Creativity in the Bay of Plenty: Kinsa Hays

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Kinsa Hays is an award-winning author and poet. She’s also an artist.

When asked what her creative preference is, Kinsa explains that she loves the balance between them. “When you’ve overdone it in one media, doing the other is bliss. Colour attracts me, but so do words, stringing them together, making a word picture in poetry or prose, watching people read it, seeing the slow way they respond as they return to reality coming out of the word picture.”

With your art, what media do you work with?

Because I’ve been travelling for ten years, acrylic was the only practical media to take in my station wagon. Now I’ve settled I’m using oils more and more as it takes 4-6 weeks to dry. Since my art gear has been unpacked from storage, I can play with other options – inks and paper and experiment with collage.

Where do you find inspiration for your artwork?

Viewing my paintings together, I can see how each new environment in my travels around New Zealand has inspired me. Now my horizons have opened to include interiors and still life, or stretched beyond and come from inner nudges.

I’m beginning to attempt things like the small details of flowers, the shapes and patterns around me, the energy in a poppy as a petal falls off and the stem bounces – how that might be translated into a visual thing. The stimulation of working occasionally with other people provides a different energy and perspective too. Working from a studio space, albeit small, has advantages – no sunburn or wind, sand flies to bite and become incorporated in the paint, blowing sand or dust.

What is the most challenging part about creating new artwork?

That stage when you’re about halfway through putting it down and it looks such a mess that you don’t know whether it’s worth persisting further or to trash the whole thing and start again.

What’s next?

It’s exciting and satisfying having my paintings in an exhibition, my stories published. Now I’m developing a fascination for editing. I guess I’m using my potential as a human being.

I’d also like to have an exhibition of my odyssey around this beautiful country, a painting and a piece of writing for each place and a map to follow the journey of faith and trust and healing, from Ōpōtiki to Southland to the Bay of Plenty.

kinsahays.com

Done en plein air on windless day from a Hataitai housesit one Christmas. The painting sat unmoving on the easel all day!

I sat beside the road at Ohingaiti for 3 consecutive mornings. En plein air.

Mixed media one of my favourites.

Large painting 1m square. Mixed media