Fired up for fresh start
Wanaka artist Sally Middleton has been painting for about 64 years but all that creative energy could go up in smoke next month.
The former Queenstown Lakes deputy mayor and bed and breakfast operator plans to burn hundreds of paintings, sell her Waimana Place home and embark on an odyssey around the countryside in her vintage 1976 caravan.
Middleton, 74, is not yet sure where she wants to go – Picton is a possibility because she loves the tramping there – and it could be she even decides to stay in Wanaka long term but in a smaller house with a much smaller garden.
After years caring for her late husband Don, who died of Parkinson’s last October, she is ready spread her wings. They were married for 54 years and raised a family of four.
‘‘I am ready to move on. I am looking for a fresh start. I will probably not burn a lot of them. But some I have already burned,’’ she said.
Middleton laughs when people express shock she could do such a thing but explains she has painted many portraits and her subjects did not want every single version
Wanaka artist Sally Middleton plans to burn her own paintings if she can’t sell them. Photos: Marjorie Cook