Taonga is the Maori word for an object or natural resource that is highly prized and valued. I thought I would capture taonga - tiny treasures that I found during my summer on Waiheke Island in Auckland, New Zealand. I would go for walks along the beach and in the bush and look for little things that caught my eye - shells, plants, rocks, etc with interesting patterns, texture and details. I was going to find out the proper scientific/botanical names for the shells and plants but then decided to give them names and descriptions that they evoked while I was drawing and painting them. Some are a literal description and others are tongue in cheek. I used pen and watercolour. Sketching in pen meant I was committed to what I was drawing as I couldn't change it. I enjoyed the discipline of that. This little sketchbook is a little record of a very special time exploring a beautiful place. It reflects the joy and pleasure of slowing down, really taking notice of what is around you and celebrating it through capturing the images creatively.
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