Artist and teacher Joyce van der Lely moved to Tauranga two months ago from Christchurch after the disastrous events that impacted so devastatingly on the city and its inhabitants.
After much thought she and her family decided it was time to make a new start.
Born in Holland and after visiting many countries Joyce decided to emigrate to New Zealand. She settled in Christchurch 17-years-ago.
Having moved to the other side of the world she made a new life, friends and also started a family.
"We are very fortunate to have both a son and a daughter who are the main reason for the move to the Bay of Plenty.
"We moved to Tauranga to give the kids a more stable environment to grow up in", Joyce explains.
Joyce studied art, fashion and design in Holland. She then gained valuable practical artistic experience by working in illustration, design and textiles.
When she became drawn to mixed-media the artform felt right because of the variety of mediums she could experiment with. It gave her the artistic freedom she was looking for.
Joyce beginning a painting in her new Tauranga studio.
In this painting we can see Joyce exploring ideas taken from the famous Michelangelo painting 'The Creation of Adam' - part of the fresco on the ceiling of the Vatican's Sistine Chapel.
"I can be changeable, a little like a chameleon that way.
"I have a more traditional serious side and a whimsical, storytelling side to me and this also shows in my art.
"Currently I am working on merging these two sides in paintings.
"I also love art journaling,” she says as we talk in her new studio classroom at Tauranga's Historic Village.
Joyce's work is probably best described as whimsical illustrative and stylized with little folk art touches. It is often inspired by and infused with traditional techniques from the old Masters.
She describes herself as a dreamer with a head full of possible journeys. She's a 'possibilitarian' most days, a fairy-tale believer with a dark twist at times and the creator of the life she loves.
"I like to tell stories with my paintings.
"Portraits and eyes in particular speak to me. They reveal emotions and take me on a journey. I endeavour to share my experience of these with the viewer".
Joyce's version of 'The Delphic Sybil' 400mm x 400mm 2012.
The photo shows detail of 'The Delphic Sybil' or Delphica. Joyce painted her recently as part of her on-line workshop studies on the Fresco style. She is enamoured with the old techniques and likes to incorporate them into her own works. The 'Faux Fresco' Delphica is painted mixed media on canvas.
Joyce has established a quaint little studio gallery in the Historic Village on 17th Avenue in Tauranga. It has a gallery shop area and a studio workshop area where she teaches art lessons to children as well as adults.
Now that the school holidays are over Joyce will also be starting day and evening classes for adults in art journaling and mixed- media techniques. Joyce also enjoys doing commissions and book illustration work.
You can contact Joyce about classes and her work at email@example.com
Pete Morris is an occasional painter and art lover. He is a free-lance writer with a particular interest in promoting the visual arts in Tauranga and the Bay of Plenty.