An Artist's Journeys in Nature

Posts tagged “exhibition

Black Mamaku Tree Fern

I painted this work over Christmas 1979/80. It was a time of great changes to come in my life, though I didn’t know it then. I was on a long Christmas vacation, having completed 3 units of science at Uni that year, and having decided science was not going to be my future.

I knew I would return to Wellington, but in what capacity I had no idea: I had no job. Meantime there was a long holiday spell to concentrate on art.

I painted 3 major pieces that Christmas and created a number of smaller works and some drawings. I put the drawings up for sale in a small local gallery and they sold immediately.

My father, who had always been my art mentor, disliked this painting intensely, and soon let me know it. I dug in my heels and carried on with it, and in January entered this piece and 2 other works into the Bay Of Islands New Year Art Exhibition in Paihia. Two were for sale – this one and Unfolding Fern Kiokio . The third one was The Sacred Place . They all passed the jury examination and the two pieces on sale sold during the exhibition.

So much for that!

I returned to Wellington and by an amazing turn of circumstances, within a couple of months I was full time National Secretary of the NZ Deerstalkers Association, with over 40 branches nationwide. a 7 man national executive that met quarterly and a large scale annual conference. I’d been involved with them for several years. Looking back, it was the happiest time of my life in a job. However –

During my first year there, my father was diagnosed with chronic lymphatic leukemia.

It’s a long way from Kaeo to Wellington (about 600 ml), so 18 months later I went back into law and moved north to Hamilton as regional solicitor for my former employer the ACC. This move was not an entirely happy one, but at least I saw more of my folks.

My dad died in August 1985 and that Christmas my mom and I came up here to get this place ready to put on the market. He had said we would have to sell the property and with the half-finished house which they had been building, he foretold we wouldn’t get much for it… It was a sad time.

But by Christmas, we had decided NOT to sell up!

I couldn’t bear the idea and nor could my mom. A huge load lifted in our spirits, because we both loved the property dearly. We did our sums and got a builder in to finish the house (drama, drama) and while my mom stayed here, I completed the lecturing contract I now had with the Waikato Polytechnic (Business Law for the NZ Society of Accountants’ qualification), visiting at weekends as much as I could.

By Christmas 1986 I was back up here to stay. The distance from this place to the New Zealand I had been used to is a bit daunting, but several attempts I’ve made to move have come to naught, so this must be where I am meant to be.

Christmas is always a time of great memories for me here.

Kathleen and the building on a sunny autumn day in 1986.

For more details on the work and to see products, click on the image.

Patricia

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The Journey

baggage-riconBy way of asserting my independence from all the non-art claptrap that has invaded my life in the last couple of years, I made myself do something I haven’t had time for in quite awhile – exhibit.

In fact, the last time I exhibited was in 2000, before my mother began to get really sick.

To coincide with Matariki – or the rising of the Pleiades (more later), some really enterprising locals held an art exhibition in our small town in late June 2015 – the first local art show ever, I think.

Having gone through the initial panic of ‘nothing to wear’, which for an artist translates as, “Help!  I’ve got nothing that’s ready to be hung”  (like: not framed, no fixings, not quite finished etc etc), I managed to dredge up 7 pieces.

One of which was “The Journey 1” – intended as the start of a new series and just recently finished:

journey_700

The inspiration for this picture goes back to my days in government in Wellington, to a long weekend in 1975 when a friend and I took a workmate up to Mangaturuturu Hut on Mount Ruapehu.

At about 4pm, the mountain (given the right weather conditions) turns a magnificent shade of pink.  I took the photos below from the hut and I used them as a reference for this work, along with an old shot of Peter, taken in the Kaimanawas by one of his mates, as an inspiration for the pose of the figure.

ruapehu-pink

Peter, who is still in Wellington, often says he needs to go in the hills from time to time to get ‘grounded’ – which is part of what this painting is about.  Maybe I don’t need to ‘connect’ so much now, because I live on the edge of a bush reserve, but I DO miss those mountains.

And the big bag (which you’ll note isn’t a tramping or hiking backpack) is there for a purpose.

Billy Joel’s ‘River Of Dreams’ has relevance here, too:

See also my follow-up post ‘Ruapehu Sunset‘.

Patricia