Margaret Tolland artist

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Artist in Residence

 September 2020

 

I have been fortunate to be the artist in residence  at Island Bay School in Wellington. The  benefit of having a studio space set up in a school is sensing the school rhythm, every school has one. Schools  are busy places and I feel like my easel is an Island in the  constant flow of kids and teachers.  The school is organised into class levels named with New Zealand endemic species so I am taking advantage of this and painting a portrait of the school in the round.  

 

How great that a school values the visual arts and gives students the experience of seeing a real life artist doing their thing.  It really affirms  the specialist art teaching skills that I have and how I can adapt to a range of fun and relevant learning experiences.   We have been painting with monochromatic studies, sculpting a variety of birds, gecko, snails and more (even a dinosaur), a spot of printmaking and oceans of great drawing skills.  Book making and endless sketch books have been the go. Many thanks to Island Bay school for a such a rewarding four weeks.  Thanks to Harry and Felix  for being great hosts and to Kristy for the great organisation.  

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Everyday I feel so lucky and happy to be doing what I am doing. I love my studio space, the ideas, the materials, my brushes and also working from my home. I do pop out once a week to teach in my local intermediate school and this keeps me connected to my other passion for arts education.


About two weeks ago we were sitting in the lounge and looking out of the window. There was a rather plump and majestic kereru sitting on a lucerne tree nibbling quite delicately at some of the leaves. It is so funny to see such a large bird trying to be graceful on a slender plant limb. It was delightful and we watched for about half an hour.  

New Zealand offers up some wonderful species and they have characteristics, stories and history that are very desirable for an illustrator. 

 

The birds seem to relate to the environment and get on with things. I would like to be as streetwise and as cool as the kereru sitting in our lucerne tree. I think it’s the bird’s gaze that gets me every time. How do they find a lucerne tree in the middle of Titahi Bay!  

So here is where you will find me. I look forward to sharing this creative life with you. Check out my social media links too, there is more to come. 

Ngā mihi nui.

 © 2020 Margaret Tolland

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