New Zealand artist Jane Sinclair presents a portfolio based on her homeland and its fascinating landscapes. Enjoy and visit her website to see more.
Life is about taking opportunities, which often appear when we least expect them. A career in art was certainly not in my plans when I left school, but I fell into painting by default and have never looked back.
With an architectural degree under my belt and unable to secure a job, I began painting portraits of houses. Before I knew it, commissions were rolling in and then out of the blue, I was offered a part-time job designing greeting cards for a local company which lasted for many years.
As it turned out this was a wonderful marketing opportunity to get my name known. Alongside this work, I was exhibiting my paintings in group shows around New Zealand as well as having several solo exhibitions. It also turned out to be the perfect job to have as I raised my two children, working from home and giving me flexibility.
In those early years, another opportunity came by way of teaching. Looking back now, I realise I was only one step ahead of the students. Thank goodness that changed with time and experience. From small beginnings, I now have 35 adult students attending regular night classes and teach occasional weekend workshops.
Teaching has made me a much better painter. I have honed my painting skills by having to articulate what is normally an intuitive decision. No two students are alike, so sharing my skills with them will always gather a different response, and another opportunity for me to learn, too.
I love painting landscapes and am inspired by the surrounding farmland of my home, here in the Wairarapa valley of New Zealand’s North Island. I look out across rolling hill country, a beautiful river and the distant mountains.
I was recently given the opportunity to paint The Great Wall of China at a scale befitting the subject matter. At 2 metres x 1 metre, this is my largest painting to date. Although it took months to paint, I relished the challenge, and loved working on a large canvas.
My other subject of choice is birds. New Zealand birds at the moment. These are either small studies in watercolour or very large oils where the actual size of the bird is dramatically altered. They become very powerful works at this size.
Who knows what opportunities are yet to come in the future? All I know is I’m happy to go along for the ride and enjoy every moment of it. I am one lucky person!
Jane Sinclair invites you to follow her on Facebook.