Birds of prey inspire artist
Anitra Murphy loves her art work to be as accurate to real life as possible, so it almost leaps off the page.
The Matamata Society of Arts member has her work on display at Westpac throughout the month of March.
Her collection strongly features birds, which include gannets, falcons and sparrows.
She is so dedicated to portraying a realistic likeness of the creatures, that she will spend hours researching and studying their habits.
‘‘I love the native bird life, I like learning about them, I try to read up on them and their habitats.
‘‘Now I know a lot of trivia about birds,’’ she laughed.
‘‘It helps me to picture in my head how they move, how they are likely to behave in the wild,’’ she says.
‘‘I get a picture of how sunlight hits their features, how the shadows form underneath them.
‘‘It’s a weird thing as an artist to travel the world and take notice of how light hits things.
‘‘Birds of prey are very impressive. The South Island falcon is becoming extinct and I don’t think many people realise that.’’
The exhibition features a painting of two gannets, which she painted after seeing a profile of them on the New Zealand documentary Coastal.
‘‘I fell in love with them, I thought they were amazing. I did a time in motion study on the gannets, from prepping the canvas to sealing took 35 hours.’’
But she is also a fan of landscapes and has included a painting of low cloud on the Kaimai as she saw it from behind the Raungaiti Marae near Waharoa.
Murphy has been painting for eight years, she enjoys exhibiting, but says that New Zealand is still very young in its appreciation of painted works.
‘‘People are not prepared to buy art in New Zealand, it’s a pet peeve. New Zealand is very young when investing in art.
‘‘They could spend $60 to $150 on a painting and when they don’t like it anymore they could put it away or give it away or sell it and make their money back.
‘‘Many people aren’t aware it’s an investment and don’t realise the time that goes into them.’’
A Matamata Society of Arts artist exhibits their work at Westpac each month and a portion of all paintings sold is donated to Pohlen Hospital.
Anitra Murphy is the Matamata Society of Arts, Artist of the Month.