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English Muse: Rita Angus

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Rita Angus

Hello Lovelies! Becka here again, and I just wanted to say that I am so pleased that you enjoyed my last cyanotype post! Unfortunately we've lost the sun this past week or so in Vancouver, so I haven't gotten mine done yet, but I'm excited to hear that some of you would like to try it yourselves. It isn't too difficult, and there are actually two ways you can try it. One by picking up some sunprint paper like this or this, where it is all done for you and there is no messing around with chemicals. If you're up for more of a DIY challenge however, there is a great tutorial over here on how to mix the chemicals and make the cyanotype paper yourself. Once you have the paper, all you need are objects you find interesting, a good amount of sunlight and water to expose and fix the image. I'd love to hear if you have a go!

Now, for this weeks inspiration! I must admit that I've been feeling a little homesick the last couple of days or so, as sadly I have a friend back home who isn't doing very well after a rather serious car crash. It is times like these that make being a 14 hour plane trip away all the much more difficult. So, if you'd indulge me, I'd like to share one of my all time favourite New Zealand artists with you, Rita Angus. She painted predominantly in the 1930's - 50s, and while she was more interested in developing her own style than a national one, to me her artwork is so very New Zealand. We have a print of 'Rutu', this first piece (unfortunately this is the best reproduction I could find, but it doesn't nearly do the colours justice), in our living room and I never get tired of looking at it. There is something both sad, strong and slightly surreal in her work, and the way she uses blocks of colour is so beautiful.

Rutu, 1951

Cass, circa 1936

Portrait of Betty Curnow, 1942

Central Otago, 1940

Self Portrait, 1947

I hope you like these, and if you like you can see more of her work over here at the Te Papa retrospective. Do you have a favourite local artist? I'd love to hear about them!

Self Portrait, 1936-7


Blogger JINX said...

i really enjoy your style and i love what you bring to fashion blog'n...

August 12, 2009 at 5:55 AM  
Blogger The Cottage Cheese said...

Rita's use of color in her paintings is fantastic. I particularly love the landscapes!

August 12, 2009 at 6:13 AM  
Blogger Melissa said...

These are beautiful. I worked for people from New Zealand who were in Canada on a diplomatic posting, and I've grown to really love the culture. My favourite local artist is very, very local. My grandmother. We like to tease her and say she paints 'old grey buildings' but she's so talented. She paints for pleasure and gives as gifts to friends and family, and I have a couple of her treasures on my wall.

August 12, 2009 at 9:29 AM  
Blogger Ali said...

Lovely pictures.

And sorry to hear about your friend. :(

August 12, 2009 at 11:02 AM  
Blogger Sarah-Rose said...

I've been friends with an Angus for many years. It was strange going to the opening of the retrospective with her and seeing her distinctive nose all through Rita Angus' work. I'd only ever really seen Rutu or Cass before.

But my favourite local artist is a guy called Felix Kelly.

August 16, 2009 at 1:18 AM  

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