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Our first instincts are creative.  As children we think, play and explore the world through creative means.  It is no surprise that once we're given a crayon or pencil this creative urge covers the page and our lives as artists begin.  For some, this magic moment will continue to dance with them throughout their lives.  For others, the dance is short but fondly remembered.

Drawing and mark making is the core of so many artistic practices.  It is often where everything begins.  It can be the foundation for greater things; it can also be the destination. I have seen drawings so perfect in form one could swear they were a photograph.  Rendered to such a high standard, it seems impossible that such perfection could be crafted from something as simple as a pencil.  I have also seem mark making that is almost primitive in nature, starkly in contrast to the defined forms mentioned before.  Yet these purposeful lines curve and twist, reaching into a different part of our psyche.  Awakening responses rather than familiarity,  pulling just as equally at our emotions.  

Whether classical or contemporary, the success in any artwork is the ability to hold the viewer's attention.  Does it entice through admiration, or create confusion?  Does it tell a story or lead the mind to wander, tickling some far off memory?  Is it technically correct?  Is it trying to be?  Drawing it would seem has as many faces as those it tries to capture.  The Parkin Prize is a celebration of this.  Each year different skills are admired from the vast pool of entries.  Some will hold us still, others will fail to resonate.  Whether we agree with the judges choice or not, the prize inspires artists to pick up their chosen tool and draw.  For that, our world is a richer place.

Written my Jonette Murray


Jonette Murray is a self-taught artist who paints 'from life' in her Wellington studio.  Her signature style is well crafted still life oil paintings.  In her peaceful compositions, she explores the fleeting beauty of life, endurance, and the importance of living in the moment.  


She is fast becoming a collectible artist with many of her works selling before they are hung at the gallery.  She has had numerous sales nationally and internationally, holds yearly solo shows, and has been a finalist in major art awards in New Zealand.  


Jonette is a passionate full-time artist who divides her time between painting, her husband and three children, and an ever-expanding edible garden.

Holding the viewers' attention

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