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The West Coast Messenger

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Artist profiles Judith March


udith March paints exquisite works with pastels. What is her favourite subject? “Just about anything that interests me. I love painting dogs. And cats — I painted many of the big cats while I was in South Africa.” (She has gained international awards for her wildlife portraits, many of which are in private collections around the world.) “And birds. And landscapes. “That’s one of the reasons I’m looking forward to returning to Art in the Park this year. The scenery between my home in Mapua and Greymouth is inspiring. “I’ll be coming down in my caravan taking photos on the way and giving myself a spare day before the exhibition to enjoy

the Coast sights and friendly people.” Judy was a popular artist at Art in the Park at Shantytown two years ago, where several of her works sold and several commissions obtained. “Very pleasing,” she smiles. “I’m interested to see the venue at the (Greymouth) High School gymnasium.” Originally from the United Kingdom, March lived in South Africa for 10 years, and came to New Zealand 20 years ago. The quality of her work was quickly recognised and she is a signature member of PANZ (Pastel Artists of New Zealand), which promotes pastel as a fine art medium to the public, artists, galleries and exhibition organisers within New Zealand and overseas.

Bob McQuarrie GREYMOUTH’S own Bob McQuarrie is well recognised around the West Coast for his functional stoneware — beautifully shaped bowls, coffee mugs, cups and platters from his busy potter’s wheel, and freeform tiles, small animal and bird ceramics. His ceramic garden-art towers were a hit at last year’s Art in the Garden in Flaxmere, Canterbury. “As it’s in October it forces me to be busy over winter,” he says. McQuarrie uses only local clays from various sources, which sometimes can be straight out of the ground but usually need to be worked to remove stones, sand or roots. He achieves vibrant decorative effects by creating his own glazes, often from differently coloured recycled glass. His kiln is fired by dry pine from trees he planted on his Karoro hill property many years ago. Wood ash provides unique glaze effects. “It’s a lot of effort but it’s good to have a hobby you love that also brings in a bit of money.” Bob has exhibited at every Art in the Park. He reminisces about the original Dixon Park events.

“The first one was great, but the second year — deluge. Marquees flooded, but surprising how many people turned up. “Rain doesn’t deter West Coasters! Shantytown was the next venue, which was good, but the gymnasium works really well. “Art in the Park is important for

established and up-and-coming artists,” he says. “It gives them access to Greymouth people, shows them what is going on here on the Coast. Often it’s the degree to which artists promote themselves that brings success. “It’s not an easy road.”

Profile for West Coast Messenger

West Coast Messenger 6 February 2019  

Weekly news from West Coast, New Zealand

West Coast Messenger 6 February 2019  

Weekly news from West Coast, New Zealand