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En plein air .. Timaru artist Wayne Patrick has been setting up his easel in Oamaru's Tyne St this week to capture some of the town's heritage. PHOTO: SALLY BROOKER

A Timaru artist is staging an exhibition in Oamaru to raise funds for children’s art classes.

Wayne Patrick has been working on a variety of paintings depicting Oamaru scenes in the lead-up to the exhibition, entitled “Artworks of Oamaru”. It will be held in the Scottish Hall on September 16 and 17, from 10am to 4pm.

Mr Patrick is a self-taught artist who “just drew for years”. After long stints working in factories and as a picture-framer, he chose to make art his living. He now earns his income by selling his works and tutoring courses for schools and agencies.

He teaches after-school art classes each day in Timaru to about 30 students, who attend in groups of five to eight per session.

Mr Patrick starts with the basics, getting the children to draw in pencil before moving on to colour. Then they use only the primary colours, which is all he uses himself. They learn to create any colour they want by mixing – “a process in itself”.

Some of his pupils do not like to play sport, so he is happy to give them an outlet to express themselves.

He travels to rural locations to teach, and also has a group of young students who travel from the United States with their parents in their school holidays.

The cost of art materials is too much for many pupils, so Mr Patrick holds exhibitions to generate extra funds to buy supplies.

His Oamaru offerings will comprise a series of pen-and-wash pictures made into greeting cards and fine art prints, and originals in media including oils and watercolours. The subject matter is equally varied, animals and birds featuring as well as landscapes and streetscapes.

Mr Patrick said the light in Oamaru was good for painting “en plein air”. When he was at his easel he attracted a lot of interest from passers-by. Although he found it “quite hard to talk and work” at the same time, he was getting better at it.

“I’m an outdoors sort of guy.”