Vivian McKenna

Palmerston North artist Viv McKenna is exhibiting her latest pen and ink drawings at Taylor-Jensen Fine Arts. The exhibition entitled “Evolvement” will showcase more than 30 pen & ink drawings including 8 drawings in the new style that has ‘evolved’ from the technique that Mrs McKenna has had on display at Taylor-Jensen Fine Arts for many years.

Artist Vivian McKenna writes: “I like to draw. I have always done so. It is in my genes; both my mother and grandmother were artists. I have shown and sold works at a number of galleries including Taylor-Jensen Fine Arts, Palmerston North; Artspace, Petone; Odlin Gallery, Lower Hutt; Inkt, Wanganui and the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts in Wellington.” McKenna’s previous solo exhibition at Taylor-Jensen Fine Arts was ‘Animalia – Elaborate Pen & Ink Drawings’, hosted by the gallery in March 2017.

After moving to Levin, McKenna attended night classes in perspective and colour. She was invited to join the Alpha Group – working artists who painted or drew together to share the expense of a model hired for portrait practice. Working in mostly pastel at this time, Viv often sold her paintings in local art shows.

In 1994 McKenna moved to Palmerston North. Unable to find a similar art group in the city, she attended an evening life drawing group hosted by Taylor-Jensen Fine Arts. When a daytime life drawing group was established in Palmerston North, Viv joined those artists as well. “My interest though remained primarily in portraiture.” In 2016 Vivian joined the Feilding and Districts Art Society (FADAS) and regularly attends their Tuesday morning sessions drawn as much by fellowship as by what she learns and shares with her fellow members.

“Most of my art works are pen & ink on paper using white and metallic art pens. The use of the latter enables the shifting fall of light to add further dimension to them. Many of these freehand drawings invite the viewer in for a closer look, to rejoice in the nature and diversity of life around and within us, and to embrace the concept that all things are part of a whole.

“My newest works represent a continuation and evolvement from previous pieces with the additional use of “brush-tipped” pens for the first time. These have not only enabled me to incorporate a broader range of brush strokes and a wider spectrum of colours, but they have also led me to explore an even greater diversity in both subject matter and content than is evident in some of my earlier art. Enjoy!”