Painter staying true to her rural upbringing
She lives in the super city that is Auckland but, in her fields of creative endeavour, Amelia Guild is never far from the rural roots of Canterbury that shaped her. Guild will be returning to those roots when she appears at the Culverden Christmas Country Fete on October 27 as an artist in residence, accessible to the public as she sits at her easel producing one of her distinctive oil paintings.
She grew up on High Peak Station, a 4000-hectare property in the Rakaia Gorge that runs sheep, beef and deer.
Many of her works have taken as their subject the stock with which she is so familiar.
‘‘You can’t really shake it once you have it in your blood,’’ Guild says.
As well as enjoying a flourishing career as an artist, she also turns her hand to acting and recently had a role in a mockumentary to be screened on TV One.
Not surprisingly, her latest stage venture also has a distinctly rural flavour. She and another actor, Emma Newborn, are undertaking a fiveweek tour of South Island woolsheds where they will perform an hour-long comedy based around two dogs on heat. Also appearing with them will be singer Mel Parsons.
‘‘It’s rather satisfying to take the skills I honed in the city back to the country,’’ she says.
‘‘I feel very fortunate to have grown up where I did before moving on to the city.’’
Her early art influences came from her mother, Anna Guild, who works in water colours.
‘‘I exhibited with her when I was 16 or 17 in an exhibition called Anna Guild and Friends,’’ she says.
‘‘I was lucky to have very good tuition at Rangi Ruru. We had resident artists at school and one of them, Joanna Braithwaite, made a big impact on me when I was just getting into painting. I liked her use of oil paint and the content of her work. It was accessible, not too abstract and it was fun and quirky.’’
Though stimulated by the Braithwaite style, Guild has had no further contact with her mentor.
‘‘She wouldn’t have a clue who I was,’’ she says.
Guild says she is looking forward to appearing at the fete.
‘‘It’s a huge honour to be asked along as guest artist in the fete’s 20th year,’’ she says.
‘‘Mum had a stall at the inaugural fete at Leslie Hills and also exhibited at several others over the years.’’
Some of the artist’s works, including a popular selection that has cattle as their subject, will be exhibited and available for sale at the fete.
‘‘I adore animals and I get a lot of enjoyment out of painting them. I find it challenging to capture their expressions and their movement. I have been breaking out into other animals lately but trying to push the painterly effects of texture and colour. The latest works have been bright and fun.’’
Amelia Guild’s work may be seen on her website ameliaguild.com.
Stock subject: Amelia Guild’s rural upbringing has a strong influence on the oil paintings she produces.