If my recollection is correct, it all started when I was 4 or 5 years old in a wee cottage in Malvern, Worcestershire. My Auntie Allwyn was looking after me for the afternoon, the room was warm and smelt of lollies – I think she ran a little shop from her home. Auntie spread out the paper and with potatoes cut into different designs, and brightly coloured paint in saucers, I was introduced to potato printing. Such bright shiny colours – my earliest creative thoughts and that wonderful experience has never left me. The second memory was from primary school, where I discovered shiny brightly coloured paper – we cut into shapes and glued (using a small glass bottle with a rubber chiseled top) onto paper. I remember thinking that the paper must have been very special and quite rare, even now I still regard paper as a limited resource and take great care not to waste it.
It was a fantasy for me after leaving high school to study art, back then I was guided into secretarial studies – which has been the backbone of my income over the years along with periods of community art teaching. When my son was 18 months old I enrolled at Otago Art School applying for the Fine Art Degree course. I was not accepted until my second year, where I transferred from the Diploma in Design. I received my Bachelor of Fine Art in 1997. I later went on to receive my City and Guilds in Further Adult Teaching in 2004, studying in the UK.
I currently work my studio in the beautiful Horowhenua region of New Zealand. Colour is a predominant part of my work which extends to acrylic, oils, pastels, ink and watercolour. I enjoy charcol drawing and tonal painting studies. Amongst my art influences over the years have been: the flower and plant studies of American Pop Artist Jim Dine, and Georgia O’Keefe, the landscapes of Constable, Turner, and the painting styles of the Impressionist painters; Vincent van Gogh, Cezanne, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Gustav Klimt. My work is sometimes decorative in nature using the landscape and the human form as a vehicle to celebrate the use of full colour and bold rhythmical line.
‘Art in the Park’ Levin – 2018
Horowhenua District Council Group Exhibition – Te Takere, Levin Feb 2018
‘Art in the Park’ Levin – February 14th 2016
Seaview Gallery, Paraparaumu Beach – Saturday 7th November 2015
Kapiti Arts Trail 2014, 2013, 2011
Hot Orange, Paraparaumu 2008
Original Arts show Auckland 2006
Affordable Arts show Wellington 2006
Lembas Cafe Raumati South 2006
Rotary Arts show, Southwards, Paraparaumu 2005
Frameworks Gallery, Paraparaumu 2005
Newport Summer Arts Gala, UK 2004
The Turf Walk Summer Show, UK 2003
Freshwater Library, UK 2002
Otago Arts Society 1998
Education Centre, Dunedin 1998
Otago Art School Graduates Exhibition, NZ 1997