogs have so much comedy in them? The reason is that I grew up in an alcoholic home where humour was a survival strategy. It could be used to diffuse tension, and if you were happy, it gave you a reason to laugh. If you were sad and it was a case of laugh or cry, we generally tried to laugh. Not taking myself or other people too seriously has been like yeast in the dough of life. Lest you worry that I am deep in denial, I have been for lots of counselling and subsequently learned to cry too. I have found that both laughing and crying regularly make life richer.

And art makes life richer!

Thank you to those who told me they enjoyed seeing my creative process. Here are some WIP shots from Emperor’s Child:

I paint a thin wash of burnt sienna over each canvas to create what is called a toned ground. Theoretically, light is supposed to be able to bounce through the thin layer to add more impact, and this layer unifies the painting and adds a vibrancy to the subsequent colours. Next layer is blocking in the main colours to see if I have got them right. Yes, it is still daunting to begin a new painting.

Painting lemon! I also added a hint of red to the blue background colours to make them shades of cornflower blue, which is actually slightly purple. I said it before and I’ll say it again – I ADORE colour! More contrasting colours here. The main colour is purple, a mix of the two primary colours red and blue, leaving yellow as the vibrant complimentary colour. I spend ages mixing colours before I paint to avoid muddy, dull or chalky colours.

 And then comes my FAVORITE part – painting the Emperor penguin and fluffy chick. How tender is the bend of that neck? Such love.

 Did y’all watch ‘The March of the Penguins’? That documentary about how they raise chicks through the Antarctic winter? Now there is sacrificial parenting! There was a Southerly blowing here with 64km per hour winds. It was quite refreshing. I think those penguins stand around in 200km winds. I used to feel sorry for them having their children sitting on their feet, but actually, if I was in a 200km per hour gale, I’d probably be quite grateful to have one of my kids sitting on my feet.

Emperor’s Child   from the “Who would like some more ice?” series 60cm x 75cm

Do you also love penguins? I can’t say what makes them so appealing, perhaps it is because they are awkward, beautiful and humorous, rather like people.

So blessings, love and laughter to you and your dear ones!

XX Barbie