April 2022

Christine Hawkins

To be categorized under this title is indeed an honour.
I grew up and was educated in Singapore and, initially,
my family lived in a big household with my paternal grandparents, aunts and uncles – Dad had 9 siblings. We were surrounded by artwork and sculptures as my uncle Ng Eng Teng was an artist/sculptor. He also liked to ‘dress us up’ for photos (my 3 sisters and myself when we were children) and did drawings and paintings of us. I was also a subject for him and one of his friends who made a bust sculpture of me which was later exhibited.
Over time, it has emerged that there are many other
artistic members in the family. (At a very young age our
two sons were always thrilled to holiday in Singapore
and be at their granduncles’s studio with lumps of clay
to play with and, later to see their works after they were fired).
I enjoyed Art in school and today I am still learning (“a work in progress” like Alan used to say to me when I
showed him a piece of painting that I was working on!).
In 1979 I moved to Melbourne for a change of
environment as well as for some overseas experience as a Secretary. When our first son was born I ‘retired’ to look after him full-time. Then when he was about 3 or 4, I signed him up for a playgroup at Koonung Community House (I recall sitting with him for activities of painting/drawing or pasting and when he scooted off to do something else I kept on going!) Later I left him at

creche to enable me to attend an art class there. This was under the tutelage of the late Bob Nichols and I looked forward to our weekly sessions for many years – it was a fun time.
I was made aware of WAA then and was told about Alan Close and later joined his Artstream classes in Bayswater.
After attending an exhibition of members’ works at WAA, I was very taken by Colin Browne’s lovely
watercolour portraits and this inspired me to join the Portraits’ Workshop. I like working with pencil, pen and watercolour but with this medium, I need to remember that “less is more”! Over the years I have also participated and enjoyed the many activities at WAA.
Some good friendships have been formed. Attending
Deborah’s evening classes sculpturing with clay has also been very enjoyable.
My other pursuits were trying my hand at Leadlighting
(cutting of glass and occasionally ‘slicing’ the tips of
fingers!) – My project was to create a stained glass panel for an entrance hall; French-polishing (stripping paint, repeated sanding and polishing which was very labour intensive) plus upholstery. It was rewarding to see the end result.
Art is great therapy – initially, whilst watching TV news I would start doodling the newsreader etc. I enjoy
portraiture (my first attempt was drawing a picture of
a person upside down) ref:“Drawing on the right side of
the Brain” by Betty Edwards). My favourite subject of late has been my cute 2 year old granddaughter – She also loves to dabble with paint and has produced some very colourful abstracts.

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