Fired up for fresh start

Central Otago Mirror - - FRONT PAGE - By MAR­JORIE COOK

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

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