Mo­ti­vated by cre­ativ­ity

Rotorua Weekender - - Arts Corner -

■ Tell us a bit about your­self.

I would be best de­scribed as a per­son who is mo­ti­vated by cre­ativ­ity and change in my work life.

Peo­ple and art both ful­fil that for me, as they are full of chal­lenge and change.

■ How long have you been an artist/art tu­tor for and how did it start?

I al­ways loved draw­ing with any pen or pen­cil I could find as a child. My mum brought home type­writer pa­per, used on one side, from her work­place and I would just peel through it with draw­ings of peo­ple.

That was how I spent my free time when I wasn’t play­ing with friends.

Art was just a pas­sion, along with maths. One straight­ens the mind and the other the spirit.

Art re­ally be­came more than a pas­time about six years ago when I fin­ished teach­ing in a class­room.

I had more space in my head to cre­ate and what had been a strug­gle to fit in pre­vi­ously be­came a plea­sure.

I have spent the last year and a half in al­most con­stant art im­mer­sion through per­sonal art, teach­ing art, re­search about art and work­ing with artists.

■ What medi­ums do you work with?

Acrylic, oil and wa­ter­colour. I tend to go through stages of each.

I en­joy do­ing any­thing vis­ual art­wise so I love find­ing out how to use new medi­ums and ideas. Some of my great­est dis­cov­er­ies have been about the dif­fer­ent types of pa­per and can­vas avail­able. There is noth­ing like a good medium to paint onto.

■ Where do you get in­spi­ra­tion from with your work?

Life, con­ver­sa­tions with other artists of any genre, and trial and er­ror.

■ What do you en­joy about art? That’s a re­ally good ques­tion — all sorts of things spring to mind. The po­ten­tial for free­dom of ideas. The va­ri­ety of vis­ual art forms and that there is no limit to where it can be taken — there are so many forms and styles and the list keeps on grow­ing. The fact that it re­ally is in the eye of the be­holder. That any­one can do art.

Also, that it has the power to fo­cus your mind away from the stresses of life. I put the art which I am work­ing on in my path­way at home. I walk past it in an evening and think “Oh I’ll just…” and five min­utes turns into five hours.

■ What do you have com­ing up/ what will you be up to in the near fu­ture?

Cur­rently I am work­ing on my Master of Ed­u­ca­tion, which is about the ef­fects of par­tic­i­pa­tion in vis­ual art on adults aged over 50. From out of the prac­ti­cal part of that re­search, I have a thriv­ing group of re­turn­ers. I have dis­cov­ered a group of be­gin­ner artists who amaze them­selves ev­ery time they pick up a brush and I love that.

I would like to do more classes and get more peo­ple draw­ing and paint­ing be­cause it fu­els my pas­sion to help oth­ers find the artist which has been in them all this time, and to find the fun and en­joy­ment which there is in art par­tic­i­pa­tion.

I also work with Marc Spi­jker­bosch, the Com­mu­nity Arts Ad­vi­sor at the coun­cil, on var­i­ous lo­cal projects each year. The work is hugely mo­ti­vat­ing. We are cur­rently run­ning the Sculp­ture Sym­po­sium at The Arts Vil­lage, and Marc is a fan­tas­tic boss to work with and for. There are more projects com­ing and I love that the fo­cus is both on the artists and on the pub­lic in­ter­ac­tion with them and their work.

And I paint when I can.

Photo / Sup­plied

He­len English is a lo­cal artist.

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