In January I did a trip through the South Island of New Zealand, and it was a remarkable experience. There is something about snow-capped mountains and glacial lakes that invigorates the soul. It’s the colours, the composition, the clarity of the light that is now etched in my memories.
My husband and I flew into Christchurch and then we hired a car and made our way down the spine of the South Island. We visited Lake Tekapo, Aoraki, Wanaka and of course Queenstown. The thing that really hit me were the colours. The South Island is surprisingly dry, and the rolling hills are covered in a fascinating yellow hue which is contrasted by the dark green pines, the intense blue skies, and the use of black wood panelling in the architecture. It was breathtakingly beautiful.
The lakes along the way were a glacial blue, formed by the grinding of the mountain rocks into a flour like substance that is suspended in water. When you see such a vibrant colour in nature it shocks the senses and inevitably brings a sense of wonder. Is the colour reality itself or is it a shared experience created by the interpretation of light by our brains? Either way, it is now inside and part of me and will find expression in my paintings.
The final destination on our journey was Milford Sound on the southwest coast. A wild, mystical place that reminded me of parts of Wales near where I was born. The weather was different here, misty and wet, with towering peaks and cascading waterfalls. A fitting end to a wonderful holiday.