Art Studio and Life #7 featuring artworks and painting

Hello lovely family and friends,

Greetings from wonderful Welly and welcome to my new website!

Here I am leaping into the Century of the Fruit bat, no, I mean, the 20th Century, um, or is it the 21st Century? I lose track of these things. Anyway, Welcome!

In my efforts to upload my blog posts on my website, I actually managed to change the structure of the actual website itself. I’m a self-taught artist. That means that if I don’t know how to do/paint something, I try multiple approaches to figure out how to do it. If at first you can’t get in through the front door, try the window, then the cellar, then the roof, then the chainsaw… When they realised what I had done, my web designers at Pula Marketing tactfully pointed out that there are certain places in the site builder that I should not go, I didn’t even realise that I had gone there… But they fixed it, and here we are! And they are fabulous!

Several of you wrote me some hilarious pronunciation favourites after my last blog, so here are a couple of them:

Those of us with a strong South African accent pronounce ‘i’ as ‘are’. A friend in England wrote to say that when she orders ice in the UK, she gets some very surprised and puzzled looks as this is what it sounds like to them “Ard like some arse please” (translation, “I’d like some ice please”). My paint series would sound like “Who would lark some more arse.” Interesting.

A British lass married a Zimbabwean lad, and at their wedding the best man puzzled her Mum by talking at length about Hindus. E.g., “Hindus can get very wild.” Really? I suppose we all have our moments. Eventually she realised he was referring to Hen-Do’s, aka bachelorette parties, not the neighbours.

Feel free to add more accent anecdotes in the comments, but keep it clean! Because now that I have my fancy website, you can actually add comments. How impressive is that? OK, maybe that’s not impressive for you, but it is for me. I’m proud as. And sorry that you have to fill in all the fields to make comment, it’s to filter out all the trolls and bots.

Moving on from accents, to regional sayings. Kiwis have some great sayings. For example, you can describe anything by adding “as” to it. “It’s hot as” or it’s “flat as”, and it is up to whoever is listening to mentally fill in the missing word (hell, pancake etc). Or maybe it just means very, as in “It’s very hot”?  One of Jack’s friends described some music as “Eighties as”. Isn’t that an awesome description? So useful, e.g. “Her hair is Eighties as.”

“Sweet as” is also commonly used here, as a replacement for “yes, certainly”, or “sure”. An American friend, having arrived in Wellington for the first time, ordered a coffee:

“Please can I have a cappuccino?” she asked, desperate and jetlagged, having travelled with four children.

“Sweet as” the barista cheerfully replied.

“Excuse me?” she asked, outraged

 “Sweets as” he chirpily repeated.

Which to her ears sounded like “Sweet ass”, (not the donkey kind), which is a very personal thing to say to someone ordering a coffee.

If she had been feeling super confident, she might have said “I know, right?” but as it was, she just said ‘Whatever, just make me a coffee.’

You know I told you that I love colour? I also love subtle colour, and after the previous blue paintings, I decided I wanted to paint a sepia painting, you know like those old photographs? Muted cream and coffee brown, And then, of course, I had to add a splash of orange.

I think I forgot to photograph the first layer.

Starting to paint the second layer of the glass. Something about that glass reminds me of childhood desserts. I think we had some like that which we used at Christmas. Did you use similar ones? Amazing what can trigger childhood memories.

I think I broke one of my rules here – painting the birds before the mandarin. Must have been feeling rebellious.

These are gentoo penguins, and this was painted from a photo of a bonded pair who were standing facing each other while having a nap.

How loving is that?

Sweets as.

Penguin Nap Oil on canvas 60cm x 75.5cm Available (email me if interested)

Entering the home straight, I painted several layers on the mandarin. Growing up, we called them nartjies (Afrikaans, I suppose), so we were puzzled when people in NZ offered us a mandarin because we though mandarin was a language…

Two lovely friends who wrote to me had interesting takes on my painting process. One said that it looks very hard and time consuming. Correct! And must be quite satisfying. Mostly, but I never quite match what I see in my head… The other said that one tends to think of art as “freedom in the sense of just wading into the work without much of a plan,” so he is fascinated by the overall discipline of my process. I am a very technical painter, because one doesn’t create realism without a plan. I have a vision of what I want to paint, but sometimes, I kind of would like to be one of those abstract painters who liberally splash paint on, and literally go with the flow, but I’m just not that person.

I can’t end my letter without a joke about fruit

Dear ones, may your lives be filled with the fruits of the Spirit, and the fruits of the field!

Love to you and yours

XX Barbie

P.S. A number of coffee addicts are still confessing their struggles to me (personal accountability painter), but no tea addicts have fessed up. Are you there? Spill the (non-coffee) beans.

P.P.S. My print store isn’t live yet, I’ll keep you updated about it


  1. Dan Button

    Don’t worry about your boys. My tech guy just showed me a data listing of people who hadn’t opened any of my last 10 mailchimp newsletters so I could delete their names. A few were dead – but one of them was my own son. And after all you do for them…
    Love your posts – and the art joke memes.

    • Barbara Podmore

      Yes, sounds about right. A prophet in his own town etc.

  2. Gail Wingreen

    Barbs! I’m super impressed!! Your website , blogs and paintings are awesome. Well done for stepping into this space! Not bad for someone who resisted having Whatsapp for a long time😀💕

    • Barbara Podmore

      Thanks Gail! This is actually my second website, which tells you how much difference having a website actually makes!
      I had a website before I started using WhatsApp…

  3. Gareth Williams

    Sweet as bro!

  4. Laurie Thompson

    Sweet as!!!
    LOVE your Blog – and seeing your painting Barbie. You are so talented and gifted!! Whew
    I remember when I secretly (and very arrogantly) thought a painting of mine was better than yours! ha, ha!! What a joke! Ridiculous as!!
    Keep up your stunning work and blogs!
    Big hugs and luvs!

    • Barbara Podmore

      Kind as!
      Perhaps it is a case of the hare and the tortoise? or as Dory says “Just keep swimming”

  5. Liz Maloney

    The website looks great Barbie, I’m so impressed with you keeping up with your weekly blogs as well. They always give me a lift at the end of the week 🙂

    • Barbara Podmore

      Oh good, I’m so glad Liz, happiness!

  6. Gary Cross

    Thank you for explaining the “as” endings to sentences. You used one in your last ‘blog’ and I was “as confused as” 🙂
    I continue to be amazed at the pictures you must have in your head…
    Keep them coming.

    • Barbara Podmore

      My head is indeed an exciting place to be. Watch out though! Using ‘as’ is very infectious…

  7. Rosie Button

    Lovely Barbie – I’m enjoying your posts and love your paintings.

    • Barbara Podmore

      Thanks Rosie! That makes me happy

  8. Darrin

    Great website – both design and content. Amazing art Barbie 🙂 And enjoying the blog – always puts a smile on my face.

    • Barbara Podmore

      Thanks Darrin! I aim to bring a smile

  9. Francis Podmore

    Great website, Barbie (:-))

    A caption for your penguins
    “Do you come here often?”


    “Are you listening to me?”

    • Barbara Podmore

      They are sleeping, eyes closed, so they are definitely Not listening to each other!

  10. David

    Great stuff Barbie. Enjoying the blog. My pronunciation (or ‘pronounciation’ as I used to say when I was small) example is that I quite often will hear my African colleagues talking about “data-mine the right thing to do” etc. … it took me a while to realise that they were actually saying that they would determine the right thing to do, but I reckon data-mining is perhaps just as appropriate.

    • Barbara Podmore

      Glad you are enjoying it David! Different pronunciations definitely make the world more interesting…

  11. Bren Adamson

    Well done Barbie. Sweet as…😊

  12. Bruce

    The purpose of this website is not specifically for family. I was not asked to test this, but need to join the queue – and say, AT LAST! and Well Done! Keep going… :-))

  13. Shirley Hooper

    Congratulations Barbie. I so enjoy your blog and wish you every success. Many blessings

  14. Jack Podmore

    Great post! The site looks great!

    • Barbara Podmore

      Uh huh. I bet you can’t tell me what is says! (I just asked him to comment to check that it was working)

      • Maureen Muggleton

        Your Nartje looks so delicious and real that I want to pick it up and eat it ,😘

        • Barbara Podmore

          Classic! I’m glad you think it looks edible.

  15. Tumi

    This is awesome!

    • Barbara Podmore

      I know, right? These amazing designers made it…

  16. Sam Podmore

    LOVE THIS MUM!!!!!!!!!