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Shelley Riddell

“A Little About Me

I have always been passionate about art but career wise tossed between teaching and becoming an architect. Teaching won for the last 38 years. I delved into print making and weaving at Teachers Training College and did the odd drawing night class when they were on offer. Divorce and a stressful teaching job made me give painting a go 10 years ago. A fabulous year long night class with Helen Kerridge at Napier Boy's High and an interest and fascination with cubism tweaked my painting style and I began painting chairs- something I had spent a lot of time on, contemplating my future! But architecture slowly came back to the fore and I now paint cityscapes, with paintings getting more and more detailed as I discover buildings that just can't be left out.

Until recently I worked in a stunning studio on top of a hill near Puketapu with panoramic views from Sugar Loaf to the Kawekas to Te Mata Peak. But I am now living in a fabulous spot on the southern shores of Lake Taupo in Kuratau. My home has a purpose built studio with views to the lake and mountains. The peace and great light in both studios influence my colour palette but are in stark opposition to my busy canvasses.

This year has been a year of many changes for me. For years I have had a quote stuck on my studio wall, I can't even remember where I read it.

“Quit work to become a great artist instead of an artist with potential”
So I have taken a year's leave from teaching and thrown myself into painting... and I am loving it! Although I find being an artist has it's own set of challenges and stresses, it's what I want to do... so fingers crossed I may become a 'great artist' one day. “ Shelley Riddell


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