Sunday, November 30, 2008

Painting Out the Past

I have been tagged by Speckled Egg to post a book tag.

The book that is closest to hand is Painting Out the Past The Life and Art of Patricia France (1911 - 1995) by Richard Donald.

Last week I had visited my local favorite bookshop to peruse books for Christmas presents and ended up buying this one for me. Very naughty I know, but it was full of wonderful paintings.!

It is a fascinating biography about a solitary woman who started to paint profusely after having a time of deep depression and sadness and not being able to cope with her life, staying in a mental institution for six years and also undergoing ECT treatment. Her life runs on a parallel line to Janet Frame's and they both narrowly escaped having frontal leuctomy surgery. Their wonderful work of creativity is what saved them both.

Patricia became an artist in her sixties and went on to paint with great success until she died at the age of eighty four in Dunedin where she had lived since her illness.

The book tag instructs me to turn to page 56 and copy out the fifth line and the ones following.

This is a letter from Tim Garrity to the author referring to his art gallery that was having an exhibition of Colin McCahon's paintings.

" I hung McCahon's 'Wake' panels, fifteen huge things. McCahon gave me instructions that the title panel ought to be hung separately from the others as it was a thing in itself. Rodney went into the gallery and stormed out and wrote a letter to the Otago Daily Times complaining about the way I had hung the panels. Kennedy and I had a terrific row and he had a terrific row with Patricia too. They didn't see each other for several years."

I could write so much about this book, I am enjoying it immensely, but maybe the book tag is just to give you a tiny taste.
I do love reading biographies about artists, composers and writers and then studying their work in depth...all absorbing and satisfying.


speckled egg said...

Looks like a really interesting book- hmmmm I might have to make a wee visit to my friend Fishpond! Thanks for playing!

Kimberlee and Lies said...

How interesting to learn about this artist. And then the McCahon excerpt is so strong -I am on awe of this man's works and the reactions to/against it... The NZ arts are fascinating! But so is little FERN!!!

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