Art Studio and Life #25 featuring artworks and painting

Hello to the Team Hobbes supporters out there! The Team Davy supporters didn’t write to me, perhaps out of pity? But hello to all the slim Team Davy people anyway!

Perhaps the slim Jims are also high energy people? I definitely have dormouse tendencies, or maybe it’s lion tendencies, since lions sleep for about 21 hours a day. Not that I get to sleep that much, but a girl can dream.

On the opposite end of the energy spectrum to myself is this amazing guy at our church. He is eighty three (yes, 83) years old and makes about 180 meals a week for the Lower Hutt Food Bank, with the help of a small team of volunteers. This in addition to driving a truck four hours north to Taupau and four hours back, two or three nights a week, to deliver newspapers. He gets back to Wellington in the small hours, pops in to cook vast quantities of food before going home mid-morning for a short sleep. Unless there is the Mainly Music kids and caretakers group, or the senior citizens group, when he joins in for a couple of hours before going home. Then he comes back later to package and freeze the food. He had been funding these meals himself and then decided to set up a Trust to run a Café, the profits from which will fund the Food Bank meals. So he now works shifts in the Café too, washing dishes and cooking. Goodness knows what else he gets up to. Probably runs marathons on the side.

SO, Wellingtonians – please go and spend your coffee and eating out funds at The Neighbourhood Café on High Street in Lower Hutt.

When, not if, you go to the Café, stick your head into the kitchen and say hello to the legend yourself. Our eldest works in the Café too, as dishwasher, assistant cook and sometimes, front of house person. He would also take it kindly if you order a burger or cooked breakfast, and a smoothie, to give him a bit of variety his work, and, of course, to boost the Café’s earnings.

Because I have refrained from going to bed yet, I am able to show you process photos of painting a dolphin:

Because I am right-handed, I work from left to right so that I don’t smudge what I have painted.

Paint the lightest light, paint the darkest dark, paint the mid-tones.

Faces are fun to paint

Underpainting done, but still need to paint the reflection.

And on that happy note, I shall retire to the sofa.

This weekend may you start your visionary project! May you Wellingtonians visit the Neighbourhood Café! And may you rest!

XX Barbie


  1. Loraine

    Hi Barbara

    Thanks for your blog … I am a zimbo living in Cape Town and a friend and I paint together once or twice a week. No formal training..

    Please let me know how you manage to keep your subject clean but seem to have continuity of the background???

    • Barbara Podmore

      Hi Loraine
      Hello in beautiful Cape Town!
      I’m not sure if I have understood your question clearly, but I’ll do my best. Just ask me again if I have missed the point. If you are referring to colour, I mix all my colour before I start painting, because I get grumpy if I have to stop painting to mix more. With the dolphin, I mixed in some of the colour from the background into the greys for the dolphin, which gives continuity. When I have painted the first layer, I can tell if the colour looks accurate. Light colours reflect the light, so an example would be a white cat in sunlight – the fur in the light would have a warm tinge of yellow, the shadows would be blue/purple, and if it is sitting on grass, the fur close to the grass would have a green tinge. In my next blog, I’ll try to answer your question with photos of paintings.