Tribute to Tim Wilson ( 2 Sept 1954 – 22 July 2020 )

I did not become an artist on my own. 
I have been shaped and influenced and encouraged by many kind and generous souls over the past twenty-three years.

However none more profoundly so than the late Tim Wilson and his beloved husband Vaj Ekanayake. These two extraordinary humans, together, have been a pivotal influence on my journey not just as an artist but as a person. In putting words together about my art it is with gratitude that I  honour the late Tim Wilson, renowned NZ landscape painter, mentor and dear friend of my heart and soul.

From our initial connection in 1997, Tim issued me with a challenge that was the catalyst for me to begin oil painting.  Working with him daily in his studio from 2005 – 2011, then working with and exhibiting alongside him in Tim Wilson Gallery in Queenstown from 2010, till his passing in 2020, Tim has been the single biggest influence on my painting and career as an artist. 

It does not seem possible to put into words the impact made by the extraordinary man that was Tim Wilson. Indeed I will always be in awe at the depth of his genius, the impact of his generous mentorship not only on myself but with so many others and the remarkable gift that was his extraordinary friendship.

My techniques in oil are still based on those that Tim taught me, my attention to detail honed by his exuberant and generous encouragement, and my passion for the magic that is oil paint, inspired by his passionately innovative and intuitive genius and innate understanding of this medium.

So many of the objet d'art I have painted are from Tim and Vaj's collection. We marvelled over these together as Tim would share his innate knowledge about the expertise with which the artisans had made them. His ongoing and passionate enthusiasm for my work encouraged me enormously especially through the self-doubt that challenges many an artist. There is no greater gift to give another than to wholeheartedly support their dream. 

Vaj originally opened the gallery inspired to give Tim the freedom to focus purely on the paint. A decade later, Vaj continues, through Tim Wilson Gallery, to gift this same creative autonomy to all its artists. Locating the gallery in their stunning home takes the experience to a whole new level, giving us all the privilege to view the works, home and painting studio that are part of Tim's extraordinary legacy. 

I will be forever grateful to the powers that be that I shared twenty-three precious years on one epic journey with my dear friend and extraordinary mentor Tim Wilson. 

The gift of sharing and continuing this soulful journey with Tim’s beloved husband Vaj, a treasured friend of my heart and soul, is truly an extraordinary blessing.

“All those whose lives you touched knew from the first moment of meeting you that you were a rare and special soul. A man of enormous depth and insight powered by love. The pure joy and love for life that was your essence knew no bounds and thus your presence ignited that in us too. The two words that best describe you and your life are LOVE and LIGHT."

"Master of Light and Love – nothing compares to you and the enormity of the legacy you have left behind for us all in your trailblazing wake. You were, and always will be a guiding light of inspiration to so many and will continue to be so for generations to come – a true legend."

"With deepest gratitude and love always.” - Anita, November 2021

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