A tale of bless­ings and hope


Colour­ful Queen­stown artist Da’Vella Gore has pub­lished her au­to­bi­og­ra­phy and hopes it will en­cour­age oth­ers fac­ing ad­ver­sity.

This Blessed Artist is the tale of her 70-some­thing years in­clud­ing the tale of how she started paint­ing un­in­ten­tion­ally.

Bedrid­den with a lifethreat­en­ing dis­ease at her par­ent’s Whi­tianga mo­tel, her mother told her to sit up and have a go at paint­ing. ‘‘I didn’t want to. I did it to please her.’’

When her first paint­ing sold for $20 she ac­cepted she had some nat­u­ral tal­ent and sought tuition. A few months later she held an ex­hi­bi­tion.

‘‘I knew then I could make a liv­ing. I needed to pro­vide for my five-year-old son.’’

With son Wayne, she re­turned to her birth­place of Queen­stown and pur­chased the rab­bit-in­fested hill­side over­look­ing Lake Hayes, which they de­vel­oped into the mag­nif­i­cent Stoner­idge Es­tate.

A car crash in the 1990s left her so badly in­jured it was five years be­fore she could walk again and the ef­fects on her eye­sight left her un­able to paint.

How­ever, her faith helped her get through and son Wayne, who had been ‘‘mar­vel­lous.’’

Her strug­gles to de­velop Stoner­idge are cov­ered in her light hearted pre­vi­ous books This Blessed House (af­fec­tion­ately known as How Not to Build a House), This Blessed Life (How Not to Run a Farm) and This Blessed Jour­ney (How Not to Plant a Vine­yard).

In the mean­time she had de­vel­oped her ca­reer as an artist, taught art classes, came to be in de­mand on the speak­ing cir­cuit and as a mar­riage cel­e­brant.

*This Blessed Artist is avail­able from Lakes Dis­trict Mu­seum in Ar­row­town


Queen­stown au­thor and artist Da’Vella Gore has pub­lished her swan song book ‘‘This Blessed Artist.’’

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