January 16, 2006


I thought 3 months in NZ would be so much time and it is passing by too fast. I still have the whole of the South Island to see and I know it will whiz by in a blur. The Queen Charlotte Track which runs along the Queen Charlotte Sound, is a 5 day walk along the ridge of a stretch of mountains. It starts at Ship's Cove where Captain Cook stayed during his many visits, over towards Picton. Up top you probably have a view of the water on and more mountains beyond on both sides. A Belgian girl will be doing that now, but I, leaving that for the next time I come (I have to keep saying that), took a boat ride along the water up to an island with a bird sanctuary. It has been protected from predators that have been affecting the wildlife on the mainland which allows for native birds to survive here. I saw blue penguins up close! It huddled with it's partner in their soft bed of little, white feathers and peered up with friendly eyes. The rest of the Sounds had a NZ King Salmon farm, water sometimes blue or brilliant tourquoise or completely whited-out from the shimmering strong afternoon light.

Met an artist in residence called John Keith Reed, water colourist. His advice is to paint every evening, have many exhibitions, know that your audience wants to relate to your work, and most importantly, love what you do. His enthusiasm and reading a bio of his past successes gave me a new rush of inspiration. Driving to Nelson, I scribbled down new ideas and words for my first exhibition. TBA!!! P

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