Until recently, Mangawhai artist Donna Shadick had been better known for her artistry in jewellery. After a decade or so of displaying and selling her wares through a variety of outlets she decided to try art of a different genre so picked up a paintbrush.
“I painted apples and pears, and pears and apples,” she says “then decided I wanted something a bit more animated and showing more expression.”
She found her ideal subject fossicking around in her own backyard. Observing her own chooks and chickens, the pecking order and the mannerisms of the roosters in taking charge of the brood moved her towards painting poultry. Some lessons with the noted Kaiwaka ‘birdman’ Bev Taylor and she was on her way.
“I’m fascinated by them,” says Donna. “They’re my big passion. I love their individual plumage, their expressions and their character. I try to convey that in my painting.”
Donna takes photos of her own chickens which she then turns into works of art, and uses photos from books and the Internet to source some exotic breeds not available locally.
In a little over a year Donna has amassed more than 30 works which are currently being displayed at the prestigious Reyburn House Gallery in Whangarei. This is her first one-man show but holds no fears for Donna who is confident in the moods she has captured in her subjects. Buoyed by the compliments and comments at the opening evening, Donna can be assured of attracting a lot of interest throughout the exhibition which runs until March 30.
She will also have other works on display at Jen Golgate’s Jack Boyd Rd gallery during next weekend’s Art Trail.
Mangawhai Art Trail, March 29-30 – in conjunction with the Mangawhai Walking Weekend. Maps available at local outlets.
NEW MEDIUM: Artist Donna Shadick’s fascination with poultry makes them the inspiration of her latest group of works.