‘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

Ex­hi­bi­tion de­tails

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.

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