Art for everyone

Last updated 12:00 10/08/2012
GROUP ART: Art Enthusiasts group facilitator Sue Artner hangs Mokohinau Lighthouse with Pohutukawa, a watercolour by John Tidball.
HARBOURING A TALENT: Max Turner with his acrylic painting Harbourside, one of five works he has in the exhibition.

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A group of artists were not happy to give up their hobby when the door closed on their night classes.

Several years later the group are exhibiting their work and enjoying expanding artistic horizons. Emma Horsley looks at one of Palmerston North's latest exhibitions.

A group of artists who paint and draw for pleasure are holding their first gallery exhibition, Something For Everyone, at one of Palmerston North's busiest galleries, Taylor-Jensen Fine Arts.

The group Art Enthusiasts originally started as Queen Elizabeth College Continuing Education painting classes in 2007 and after the dismantling of the adult education programmes, several people wanted to keep going, found a home at the Te Arakura/Taonui Community Hall and Art Enthusiasts was born.

Since then the members of the group have grown increasingly confident in their work, assisted by former secondary school art teacher Sue Artner.

"My position has been more of a facilitator as I organise the venue and provide assistance when people ask for it."

The group meet for 36 weeks of the year from February to November and Artner says it provides a window of opportunity for them to concentrate in a studio environment on painting development, to exchange ideas and to socialise.

"There has always been a supportive and light-hearted camaraderie in the group."

Artner says the concept of Men In Sheds is similar to what the group is all about. "A common meeting place for like-minded people." The group have exhibited several times at Palmerston North library and this exhibition is a joint effort between the painting and drawing group.

Each artist has a story and a driver behind their work.

The artists:


Helen Bernard was born in the United States and emigrated to New Zealand in 1993. A former vet, Bernard has lived in Manawatu for 17 years and has been working mainly with images of animals in the landscape with an expressive brushwork.


Beryl Ebbett grew up in north Wairarapa farming country and during a trip to Venice in 1995 discovered a love of Italian architecture. Ebbett dabbled in scenic tile painting, progressed to watercolour painting and joined Art Enthusiasts in 2007.

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Joan Ellis grew up in the King Country and Wairarapa and started her painting career with secondary school art classes. She has found she can apply her special interest in colour, form and texture to floral arts and cross stitch. Three years ago Ellis decided to get her paints out of the cupboard to depict landscapes that have fascinated her.


About 10 to 15 years after leaving school Lyn Gammon started dabbling in oils and then more seriously moved to watercolour about 10 years ago through Adult Continuing Education classes. She has also extended her artistic talents to leatherwork, lacemaking, patchwork and ceramics.


A former accountant with a love of orchids, Graham Jackson enrolled in a drawing class at Queen Elizabeth College Continuing Education after he retired. He works with pastels and acrylics depicting scenic landscapes both in New Zealand and overseas. ANNETTE JUDD Born in Woodville, Annette Judd remembers paintings in the home by a great aunt. During her nursing training in the 1960s she attended some art evening classes in painting, drawing and ceramics, taking up the hobby again in the 1980s.


Gordon Knight hails from Warwickshire, moving to New Zealand to teach at Southland Boys' High School and then on to Massey University. After retiring Knight looked for a creative outlet and began watercolour painting in 2005 at Queen Elizabeth College Continuing Education classes. He is a foundation member of Art Enthusiasts.


During her apprenticeship as an industrial clerk, Anita Muetzel was able to fit in art lessons. Two years ago she joined the Drawing Enthusiasts and is enjoying focusing on drawing again.


Christine Pullar grew up in Hamilton influenced by her mother's interior decoration and designing and sewing clothing and her father's career as a builder. An architect, Pullar designed, drew up and administered the building of the family home and lives on a farm in Pohangina Valley, breeding boer goats.


As part-time art technician at Palmerston North Girls' High School, Penny Purdy has been with Drawing Enthusiasts for five years. She blends her love of dance with drawing, helping her create fluid lines and experimenting with styles.


Helen Sutherland grew up in central Scotland before emigrating to New Zealand, and worked at Palmerston North Hospital's emergency department. Six years ago, life was dramatically altered when she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and after discovering painting through the MS Painting Group was encouraged to attend Queen Elizabeth Continuing Education art classes.


John Tidball is the group's elder statesman with 70 years of involvement with art. He has been exhibiting watercolours for 30 years and has work in many collections.


As a scientist in his working life, Max Turner sought creativity once he retired. After becoming interested in painting while in the United States, he enrolled in Queen Elizabeth College Continuing Education art classes. Last year he and Tidball collaborated on a selection of works that began with Turner's textural abstract surfaces which Tidball further painted to reveal recognisable forms against patches of sky.

* The Something For Everyone exhibition runs from August 6 to 18. A reception for the artists is on tomorrow from 1pm-3pm at Taylor-Jensen Fine Arts gallery.

- © Fairfax NZ News

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