A devoted family woman and enthusiastic grandmother, Tauranga-based Debbie Clarke balances helping to run a family business with creative expression through beautiful paintings of nature. “In October 2015 I attended a watercolour demonstration by friend and wonderful artist Jenny Coker in Tauranga. I was surprised to find that she intended us to ‘have a go’, rather than just watch her – we painted a fuchsia bud. It totally ignited a passion in me and I completed my first painting in January 2016.”
Previously, Debbie had enjoyed a busy life; gardening, floral art, sewing and being involved in new home and interior design in their family business where her creative energy was focussed. Now an award-winning painter, Debbie Clarke shares with us her journey.
“After seeing Jenny’s demonstration, I ‘googled’ large flower paintings and eventually came across Birgit O’Connor of California, USA, and her online workshops.
Off I went, starting with her White Flowers online workshop. Later, I bought some of Tauranga artist Susan Harrison Tustain’s DVD’s, and learnt so much about watercolour painting and how to achieve the colours I wanted such as in leaves and skin tones. I watched many more training sessions by Birgit and others on You Tube throughout the nearly two years I have been painting. It is such a great way to learn – just like having a private tutor.