Sunday, 8 August 2010


I haven't visited the Taranaki region since...well actually I don't know if I ever have. So it was an adventure to visit this amazing region to visit relatives in Urenui. Mt Taranaki is a grand landmark on the skyline. Who can fail to be impressed by this georgous snowy cone in a classic volcano shape?
Troy and I were visiting John and Chris McLean who live in an amazing house John built himself. John is an artist who paints the most incredible oils and I am totally in awe of his work. As an artist you tend to spend many hours working alone and for me it is sometimes hard not to be overwhelmed by the difficulties I have to deal with. So it was fantastic for Troy and I to be able to sit down with John and his wife Chris and have a good old korero about the whole concept of creating stuff. I was reassured that I am on the right track and I was very inspired by Johns insights. Below is a photo of me with John at one of his exhibitions at the Tauranga Public Art Gallery last year, in front of one of his paintings which is a favourite of mine. He is soon to open an extensive exhibition in Puke Ariki, the public Art Gallery in New Plymouth.

During the day, when we weren't sightseeing we would take a short trek across the McLean farm to the beach. Beautiful white cliffs run along the coast towards New Plymouth. I found a gannet skull to add to my collection.
Patsy, Sprite and Jess enjoy the beach!

By the way, I thought it was kinda cool that John has collected a few skulls too -it must be an artists thing.


Susan Roux said...

What an amazing place. So glad you found inspiration and a sense of being on the right track. Those reassuring words can mean so much...

Thanks for posting these lovely pictures.

Mandy said...

Thanks Susan! Yes it was an amazing place! When are you going to visit us down under?

Lucky Dip Lisa said...

All my children were born in Taranki and we still consider it home. Such an awesome and inspiring place as you no doubt saw. I am glad MT Taranaki wasn't being shy that day. When it clouds over it's like Mountain? What mountain? lol. The when you do see it, it's hard to believe that something as big and stunning as that can actually hide!

Mandy said...

I know what you mean! I felt priveleged to see it.

Anonymous said...

How I'd love to go back to Urenui and visit John and Chris again. I was introduced to them in 1999 and we ate good food, drunk wine and wondered across their wonderful estate. john's work is truly inspiring as is his journey to find his true artistic calling. Thanks for your post on this blog it has brought back fond memories.

WM the UK