Artist preparing for 50th year of exhibiting work

Fifty . . . Clinton artist and Art South Otago member David Mackie is celebrating 50 years of Art South Otago exhibitions since the club was established in 1973. PHOTO: EVELYN THORN

One local artist has been exhibiting for 50 years this year.

Clinton artist David Mackie is preparing the final touches to his oil painting, which he will be exhibiting in the Art South Otago annual exhibition coming up.

Mr Mackie built the Clydesdales in the town’s centre, and was one of the first members of Art South Otago when it was established in 1973.

He remembers meeting up at the school before the Creative Arts Centre was established on Clyde St in Balclutha.

He said his passion for art stemmed from the war days.

‘‘Paper was scarce, so my mother used to save the end of the rolls of wallpaper so we could draw on them,’’ he said.

‘‘Weet-Bix and cornflake boxes were all drawn on.

‘‘After the war we got a set of watercolour paints, and when I saw The Monarch of the Glen by Sir Edwin Landseer I knew I wanted to be like him.’’

He enjoyed taking photos while hunting over the years and bringing them home to paint.

Mr Mackie said he enjoyed painting as it was ‘‘great therapy’’.

‘‘There are a lot of males who don’t paint. We don’t have many in the club, and we’d certainly like more.

‘‘Back in the day we used to be seen as [a] sissy for painting, but it takes a lot of skill to produce art.’’

He will have six pieces of art displayed in the exhibition and will be a guest speaker on the opening evening.

Leading artists of South Otago will place their artwork into the exhibition and awards will be presented to winners.

The exhibition will be opening next Tuesday at 7.30pm where awards will be announced and guest speakers will be present. It will then be open from 10am to 4pm each day until Sunday, October 8.