Just a little note to say thank you to those who have been reading my blog and that I am now blogging on my website www.fernpetrie.com. 

If you would like to read my new posts please click here.


Root of Knowledge

I recently made this necklace 'The Root Of Knowledge' for a very good friend of mine. 
She adored a necklace I bought for myself in Perth made by the very talented Christine Atkins. I admire Christine's style, her pieces are incredibly delicate and evocative and so I contacted her and found that she had one of these incredible little gold findings left. I'd always imagined an eye at the base of Gail's tree and so together with Chrisine's stunning finding and my painted eye I was very happy with how this piece of jewelry came together.

The Three Fornasetti Sisters

Braveheart Youth Trust Exhibition

This year I have been invited to take part in the Braveheart Youth Trust Exhibition. 
This is a very worthy cause and I am happy to take part and show my support.

"Braveheart supports, financially or practially selected programmes for young people (11-21 years) who are at risk of entering the NZ justice system. Our support may be financial or practical and our area of focus is central Auckland. We recognise that the voice of every young person is valuable in contributing to our future. We want every young person to stand tall, be heard and be happy."

'Fortune Favours The Brave'

Gala Preview Thursday 16 October ~ Admission $60
Friday 17 & Saturday 18 October 10am - 4pm, Sunday 19 October 10am - 3pm.
~ Admission $20


Eight Years

 Eight years yesterday.



I am going through images of past works to make a slide show for my up and coming talk on Friday for the 'Home Work' exhibition here in New Plymouth and I came across the photo of this little doll I named Orga. Looking at the photo I can't quite believe that I made her. She brings back so many memories about that time in my life 10 years ago now and reminds me of the events that have transpired to alter my life, art and means of expression. Still she is incredibly beautiful and in the collection of someone who I know will love her; in the end that's all you can hope for when the works you've brought into existence make their way out of your hands and into the world.


Lady Sea Star

Ladt Sea Star cushion created by SeraphSplendor

I know, I know, I should be saving my pennies for the upcoming exhibition in Paris and all the adventures that will entail but my mania for interior decorating and my fetish for objects that are beautiful and evocative took hold a couple of nights ago when I turned my attentions toward the guest bedroom. Our living room has a Gothic conservatory theme, Nik's study is based on a colonial war room, now the guest bedroom is taking on a personality all of its own; an Edwardian adventurers snug. 

Delicate shells of many varieties, little Egyptian figurines, an Azerbaijan wedding headdress and an ottoman jacket owned by a magician have all taken their places. On Wednesday the Moroccan lanterns will be hung and in the process of getting carried away by this other world I am creating I found this incredible cushion, a tiny work of maritime fantasy made by the very talented SeraphSplendor. I've been lucky enough to be able to add other pieces of theirs to my little jewel box of a house and I know this one will contribute its own wonder to the vision I have for the new room. 

It is on its way to its new home, tinkling as the shells fall against each other, this package passed from one hand to the next on its journey into mine. I love the moment wonderful things turn up on my doorstep; the process of unwrapping and discovering. It will take years before each of these rooms becomes perfect but it's a journey which I adore. I would have loved to have been an interior decorator if I wasn't an artist, ones living space should speak of its owner, enveloping one in the process of imagining.



I am thrilled to announce that I have been invited to exhibit my works in a group show of Taranaki artists in Paris in November! In honor of this event I am making a group of special paintings which celebrate the fascinating life of Jeanne d'Arc. 



I am so happy to be able to unveil this collaborative work for the cover of Jessica Talbot's new creation 'Picaflor' ~ Finding Home In South America. 

Jessica had the gorgeous idea of incorporating many symbols which are important representations of her life's path woven into a nest to symbolize her  journey through the world and the need for a nest of her own. 

If you would like to know more about Jessica, her book and the symbolism behind this cover design please click here or go to www.jessicatalbot.net. 



RESERVED FOR FERN..3 Large Antique French Gilt Brass Picture Hook Covers Decorative Plaques 1880s...Paris apartment Chateau Chic

My avid trawling on Etsy has rendered yet another delight. I just found these charming Parisian Victorian crests designed as picture hook covers. There are five and only yesterday I began work on my fifth Jeanne d'Arc painting depicting the dream of Catherine de La Rochelle. I will use these in the upcoming exhibition at Linton & Kay, hanging my Jeanne d'Arc Cycle by chains attached to these.

I feel that these five paintings are by far my finest creations to date; detailed to the point of obsession expressing the wonder I feel at this fascinating woman's life. They show Jeanne under the fairy tree, the discovery of her sword at the church of Saint Catherine de Fierbois, the march to Orleans, the dream of Catherine de La Rochelle and Jeanne's spirit holding the banner she loved so dearly.



Right now I am redesigning our bathroom. It's pretty basic. It looks like the vanity was bought on Trade Me many years ago, has cupboard doors that are too small and is basically one of the most ugly things I've ever seen. So where would I look for a new one? Well it would have to be Trade Me of course but I had something very different in mind! 

The other day I won this incredible old gramophone case in an intense bidding war. The seller said the top is damaged so I will fix that up and put a counter top basin on it. I discovered there is a varnish you can get which will do a brilliant job of waterproofing the wood so along with a good ventilation system it should be just fine.


First Snow Of The Year

This morning I was greeted by a snow covered Mt Taranaki. Nothing could be more magical.

Study at Banksia House

When deciding on the theme of Nik's study I wanted to create something which talked about our life in Perth as well as evoking memories of the colonial studies at Highwic and Alberton which I loved so much as a child.


HOME WORK: Taranaki Art Now

My recent work 'The Butterfly Gate' has been chosen to be displayed as part of the exhibition 'HOME WORK: Taranaki Art Now' held at Puke Ariki from 7 June - 24 August 2014!


Peking Glass

My newest acquisition is this beautiful Peking Glass sautoir necklace from a seller on ebay called bluebird of happiness. I love the painting I made of the same name from my last exhibition 'Flights of Fancy' and it did make me happy that this stunning piece will forever be connected in my mind to that painting that gave me so much joy.

Book of Hours

I am painting the Lady of Shalott right now and while looking at medieval images I came across these from www.damienkempf.tumblr.com, three 14th century book of hours created in the shape of hearts. How stunning and spectacular are these little tributes to faith and love.


L'Eglise de St Remy

The website L'Eglise de St Remy is a must for anyone interested in Joan of Arc. It gives wonderful high resolution photographs of Domremy at the turn of the century as well as some very interesting engravings. Right now I am at the beginning of my new painting of Joan under the famous fairy tree. I wanted to find an image of Joan's house with the church in the background and this site has an abundance of treasures which are very helpful when re-imagining the setting of her early life.

Engraving from the website http://tellthe.net/Eglise/index.html


View from my kitchen window II

I know I sound like a cracked record but this sunset was amazing, half burning sky, half baby blue. I love skies like this; so unreal that if I painted them they would look artificial and contrived but created by nature they take ones breath away.



The view from my kitchen window at sunset. I couldn't think of a more glorious place to live.


Honour Before All

Possibly one of the best sentiments on which to build a life;

Festival of Light

Above: The main lake. Below: Illuminated Poets Bridge, Right: The haunted canopy

Tonight we went down to Pukekura Park for the Festival of Light. It was enchanting meandering through the walkways crowded with glowing tree ferns and lanterns. You can take an illuminated boat out onto the lake and paddle around in the calm darkness. We watched people drifting around for a while then went exploring; gorging ourselves on the the glorious interplay of colour, light and shadow as children drifting through a dream.



At the moment anything which references Joan of Arc is fascinating to me and for some reason that I can't quite fathom I am also obsessed with gorgeous ink wells. I love the movement and the thick stylized figures of horse and rider in this sculptural piece. It's beautiful the way the sculptor has emphasized movement in the upward thrust of the arm and the curved banner. Right now I have just started work on a painting of Joan of Arc on horseback being lead by an angel and it seems appropriate to have this wonderful piece beside me possibly holding my brushes as I paint.

Merry Christmas

Christmas morning in New Plymouth
The first Christmas dinner in our new house.