John Jensen for paintings by himself and other Kāpiti Art Studio artists. Photo / Rosalie Willis
When it comes to art, there is no right or wrong.
Every Thursday morning, artists of different skills come together at Kāpiti Art Studio to create, paint and produce all kinds of artwork.
One of them, John Jensen, has been present since the art studio started.
“I’ve always said we started in 2010, but I recently found a photo from 2006, so it must have been then,” said Rebecca Bond, coordinator of Kāpiti Art Studio.
Funding from the Te Tahua Whakahaumaru Creative Arts Recovery and Employment (CARE) Fund earlier this year has enabled the studio to open more frequently and provide more resources to help the artists display their work on a regular basis.
The most recent exhibition is the Riversdale Mixed Media Art Exhibition in Southland, for which John’s work has been selected.
The annual show runs over a 10-day period beginning July 1.
The group aims to facilitate, promote, teach and promote the support of the arts in all their various forms.
Each year, a visual feast of outstanding works of art is showcased in style, creating a sophisticated, stylish exhibition to rival those in the larger centres.
John’s piece, called ‘Penguin Love’, is on display. It is an acrylic painting on top of encaustic wax.
Using an unusual technique, John chopped some of the wax out of the base so he could paint on it.
“If I painted directly on wax, it would just run, so I experimented and chiseled out some of it first,” John said.
“I was quite pleased with the result.
“The painting is of penguins walking through the water to the beach. It was a beautiful picture, almost as if the penguins were holding hands.”
John has painted many wildlife scenes, including birds, animals and New Zealand landscapes, but is also working on a Spiderman painting.
“Art is fun, you get into a world of your own when you’re painting,” John said.
“It transports you to another universe.”
Usually John paints on Thursdays at Kāpiti Art Studio, since the opening John occasionally paints at home, but he likes to go to the studio every week.
“In the group you have people of all different abilities, but everyone gets along very well,” John said.
“My art teacher has always told me that when it comes to art, there is no right and wrong.
“There is no competition, no judging, but everyone appreciates each other’s art here.”
John also has works on display at Vintage Village Cafe in Raumati and the Labor MP office in Paraparaumu through Creative Mannaki.
Kāpiti Art Studio’s latest collective work is a mural in Mahara Place along a slope outside Olive Grove Café.
“This is great because it’s all about accessibility,” said Rebecca.
“The studio is a creative space where people who face barriers to participating in art can express themselves creatively and connect with their community, so this is perfect.”