Geoffrey H. Heath - Artist
I began Painting from a young age and my parents, aunts and teachers were all encouraging.
I had the best art teachers at intermediate and secondary schools. I headed off to art school in Christchurch and loved the whole business of drawing, painting, sculpture, design and art history. I had brilliant teachers in Bill Sutton, Russell Clark and Rudi Gopas. All strong individuals in their work and teaching methods.
After graduating from art school, it was off to Auckland Teachers' College for a year of study, tennis, swimming, exploring jazz and the big city environment.
My first teaching post was at Burnside High School in Christchurch, then Waimea Intermediate and Nayland College in Nelson and back to Christchurch to Cashmere High School and finally ending a full time teaching career at Christchurch College of Education for ten years culminating in a senior lectureship.
Then it was time for me. I left teaching in 1989 to become a full time artist, living and working in a beautiful, boat access only bay, in the Pelorus Sound.
A trio of creative families set up a successful art and lifestyle trail for tourists, which often kept the wolf from the door in lean times. Some aspects of survival in the Sounds were repetitive but the learning curve was valuable. On occasions I had to produce fifty hand painted cards for the tourists coming up the path from the jetty. I called this my piano practise as it loosened up my body, mind and paints for the day. Even Picasso had to paint porcelain jugs to make ends meet!
Having experienced sixteen lovely years in the Sounds, my wife Jenny and I moved to Pohara in Golden Bay where we spent another ten years living and working in this brilliant, arty environment. We then set up our studio at Carters Beach, where we spent the next two years, near Westport on the South Islandís beautiful West Coast. Now I have come full circle. In November 2018 we settled into a retirement village in North Canterbury where, although I no longer have an art studio, I am continuing to produce art works and exhibit my paintings.