Floral artist a winner
Creative use of flowers and leaves landed local artist Gaylene Lee two major awards at the Floral Art Society of New Zealand annual meeting last month.
Upwards of 400 entries are submitted to the society each year and just 10 are chosen to win the top awards.
Mrs Lee won the award for best use of leaves with her piece made from native flax and moss named The River, and best use of colour for her Dutch-Flemish-style swag.
‘‘It’s really special to get one award because out of about 500 entries really to get anything is amazing, so to get two was just incredible,’’ she said.
‘‘When I went up for the second one I just went ‘oh wow’ and everyone was going mad so it was quite exciting really.’’
Photos of her winning designs will feature in the society’s national diary.
Mrs Lee has been a member of the society since 1985 and is also president of the Matamata Floral Art Group.
‘‘I like the wide range of things you can do with floral art – it’s not just flowers,’’ she said. ‘‘I love to do something really, really different and you hope like mad it’s all going to go together at the end.’’
In 2010, she won another major award for most innovative design and she has also won five smaller awards over the years.
This year the annual meeting was held in Gisborne and Mrs Lee attended a number of workshops held by other artists.
‘‘You learn a lot and get lots and lots of different ideas,’’ she said.
Over the years, she has spent time judging and teaching floral art and developed the use of clay in floral art.
She has also taken part in 10 Matamata Festivals of Flowers and this year worked on the scene from The Pirates of Penzance that was created from flowers and plants.
‘‘It’s good fun to do and it’s challenging and I like challenges,’’ she said.
‘‘It certainly keeps me out of mischief and keeps me busy.’’
Top awards: Matamata’s Gaylene Lee won two major awards at the Floral Art Society of New Zealand annual meeting.