The weather has been beautiful here for the last few days; to be honest it’s been a bit too hot for my liking. But this afternoon the weather has taken a turn for the worse. I have gone from wearing a sleeveless cotton dress round the house, with barefeet, to jeans and a medium weight top. But I can still enjoy the colours of early summer with another of the series of four wee canvas I posted about the other day. Here’s a second from the set.
Next Friday the Patea Patchwork and Quilt exhibition, as part of the Taranaki Garden Trust’s Fringe Festival, opens in the old Hunter Shaw building here in Patea. They have invited me to be the sole painter exhibiting. I am offering lots of smaller works for sale, plus some older works in order to make space in my studio for new paintings. Sort of a spring clean!
Here’s a quick bit of history for you. The Hunter Shaw building was built as the town’s library in 1930 using money bequeathed to the town by Hunter Shaw – hence the name. The building, designed by prominent New Zealand architects Gummer and Ford, is in the Regency Revival style of 1915-1940. It is a fine example of their work and some people, architect students included, come to Patea just to see the building. The library moved out in 2002, having finally outgrown the building. I was the librarian at the time, still am, and it was a difficult decision to be part of but I know we made the right choice in the end. The local Council has kept the building, and done a great deal of earthquake-proofing and restoration. It looks fantastic and is a magic venue for public events such as this exhibition.
So, back to the artworks. The new works I have done are all abstract, using the colours of our summer gardens as a starting point. In some cases there is a hint of upright foliage and sky, in others just the colours as a mental nod to gardening. Most of the new paintings are wee 4x4s – so that I have something very moderately priced for the travelling public to get enthused about (I hope!). All are done in artist quality acrylics and are heady to hang and enjoy. I’m really looking forward to the exhibition, because it is such a different audience for me to reach, but I am also a bit nervous about locals seeing my work – silly huh?