Thursday, June 10, 2010

there and back again

I think this short clip by Nicola Blackmore says it all really.

Legato at Cassino from Nicola Blackmore on Vimeo.

But when in sure to take a photo of yourself in front of the Coloseum.

What follows are a handful of photos from my trip.

Caprile - the village where I stayed.

Roccasecca. Birthplace of Thomas Aquinas and the nearest town with shops and the all important trattoria.

Below are images of Cassino

The NZ Ambassador

And a few from Rome

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Thank you Vivo, friends and supporters!

Last night Vivo Wine Bar in Wellington hosted a night of wine and art. I displayed 10paintings, including 'If', my painting for Legato.

It was a great night. People were generous with their praise and their contributions. It was a tremendous boost for me taking me closer to my goal of being able to take 'If' to Italy in May.

a big thanks to Vivo and everyone that came along

Monday, April 12, 2010

Taking my painting to Italy, and supporting the RSA

I have been invited to exhibit my painting, ‘If’ at the Legato Exhibition in Cassino, Italy in May 2010. The theme of the exhibition is peace and remembrance.

This is a wonderful opportunity and I am raising funds to enable me to take the painting and its story to Cassino and to support the Returned Services Association (RSA).

I am running a number of auctions of my artwork on and I have available 100 numbered and signed prints of the painting for $25.00; with $3.00 from each sale going to the RSA.

The prints are on quality textured 210 GSM paper, with the image approx 18cm x 15cm.

Anyone wanting to purchase a print or find out how they can support me and the RSA, contact me:

Thank you.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Article from the Dominion Post on 10 April

This article appeared on page four of the Dominion Post newspaper last Friday. I am excited to see my artwork getting this kind of exposure. They got the beach incorrect, it is Whangamata; but hey, they got my name right. That's the main thing!

With the painting completed I am now focussing on raising the funds to enable me to take artwork and the story to the Legato exhibition in Cassino. I will selling a limited number of small, numbered and signed prints of the painting on light-fast quality paper for $25.00. If you are interested in purchasing one, and supporting my effort to get this artwork to Italy message me:

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


if there must be trouble let it be in my day, that my child may have peace

The painting for Legato, the exhibition of New Zealand artists at Cassino, Italy is completed. Now what remains is for it to be rolled up and sent.

The painting depicts two places in time and space; a brief respite in the conflict at Cassino in 1944 and the beach at Whangamata, new years day 2010.

The soldier sleeping in the foreground is Cpl R. Lyndon (Mac) McClure, who served in the 19th Armoured Regiment.

The child in the top right is one of his eight great grand-children (my little girl).

Its a simple message; war not only kills people it destroys futures.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Channeling Peter McIntyre

Over the past few days I have been studying the work of New Zealand war artist Peter McIntyre who was present at Cassino.

McIntyre attended the University of Otago in 1930, studying for a BA with the intention of becoming a journalist. However in 1931 he left his studies to travel to England, where from 1931 he studied at the Slade School of Fine Art, London. McIntyre graduated in 1934 with prizes in composition and figure drawing.

From 1935 until 1939 he worked as a free-lance commercial artist in Britain, while also exhibiting contemporary art works, influenced by the English avant-garde and French cubism.

Following the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939, McIntyre enlisted with the 34th Anti-tank Battery, a New Zealand unit formed in London, and was sent as a gunner to Egypt. In Egypt he provided illustrations for the war magazine Parade as well as doing advertisements he sketched members of the Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force (2NZEF).

In January 1941, McIntyre was appointed New Zealand’s official war artist and promoted to the rank of captain by Major General Bernard Freyberg. His work in this role covered the campaigns in Greece, Crete, the Western Desert, Tripolitani, Tunisia and Italy. He was promoted to the rank of Major at Cassino in Italy.

Looking at McIntyre's work helped to resolve a few issues I was having with my painting. I know Einstein said that the secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources; but I'd rather acknowledge my debt in this instance.

detail from my painting

Saturday, March 27, 2010


The painting is now at that dangerous stage; so close to being finished, and so easily ruined beyond repair. Making matters more difficult I am starting to doubt the concept. Is it working? Can the two parts be made to relate to each other?

One option I have toyed with is introducing a single red poppy into the bottom right corner (where there is writing currently). The idea is to connect the red poppy with my daughter's red sunhat. But I don't want to 'over use' the poppy metaphor.

A second idea is to colour one of the small photos that have spilled onto the ground with some yellow - again linking to my daughter in the top panel. Will this be too subtle?

I still intend to write Thomas Paine's quote through the black strip. This should soften the otherwise harsh black line.

So many choices still to be made, so many potential disasters!