ROB McGREGOR Artist and Tutor
Quoting Alberto Giacometti might sum up my artistic philosophy and approach:
"The object of art is not to reproduce reality but to create a reality of the same intensity.”
Creating artworks is really only one of my interests: I organise and tutor residential art retreats and holidays and tutor artists’ groups; my adorable wife, Joanne, and I travel overseas nearly every year; I compete in Athletics, holding National age-group records for Decathlon, long and high jumps, love playing the keyboard/ piano, chess and solving cryptic crosswords to list a few.
PLAY is important to my life philosophy.
I’m a full time artist. Mind you, I still get time for swims in the ocean opposite my home/studio, runs up and around the “Mount” at the end of the Parade, coffee breaks with my wife and all that stuff.
I am fortunate in that hundreds of my original works hang in countries all over the world and reproductions of my paintings have proven extremely popular: many thousands have been purchased by New Zealanders and visitors. A large number of people must have associations with the same things that interest me.
I grew up in a home where my mother often painted with oils on our outings to the beach or the countryside. It was not something that we considered unusual or special; painting was a normal activity for an adult.
Many of my paintings depict the New Zealand I love: the land, its people and their leisure-time pursuits. Still life or nudes, landscapes or city scenes, boats, buildings, vehicles or stormy seas tell this story. Over time, some can be read together telling little stories perhaps.
Every so often I recharge myself by painting abstract works, which quickly find homes here and overseas.
Formerly, I was involved in National Art Education: trained in Wellington as a teacher, I taught in various schools, mostly in Hawke’s Bay and was art teacher for about six years at Taradale Intermediate School.
I moved from there in 1975 to take up a position as Art Adviser in Tauranga, then District Adviser for Waikato-Bay of Plenty for the University of Waikato.
Responsible for developing and providing courses and school development programmes, I was involved in Art Curriculum development and in an advisory capacity for the National Educational Monitoring Programme. I co-authored a variety of books and school resources on teaching processes like painting, drawing, weaving, sculpture, design, construction, printmaking and Maori Art.
I’ve presented papers and workshops at international conferences and acted as NZ guest judge for an International Children's Art Exhibition in China.
I still write material, tutor teachers’ groups occasionally, artists’ groups more often, and organise and tutor residential art retreats and holidays.
Contributed articles and supporting photographs to the book: "Art in Schools" – the New Zealand Experience .
Co-author of the two books: "Te Koru" and "Kowhaiwhai Arts".
Writer/Producer of the magazine: "Art and Crafts in the Classroom" 1984-1990
Writer/Producer of the quarterly: "Artifacts" 1992-1999
Principal writer and photographer contracted to NZ Ministry of Education for five booklets and supporting charts: "Painting," "Sculpture," "Design," "Fibre Arts" & "Printmaking" distributed to all schools in NZ.
I’m comfortable in a wide range of media and ways of working. I’ve been influenced by various artists with whom I’ve spent time over the years. At Wellington Teachers’ College I was fortunate in having as my tutors: Dame Doreen Blumhardt [pottery], Paul Olds [painting] and John Drawbridge. [Printmaker]
Subsequently I have had as tutors: Susan Skerman [Screen printing] Pat Hanley, Claudia Pond-Eyley and Garth Tapper [painting]. Stanley Palmer [printmaking] and Brian Gartside [pottery].
I spent time at Driving Creek with Barry Brickell when writing an article for “Art in Schools – The NZ Experience”.
I worked for a couple of weeks under Para Matchitt’s direction, on a carving for the Kimiora dining hall mural at Turangawaewae, Ngaruawahia and painting with Sandy Adsett. [Maori Art]
No doubt all of these have influenced me in some way.
I have worked as a professional artist since 1999. I repeat, my artistic philosophy and approach might be summed up in a quote by Alberto Giacometti, "The object of art is not to reproduce reality but to create a reality of the same intensity.”
So, although I’m labelled: “Artist” I’m really a real person just like you.
I’m a genuine Kiwi painting genuine Kiwi Art.