Lady Butler – Scotland Forever-Battle of Waterloo

The work above is called “Scotland Forever” and it was painted by Lady Elizabeth Butler in the year 1881.
Lady  Elizabeth Thompson Butler (3 November 1846 – 2 October 1933) was a rock star painter of English military events.
To get a good look at the detail of this work check in here and for more information about the
artist who was a master of capturing the mood of conflict, camaraderie and patriotism
jump here.

This painting is recreated in the 1970 movie Waterloo

This is a link to the scene recreating the painting from the 1970 movie “Waterloo”
The Battle of Waterloo saw the end of decades of warfare and unrest in continental Europe, beginning with the French Revolutionary wars in 1792 and continuing with the Napoleonic Wars from 1803. .The Battle of Waterloo was fought on Sunday, 18 June 1815, near Waterloo in present-day Belgium, then part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands. A French army under the command of Napoleon was defeated by an Anglo-allied army under the command of the Duke of Wellington combined with a Prussian army under the command of Gebhard von Blücher. Every generation in Europe, up to the outbreak of the First World War, looked back at Waterloo as the turning point that dictated the course of subsequent world history. In retrospect, it was seen as the event that ushered in an era characterized by relative peace, material prosperity and technological progress.

And just for fun





Art Reads

Good Art Reads

Here are some good  ART reads.

The Bottichelli  Secret  By Marina Fiorato
The Girl in Hyacynth Blue By Susan Vreeland
The Girl With a Pearl Earing By Tracy Chevalier
The Lady and the Unicorn By Tracy Chevalier
The Creation of Eve By Lynn Cullen
Tulip Fever By Deborah Moggach
As above So Below: A Novel of Peter Bruegel by Rudy Rucker
Sunflowers By Cheramy Bundrick
The Painted Kiss   By Elizabeth Hickney
The Wayward Muse  By Elizabeth  Hickney
The Picture Maker By Penenakeen Spinka
Caravaggio  By Christopher Peachment
The Music Lesson By Katherine Weber
The Passion of Artmissa  By Susan Vreeland
Paint your Wife  By Lloyd Jones
Fugative Blue  By Claire Thomas
The Birth of Venus By  Sarah Dunant

The Artists Way By Julia Cameron
The Resurection of  Philip Clairmont By Martin Edmond (then go here for some PC telly)
Guernica  By Dave Boling
How To Look at a Painting  By Justin Paton
Art Galleries  to Visit in New Zealand  By Denis Robinson
Frida Kahlo Face to Face by Judy Chicago
Through the Flower  By Judy Chicago
Beyond the Flower By Judy Chicago
Seven Days in the the Art World By Sarah Thornton
33 Artists in 3 Acts  By Sarah Thornton
Seeing Ourselves women’s self-portraits  by Frances Borzello
Seraphine Pick by Felicity Milburn & Lara Strongman
The Artists 21 Practitioners in New Zealand Contemporary Art 2013 -2015
New Zealand Portraits by Richard Wolfe

On my yet to read list…..
The Picture of Dorian Gray By Oscar Wilde
Stained Glass Summer by Mindy Hardwick
Diary by Chuck Palahniuk
Paint it Black By Janet Fitch
For the Love of Art By Janet Goodfriend
The Sidewalk Artist By Gina Buonaguro
My Name is Asher Lev By Chaim Potok
What I Loved By Siri Hustvedt
The Wild Wood  By Charles de Lint
The Collector  By John Fowles
The Painter from Shanghai By Jennifer Epstein
The Printmakers Daughter By Katherine Govier
The Tragic Muse By Henry James
My Name is Red By Orhan Pamuk
The Name of the Rose By Umberto Eco
Landscape With Fragmented Figures  By Jeff Vande Zande
The Burnt Orange Heresy By Charles Willeford
The Vivisector By Patrick White
Headlong By Micael Frayn
Spending By Mary Gordon
The Ground is Burning By Samuel Black
The Illuminator By Brenda Rickman Vandress

Jackson Pollock By Evelyn Toynton
Joseph Cornell Master of Dreams by Diane Waldman
Van Gogh’s Women by Derek Fell
Unexpected Journeys The Art and Life of Remedios Varo
Just Kids Pattie Smith

Grant Wood – American Gothic

American Gothic Grant Wood

American Gothic
Painted in 1930 by Grant Wood
Born February 13, 1891, Anamosa  Iowa
Died: February 12, 1942, Iowa City  Iowa
Wood is associated with the American movement of Regionalism that was primarily situated in the Midwest, and advanced figurative painting of rural American themes in an aggressive rejection of European abstraction.

American Gothic is a representation of an aging farmer and his daughter.
The models were actually the artists sister and their dentist.

I love the lines, and the colour contrast between top and bottom.
It’s worth having a close look at the detail on their clothes
I also love that people remix this painting so often. What would a NZ Gothic look like?



Flight of the Concords american gothic


american gothic parodypigamerican gothic parody

But wait there is more, Grant Wood painted plenty of other really interesting works.

The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere is fantastic



‘It’s about time a transvestite potter won the Turner ’

If you haven’t already heard of him, Grayson Perry is an interesting character.
Firmly part of the British art establishment and for us always engendering long, intense,
often nostalgic conversations. I suspect this is because he draws a lot on his childhood in his representations, he has a refreshing and candid way of looking at the how and why of people.

When the Essex-born artist won the Turner Prize in 2003, he memorably stood on the stage in a pink Little Bo Peep dress, shiny red Dorothy shoes and a bow in his hair.
‘It’s about time a transvestite potter won the Turner,’ he said

Below are some links for you to explore his work further

Conversation with Ocula magazine

Playing to the Gallery: Helping Contemporary Art in its Struggle to be Understood is
his latest book to be published..  a good read short but good.


‘A lot of my work has always had a guerrilla tactic, a stealth tactic. I want to make something that lives with the eye as a beautiful piece of art, but on closer inspection, a polemic or an ideology will come out of it’. Grayson Perry

grayson perry ceramics


Mr Turner

We have been looking forward to seeing Mr Turner  for months, so imagine our surprise
when it was released and we could only find it at two theaters in Auckland.
J. M. W. Turner artist and  master of light and colour,
the link below is a great write up of his life and the why of his art by
Meryle Secrest  JMW Turner Snow Storm on View
I think she gives a great overview his motivations.

JMW Turner Snow Storm - Steam Boat off a Harbours Mouth 1842






Turner had himself tied to the mast of the boat during a storm so he could
experience  it first hand.

If you want to see a well made, excellently acted, fantastically detailed and beautifully
shot film about a seemingly obtuse man who painted miracles – Mr Turner is for you.

There is a  detailed Turner biography here

The original selfie?

Alfred Stieglitz





The quote is ironic as Alfred  Stieglitz was instrumental in gaining a place for photography firmly in the American art culture.
He was married to Georgia O’Keeffe….
The most expensive photograph by Steiglitz, a palladium print of Georgia O’Keeffe (Hands) (1919), was auctioned for a massive $1.47 million in February 2006. On the same day, Georgia O’Keeffe Nude (1919), was auctioned for $1.36 million.


Sand ART

Cleaning my artshed tonight and I found some purple kinetic sand.
Which reminded me that we were inspired sometime over winter by a video we
watched about a professional sand sculpture team. Everything about the show was annoying except that they made the coolest sand scultures using sand, water, formboxes and carving tools.
At the time I wanted to go to the beach and make things out of sand, but the weather was rubbish and we had too many other projects on.

But its summer now – and not only can I go and play in the sand, but other people will be too,
so I get to see what other people make. (we love spotting engineer Dad sand castles)
I did a quick search for NZ sand art and got
Driftwood and Sand competition Hokitika  February 1st 2015
New Zealand Sand castle Competition January 7th 2015 Christchurch

Marcus Winter – sand art performer

Peter Donnelly sand art Christchurch
and I thought I might find some inspiration for my own kinetic sand – if I can get it back off the teenagers.
kinetic sand stamping looks nice…

So remember this summer when you are on the beach slip slop slap and make some sand art.
Build castles, collect shells, drape seaweed, make tracks, and moats and and and…


Resurgence of Political Art

This  caught my eye this morning

Police killings prompt a resurgence in political art
which led to
Street artists protest police brutality

Guernica sprung to mind and then some how I ended up here at

 Well now – I could happily play in this sand pit for a very very long time

Art speaks Action is a blog about NZ political art seems like it was somebodies journalist school assignment but its a start.
very much looking forward to further reading.

Emily Karaka Te Uri O Te Ao 1995