Backyard bliss…

I have a friend…well I do have more than one…but this one is something special.

In lots of ways, but she has recently taken up or rather retaken up painting.

And by all that is holy…she is good. Really good.

And she is turning one of my photos in to a painting.

This one…

When it is done I’ll post it here…can’t wait to see it myself.

I visited my friend yesterday…which is when I learned about the painting in the works.

She has a cat…a very lady like beauty named Sparky.

Sparky gets her chicken warmed before served.

And perfectly right she is to demand that I say.

She is actually a sweet cat.

And this is the view from my artist friend’s back yard.

In case you’re not jealous yet…one more.

Those hills are known as the Kaimai Ranges.

And as we sit on her patio admiring both Sparky and the view, this lady keeps us relaxed with her tinkling.

Now my friend does quite a few other things (she’s a Kiwi – they are great mutli-taskers and like DIY), she also writes – Fibonacci x 2.

So I say that makes me pretty lucky – wouldn’t you ???


Now – did you notice that the header and the 1st photo are the same.

Only one has been cropped of course.

So…which one do you prefer ?

Tip…click on the photo to see it enlarged.

Then compare.

I know my choice – I am interested to hear yours !!!


If you want to vote for Chronicles of Illusions just click on the pretty button above and follow directions.

Thank you for all your support.



  1. Jo,
    It has been a while since I visited your Blog, but what a wonderful view. It must be close to living in heaven while on earth. A beautiful cat as well 🙂
    Best wishes,


    1. How lovely of you to drop in. Yes it is a beautiful view…we are very lucky here in New Zealand. Everywhere you turn there is beauty !!! And I shall pass it on to Sparky the next time I see her.


  2. Yes, you are lucky! And I think that’s a brilliant idea to turn your photo into a painting! If I knew someone who painted I would do that with the pic you gave me last year! I tell everyone it’s a “Jo Bryant Original”


    1. Awwwwwwwww…that is so sweet of you !!! I love that you do. So where is it hanging? Corina (Dragon’s Dreams) sent me photos of the ones she has hanging. I was going to post about them…so hey send me a pick of yours and I can put it up as well. It makes me feel so grand to know that people have taken a piece of me in to their homes. So grand indeed.


  3. What a beautiful country you live in!

    Now – as for the two versions of the photo. I had to study them for some time to decide. Basically, the pictures are “about” different things – the header draws your attention to the people, while in the uncropped version I mostly notice the water in the foreground and the big bright cloud overhead. The people almost blend into the strip of forest (?) in the background.

    Eventually, I found that I preferred the uncropped one, because my eyes kept moving around to different parts of the image. In the header, my attention goes straight to the person standing near the center and is glued there.

    And now I’ll check the other comments, see what other people preferred, and find out if you gave any hints about which one you like!


  4. I prefer the blown up cropped version, Jo. Although the original is a beautiful shot, I think you have captured the essence of the composition by cropping it Panorama style – love it! X


    1. I think they have a very different feel to each other because they focus on different things. Thanks Toni…love that you love it.


  5. What a lovely friend you have Jo! Oh, I love Sparky! What a huge, beautiful furball she is indeed and a stunning view for sure! Stunning photo’s! 🙂
    I love the cropped version. 🙂
    *big hugs*


    1. Oh she is very lovely. I am blessed to have her in my life in so many ways. She has led the most fascinating life. I could listen and read her stories for hours. She is also the most incredible physio IN THE WORLD. I have broken my back twice (once in 2000 and again in 2007) and when it makes life difficult she ALWAYS manages to help me get back on my feet. She is so gentle and calm…and talented. I am extremely thankful for her in my life.


  6. NZ is indeed a very beautiful place.
    I prefer the header picture, it seems sharper and the panoramic view enhances it greatly.


          1. Staying 10 days. My brother & family are coming over from Scotland (it’s their daughter who is getting married), so I guess we will be doing some sightseeing. They are staying in NZ for a month, then coming over to Oz to stay with us for a while.


  7. I’m hedging because it depends on it use!Your header is stunning, it draws you right into the detail but maybe that makes the subject vague? The full picture is clearly a seascape and a very beautiful one. If I get the opportunity to include tiny figures in shots like this then I will because they draw the eye in and provide scale. But maybe you could say this one has a tiny bit too much foreground? Hahaha either way they are both brill and having it painted – lucky girl and lovely friend!


    1. I agree with its use being the key. I love the header which is why it is the header on my blog…but i think that as a painting the other picture might actually work better because there is more foreground. I am so curious to see how it turns out. And yes I am very lucky and she is a very lovely friend !!!!!!!!!!!


  8. My favourite is the header. For me, I could easily walk into the photo and be there at that exact moment. The cropped one takes some of that away 🙂


    1. Hi Karen…I love the header too which is why I use it as the header…hehehe, but I wonder if the other would not make the better painting. Sorry to have to mention it…but the header is the cropped one. If you look closely you’ll see that, though I understand why people think it might be the other way around as the header feels expansive. But everything in the header is in the other photo and more.


      1. Wow, thats very interesting. I would never have thought so. Amazing 🙂 Perhaps it is because the header goes across the screen (stretched?)Amazing how technology can change perception. Still I do prefer it. Although I would say a painting of either would look beautiful 🙂 Can’t wait to see the end result!
        – Karen


  9. You have wonderful friends Jo (and not just the Pirate ones) 😉
    Both images are beautiful, but the header gets my vote. The full size is gorgeous, but for me, visually, it has too much in it. If all I saw was the full size image, it would be one of my favorites. But with the brilliant way you cropped it to make the header, you made it wonderful. In the header, the elements work together. The land, sky, water, reflections, even the people paint a wonderful vignette . The full size is a beautiful picture, the cropped version captured a moment. That’s my opinion, your mileage may vary. 🙂


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