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Patricia Howitt
Art Before Law

Hamilton Press Arts reporter Sue Elliott talks to a multi-talented emerging local artist.

Hamilton Press
7 May 1986

Orchid Tryptich 1

At the most appropriate time in her life, Cambridge artist Patricia Howitt is seeing her seed ideas growing to bear fruit.

Her current exhibition at the Waikato Society of Arts runs until Friday and is her first solo exhibition.

From last November, Patricia has worked hard to produce more than 40 works, which reflect the new burst of freedom she has found in her style.

For an artist whose creativity has been confined to "outside working hours" until recently, Patricia has developed and improved rapidly.

She lectures in business law at Waikato Technical Institute, and has been a lawyer for 13 years. She has limited her legal work to allow herself more time to paint because she wants to "keep moving on" and fulfil her creative instincts.

"Humans get a deep satisfaction and balance from creating things with their hands, but we seem to be getting away from that, and as a result we're suffering."

Her exhibition includes acrylics, etchings, screen prints, oils, and pencil drawings.

Her style ranges from realistic, machinery drawings, to the abstract acrylics, which she really enjoyed doing. She feels this type of work will make the rest of her painting loosen up.

"I like painting things that other people will enjoy and relate to. I am not driven by political messages - I have a visual response and a strong feeling for what I paint."

Patricia puts a certain sculptural quality into her work. Her father introduced her to modelling and sculpture when she was young, so now the shape of something in a work seems to come right when it takes on the quality of form.

This can be seen to a great extent in her landscape paintings, which are also influencd by her love of the "tops", the bush and the hills, through her tramping and hunting experience.

In 1980 she became Executive Officer of the NZ Deerstalkers' Association, a position which she held for 2 years. During that time, she illustrated several Government publications on wildlife and the outdoors, and a book on hunting.

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