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Painting Myself Into a Corner

Painting is a funny business

"Waterways" - Acrylic on Canvas - 2021

"Bark, Eucalyptus" - Acrylic on Canvas -2021

When I returned to my art career in Australia in 2017, I was filled with the excitement and motivation that comes with once again ‘touching base’ with you inner creative self – that intrinsic part of yourself that sees and feels the world in a highly visual way.

"Totems" - Acrylic on Canvas - 2019

"On the Edge of Evening" - Acrylic on Canvas - 2021

I was learning – and re-learning - and I had no particular aspirations of returning to a fulltime exhibiting career. It was for fun, for self-fulfillment. Sales were a happy by-product.

Two from the Sketchbook - 2022

But now, five years on and back living in New Zealand, I have to acknowledge a sense of conflict.

"Undulations" - Acrylic on Canvas - 2020

"New Dawn" - Acrylic on Canvas - 2020

People have asked me, “if you’re not going to exhibit your paintings, why are you doing it?”

"Beachscape" - Watercolour - 2021

Mixed Paintings

Which is a very good question and one that definitely warrants further exploration – especially given that my house is now ‘filled to the gills’ with paintings and I am rapidly running out of space to store them.

"Summer Garden Abstract" - Accordion Book, Ink & Watercolour - 2021

"Storm Clouds" - Acrylic on Canvas - 2021

Let me be clear about one thing though – I am not averse to exhibiting work, it’s just not a priority. If it happens, I’m sure it will be exciting (albeit a huge amount of work), but I’m just not out there specifically gunning for it. That said, almost every painting I do IS for sale (so please, do enquire if you’re interested) – but I guess if I’m not “putting them out there,” I really am painting myself into a corner.

From the Sketchbook - 2022

"A Meditation on Summer" - Acrylic on Canvas - 2021

I have thought about this dilemma at length and it always comes back to one thing for me…..I’m not painting for ‘fame nor fortune,’ I’m painting for me. I paint because I love the physical act of painting – the immersion in colour, the possibility – the sense of discovery and the rewards that come with capturing the essence of place.

As is obvious from the paintings I’ve chosen to illustrate these words, I’m not a painter of the literal (even my more literal sketches are ‘impressions’); I seek to capture a mood, a colour combination, a feeling, a memory, that elusive essence of a place.

"Ashley Gorge" - Concertina Book - Ink & Watercolour - 2021

A Collection of Paintings - Acrylic on Canvas

The fact that I am creating a monstrous archive of paintings, sketchbooks, handmade books, photographic books and collections for those who come after me to deal with, is something I try not to think about.

Not too often anyway.

Because if I did, I would feel obliged to stop – and that would be denying who I am. I observe, I write, I sketch, I photograph, I make handmade books (and published books), I paint - and then I observe again.

And again.

"Walking in the Red Zone" - Watercolour - 2021

"Smoke and Ash" - Acrylic on Canvas - 2021

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Adrienne Rewi  - Writer Photographer  Artist
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