WELCOME, my name is Pat Henley and I live in coastal Muriwai on the rugged West Coast of Auckland, NZ., with my husband and Polly the dog. We have been here since July, 2004.
Muriwai’s wild, restless, variable environment provides inspiration for my painting — gannet habitat, windsurfers, wave riders, thrill seekers and excitement junkies — the inspiration is endless.
I watch, listen and explore. I'm buffeted by wild winds and gaze in awe at the tumult of storms. Muriwai, with its wide-open seas and dramatic skies, dominates my daily vision.
Painting life at Muriwai is about expressing movement - the surge of waves, the power of wind and rain on sea, sky, earth and water; the connections to the earth by plants and people.
How to express this energy intrigues me. I started out realistically - painting what I saw, building up an internal library of images, and now I am attempting to ‘shorthand’ the process. What can I leave out? What are the essential elements? How brief can a painted gesture be and still express meaning?
My discovery of applying liquid acrylic on a dampened surface gives me more freedom and abstraction. It's a path towards changing the way I express the world around me where different interpretations are possible.
After teaching at Primary School for 10 years my artistic experience began with painting dyes on silk, which occupied me professionally for 25 years. This led to a love for and confidence with colour. After retiring from painting silk, I returned to fine art, which I had dabbled with earlier. I gave it full attention with help from my tutor, Matthew Browne at Browne School of Art, Grey Lynn (www.browne.school.nz). This year I am working on my own with the encouragement of my art mentor Krystie Wade.
These days I enjoy experimenting with acrylics, both tube paint and liquid ink, using brushes, pallet knives, rubber scrapers and other mark makers. The inspiration remains the same, the expression is ever-changing.
I hope you enjoy browsing my gallery and please email any questions or enquiries.