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The birth of Aquanimity

It has been some time since my last post but while the world was (and is) in chaos, I have been working on new drawings in our sanctuary called New Zealand. After seeing a humpback whale breaching, inspiration took over so I dived in. As soon as I had found a suitable reference image, I could explore the form and the way the light falls. As always this came with some artistic struggling when I had to experiment with colours and media - especially the watercolour background, a medium that I don’t know as well as my pencils and charcoal. But my beautiful whale kept me on track and I started building the lines and the tones, the rhythms of the light and introduced pastels to bring in colour variations. An important part of drawing for me is getting to know the subject, reflecting and allowing myself time to admire the form. It amazes me how such a bulky mammal can move through the water with such grace. When I watched the whale breaching through my spotting scope, 2/3 of its body was above the surface and came down with a sheer force that revealed its’ weight. But the most important characteristics that resonate with me in Humpback whales, are gentleness and equanimity. Especially the pose that I was drawing has an atmosphere of peaceful abiding. These qualities that I pick up while drawing often colour my own moods and are reflected in the title of my drawings. So, after a few months of starting, stalling, reviving and the joy of finishing, ‘Aquanimity’ was born. Just in time to be part of a group exhibition by 7 Wellington artists. ‘The land we love’ runs In Thistle Hall, Cuba street Wellington, from 22nd until the 27th of September.

In the middle of all this a group of orcas tried to compete for my attention. They definitely got plenty of it. Seeing them reclining so close to my home in the shallows of Breaker Bay with a new-born baby, emphasized my love for whales.

After the busy period of getting ready for the exhibition, there will now be time to start new work.



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