With a plethora of training in all sorts of artistic areas including art and design, dance, physical education, and achieving a Bachelor’s Degree of Education with Honours, Karin McCombe Jones started her career teaching dance, drama and art in England. She moved to Canada and after immigrating to New Zealand, did various courses at the Learning Connexion school of art and creativity in Wellington where she now holds evening classes.
Born in Wales, Karin was a child who enjoyed drawing although her main ambition was to be an actress. “I got to teach drama, dance and art, which was close to being on stage at times, and painted sets for productions although I craved to be able to create my own work rather than simply making exemplars.”
With an internal need to pursue a career as an artist, she spent her time in Canada teaching part time and throwing herself into batik work. She became part of a cooperative gallery in British Columbia, which she feels was the real beginning to her becoming a full time artist.
It is the essence of colour that makes Karin’s heart sing – vivid, riotous, bright kaleidoscopic colours found in nature. “My mission statement would be to put more colour in peoples houses. Colour just makes me smile, I cannot live without it and have to use it in my art.”
She loves to laugh and enjoys creating paintings that are whimsical with hidden messages pertaining to her concerns regarding endangered species. She really feels satisfaction when her work encourages people to plant more pollen laden plants, use less plastic or donate to Kākapo Recovery.
“Where don’t I find inspiration? I used to wake at nights with ideas for choreography and thoughts of dramatic costuming, lighting etc and then ideas for art – painting, sculptures, assemblages. It was not until I went to The Learning Connexion that I realised I was not alone with these awakenings, which was a lovely feeling of homecoming.
“Nowadays I adore painting expressions and capturing movement. No wonder really when I come from a background of dance and drama, and telling students they needed to be expressive in order to move an audience to tears or laughter.”