Wednesday, 14 December 2016


Thursday, 3 November 2016

How is the viewer experiencing and making a connection to the art.

Do we want to make a connection with the viewer through expressing our experience of the landscape? We can relate to a human experience even in a foreign place.

Do we want to draw off the idea that people have knowledge and are aware of nature however some cannot access or go to these places. Therefore they have an appreciation of art and photographs capturing nature they cannot go and see for themselves.

People want to feel things. Experience things. Feel like they are part of something. How as an artist can we provide this through art. We want to give the viewer something they can take away and remember.
Experiences we usually remember are one where our emotions are heightened and our reactions are extreme whether positive or negative.


Photography is capturing an image (fleeting moment) of reality.
Painting is capturing an artists perspective of reality.

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Experimenting with transparent layers in the underpainting. Using the natural sineas and umbers and orches for the warm tones and prussain and ultramarine blue for the cooler tones, with a hint of violet. Keeping the energy and movement of the landscape present- evident in the brushwork and transparent overlaying. Limited palette unites the works. Having a more complex underpainting will give the work more depth and interest- hold the viewer. Gives me time to establish the composition and lights and darks. Repetition of the triangular formation creates some harmony within the works. Some areas of more pure colour help lead the eye. Do the paintings have quite a wet and rainy feel to them atm? Still lose the reflection line so the painting is not divided up- does not dominate. I might place these paintings inbetween the pervious set of three.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

At the point where I just want to leave this painting where it is at. The composition and combination of underpainting and thick paint- well balanced. The gestural marks of the underpainting are not just painting marks, they suggest naturalistic forms- as the top layer is suggesting this- tenses it out of the underpainting. Again losing the reflection line we move away from a figurative representation- something else begins to come out of the painting. Good amount of contrast.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Letting the underpainting and underneath layers and colours come through. It creates a tension and a push and pull. The act of painting becomes more primary than the landscape. Can do transparent washes over the underpainting to create more depth and variation. The relationship between the two different layers is very interesting. It holds the viewer.

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Triptych series primaraly based on the form of the land, not water/reflections. Having the reoccurring declavity in each painting- natural passage way through the landscape both physically and visually. Declavity also formed by the shape of the three paintings- repetition works really well. Create a rhythm and subtle flow and connections between the different paintings. They will feed off each other- complement and contrast. Strong sense of depth within each of the paintings. Strong foreground diagonals lead the viewer in. The free energetic underpainting creates dynamic movement. Keep the contrast levels up but be careful to avoid a romantic reference.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Progress of a more realistic approach painting the landscape. Base coats. Carefully observing the tone and colour in painting. Making sure the brush gestures serve the forms well...not just a painting mark.  Thinking about aerial perspective and creating a sense of depth. Thinking about how the light is hitting the brushstrokes, especially with thick impasto paint.
Consider how I can let underneath layers come through and influence painting and create more depth/interest and different surface and colour relationships.
Layering?? It there a lyrical pattern/ melody of brush strokes unifying the work?

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Contrast of a figurative and abstracted landscape. Base coats. Source- Moonraker Lake
Studio space at university. Looking at how the body of work is developing as a whole.

Philistine-Rolleston Traverse 3/09/2016

Philistine-Rolleston Traverse         3/09/2016

Friday evening Hamish and I made our way to Arthurs Pass, time passing quickly with good chat soon arriving at the cmc lodge. Roasting by the fire in lodge we organised our gear for the early morning start of 3.30am! I was pretty pumped to reach the summit tomorrow. 

Before I knew it Hamish was shaking me awake and we had a fed before driving to the Otria carpark. A light mist rain was clearing and the stars were starting to peak through allowing us to hope for firmer snow. After crossing the footbridge we headed up a snowy ridge that lead to a cairned route leading to Warnock bluffs. The snow was soft which made tough work. We travelled quickly up and over the exposed Warnock bluffs that had a good mix of rock and snow making the climbing enjoyable. Reaching the top of the bluffs the sun began to rise over the eastern mountains lighting up Rolleston in the distance, making us realise how far we had to go.

A slow snow plod followed along with strong gusts of wind as we made our way up to Mt Philistine. We made the summit at 9.00am getting a view of the Philistine ridge we were to follow. We were both feeling unfit but both had good endurance so the soft snow did not stop us. After you go pass Mt Philistine there is no bail out options before Mt Rolleston so its a big commitment. 

We pushed on along Philistine ridge where there was a mix of reasonably flat travel and tricky rock and snow narrow exposed sections, where careful down climbing was required. The cornices were very overhanging and open as the snow cover was not super deep. At point 2000m we got a direct view of the climb up to the summit of high peak Rolleston. An obvious snow gut lead straight up to the summit. Easy. However before the final climb we had to down climb down a very exposed part of the ridge were the snow was becoming soft due to the heat of the day. A mix of straddling, crawling, and down climbing the ridge was requiring to pass safety haha. Enough stress for me. Hamish did a sweet job of leading and finding a good route through this. 

Photo: Hamish Cumming

After a quick snack we continued our snow plod up towards to summit. Legs were pretty shattered by this point. As we made our way up the snow gut bits of ice and snow were cracking of the rocks from the heat and flying down at speed towards us. They hurt if they got you! 

Philistine Ridge. Photo: Hamish Cumming
Final climb to summit high peak Rolleston. Photo: Hamish Cumming

Popping out at the top of Rolleston high peak the views were stunning! Elevated above the cloud we could see over towards Mt Alexandra and down towards the Arrow smith range. Views down the Rolleston river were also pretty awesome! We didn't have to much time to take in the view as it was about 3pm. The snow was very soft and slushy on the top making the traverse very nerve racking. A mix of tiredness, soft snow and exposure made some sections very challenging and scary! It is very easy to psych yourself out so you have to be very focused on what you are doing at that moment. Quite mentally draining. 

Coming down the last section Hamish set up an abseil on an existing sling off a rock to get pass a icy step and down to the base of middle peak Rolleston. I was very grateful for this.

We sidled down and around middle peak then climbed back up into the ridge that lead to low peak. 

By the time we reached low peak the sun had started to set and there was not a breath of wind. Low cloud had settled in the valleys and atmospheric high cloud spread out across the sky, changing colour as the sun lowered. We each go a photo on the rock that marks where you drop down onto the Otria slide. Being on top of a mountain when the sun is setting is a little concerning. Was an incredible moment though! 

Making a way down the slide was a piece of cake compared to what we had tackled throughout the day. Making sure to go slightly left to avoid the bluffs as the light faded we descended into darkness stopping third of the way down for a snack as we we both about to hit a wall (lacking a bit of concentration). Half way down the snow became very soft and we were sinking in up to our mid thighs! A push and a huff and puff and we emerged out at the footbridge. After decramponing and rehydrating we finished the final walk back to the car. Both extremely shattered. The trip clocked up at 17 hours! The longest day I have done! 

An absolutely awesome day out, great views, great company, and a sweet route. Highly Recommended. 

Tramps: Hamish Cumming, Caroline Bellamy
Date: Sept 3rd, 2016

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Painting submission approaching...

Exploring the abstract qualities within the landscape and seeing how I can depict them within painting. Simplify the forms in nature. Exaggerating characteristics that stood out when I was experiencing the landscape. Removing the horizon line pushes the painting away from a figurative depiction.
Naturalistic colours. Continue to develop more complex colour combinations to create atmosphere, aerial perspective and interesting colour relationships.

Monday, 1 February 2016

South Westland 18 Day Exploration Feb 2016 ...

18 Days Immersed Amongst Wild, Remote, Raw South Westland, New Zealand

Caroline Bellamy
Hamish Cumming
Nick Riordan
Josh Brinkmann
Clare Fryer

Day 0: Early 1990s car pushed to its limits. Busting with five peoples gear for 18 days and five bodies we drove from Christchurch down to Makarora in serening heat. Last minute treats including fresh apricots and cherries from a lovely central Otago lady. After dropping off food for food drop at the Waiatoto Jet Boats, Hannah’s clearing we start up camp at Makarora for some sleep before our adventure began. 

Day 1: A rather relaxing start with a wander up the Wilkin river. Following the river we ran into the Wilkin jet boats cruising people up the beautiful river in the clear weather. A deep river crossing to Kerin forks hut claimed a drink bottle and watch from our team but was nothertheless  very refreshing. We arrived at Top forks hut 11hrs later (25km), quite shagged from the full days walking with our 20kg+ packs. The river travel was straight forward but it took it out of us. A lovely hut with a resident baby hare that we adopted temporary. This was 1 out of 2 of the only huts we would be staying at for the 18 days so we made the most of it.

Day 2: An incredible morning view louvered us out of the hut into the huge wild landscape. This was just the beginning… A warm morning swim at lake Diana surround by towering rocky mountains and remains of glaciers above us set the scene. The crashing of breaking ice echoed around us highlighting how unstable the ice and rock was. Side trip to Lake Lucious, a very silty lake surrounded by steep rock faces. Onwards to Lake Castalia we arrived about 12.30pm for lunch after leaving the hut 9.00am. A strong turquoise blue of the lake contrasted with the vertical grey rock cliffs boarding the lake, decorated with multiple cascading waterfalls. 150m waterfalls, one after another, gravity directing them into the lake. So spectacular. Our days work was not complete. An intimidating 600m vert climb up onto the ridge North of Mt Juno on steep loose rock was up next. We all carefully made our way with sections involving full body climbing. We use a fixed rope on a smooth rock no fall zone close to the top of ridge to ensure the safety of our team. We hoped out on the ridge about 5.30pm with stunning views down the Wonderland valley. Pushing on we followed the ridge and did a small abseil at point 1821, down a drop in the ridge which could be avoided by dropping down to ice field and sidling below. After sidling Leda Peak on the snow the light was starting to fade and we took a beauty of a campsite on the shoulder of Leda peak. A flat spot amongst the rocks that was sheltered from the wind (1800m). We weighted down the 2 person tent and 3 man fly with large boulders. A big fed and we were fast asleep. What a day. 

Day 3: Rain gently patted on the fly early in the morning. I was pretty cosy in the fly tucked in the middle with the two guys either side haha. We all decided to wait out the weather and squeezed into the fly for some team bonding during the day. A minor flooding incident occurred about mid afternoon when I removed all the big sharp rocks from my sleeping area causing the water to settle in the fine gravel, creating a moat through the middle of the fly!! Nick swiftly dug out a moat outside around the fly which worked great through the night and heavy rain. A hot chickpea dinner was consumed along with some good banter. 

Day 4: Hearing the rain on the fly we all slept in. About midday the cloud started to break. Spectacular views straight off the cliff where we were camp and down the Wonderland valley, up towards Leda peak and along to the Sentinel- the planned route for the day. The sun so warm we packed up and make tracks at 3pm. Easy ridge travel along the main divide with amazing views in all directions. Totally worth waiting out the weather for this section. A steep rock scrambling down point 1841 just after the Sentinel. No ropes needed though. We sided Mt Achilles down the North side of the Te Naihi Saddle and then sidled along to the glacier fed  lake of Mt Achillies. We arrived half an hour before sunset. The alpine lake, one of the most beautiful ever. We jumped in for a swim in the super cold water. Felt so clean afterwards and absorbed the evening sun highlighting the rugged, wild mountains surrounding us. An incredible moment. Set up camp above the lake and Hamish and I slept outside in the amazing clear night. 

Day 5: No idea what the weather is doing but it fine so we pushed on! Beautiful clear morning set the scene for a morning swim and then off down the upper Te Naihi river where we could see out to the West coast. The valley was filled with mountain flowers and a crystal clear river with imposing steep rocky cliffs up above us. We rested and had lunch under a rock overhang to dry out the feet and escape the heat for a bit. A steep tussock spur lead us right up to the dispute glacier and the scattered tarns below where we set up camp. Hamish and Clare climbed up Mt Dispute, Nick and Josh relaxed under fly and I went to a swim and boulder hopped up to the ridge for the sunset down the valley’s.  Left overs for dinner as we had not planned to be in this section for this long. Nick had some surgery on his infected tooth that had swollen up half of his face. Clear beautiful night, me and Hamish did a P90x session and slept outside. 

Day 6: Up at first light we packed up, climbed out of the basin and heading down the tussock slopes into the bush to Bosky Gully. Towards the bottom of the gully we navigated steep bluff and huge boulders covered in moss and vegetation. Heaps of spiders! We followed the Te Naihi river down the beautiful valley hopping in the bush in the steep gorge sections. Well formed deer tracks in the bush allowed fast travel. Clare went to a float down the river while crossing the Te Naihi for the last time. We arrived at Axis flats at 9pm, a very full day and we knackered!! Quick dinner followed by a sleepless hot night under the fly with mosquitoes attacking us no stop. 

Day 7: Up at 6am, Hamish, Josh, Clare and I traveled down the Waiatoto river to below Casey’s hut where we picked up a food drop from the Waiatoto Jet boats. As we filled up our bellies the jet amazingly came around the corner and we were able to get the weather forecast for the next week. It was looking fine! Arriving back to Axis flats finding Nick in his floral underwear keeping cool we went for swims and hid under the scruby bushes on the flats, eating the excess food we had. Scones for dinner, all homemade by Clare. Yummy. As the light added we saw a helicopter shooting Chamois on the Haast range. Campsite yoga, campsite fire, campsite stories and food. What a night….. the mosquitoes however attached again. 

Day 8: Eager to get moving and escape the sandflies we hastily packed and continued up the Waiatoto river. A packs where very very very heavy!!! We jumped into a leaky tin dingy Kim said we could use and floated across the Waiatoto (in low flow). Drys packs were great but Hamish and Nick took the dip in the icy river and swam back across to return the boat. Had a little trouble finding the start of the cattle track and after about 1hr of bush bashing we linked on and the travel was much easier. After lunch at Drake flats we continued up the valley to Boner flats. The heat made us sweat heaps and many rests were taken to give the body some ease from the heavy packs. Arrived at dusk, set up camp and all slept like babies!

Day 9: This was supposed to be our rest day however I had a big desire to get to the head of the Waiatoto river where there is a lake fed by surrounding glaciers, looking up to Mt Aspiring. Bumbags ready to go the travel at first was light and easy, in contrast to the heavy packs the pervious day. We followed a side river through the dense bush to avoid the upper Waiatoto river. I dense bush bash was required to get back to the main valley to where we came out at the lake. A very cool place to be! Waterfalls gushed down from surrounding glaciers and vertical rock faces. Very few people had be up there and it felt very remote, untouched and wild! We boulder hopped all the way back down the Waiatoto (totally doable on low flow), large powerful gushing torrents of water. It was quite exhilarating and I was peaking. A spontaneous swim in a beautiful side pool to freshen up. 12hr day trip…..we were not to well rested. The custard for dessert topped off the day! 

Day 10:  Sleep in.. we slowly got up and amped ourselves for the steep 1500m climb up to the Hasst range. Last morning of sandflies whooop! We followed a rocky side stream then turned left into the bush and headed up towards a spur. A small pack haul was required in very steep slippery section. Followed the spur up to where is came out to open tussock were we rehydrated. A near broken bone while getting water after a large rock dislodged and landed on Hamish’s arm and leg. We slugged up the steep terrain to the top of the Haast range where the weather was average. Set up camp in a basin praying it would not rain during the night. As dusk approached the sky cleared, Very beautiful. 

Day 11: Casual start appreciating the incredible views above the cloud and out over the Waiatoto valley which was immersed in cloud. The morning sunlight lit up the clouds, surrounding mountains and warmed our bones. The Rock Wren birds were a common sight along the Haast range. We made a way up rock Wren Gully, a steep gut with a lot of loose rock, were however able to get up without a rope. We hit the ridge then sidled around Moon-raker on the permanent snowfields aware of the icy sections. Coming down to Cloud-maker  lake the weather started to clear. The valley was full of white and yellow mountain flowers. An absolutely stunning place to be! No wind a beautiful relaxing evening, topped off with a skinny dip in Cloud-maker. Refreshing after the previous bush bash where your hair and everything gets covered in moss and twigs. Yummy dinner topped off with some chocolate mouse set in the cool of Cloud-maker. Some experimental night photography was great fun. 

Day 12: Up early the clear but frigid morning in the basin got us going. A bit of morning dancing to warm us all up. A steep climb up to the ridge we then dropped down to the Western sidle that lead to Colin Todd hut.