A fine art

Flowers, birds and nature inspire the colourful art created by Libby Chambers of Rakaia.

Words: Judy McAuliffe   Images: Sarah Crozier, Bluebird Photography

Fairy lights twinkle amongst the china plates displayed on Libby’s kitchen wall.  Bowls of flowers are scattered throughout the house, colourful, crocheted ‘granny rugs’ drape the backs of couches. Almost every wall is covered in colourful pieces.

It’s a delightful setting with a quirky touch – a description you could apply to Libby herself, and to her colourful art. “I only really took it up again about six months ago,” she smiles. “I had no idea it would take off so well.”

Although she was always passionate about art, Libby abandoned her dream of a fine arts degree to pursue a ‘more reliable’ income and career as a teacher. “I love teaching,” she says, “and it was a great career to travel the world with, but now I wish I had pursued my art a bit more, at an earlier stage.”  She laughs as she recalls painting portraits in Wimbledon Park. “I was broke, on my OE, and it was an easy way to make some extra money.”

A recent visit to the Ashburton Domain bird aviary with her sons Will and Lachie, inspired Libby to take up her brush again and paint the birds they had seen. No sooner had she hung the finished works on the walls, then friends asked her to paint for them. Word spread, and she thought it might be ‘worth a crack’ to try and sell some. She now has a number of paintings in Little Rock Gallery in Kaikoura, and is hopeful more outlets will soon follow.

Each work begins with water colour, she adds ink, and finally the paint “I’m not sure what you call this,” she laughs.  “I tried a few different techniques, and I found one that is just my own.”

Her series of nudes has been immensely popular, as have her birds and flowers. She has sold a number of original works, numerous prints, commissions and has a series of gift cards and stationery. “It’s all been a bit of a whirlwind and I’m still figuring it out, but I have a plan. I’d love to have my own exhibition one day, and to do this full time would be a dream come true.

Libby’s art can be found on Facebook: Libby Chambers Art and Design or on her website: libbychambersart.wixsite.com/libbys-art

Previous articleNot Your Average Racer
Next articleThe Stunning 2013 Morgan Roadster
Judy McAuliffe is a writer, and publisher Essence Mid Canterbury. Her experience in media is extensive and includes approximately 15 years as Creative Director for The Radio Network, writing, and managing the writing of radio advertising, mainly in Invercargill and Greymouth. In the late 1990’s she transferred to Christchurch, moving into an Account Management role with 91ZM. In 2007 she and a business partner set up Essence Mid Canterbury, very quickly adapting her radio-writing skills to print media. Judy became sole owner of Essence Mid Canterbury in June 2014. Judy is a ‘people person’ and has found her niche writing feature stories about the community she lives in and the people who live there. She is also available for freelance writing assignments.