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New Zealand

New Zealand is an inspiration.  Artistically: beautiful and sometimes improbable looking trees; so much green, yet also orange and brown and silver in the volcanic areas.  Ecologically: NZ is incredibly varied: rainforests, some of which look positively prehistoric; volcanic areas that look amazingly alien; glaciers advancing and retreating at amazing speeds; the Southern Alps (aptly named); some 2000 earthquakes each year…

And the people are fascinating. NZ is a frontier society and a mecca for people interested in extreme sports (bungee jumping is just the beginning). They are also incredibly caring about protecting their environment, recycling with a vengeance and making sure that their wild areas are preserved. And art is pervasive:  the myriad galleries in Hokitika, the public art everywhere in Christchurch helping to compensate for the massive damage done by the 2011 earthquake, the Maori portraits in the Auckland Art Gallery.  Truly impressive.

I preserve my memories by painting.  Photos  are great reminders, but it is the act of painting that really cements the memory. Looking at what I’ve created, I remember being there and how I felt.

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