The exhibition title “Anchor This Dream” refers to this pivotal moment in the intuitive painting process – where the dream is anchored and some form of reality takes shape. It is also explores a favourite quote by Van Gogh; ‘I dream of painting and then I paint my dream’.
For Sonia Chrystall, there is often a moment in the space between being awake and falling asleep – the in-between-land – where the idea of a painting suddenly emerges with crystal sharp clarity and its own energy.
Inspiration comes to Sonia from many sources, though it is usually from the natural world, and there is rarely enough time to capture it all. Sometimes it is the shape of a leaf or a flower catching the light at a certain angle. Or swallows dipping and diving over sand dunes at dusk.
These glimpsed moments might sift in the minds eye for a number of days, taking shape and eventually pouring onto the canvas. Or there might be no clear path at all when a painting has begun. It might instead stem from a desire to use a certain colour palette and simply be playful. After several layers a shape or direction usually suggests itself, perhaps a flower, and the anchor point is found.
Sonia Chrystall is a local artist who works from her home studio in Havelock North. She is primarily self-taught. Not having studied art at school she decided life is too short and began classes with local artists Margaret-Mary Farr and Helen Kerridge 5 years ago. She now follows her own path and sells work privately and through several NZ galleries. Sonia has her own personal art critics and assistants in the form of 3 gorgeous children and husband, who are never short on advice.
"I paint primarily with acrylics in a colourful abstract-realistic style which explores light, colour and focus. It is a very intuitive style – many layers which eventually take themselves in their own direction. This free, process-driven approach is about the painting journey rather than following a theme. It is about letting go and allowing the painting to take on a life, and a meaning, of its own. I hope the observer feels an emotion rather than just sees a painting. And for me, I want the painting process to be all-consuming. A morning run with the birds, coffee, Spotify and some dancing thrown in while I paint is the best start ever." Sonia Chrystall
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