Jill Fitzmaurice and Naomi Wheeler
Date: Jan 21 – Feb 3Space: Small Gallery
The works of artists and friends Jill Fitzmaurice and Naomi Wheeler will be on display in our beautiful Small Gallery as a collabrative exhibition. New Zealand landforms, the ocean, the sky and the myriad of greens provide the inspiration for much of Jill’s expressionist and abstract art work while Naomi takes inspiration from reflecting the landscapes around her, at times including people from her life in a way that evokes an impression or memory.
Jill and Naomi are having an opening on Friday 21st January, 5 – 7pm, refreshments will be served, all welcome! In accordance with Covid guidelines, please bring your vax pass, mask and observe social distancing at this event.
Please note that vax passes are not required for visiting the exhibition during standard opening hours.
After a teaching and educational software design background spanning four decades, local artist Jill Fitzmaurice established her art practice about 15 years ago. She has explored such mediums as oil, acrylic, encaustic wax, pastel, charcoal and photography, with a preference for oil and acrylic.
In her early days Jill majored in Art at Palmerston Teachers’ College and was fortunate to be taught by well-known New Zealand artists Paul Dibble, Cliff Whiting, John Taiapa, Frank Davis and Ray Thorburn. Portraiture also features in her painting and she has spent the last four years perfecting an Old Masters’ technique using a limited palette composed of vermillion, yellow ochre, white and carbon black.
Always eager to expand her research into different aspects of painting, Jill has attended a variety of workshops with a focus on oils, cold wax, abstracts and life drawing.
Jill’s approach to painting is multi-faceted. Her preferred medium is oil, but at present acrylics allow her the best way to explore different methods in search of her ‘voice’ as a painter. Her aim is to represent a 3-D world onto a painted surface. To achieve this she plays with colour, form and texture and the resulting stylised landscapes, mixed media works, hyper-realistic and surrealist paintings and portraits all jostle for space in her studio.
Naomi has enjoyed painting since early childhood in the early 60s when her mother and grandmother fostered and facilitated the joy of it, along with creativity and wonder of life, nature, and the environment. This has and still inspires her in her work. Artists who have inspired Naomi are Richard Diebenkorn, Pierre Bonnet and Edward Hopper for paintings with people and for her landscapes, which have been her main focus in this exhibition.
Self confessed to being a little impatient but still wishing to have time to manipulate the paint, Naomi enjoys painting in open acrylics on board and canvas.
As well as many night classes, Naomi attended 2 year-long part-time courses at Browne School of Art, Auckland in 2016 and 2017 after which she, as part of the student group, exhibited her work in the Auckland Browne School of Art studios. She has also, along with a friend and painting colleague, run a weekend art retreat, Artbreak Waihi, sharing the skills for painting from 2014 – 2020, an enriching experience.
This year Naomi moved from Auckland to Waihi Beach in the Bay of Plenty with her husband and soon to be fellow artist. For this exhibition, and previous works, she has positive (mostly) on-tap critics for her painting from all three members of her family who are all creatives, but especially her husband, Stuart. Naomi especially enjoys working in series and for the future wishes to further experiment with her style and exhibit with her husband.
“I am thrilled to be exhibiting with Jill Fitzmaurice who has kindly welcomed me to be part of this. She is a good friend and art colleague with whom I look forward to further sharing support in our artists’ journeys.”
You can follow Naomi on Instagram @naomiandart.