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This blog details news and events from my two major passions, art and white water kayaking. I may include posts about my other active interests including tramping, rock-climbing, tennis, exploring, snorkelling, house renovation, entrepreneurial ideas and various other hybrid activities. I welcome comments and look forward to receiving your feedback.


Waikaremoana 10: The lake is completed

Note that from now on I will post each new progress image of the painting in a new entry.

I will work on the clouds next.


Ruakituri Kayak Trip

In mid April, Jon Parker, Dean Benvenuti, Cam from the USA and I met Scott Bothwell from Gisborne and kayaked the Hopuruahine Stream and the Ruakituri River, both next to lake Waikaremoana. First we paddled the first 500m of the Hopuruahine Cascades, which was pretty intense and took over two hours including scouting, exiting the river via a cliff and taking photos. We got out just before an 8 m drop which may have been paddleable, but we didn't have time to assess it or the big drops we could see below it.

Timon in the main rapid getting air off a rock and in the next shot, submerged in the chute below

Next day we carried our kayaks 6km over very rugged terrain into the 72m high Waitangi Falls on the Ruakituri River.
These falls are well worth the tramp, are spectacular and quite unique in New Zealand. The portage down the hill to the get-in below the falls was a bit of a nightmare, but the paddling was excellent. The river flows over big wide shallow ledges which are up to about 5 m high and really fun to paddle. The rockforms in the bedrock were quite amazing.

The walk-in

Jon and two clones in the first rapid

Dean in a 4m drop


The day after, we paddled the Papuni Section of the river, immediately downstream. This was also a lot of fun, with some very tight maneuvering through tiny gaps.

Dean in two places at once in the crux rapid on the Papuni Section 


Interesting rock forms in the last rapid on the Papuni section 

Get in touch if you are interested in walking in to Waitangi Falls - I can give you some tips on the best route! 



Waikaremoana from Panekiri Bluff

I have been commissioned to paint a large panorama of Lake Waikaremoana from Panekiri Bluff. I will post progress photos of this painting on this blog for those who are interested in viewing the process as a tutorial. The client has a bach at Onepoto, a little village in the bush by the lake. I drove the 500km from Wellington two months ago to tramp up the Panekiri Bluff to take panorama photos of the amazing views. I also arranged to meet friends there and we kayaked the beautiful Ruakituri River and the Hopuruahine Stream (see the separate post with some great photos).

Below is the panorama photo of the lake that I am painting. It is composed of about 5 photos. Click on any image below to enlarge it.


1.7.11 Waikaremoana 1: The first photo in the sequence shows the pencil drawing of the grid that I abstract from the photograph above (more work than it looks). I get this enlarged to the size of the canvas and then transfer it onto the canvas using chalk as 'carbon paper'.


2.7.11 Waikaremoana 2: I have transferred the grid onto the new canvas and I am now ready to begin painting. The canvas measures approximately 2m x 0.7m.


9.7.11 Waikaremoana 3: I have made a start on the background hills.


13.7.11 Waikaremoana 4: Further development of background hills and some fiddly sections of the lake.


14.7.11 Waikaremoana 5


20.7.11 Waikaremoana 6: The background hills are complete, bar a bit of twiddling with colours. I have made a start on the lake and will complete this as the next step.


1.8.11 Waikaremoana 7: I have added part of the lake, starting with the most shiny bit.


5.8.11 Waikaremoana 8: More of the lake completed.


6.8.11 Waikaremoana 9: More lake and a couple of sails added. be continued...


Photos taken for North and South Magazine

Photographer Nicola Edmonds took these great photos for North and South Magazine of my aerial painting technique. Of course, this is how I paint all my canvases. Why change a successful formula?



Three New Prints for Fractions Exhibition

Here are three new prints, just completed. Now I have five new ones for the 'Fractions' show opening Thursday 5.30 at Exhibitions Gallery. I am enjoying experimenting with small round landscape prints with unusual border patterns. Hope to see you at the show! From left, they are: Makara Coast, Red Rocks Round, Rangitikei at Mangaweka.




300 illustrations for NZCER!

I am working on 300 colour illustrations for the New Zealand Council of Educational Research. They are to be used in a new manual for assessing numeracy and literacy skills. So far I have completed about 100 of these - it is a huge job, and I'm really enjoying it. It means I have little time for anything else at present! I have attached a couple of examples.

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