Saturday, 6 December 2008

Tauranga National Art awards.

Its been a while since my last entry because November was a huge month for me. Things were going really well with my entry for the Tauranga National Art Awards. This was a painting that I was constantly challenging myself with. I put lots of research, thought, and emotion into it and felt that was coming through in the painting. It was an emotionally intense process and when I felt it was finally finished I was very happy with the result. (Most unusual!) I should have known it was too good to be true! When it came to varnishing it I had almost run out of the usual product so tried to get more but my supplier had none in stock so to cut a long story short I went with another varnish that proved far from satisfactory! I tried another product to try to get rid of a series of milky streaks but the two mediums were not compatible so I made it worse! It was ruined! Heres a photo of it before the varnish went on. At this point my mood had hit rock bottom. I was in mourning! And I had a party to organise for Troys Birthday feeling far from in a party mood. Saturday morning I prepared food and fussed around looking forward to being able to have a few wines later on. We had lots of family and friends around, had a lovely meal and then Troy said he wanted to make a speech. He asked me to stand next to him, thanked everyone, waffled on for a bit then went down on one knee and proposed to me!!! I'd had no idea this was coming. Of course I said yes! So that pulled me out of my melancholy over the painting and I went back to the studio on Tuesday mentally accepting that I would have no painting entered in the Tauranga Art Awards. Mum came to see me and spied a half finished piece leaning up in the corner. Always a source of encouragement she suggested I finish that painting for Tauranga.....the only problem was that the next day and day after were the delivery days. I had one day to complete it! I went home Tuesday night, planned the rest of the painting and put in twelve hours work on it onWednesday. I was actually really pleased with how it turned out, I must do well under pressure. We delivered it the next day and four days later I got a phone call to say it had won the Supreme Award!
Now I have commissions and a great Gallery wanting my work so lots of work to do! But as always I can find a few moments each morning to photograph my favourite birds on the saltmarsh. The whitebaiters are gone and the herons are reasserting their territorial boundaries. I took this photo which may appear to be part of an elaborate courtship ritual but is in fact a pair of males challenging each other over feeding grounds. One of them had his female mate nearby but despite this he lost to the bachelor heron. The pair were forced to retreat to the other side of the river to feed. The whole standoff lasted only seconds but I do I love this shot! The victor was the bird on the right with his head held highest.
The swallows have hatched their second brood of babies above my studio entrance which means they are twice as fierce protecting the nest! A day or so ago one of them dive bombed my head three times in quick succession and I actually felt it touch my hair. They screech and snap their beak at the moment of contact - amazing how something so tiny can become such an effective assailant! My hair stands on end and I seek shelter as fast as I can!