My Name is Grace Darling - Kindle format only 2019
The Life of Grace Darling - August 2016- available in hardback and kindle via Amazon
Landscape and Portrait Painter. Grace Darling Book illustrations
This illustration project has taken 18 months to produce some 30 A3 art
works in watercolour to illustrate the life story of one of England's first Super Star Heroines- Grace Darling - who achieved world wide fame and whose family are in my ancestral line. My brother John and his friend John Harper are the co- producers of the successful website and I collaborated with them to provide the full page paintings to illustrate Grace's childhood, her famous rescue and ultimate demise as a result of the stress of finding herself catapulted inot a world of fame and fortune for which she was not suited mentally nor emotionally
A second book ' My Name is Grace' written as if told in Grace's words by Geraldine Terry has lots of Northumbrian dialect and strong sense of Grace's lifestyle and family life, tells the story with drama, humanity and compassion.My illustrations have been reworked to suit the different portrait format.
The books are now available from Amazon.co.uk
ANZAC Display June 2014
Having moved to Australia in January 2014 I picked up on the atmosphere here of remembering the contributions made by New Zealanders and Australians during World War 1 during this centennial year. I heard about a play being performed locally by 'The Shift Theatre Company' called 'Girls in Grey' and contacted the directors re making a set of small paintings on the theme of ANZAC nurses to be displayed in the foyer of the theatre so theatre goers could have something complementary to look at during the interval. They were very supportive and so I went on to develop the 12 paintings during a time when a major TV series called the ANZAC girls was released based on the book by Peter Rees called 'The Other ANZACS' This book had been the inspiration for my first set of paintings of the 3 New Zealand nurses who died when their transport boat was torpedoed.
Anzac Paintings exhibited at the Glasshouse Port Macquarie photo with the sole male actors who took part in 'Girls in Grey' performed 6/6/2014
January 2014 -
The studio with its owners moves country from Northland New Zealand to Central Mid North Coast Australia, Port Macquarie Renting a house by the beach for a year we have the wonderful 9 Km Coastal Walkway to explore and this became the inspiration for the first landscape series called 'Coast' Here is my favourite cove called Pandanus Beach and the path here to the triangular 'Rock' was the subject of the first painting I made in Australia.
WHANGAREI HEADS ART TRAIL 2013 ʻEXPRESSIONSʼ
I hope you enjoy this mini retrospective of my time living in Whangarei Heads as an artist as presented by 3 major strands of my artwork during the previous 4 years.
The first series from an exhibition of mixed media paintings at the Quarry Arts Centre show my PATHWAYS series which refer to and express the light and dark aspects of spiritual training and our journey from the dark shadows we often inflict upon ourselves- those transient (if we let them) fears and doubts we all have at times and how the way forward is always lit up for us if we allow our SELF - our ego to step back and let the natural path light up our way ahead.
My love of the natural world, our surroundings and the Spirit of this land is reflected in the LANDSCAPE paintings displayed here which are produced from local viewpoints using watercolour, pen drawing and also more textured, mixed media works.
I have also been exploring and extending the more figurative WOMEN AS ICONS series with small portraits of local girls who created garlands for themselves to wear at a Spring Fair at Whangarei Heads School. The purity and promise of their lives, a hint of challenges ahead - their stories to come- are expressed within the paintings.
More recently I have been working with small images of women - who all happen to be grandmothers I know- who each personify something special and celebratory - the life of a woman with all its challenges and triumphs - some of which are hinted at in the colours, textures or backgrounds included.
A special Thank you to all the women in my Life - I appreciate you ALL and would like to paint you all in a way you can see and know how special you are.........
My next series will be focusing on the working MAN, the pioneer, the gumdigger heritage - so watch this space...........
April 7-8th 2012
The first ever Whangarei Heads Art Trail happens this coming weekend and 25 local artists are opening up their studios or exhibiting in shared spaces for a couple of days over Easter - the brainchild of a local tourist board and one of their members, artist Adrienne Dietrich - who raised funding for advertising material and put in an awful lot of hard work. We shall see how it goes but it has been a definite incentive to tidy up my working space and make it look a bit more gallery-like. This is still a work in progress but there is still two days to go and I must say it's good not to see camping stuff or stepladders from where the easel sits. I have enjoyed getting back to landscape painting - my first love really- but with a new, interesting, twist.
The Art Trail was very successful with over 150 folk a day coming through the studio and many happy to chat and hear about the methods of painting and arriving at the heavy textures on my canvases. A friend of mine kindly made me some home-made chocolates to offer visitors and our estimation of 150 over the two days - ran out by 2pm on the first day! A flurry of sales on the second day was an unexpected and pleasing result as was the opportunity to meet some very interesting people mainly local but including some visitors from Germany, Mauritius, Cambridge and San Diego.
The Women as Icons exhibition was a successful show with lots of positive comments in the visitor book. Some of the feedback included comment such as ' What a brilliant celebration of womanhood', ' Made me cry', ' Love all the women in your paintings'.
The theme emerged as an idea following the first series of Pathways and Offering Bowl Paintings in which I began to explore aspects of my own Spiritual Journey through the Artwork.
There were some small paintings which emerged out of shadows and seemed to be on the theme of ordinary women portrayed in an extraordinary light, symbolised by the use of gold in the underpainting as well as within the shapes of windows or doorways.
Sometimes the images surprised me and the backgrounds started to contain and hint at underlying emotions or suggestions of figures from the subject's past or future. I included a small number of paintings using historic references and photos from the archives of the Far North Regional Museum portraying working women in the late 1800's or early 1900's and this may become the germ of another series to develop this theme further and bring images from the past to life in my paintings.