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Project 1

Footfalls - #1 SMALL_edited.jpg

Acrylic, 610mm x 910mm

"When she saw the red chaise in the shop window it was love at first sight"

So begins the story which winds through the Footfalls paintings..The open door is inviting a curious viewer to come in and discover the next room and story chapter.

The view is from Nelson beach, Tahunanui, looking out to the mountains of Kahurangi National Park NZ. 

#1 the red chaise ii 

Giclee Print

All prints are giclée quality – the best digital print technology available. Archival inks, cold press watercolour paper and colour correction by industry experts from Copyart, Richmond,. Your artwork will be checked and packed into a tube ready to be framed by you.

Limited edition full size print $400 inc p&p in NZ

One of a signed limited edition of 50

Printed area 610mm x 910mm with 20mm border

If you want a different size, please use contact page for a custom size and price.

Original sold

scroll down for story


  the red chaise (ii).   




Sheffield  1948  Nora


When she saw the red chaise in the shop window it was love at first sight. “A daft romantic notion,” her father would have called it. But he never saw the beauty or joy in anything. It was all drudgery and, “cleanliness is next to godliness”. A hard life had made a hard man of him. She was determined that her life would be different.


Nora opened her purse to see the ten pound note which lay there, a gift from Aunt Enid’s will. Aunt Enid had been the spinster daughter who stayed home to look after her parents. She had subsequently lived and died in the same house, scrimping and saving to get by. She had indeed ‘got by’ until pneumonia caught up with her during the bitterly cold winter of 1947. A measured life of careful housekeeping, had even left a little to be dispersed. 


Nora had loved her aunt but she didn’t want to end up like her.  She was twenty six and unmarried. Spinster. How she hated that word. Was she going to be another maiden aunt whose value was measured in negatives? - no husband, no children . Her father always said she wouldn’t amount to much, yet he was happy for her to stay home and keep house when her two brothers left for war and mother had died.


Standing in front of the furniture shop window, Nora allowed herself to dream. 

A sunny room, a beautiful view and the red velvet chaise-longue. She saw herself draped languidly against the cushion like Greta Garbo. There she would lie with a book, reading in the afternoon like people in films.  Waiting for her beautiful husband to come in and say, “Did you have a good day darling?”


With one last check of her purse, Nora opened the shop door.




Auckland 2018 Ellie


Ellie reclined on the red chaise and gazed out to sea. How come staring into space was now called mindfulness, or was it meditation.


Granny had remained sharp until the end and was very clear that Ellie, her namesake, were to have this precious piece. In her last years, she had written letters to each of her grandchildren which were to be handed out after her death. Ellie had her letter open on her lap. The beautiful cursive script was unfamiliar to her,  written with a fountain pen on lovely thick paper. 



Dearest Ellie

I want you to have my most precious possession as I know you will treasure it. Of all my grandchildren you are the one who most reminds me of myself at your age.  You’re a true romantic and you’ll follow your heart in a way I never allowed myself to. 


The day I defied my father and spent Aunt Enid’s money on a “frippery” I couldn’t face going home straight away and went into a tea shop to delay the inevitable. Every table was full and I looked silly not knowing where to sit. Then this tall awkward-looking man stood up and pulled out the empty chair opposite him. 


He smiled shyly, beckoning me to sit and asked my name. ‘Everyone calls me Nora’ I said. He looked at me with eyes as blue as yours and asked if it was short for anything. “Elinor” I told him. 

He looked at me then, so intensely, and didn’t speak straight away. Then he put his hand out to shake mine. 


‘Hello Elinor, I’m William. Might I buy you a cup of tea?’

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