And Then There were Six

A few weeks ago, I wrote about artist, Katie Smith and two of her watercolours depicting some character homes in Grafton, Auckland, New Zealand, that I have hanging on our lounge wall. I also mentioned my love for turning a house into a home.

Well, in my home, I like to group, or cluster paintings in themes.

These themes share a particular colour eg orange, regardless of genre, or the natural world theme in oil on canvas, eg the three sisters in Oz, rivers of the Waikato in NZ, my childhood cat and ducks in a pond.

So, it seemed only right to me, to add more meaningful watercolours of buildings, in particular houses, to hang beside my Grafton pair…Blog 1

After the birth of our first child we relocated to Gisborne on the East coast. The church we left bought us a going away present – a watercolour of Devonport, vantage point was the wharf. Since Devonport was the borough of Auckland where my husband grew up and I too had connections with from my own childhood, we were delighted.


So, two Grafton houses and a watercolour of the town of Devonport…

Blog 2



A landmark of Devonport, though not pretty, was the old rusty corrugated ferry terminal at the end of the wharf. Shortly before we were married the old wharf had been pulled down and a newer, flashier one erected.


I bought a small watercolour of the old wharf for my husband as a birthday present a couple of years later; after all, it was a defining building of his childhood.  There had been a few artists who had painted the terminal before it was demolished. But it was this one I loved the best.

Blog 7


So, two Grafton houses, one Devonport town and the wharf and then…

My parents had bought a Sydney terraced house pen and wash, on one of their holidays, when I was very young. About 8 or 9 years ago, on a visit to my parents my dad announced that he had given the framed painting to a fundraiser garage sale.


On pain of death, he phoned the organiser and apologetically asked for it back, explaining that his daughter was a “little” upset to have it disappear out of the family, seeing it had graced the walls of our family home for so long.

A week later it was safely in my hands, or should I say on our wall.

Blog 6


So, two Grafton houses, one Devonport town, the wharf, one Sydney terraced house, and…

A few years ago, my parents moved from their home in the suburbs to an inner-city apartment in Auckland. Once again, they were deciding what possessions would move with them and what they would sell or give away. Being quick learners, not making the same mistake twice, they asked me if I was interested in a pen and wash painting they had bought of terrace houses in New Orleans, when they visited there many years before.

Totally! And I knew exactly what wall it would hang on.

Kahu 1 - Copy (2) - Copy - Copy - Copy

So, two Grafton houses, one Devonport town, the wharf, one Sydney terraced house and one New Orleans terrace houses.

Well, so far, these six watercolours hang together in the lounge of our holiday home. I do have a space for another couple and am keeping my eyes open for more that will fit nicely alongside them.

We had a dinner party a wee while ago at our home here in Southampton and our friend Eva shared with us some photos on her phone of her pen sketches she does on commission.

A couple of weeks ago my husband and I were at her sixteenth century semidetached cottage. As we were going home she showed me some of the pen sketches in the flesh sort-of-speak. They were beautiful Let me share one of them with you.

20170308_220905 - Copy

Eva’s ink drawing of an English cottage


I am seriously thinking of growing my house collection with one of Eva’s master pieces. If you are interested in commissioning her to draw your house. Contact me and we can go from there.

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