New Zealand’s West Coast is famous for its rugged beauty and black sand surf beaches. When I was little, we spent many family holidays at Bethells Beach (or more accurately, O’Neills Beach, which is just a short walk north of Bethells) on the West Coast of New Zealand.
Picking mussels fresh off the rocks and having mussel sandwiches on white bread with butter and malt vinegar. Swimming in the surf after racing down black sand so heated by the sun your feet felt like they were on fire. Building forts and spending hours in role play. Sliding down grass slopes on Nikau Palm fronds. Being bribed with chocolate to go ‘wombling’ (that’s code for collecting rubbish off the shore-line). Going to sleep with the sound of the surf crashing. It’s a magical place, especially for a child.
Tony Ogle is an iconic New Zealand artist whose instantly recognisable works capture the beach-style of the west coast. When I was in my twenties and newly returned from a stint in London, my first art purchase was of one of his screen prints. I still have it hanging in (a very difficult to photograph part of) my home.
What I can show you is a more recently commissioned (2009) piece by the fabulous Tony Ogle. It’s a painting of a hill above O’Neill’s looking south towards Bethells and I love it. It hangs over our family dining table and it brings me pleasure every day. It is the next best thing to being there.
And, here is a pic’ my Dad sent me while on a recent trip out to Bethells…
If you are so inclined, go visit Tony’s website here. It’s a great story of an artist who’s passionate about New Zealand. I think this translates wonderfully into his work.
Your Dad says you have done well with this blog post. But why tell the world (including Australians) where heaven is?
Australians have their own versions of heaven. The Whitsundays, Byron Bey, The Margaret River (to name a few!)
Nice photo, beautiful painting. Good day Nonoy Manga
Thanks Nony Manga! You have a goody, too! 🙂
More reasons to want to visit Australia..
Well, you could visit me in Australia and see the painting, or you could visit me in Australia and see the painting and fly to New Zealand for a trip out to the wild, West Coast to see the real O’Neills… That way you could compare the two! 🙂
All signs are so far pointing to Sydney for sure! I hear the coffee’s not too bad either 😉 And if it’s anywhere as lovely as the people….well then..!!
Let me know when to put the coffee on…!
DONE! 🙂 Isn’t it fun making friends from across the globe? (Let me answer) – it sure is!
Thanks for sharing this..i had a look at Tony’s site..love the beach shack ones too…remind me of summer holidays when i was little.
Excellent! Glad you had a look at Tony’s site I Me Mine. Thanks for that!
A gorgeous painting, he certainly is a wonderful artist, and a nice spot of the world it would seem. 🙂
Cheers Mags 🙂
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