‘It gives me immense pleasure’
Outside Carolina Gartner’s house a kingfisher sits on the powerlines to watch the waters of Plimmerton Bay.
Inside her studio the walls are covered with paintings of seascapes, sand dunes and waves.
Leo the enormous black and white cat keeps an eye on the art...and the birds.
‘‘If I can’t be inspired in a place like this then I’m not the artist I think am.
You can’t help it, anyone living here could paint or draw.’’
The self taught artist said she picked up the paintbrush 15 years ago after almost three decades without painting.
‘‘About 15 years ago I thought I wanted to paint again....I don’t want to wait around until I’m too old.’’
She said she didn’t know what inspired her to start creating again but thought the urge was in her all along.
‘‘I was a very busy career public servant for years but it was always in me to paint.
‘‘It’s an urge to be creative and produce something that appeals but I don’t do it to sell stuff, that’s not the point at all.’’
She said one of the hardest things about being an artist was pricing her work and letting it be sold.
‘‘I hate to say it but they do feel a bit like they’re my children but whatever you charge it never covers the work you put into a painting.
I feel like blood, sweat and tears goes into every painting and I have trouble letting them go.’’
Photographs and emails from new owners of her art goes some way to making things better.
‘‘When I get a message saying ‘I love this’ or a photo of where the painting hangs in its new home it’s just wonderful.’’
She paints from her own photographs or sometimes just from memory, letting a painting sit for a few days before coming back to it.
‘‘It gives me immense pleasure...I’ve been standing painting for four or five hours and I haven’t noticed, it transports me.’’
Gartner was born in Chile and lived in Australia before coming
Mana Arts Society Exhibition, Plimmerton Domain, July 16 and 17 and July 23 and 24. to New Zealand in 1987.
‘‘I came here for a year and never left.’’
Plimmerton artist Carolina Gartner says she has always had the urge to paint and the view from her window inspires her.