At the same time as attending those very first painting lessons with art teacher Cheryl Peebles Muirson I was relief teaching at Loburn, North Loburn and Tuahiwi Schools. Lots of fabulous children to share my newfound skills with.
You get the picture. They were all painting, it was wonderful and the results were magic. There is no better way to reinforce what one learns than by passing that knowledge on. Cheryl was more than happy for me to share what I learnt. The children were doing great work.
Since I had a predictable block of teaching time at Loburn School it was time for to try something a little more adventurous, so the idea of a painting unit seemed exciting and passed with the DP Mike Reed's approval.
Of course I was no expert, so what else does one do? Call in those who are. Fortunately there were some pretty fantastic painterly parents. The fantastic thing was that they were also prepared to come on in and share their knowledge. Those lucky children had exposure to two landscape artists in Rae Noble Adams and Mandy Buchan, plus one watercolour artist in Adrienne Findlay. Each artist had their own approach, each child in the class produced a painting using the techniques shown to them by the artists. I can still picture their paintings up around the room, it was stunning stuff.
AND being the ultimate swatty bum, I was busy taking notes and learning loads too. Lucky me!
Ah, those were good days. I was surrounded by painting, it was stimulating and reaffirming.
I was prolific in my production, and my son Bradley, whom I have always felt has this amazing raw, natural talent was also attending art class and producing some stunning pieces. So in June, just before we left for the USA, Bradley and I entered into our first combined art exhibition at the Kaiapoi Art Expo. It was exciting and nerve wracking.
Putting yourself out there made me feel vulnerable. It is hard not to watch and listen to peoples comments. I remember saying to Bradley, soak up the positives, yet don't take to heart anything negative that people say about your artwork. It is only one opinion, and everyone sees things differently. Your work is wonderful and you should be proud. I also had to remind myself of that very thing too.
Neither of us sold a painting, however we were in our first art catalogue and it felt great!
These are a three of my earlier paintings, after we had arrived in the USA. My family were fishing while I sketched. I love them, they are not perfect, however they do remind me of a time and place that was perfect. These three paintings have made a trip to Florida to be in a show.