New Zealand paintings


For those who have missed the postings of my blogs and wondered where I have been recently, I was away in New Zealand.

And while there, I took lots and lots of photographs of the country, the north and south islands. And I can tell you I was amazed at the beauty of the country.

My husband and I first arrived in Dec 2015 and were very impressed by the freshness and lushness of the green rolling hills as we motored down from Auckland.

New Zealand

Oil painting size .353 x .279m This is a lake near Lake Tarawera, North Island.

We stopped for lunch, at this lake near Lake Tarawera (North Island), under a braai stand shelter. It was such a lovely place that I took many photographs of it, in between small showers of rain. It was hard to choose which photo to paint, because the place had so much painting potential!

New Zealand

Oil painting on canvas .280 x .355m:  Ruapehu desert, North Island

After such beautiful rolling hills on our way down from Auckland, it was quite a surprise to come across the wide open desert surrounding the Raupehu volcanic mountains. Even through it was a lovely sunny day, the cold wind from the snow-capped mountains was blowing fiercely over the desert, creating mists of swirling sand over the dry landscape.

After taking pictures of the desolate dunes, we travelling up to the ski slopes, high up on the barren Raupehu Mountain. It was a scary drive up the mountain, with the road so narrow and vast drops on either side of the road in places! I’m afraid I’m not one for high places or near the edges of tall cliff faces!! So I didn’t take photos in such places!

North Island Map of New Zealand

North Island Map of New Zealand

The weather!

After the very hot weather we had experienced in south Africa, we found the wind in New Zealand. rather cold. The wind was cool because when we got there, there was still snow on the mountains.

Every where we went we wore coats. This amused the Zealanders no end. But to us, we couldn’t over the fact they were completely sleeveless no matter how cold it was!

In South Africa we are used to our summers been between 28-33 degrees on average. A super beautiful day is 28 degrees! There in New Zealand they think it is terribly hot if the temperature is over 22 degrees!

They told us that there is less likelihood of rain after Christmas day. So by the time we left New Zealand to go back home to South Africa, sadly the green grass started going a golden brown, giving the countryside a somewhat autumn appearance.

Artistic appreciation:

Been an artist, what I enjoyed so much was the huge Jaggered trees found mostly on the north island. In South Africa, we only have those types of trees in the Table Mountain region.

The branches are fascinating, they come out in all angles, pointing this way and that way, depending on which direction the wind blows mostly. They look so majestic, even though they’re so dark and forbidding against the skyline.

North island:

  • We couldn’t get over the fact how clean and tidy everything is in New Zealand. There aren’t any weeds or litter in the streets, except beautiful yellow and white daisies waving in the breeze down the sides of the country roads and hanging baskets of flowers and bright flowerbeds in the cities and towns.
  • Even the farms and fields are neatly kept. Wind-breaker hedges are well-trimmed, no matter how high they are. Even though you see driftwood on the beaches, there isn’t scattered wood and trunks of trees lying all over the fields of farms, they are skilfully gathered up into neat piles.
  • And what about the fresh clean waters of New Zealand! We stood open-mouthed as we gazed down upon the Taupo waterfall. Such high volumes of clear ice green and blue water flowing over the falls! Truly photos don’t do justice to what you see in New Zealand!
  • Since family live in Mania, Taranaki, we often went to the west coast beaches. The secluded beach scenes make such dramatic impact on the soul. At first it takes some getting used to the black volcanic beach sand. But after a while you see the beauty of it. The sparkling of the fine silica quartz crystals in the black-grey beach sand looks like billions and trillions of tiny diamonds!
Ohawe beach, New Zealand

Oil painting .357x.286m: Ohawe Beach, Taranaki, New Zealand

On Christmas day, 2016, we spent the Day with Family at our grandson’s home, in Palmerston North. And the after lunch we went to the Aokautere Reserve and along the path down to the Manawatu River. The pathways in area are also used by cyclists.

Aokautere, New Zealand

Oil painting (.360 x .285m) of the pathway down to the Manawatu River, in the Aokautere area, Palmerston North, North Island, New Zealand.

In January we spent the day at Lake Rotarangi. A beautiful peaceful place where family enjoyed going out on their yellow kayak.

Lake Rotarangi, New Zealand

Oil painting of Lake Rotarangi, North Island, New Zealand. size: .350 x .278m

South Island:

We took the Inter-islander ferry on the 18th of January and traveled first down the East Coast towards Christchurch and then down south to Invercargill. After that to Te Anau and Milford Sound.

I can tell you travelling through the mountains on our way to and from Milford Sound was so awesome. Wherever you looked, whether to your left and then again to your right, you saw waterfalls in the surrounding misty atmosphere. So many waterfalls, all you could say was, “Did you see that waterfall… look at that waterfall… oooh see that… Wow look at that one…!” … until we ran out of breath!

New Zealand

.360x.285m Oil painting of Milford Sounds and the most dramatic waterfall in the sound!




The driver of the huge ferry we were on, took us close up to this waterfall, and you could hear him chuckle over the loudspeaker, when those who went out on deck to take photos started screaming with delight and fright as they got wet with spray and tried to scurry back indoors to safety!

After Milford Sounds:

We stopped at Queenstown a couple of days, on our way up the West coast, and then onto Nelson and back to Picton and the ferry, on our way home back to the north island.

South Island map of New Zealand

South Island map of New Zealand

More paintings of New Zealand in the pipeline:

If I’ve missed out a few towns and places on our way, it’s because I intend to post more paintings on this page, as I paint them, one by one. So visit this page from time to time, and come back to see what’s next, that I’ve painted of New Zealand’s stunning countryside.

Many thanks:

To our family and all those New Zealand friends and people we meet during the time were there, thanks for giving us such a lovely holiday and been so friendly and kind to us. It was so exciting to be with you all.

Art & Fame


This is an introduction page to the many secrets you will find on Ada Fagan’s website and in her blogs, on how to paint beautiful exciting paintings and become a famous renowned artist.

Art and fame: Free expresssion

Wild cosmos flowers

Fame in a crowd:

Your talent is just an expensive hobby if you don’t sell your work. Fame of some sort is necessary to be able to sell your work.      And fame seldom comes overnight because there are a great many artists out there and you are seen only within the crowd of artists. Therefore to be seen, your art has to stand out, be dramatic, unique and have great emotional impact.

On your own, it takes quite a bit of research, on which paintings sell and which don’t! But if you want to know quicker on how to compose exciting paintings and how to sell your talent effectively, in spite of the enormous diversity of artistic talent out there, just follow my website and blogs, there are so many secrets; tips and advice that can help you realize your ambitions.

Building an artistic reputation:

To start with, understand if you haven’t an affluent patron to promote you effectively or the right social connections, it takes a period time to build up a reputation. And very few artists sustain fame once they obtain some degree of acceptance.

Why, because it requires constant diligence to your ambitions. Been prepared and ready to take up challenges and hard work, even when inspiration’s mood eludes you. So you see success as an artist doesn’t come with faint hearts. It’s been in love with what you are doing that counts. Carrying an artistic vision beyond speculation, out into reality!

Gaining leadership in a crowd:

Have you ever noticed how successful people `sit in the front row’? Why do they do that? To start with they want to hear, see and know what is happening. They know more because they listen carefully and respond verbally when necessary. Therefore they are noticed because they participate.

People won’t know you or your talent if you sit back and `hide in the back row’. To be famous you have to be out there doing your thing publicly, so people can assess your talent for all it’s worth.

People only believe what you can do, if they can see what you do. So make sure your art you put out there, is of good quality, because in itself it’s your `advert’. You don’t want to damage your reputation. People stick by their first impressions!

Persistence in the face of opposition:

You need be resilient and have a thick skin when your work is criticized. Many a time you’ll feel like you could just give up …..but don’t.

First assess the situation and what those people really know about art. On the other hand they are the general public who know what appeals to them. Even that has to be considered, knowing everyone has different tastes.

So what, if you want to succeed, you have to press forward, believing in yourself and your talent until you make it. Any honest renowned artist will tell you not every painting is a success. Everyone makes mistakes and has bad days when nothing seems to go right. You can’t allow opposition and mistakes to set you back.

You need to be your own realistic critic. Each piece of art is different, so re-assessment each situation. Maybe you need to do further research to re-invent yourself and move on, before you can put your paintings up for sale again.

Business of art and fame:

Art isn’t all fun and games if you want to become famous. You may have outstanding talent, but you have to run it like a business, be economical, yet farsighted. Painting materials are costly. You have to watch costs, keep to schedules, and fine-tune your talent to the emotional demands of the public.

You have to be your own production manager, public relations and sales manager. Project the right image. Know how to sell your work and what sells a painting. Who your audience is, what their needs are. What are the present trends? What marketing platforms there are and how to get your work accepted. What to avoid and reject.

Personality & lifestyle of artists:

To the general public artists are weird! Why do artist seem so eccentric?    It’s because artists think, act and breathe art all the time. To capture a beautiful vision of what to paint, artists need to be sensitive to their surroundings and be observant to the emotional impact in mundane situations. Therefore it’s a spiritual and emotional experience and existence, an endless passion for colour and form in their lives.

Art and fame: Free expression

Winter stream

Art and fame is a way of life:

Once famous, people expect more and more of you. You have to live up to their expectations of you and your style of art. You have to produce more and more works of art. Want to know how to handle fame? Start by reading the ” Fame and Fortune” category. The first blog been “Want to become a famous artist?”

Location Paintings


Location, location!

Location paintings are taken from photos, of exciting places Ada has been to.

While doing the “Photo Demos” people were sending me photos of where they had spent a few days at a resort, etc, in South Africa, telling me how much they had enjoyed their stay there.So I thought why not include theirs too. So if you have any photos of the places you have been to, feel free to send them to me at: and I will select from them to present on this website.

Location request

A5 Watercolour: Cape Town. Table Mountain with beach in the foreground.


What to expect:

  • Even though “Photos Demos” category included photos, I won’t necessary include the photos in this “Location Paintings” category. My aim will rather be to give folks an artist’s impression of the scenes painted.
  • Of cause blogs aren’t interesting without people’s comments. So it’s important I get comments about the places, trips and outings that were enjoyed. Because other people want to know what the places are like, what fun they could possibly expect there too, etc.
  • Besides that I would require the URL address of the resort’s websites. So others can check where it is, what the accommodation costs are, etc. And oh yes, when they get there, they check up on the scenes I’ve painted and see what it is really like for themselves.
  • Where possible I’ll include a Google map where to find the place. And what else is in the surrounding locality, such as game and nature reserves, etc.

 Never forgetting this is an art website:

The other reason for creating this blog category, is that artists everywhere will receive inspiration of landscapes and seascapes to paint, no matter where they live personally.

  • So I’ll add my own artistic perception of the scenes. That is, simplifying the composition, giving it an emotional appeal and more dynamic impact.
  • Perhaps stating what pigments were used, what steps or stages of the process, and whatever else that inspired me, depending and according of cause to each assignment’s circumstances.

The first blog in the “Location Adventures” category series will be called:

`THE PLACE’ to be in the Karoo’.

Follow the link and see for yourself how beautiful the Karoo is.