Artist in a year

Jitske Schokking with some of her completed pieces. Photo: Tracy Hardy.

The stark white of a blank canvas doesn’t intimidate budding artist Jitske Schokking.

“I love the colours. You have to have some colour on it. I start with the sky usually.”

Jitske has gone from no painting skills whatsoever to having completed six beautiful pieces of art in less than one year.

And it’s all thanks to the Mount Art Group and their annual art exhibition.

After coming to the Mount exhibition last year, Jitske decided it was time to try the skill for herself.

“I thought I wouldn’t mind having a go at it. And I’ve always had in my mind that I would like to paint but I’ve never had time.”

The Mount Art Group will be holding this year’s exhibition at the Mount Surf Club, Main Beach, Mount Maunganui, from April 22-24, open 9am-5pm daily, and entry is free.

A painting corner for children will be available and club members will be working on art pieces during the exhibition.

Mt Maunganui art students will also be exhibiting some of their work.

Jitske completed the Mount Art group six-week beginner class last May and says she’s been working on and completing her six art pieces during the last four months.

“I paint mostly at home, but I come here to get inspiration and to look at other people. They’re all doing different things.”

Jitske works from photos and takes photos of beautiful New Zealand landscapes to work on later.

“I went to the South Island for a couple of weeks, and there’s such incredible scenery, so I took quite a lot of photos and hopefully I can do some of that; that’s my next one!”

Going to a beginners’ painting class didn’t scare Jitske, despite never having painted before, and she encourages everybody to consider painting.

“I think there were eight of us [beginners] and no one had ever done anything before. We were all the same.

“I just think that anybody who’s thinking about painting should just do it and shouldn’t wait too long.”