Hu­man­ity painters share work

Hastings Leader - - News -

Dancer by Anna Jep­son.

In­ven­tive­ness comes sec­ond na­ture to the Hu­man­ity Painters, as they get ready to ex­hibit the fruits of the last 12 months of cre­ativ­ity.

Fer­tile Ground is the ti­tle for this year’s 10th ex­hi­bi­tion held at Hast­ings Com­mu­nity Arts Cen­tre.

Tu­tor and artist He­len Ker­ridge says when she cu­rated her first ex­hi­bi­tion 10 years ago, she didn’t think there would be a sec­ond one, let alone a 10th.

“Our show has grown in both size and rep­u­ta­tion, al­most dou­bling. What be­gan with 40 ex­hibit­ing artists has now grown to more then 70. This year there will be close to 300 paint­ings on dis­play.”

Napier artist Fran­cie Bryant is one of the found­ing mem­bers of Hu­man­ity Painters and her im­age Ruahine is on the show’s poster. She first be­gan paint­ing with wa­ter­colours many years ago but rapidly changed to oils. Fran­cie says she loves how vi­brant the oil colours are and how they blend.

“It’s like paint­ing with but­ter. I en­joy land­scapes as well as still life. It is the process of paint­ing, the bat­tle and the pas­sion over paint to de­pict an en­joy­able scene — that’s what gives me a real buzz.”

Con­tem­po­rary Hast­ings artist Anna Jep­son is no stranger to cre­ativ­ity or hard work as she com­pletes her lat­est paint­ings for their show, He­len says.

“Over the last two decades Anna has been paint­ing while run­ning a very suc­cess­ful lo­cal busi­ness. It was dur­ing the last few years that she de­cided to solely fo­cus on her art.”

Along with weekly tu­ition from He­len, Anna also at­tends clas­si­cal por­trai­ture classes an­nu­ally in an his­toric Floren­tine Ate­lier Stu­dio in Florence, still in ac­tive use, dat­ing back to the ear­ly19th cen­tury.

“No posh ameni­ties there, stu­dio tem­per­a­tures up to 40 de­grees dur­ing sum­mer, the smell of turps and oil, as it has al­ways been done,” Anna says.

Jean Dixon of Have­lock North, a for­mer teacher who loved shar­ing her pas­sion of art with her pri­mary school stu­dents, took the op­por­tu­nity of join­ing He­len’s classes nine years ago.

“I en­joy the stim­u­la­tion of ex­per­i­ment­ing with dif­fer­ent art gen­res, the pos­i­tive re­in­force­ment and crit­i­cal anal­y­sis He­len gives, and the friend­ship of my fel­low class mates.”

Jean ex­per­i­ments with ab­stract, moody seascapes where she asks the viewer to in­ter­pret and dis­cover some­thing new in her paint­ings each time they look.

Napier artist Sonya Leth­bridge has fol­lowed a life­long path of creative pur­suits.

Her most re­cent pro­ject, il­lus­trat­ing a book of chil­dren’s sto­ries and poems by writer Nancy Patul­ski, will be pub­lished shortly.

Some of th­ese il­lus­tra­tions will be on dis­play at the Hu­man­ity Painters show.

Hu­man­ity Painter’s an­nual ex­hi­bi­tion now at­tracts well over 200 peo­ple to its grand open­ing.

This year’s guest speaker is lo­cal artist and EIT tu­tor Michael Hawksworth.

■ Hu­man­ity Painters Fer­tile Ground ex­hi­bi­tion, Hast­ings Com­mu­nity Arts Cen­tre, 106 Rus­sell St Sth, Hast­ings. Grand open­ing Tues­day, Septem­ber 25, 5.30pm. Ex­hi­bi­tion runs Septem­ber 24 to Oc­to­ber 6.

Sonya Leth­bridge’s most re­cent pro­ject, il­lus­trat­ing a book of chil­dren’s sto­ries.

Jean Dixon of Have­lock North en­joys de­pict­ing ru­ral Hawke’s Bay.

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