After a visit to New Zealand's Southern Alps in December, I locked myself away in January/February to paint this piece - Sunrise on Aoraki (Mount Cook) from Mount Wakefield. Parts of the South Island were subjected to nearly two metres of rain over nine days just before I arrived. Bridges were washed away, towns cut off and my mountaineering options limited. I used my tent and bivi bag to spend time up high, and get plenty of ideas down on paper. The Department of Conservation were once again invaluable in their weather and avalanche forecasts, and also their knowledge of up-to-date route conditions which is always changing in the Alps. Thankfully I had some spells of fine weather and there will be more paintings to come. Next though, I will be painting the Commando Memorial at Spean Bridge, with the great Nevis range of mountains behind. My Grandfather was a Commando in the war and trained up here.