New Zealand’s TROPICAL ISLAND

I spent a week over Christmas on Steward Island, south of South Island ,NZ.  It’s famous for it’s seafood, national park walks, rainy/stormy weather and mud-holes. The island is currently experiencing a drought and I had phenomenal weather for the hole time I was there. I never had to use my rain gear or gaiters and kept dry feet for the whole of the walk.  Instead I wish I would have brought my bikini to walk in! This happens once in 5-10 years. The forest looked magical with the sun filtering through its dense foliage and illuminating a vast scale of different greens. The mud holes were mainly dried out and the birds were singing happily. There was a heavy, humid feel in the air. Every day I would get to walk along a different awe inspiring, isolated beach with tropical watercolors – and most days just couldn’t help myself and had to dive in. The lush green bush has a calming relaxing effect on me and I wander along as I am wandering in my thoughts….a kind of walking meditation, just a bit faster. There weren’t many people on the track and it was a welcome change after the busy pre-Christmas days in Wanaka. Without a family of my own, the concept of Christmas just doesn’t appeal to me. I prefer getting away from all that indulgence into consumerism and feasting, I enjoy getting back to the basics and connecting to the essence of life and things. Spending time with a random bunch of lovely people, I met on the way and now call friends, seemed like a great way to pass this awkward time when most friend are too busy or away.  That doesn’t mean I don’t like new stuff…it’s just that I don’t understand why we stress our self out to do it on this one particular day only. I’d rather spread it over the year:)

Port Williams, part of the great 3 day walk and gate away to the northern circuit of Stewart Island

Little Bungaree Beach

Big Bungaree Beach 

Ferns

Smooth sand and cristal clear water

Flora

Fauna

…more Ferns

Boulders and Sea Weed

Rimu Tree

Wind Sculpted Bush

Sand Dunes at Smoky Beach

Grasses

Lookout over East Ruggedy Beach

RECYCLE: Beach Art and Track Marker

Stunning West Coast Beach

Signs of Drought

Hide…

….and seek

Witches

Views from Mason Bay to snowy mountains of South Island

Merry Christmas

Pot of dead Pilot Whales on Mayson Bay Beach 

Historic Site

Flood Marker

Whaka a Te Wera

Oban….about 350 people on island

 

A Christmas Dance

I’m going through a phase of de-cluttering and simplifying my life. At the height of the Christmas consumerism period I experience the biggest joy when I create some new empty space. I keep walking past the newly created empty space and feel the space and freedom. Very liberating!

Over the years I’ve accumulated a small art collection, of other artists, friends work and my own. I keep at least one work from each major phase in my painting life. This is one of my earliest works, watercolor on wallpaper. I had joined an evening painting class during my last years a high school. We had a great teacher, he taught about the fun and play in painting and he used to belief one can paint with anything, be it jam and mustard.

When I first came to New Zealand I worked mainly with oil stick paints on board. Initially I worked on the flat deck of an old truck on the farm, later in a studio at the Queenstown art center. This little painting features from my early days in New Zealand and breaking away from the ‘old world experience’ time of my life. The body and mind – always needing to work and evolve together – disintegrate and redefine itself.

 

 

This little painting is from a period much later in my artist career when I experimented with candle wax and gold leaf. The body and mind is much more fluid in his movement after years of vigorous  practice of the different skills in life. Orange now dominates the scene.

Last night I went to a party with some nice music and great dancing going on. Great timing for a dance: Solstice and Christmas are only a few days away!

Invite yourself and friends to a special Christmas Dance…… give some time and space!

 MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!