Friday, 29 January 2010

My newest favourite thing: artists on the green

It was a scorching hot day as I walked down to Arrowtown Village Green for a spot of art and craft. The shady positions were highly sought after as the artists and artisans sold their wares.

I love Leslie Duggan’s artwork and we have several of her colourful and vibrant fabric creations adorning our walls. One (of red hot chillies and ice cool martinis) was given to us as a wedding present. The quirky cats and jaunty pukekos are also favourites. I see she also does triptychs of more subtle korus and kiwis in muted tones which would make great wall hangings too – check them out at her garden shed gallery.

I met the charming Rex Charlesworth with his fabulous display of handcrafted glass beads and jewellery. He is inspired by dragonflies; their iridescent colours, fragile wings and superlative aerodynamics. Some of the beads featured in pendants and earrings are fashioned to represent their startling eyes.

We discussed photography and patience – he clearly has lots of it as he used to spend hours photographing dragons and damsels in minute detail and extreme close-up. You can follow a link from his
Queenstown Hotglass website to see some of these wonderful images.

I was also pleased to meet the artist Christina Roach who, despite being inundated with golfing fans for the Michael Hill NZ Open, was still smiling as she painted her Central Otago landscapes. This is the scenery with which she chooses to surround herself and you can tell her connection to it with each loving brush stroke of the oil on the canvas or the dots of colour that represent glorious autumnal leaves on Tobin's Track.

Christina had almost sold out of her paintings and so was completing some more to add to her stock. Today she was painting from a photograph – a panorama of images taped together, which she kept in the front pocket of her apron. I suggested that it might be difficult to imagine the landscape while she looked out at the Arrowtown street bustling with summer visitors, but as she mixed more pockets of paint, she said she knows these hills like the back of her hand.

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