A Friend writes from NZ

And how many million times have I said it, but I have started to change the record and I’m discovering my creativity in many ways. We’ve moved from our last rental house which was big but uninspiring and now (for at least six months) we are living in a new house set in the most amazing setting surrounded by orchards as far as the eye can see, there is also a huge walnut tree in the garden and to say it has kept me busy is an understatement. I’ve collected and hulled thousands of walnuts at this stage and know more and appreciate the humble walnut in a completely different way. So, between the apples, the walnuts, chutney, jams, jellies and muffins I have opened up a new appreciation of food that just falls into your lap or your forage on a walk and how creative you can be with it. It’s great fun. That’s the setting we are now living in  so it has inspired me along with your last newsletter to just start drawing every day, so I do, (I’m still being my own worst enemy as I continue with inner criticism) but I draw something everyday, doesn’t matter what it is, I just start, of late I’ve been drawing New Zealand  birds, not easy but I find it really relaxing and all of a sudden all birds are not the same, they are incredible complex and varied, and of course I’ve always known that but when you start looking at things differently you start seeing spaces not objects and the shapes these spaces take up and then the whatever it is you’re trying to  draw just appears, I know you are aware of this but I’m just at the baby stage and somedays it’s just lines or circles but I try to make them the best lines and circles I’ve drawn that day.  Otherwise life is ticking along, we are coming to the end of Autumn and I’m still barefoot most of the time, the mornings are much cooler now as are the evenings but so far Autumn is my favourite season here, warm during the day but no too hot and the colours from the trees  are breathtaking just like living in a paintbox, a riot of colour, to quote Allison Kraus’s song ‘Killing The Blues”–

“Leaves were falling, just like embers, In colours red and gold they set us on fire, burning just like a moonbeam in our eyes”.

Phill Mc Caughy

Phill moved to New Zealand at the beginning of the year to start a new life. She is a dear friend, one of the first to take part in the earliest workshops and courses when Art to Heart’s was still finding its feet. It’s good to see she’s keeping up the work and I am thankful to her for agreeing to publish this email in the current newsletter. Below: sketches of a Kiwi and a Tui bird.