Flowery inspirations…

In an earlier post I showed this photo of a tiny flower growing at the bottom of the wall, between the cement and the tarmac on the footpath.


What if the flower became like the magic bean in the fairytale of Jack and the Beanstalk?  Imagine the whole wall suddenly covered pink flowers and green leaves…


I really like this, I think it’s because of the splashes on the floor that brings the wall out… or  takes the viewer in! It’s bright and fun and I am sure it would bring a few smiles! Also it is inclusive, most people could paint something like this, from 3 to 103.  I believe that a big function of art should be to inspire others to create.  If the distance between the viewer and the art is too great then this cannot happen. So although this does it in a slightly different way to some other ideas I have had, it could still change someones thoughts about their environment and themselves. The viewer could become part of the change by actually going and painting their own garage wall or something.


Angels & Hurricanes

For my personal explorations of our wall space I have been playing around with my sketches, and Photoshop, just to see how different images look on the wall.

This is a silhouette painting I did of Neil Young, Yann (standing in front of the wall with my daughter Pollyanna), loves Neil Young, and I wanted to start somewhere so I started with an image that someone liked a lot.


I like it, I like the contrast between the street and this giant psychedelic blast from the seventies. I like the reference to music too, music often cheers and I love to hear people singing to themselves! It has some reference to it’s direct environment, as the bar behind has live music. Also the title of the song ‘Like a hurricane’ is relevant to change. A hurricane can change a landscape dramatically, this mural also changes this particular bit of the town landscape fairly dramatically.

The next image I tried on the wall is a painting of a gravestone angel in the snow. Why? Does there have to be a reason? Ok I was too hot, I walked past the wall the other day and thought how nice it would be to have snow in Nelson. Seriously, I love to walk around Wakapuaka cemetery with my camera, I find something different every time. I love how you can catch a glimpse of the sea through the graves from high up on the hill. This image was inspired by a photo from the cemetery. I like the idea of bringing significant parts of Nelson back into the centre. An image that offers a moment of quiet contemplation is a busy day.


The last image I did today was Hobbiton, why not have a piece of The Shire in Nelson. There were a few hobbits in town a couple of years ago when they did some filming in the area. The Shire is where the big adventure begins. I painted this from a photograph I took of Hobbiton at the film set,near Hamilton on the North Island.


I still find this wall a challenge, although I like the  way any mural that we put on the wall will interact with the street seen beyond. I have thought of ways of bringing them together seamlessly almost but with changing light and skies etc it would be very difficult.

I do like the idea of bringing the street into the mural though, so whatever I painted on the wall I would add pieces of mirror cemented within the mural to reflect the real world, and also give a changing reality within the mirrors.  These pieces of mirror would add a fragmented effect to the mural which fits in with my current postmodern studies.

All photo’s and painting by the author.

Thanks to models Polly, Yann and Blueberry the bump!

Hey Johnny…

So there you are, walking along Hardy Street, feeling a bit down and pretty much imprisoned in Plato’s cave and woohoo…

‘Is that really Johnny Depp walking towards me out of that wall? And the White Rabbit…Oh, yes Alice, I don’t mind if I do…’


Ok well, maybe not Alice, but I like the whole, down the rabbit holes idea 🙂 I quite like how the people in my photo were all interested in a photographing the blank wall for our project, and their reactions fit in totally with the Alice mural spoof. I like to see how people react with street art, which is something I would like to explore in this project.

‘Alice’ image from Alice in Wonderland movie, directed by Tim Burton.

The Wall

The Urban Mural, or The Wall as I choose to call it, is our first project in Studio research and Practice. We have been split into groups and instructed to choose a blank wall in Nelson to decorate. We then had to choose a theme of either body, environment or semiotics, on which to base our mural.

As I am double booked in other classes for most of  Mondays, I came into this project after initial decisions had been made. Well it saves me some brain cells I guess! Had I been there I would have chosen the Kush Coffee wall in Church street (my favourite coffee stop), and I would have gone for maybe body or semiotics. Environment is fine though as it can fit most ideas, the wall being part of an environment in itself.

So we have a wall… a plain blank wall…. in Hardy Street, and the wall wants something… I would go so far as to say that the wall needs something. It is pretty drab and boring – right?



or… maybe not quite so drab:


or boring:


This wall faces the oncoming pedestrians, they walk towards it, and they probably don’t notice it… So, it is currently a big wasted opportunity. I would like this wall to enhance the life of everyone who walks towards it. I would like it to make them think in a different way, about life, about reality and about our perception of reality. I want the wall to transform the viewer, in some way. Whether it is only the moment, a day, or the rest of a life that is changed.

The wall is at the end of a historical building which currently houses a pub, cafe, sports bar. It is in my opinion a totally uninspiring place, where the only chance of one’s perception being changed is through a haze of alcohol to the sound of rugby commentators. I believe sometimes they have a decent band though. At right angles to the wall is an estate agents, again not very inspiring, but hang on… what about building castles in the air? How about some alternative real estate, an earth-ship maybe? Or the very words could be played upon… real estate… imaginary estate… the wall as the estate of the artists and the viewer.

I see a lot of possibilities, but I like the idea of  a view through to another world, a journey to a different mindset, going through doors of perception but without the mescalin.


Oh and do note the beautiful Genko tree. There is something about this tree, and those tiny pink flowers  growing against all odds, out of the crack at the bottom of the wall, something that says ‘Look, we are here…!’ I want our wall to shout LOOK!! I AM HERE!!!!

All photos by author.

Adding to the JOY…

…in more ways than one!

College started today, and Blueberry the bump is due any hour…

I have not slept since Friday night as Polly, my daughter, keeps having labour scares. It seems funny that a year ago I was a new student, feeling young and full of the excitement of youth, and now I am about to be an oma, or yaya… I cannot do grandma!

When I think back to my own youthful college days, learning was not so joyful. I stick by my theory that education is wasted on the young. I have my own theories about education, and having home educated my kids for several years, and seen some great results, I am inclined to stick with them. My main theory is that if you want to learn something, then you will do it as soon as you are ready. Otherwise it is wasted time and a lot of unnecessary stress. For years I have been ready to learn in a college environment, with other students. To me this is the freedom I dreamed of every day when I couldn’t wait to leave grammar school!

Last year was great, this year I plan to make even better. Bring it on!

When I am not studying I read Tarot…

IMG_8805And play with my pet goat Gypsy…

IMG_8818And make beautiful custom Tarot Bags for lovely earthlings…

IMG_8827And play some more with the goats…