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'The Art of a Hut' Project Update

   Well, a few months have gone past since the project, 'The Art of a Hut' was first thought up, and I’ve been putting a lot of thought and planning into it. The original plan was to complete the whole project in a year which was because we were going to apply for a Creative N arts grant, which requires that you complete your project within one year. But I’m not applying for the grant now, and I’ve been thinking that one year isn’t a very long time to do everything I want to do in. Six months of tramping and drawing in the bush and then six months of trying to make big finished drawings, and organising an exhibition is a bit much for me. I don’t need to rush things and I do have a lot more time to give the project. So I’ve been thinking of ways to make the whole thing less stressful and pressured and more enjoyable as it should be. I probably could do it all in a year, but it would be a challenge and I would end up rushing though my drawing and missing out important bits, because of the rush to get things done on time.

   So I’ve pretty much made up my mind to hold the exhibition in 2015 and then I will have a lot more time to do some serious drawing and planning for it. And that means I will have a whole year or more to visit all the huts I’m drawing. At the moment plans are slightly in the air, but the main thing is we are still going to do it! ‘The Art of a Hut’ is still a very real project and we are still going to start out in November.

    The plan at the moment is to go for two months from November instead of doing six months in one go. I will finish drawing the huts later on in the year when I have raised more money, or perhaps next summer, if Caleb gets into Uni as he is applying for that now. It will be better to travel round the huts drawing them in two or three big chunks of time rather than all in one go, as that way I will have some space in between to look at what I’ve done and get some perspective and see what I can do better next time.

Pledge Me

   Taking more time with the project also means I don’t have to raise as much money all at once which has been the hardest thing about the project. It’s hard planning something when there’s no money to make it possible! But I’ve set up an account with 'Pledge Me' which is a crowd funding; I’ve made a kind of a video with what remains of our camera, and I’ve submitted the project and it's now online! Go to the Pledge Me to see it, and please 'pledge me!' I'll be so grateful for anything you can give to help 'The Art of a Hut', and I have some good rewards of original art for pledgers! 

Lupton Hut

   Last week I went down to Mt Ruapehu with a group of eleven of us. We stayed in a hut called Lupton Hut on the mountain, which I found a bit of time to draw between lots of hiking and tobogganing on the slopes. I didn’t feel like drawing, because with all the goings on around me, I wasn’t in the right frame of mind. But anyway I had only one opportunity to draw the hut, and so I sat down on the bank of the creek with my paper and pencil and suddenly I was enjoying myself enormously! I sometimes forget how much I enjoy drawing until I actually do it; especially when I’m drawing outside, 'en plein air.'

   Unfortunately, the lighting was from behind the hut when I drew which made the drawing look quite flat. But that taught me something more about drawing huts. Planning out my drawing, composition and lighting etc before I begin is very important.

   In the photo is me with Caleb and Thomas who will be coming with me this November. Caleb is really the co-authour of the whole idea so he deserves a lot more credit for it! Thank you, Caleb, I wouldn't be doing this without you! 


I have had more commissions this month since the beginning of the year which is really great since I need the work at the moment. This portrait of a stallion and his sire and grand sire was a new sort of thing for me. I had different photos to work from and some of them were quite small as there was no larger one to be had. I managed it alright in the end, but it was a learning curve! Dad made the frame for it out of beautiful kauri heart wood which looks beautiful.

   I have a few more commissions I’m working on at the moment, so I’ll be spending a lot of time in my studio this month. If you would like a picture done or know anyone who does let me know -- especially if you want something done for Christmas since I’ll be having a long break from commissioned work from November over the summer while I’m out drawing huts. You can see more about ordering a portrait on my website.