There is nothing more lovely than reliving beautiful memories. I’ve been so privileged to have been able to travel to new Zealand twice in the past several years. Both trips were absolutely crammed full of meeting and playing with quilters all over that beautiful country. Kiwis really are some of the most wonderful people I’ve ever spent time with. And the landscapes are truly spectacular. I could never do their grandeur anywhere close to justice in photos. So instead I focused on small things to capture my memories.
This pebbled beach was covered with smooth black pebbles. Many of them had a straight white stripe through them that had me wondering and imagining what geological actions created a thin white layer between the black sediments and what broke them up into these lovely stones.
It was a day with my husband and parents where we had interesting adventures on the road. We were the first to come upon an overturned van and watching my husband and father climb up and help haul the driver out – no injuries. We barely arrived in time for our scheduled whale watching tour only to learn the water was too rough for the tour boat. Instead we listened to the person in front of us get the last seats on a flight that was being offered as an alternative. We thought we were out of luck but the clerk called another company and there were enough seats in the small craft for us four plus the young man traveling on his own in line behind us. We adopted the stray traveler for the day, saw much more of a magnificent whale than we would have from the water, and I adore being up in small aircraft. New Zealand is magestic from the air. It was a magical day.
Each of these photos was manipulated digitally to create a softer, slightly abstracted feel, then printed on cloth and embroidered, then stitched before it was mounted on a gallery wrapped canvas.
Sitting with a printed photo of a memory, stitching, thinking, is a meditative practice. These rocks were on a beach on the far southern shore of the south island. My son was with me on this trip and we only had a few hours to look over the lovely water with our hostess. The thing he and I did at every stop was look for a good place for me to take a photo of him doing a backflip, capturing the place as well as him hanging mid-air. It was a fun way for me to stay connected with him, even though I could have spent hours and hours examining the pebbles (multicolored granite here – purples, greens, whites, grey, black – it was amazing!) instead. And the sea life in the rock pools, waiting for the tide to come in.
One Tree Point was the home of another hostess and one of the only places where my son and I stayed in the same place for more than one night. New Zealand is a geographically big country – roughly equivalent as traveling from Miami to Philadelphia but often on very rural twisty mountain roads. This home on the north island was on the water, a bay, where the shallow tide seemed to retreat for miles. Yes, that is a vast exaggeration. We spent a lot of time just standing in the shallow water, or the mud. I saw amazing collections of sea life. Did you know sand dollars are brown and appear to be furry with millions of tiny legs on their flat side before we see their remains?
If you are interested in purchasing these works they are available in my shop.