This is my fourth time exhibiting at the Russley Village and I’m really looking forward to it.
My career was in science, tertiary mathematics and statistical analysis. Nearing retirement, I decided to take up art as a way of capturing nature while my husband spent time taking photographs whenever we travelled around New Zealand.
I had never done any art at school, but always had an interest in crafts. On my retirement, my husband and I travelled around Europe for several months, beginning with a week’s art workshop in Barcelona where I was introduced to plein-air watercolour painting by a resident artist. Since then, I have attended a watercolour workshop in Portugal and experienced painting in Spain, Italy and Turkey. I spent my first year of art learning to sketch before developing my own interpretation of watercolour painting. I now find painting in watercolour to be all-consuming, peaceful and tranquil.
Although I retired six years ago, my first two years was spent learning to sketch and paint with watercolour, so I didn’t consider myself to be an artist until about four years ago.
I only paint in watercolour and would describe my style as representational, detailed, peaceful, softly colourful, tranquil and calming. I use background colour to highlight the elegance and fragility of nature.
When I started art, I found joy in painting landscapes before moving to a negative painting technique depicting images of fruit from our garden. For the last two years, I have concentrated on New Zealand birds and landscapes. With the bird paintings, it is the eyes that are the most important. For landscapes, I always love to include water, so many of my landscapes include lakes and rivers. Routinely, I take my camera with me everywhere I go, and I look for inspiration in the beauty around us.
If I had a favourite topic, it would probably be New Zealand birds. I could spend all day observing the waxeyes, finches, and fantails in our garden. It isn’t matter of having a favourite piece, but rather constantly challenging myself, to learn and to improve. The focus of each art piece is to conquer a challenge that I want to work on. For example, I painted an image of my neighbour’s white dog on a white background, since white on white is a huge challenge. Once I was satisfied with the finished painting, I would move onto the next challenge that I set myself.
I also do all my own framing and will only use the best quality paper, paint and framing materials.
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