A Chat with Tairua Artist Liz Hart

  • 19 March 2014
  • Sarah Holden
  1. What is your preferred medium and why?
    Watercolour will always be my first love, I adore the instant reaction of water to pigment. It is the only medium to release a beautiful transparency.  
  2. How would you describe your work?
    I would like to think my work conveys simplicity as opposed to detail.  
  3. When inspiration hits how do you channel that into your work, what’s the process? 
    I usually choose a subject I know and enjoy, it is pointless trying to paint an image that does not inspire you. I like to be inventive with the subject I choose.
  4. What inspires you generally?
    I feel art is about individuality and emotion, just be yourself and the rest will follow.
  5. Where did you get the inspiration from for this particular piece (please select one of your latest pieces that you would like me to showcase)?
    The inspiration for Delphiniums really harks back to my childhood.  My parents had the most beautiful farm garden, tall spires of delphiniums were interspersed with hollyhocks, larkspur, old fashioned roses, michaelmas daisy and campanula.  These flowers are also the inspiration for my Wild Garden series. Even though watercolor is my first love, these large paintings are worked in the acrylic medium, but in a loose impressionist way.
  6. Can you remember one of the first things you created? What makes it memorable?
    Growing up on a farm in the Waikato, I remember as a young child being fascinated by the snowdrops, jonquils and daffodils that emerged every spring in their masses in our orchard. Mum was very creative and painted herself, gave my sister and myself a tray each of pan watercolors, we would sit on a rug under the nectarine tree and try to recreate the view in front of us. I must have been about seven years old.  
  7. What, in your opinion, is the hardest step in creating a masterpiece?
    I would never ever pretend to have painted a masterpiece … I  wish …  
  8. Tell me a little bit about your relationship with art and being creative?
    I remember at school I was lucky enough to have had a wonderful, encouraging, art teacher, who seemed to open up a whole new world of colour. She taught us ''VALUES''. With more painting experience I discovered value patterns and contrasts described the light.  
  9. Which artists do you admire, past and present? Why?  What draws you to their work?
    I really admire all artists for their insight and creativity, and I have been inspired by different artists on many different levels. Artists who have passed away include Sargent, Turner, Jane Evans. N.Z. Gaston De Vel. N.Z. to name a few. Artists who have mentored me are Ted Sherwen - Watercolour   Joan Taylor - Printmaking, etching, (both from New Zealand) Alvaro Castagnet from Argentina and David Taylor from Australia , both internationally recognised artists.
  10. What are you working on at the moment?
     At the moment I am working on building up a portfolio for the Mercury Bay Art Escape.  Fresh work for the gallery plus three commissions.
  11. How do you know when a work is finished?
    You never really know when a work is truly finished. Just beware of ''I’ll just do this'', until you have overworked the piece.  
  12. Tell us a fun fact about yourself?
    As artists we relate to the visual environment that we know, I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by the breathtaking scenery of the Coromandel. I enjoy marveling at nature’s showmanship.
  13. Tell me something you like about The Little Gallery in Tairua and why you chose to display your work there.
    I enjoy everything about ''The Little Gallery'' in Tairua, from our lovely and very approachable owner Sarah to our wise and knowledgable curator Paula. It’s setting is almost an everyday encounter for me. I love volunteering at the gallery and enjoy watching our customers getting in touch with their inner feelings when moved by an artwork. Our whole team is so enthusiastic and energetic. The display of original artwork is always changing and feedback from the public who take time to encounter us is always so complimentary, encouraging and positive.
  14. Is there anything else you’d like to say?
    Make brilliant colour your hero.


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