A self-taught addict, working in a variety of media.
Born in the UK, I moved to Africa and then New Zealand with my parents in my teens. I badly wanted to do art, but the family insisted on a ‘proper job’. Aaargh!
So I qualified and practised law in government for 14 years, tramping the high country within reach of Wellington at weekends and holidays to keep sane – creating, exhibiting and selling art on the side. I was good at my job, but was always subconsciously trying to escape. Hence a stint as lawyer with the NZ Commission for the Environment and later as CEO for the NZ Deerstalkers’ Association.
My dad died prematurely, and rather than sell our property, I moved home to the country on a 10 acre block with the house half-built. The decision itself was not hard to make – but the outcome wasn’t easy: definitely character-building – and a disaster financially.
The art carried on, and a design comprising a local landscape series won the Telecom Art Award for the Northland district – the work featuring on the Northland Phone Book 2000 (25,000 copies). http://www.patriciahowitt.com/phonebook.html
My mom was beginning to suffer from Alzheimers. That meant abandoning a real-life computer graphics business I’d started and building my life around caring for her. It was 9 years sole charge, and I kept in touch by working freelance in graphics and webdesign on the net.. The Internet helped me survive.
After my mom passed away, miraculously a real life project came along – the illustration of a book, “Taketakerau The Millennium Tree” (art website at http://taketakerau.com ), published early 2012. The scope offered in the 36 full-page, gallery quality paintings was enormous, the challenge was huge – I had never painted so much to so short a deadline before, and it wrecked my sleep patterns. The book has since won 5 awards.
Now a new adventure beckons – the call of our National Park volcanoes on the Central North Island Plateau, always a favorite place (see the Volcano Country portfolio on this site). I plan to move down there within the next 12 months, God willing.