“I’ve painted for 40 years and I still paint every day.”
Step over the threshold of Jude Bowis’s vibrant, art-filled apartment and you could be forgiven for thinking you have walked into an art gallery.
Chock-full of dynamic paintings traversing a wide range of styles, this is undoubtedly the home of an exceptionally talented artist.
A resident at boutique lifestyle village 7 Saint Vincent, Jude brings a touch of glamour to daily life at Auckland’s most elegant retirement address.
“Everything in my apartment, apart from one picture, is my own work,” says Jude, who comes from a long line of artists, including her grandfather (a famous poet) and her uncle (a highly regarded painter in the UK).
“I’ve been painting prolifically for the past 40 years and I still paint every day, only the works I create now are smaller in scale than they used to be, as I paint in my apartment. You really need a dedicated studio space to create larger works.”
Jude’s creative talents were honed during the 33 remarkable years she and husband Lesley spent living in the Middle East.
“I’ve always loved painting but before we moved to Dubai we had a horse farm in Halswell and bred horses. Life was extremely busy as we were also raising our family, so my art went on the back burner. It wasn’t until my husband (an engineer and aviator) was offered a job by a sheikh in Dubai that I was able to immerse myself fully in my art practice.”
The couple moved to the United Arab Emirates on a three year contract – and ended up staying for 33 years!
“It was life changing experience. We had a big villa with servants and were treated like nobility. It’s paradise in Dubai, hot and luxurious. I joined the sheikh’s art group, painting alongside the princesses and other royalty. They were all incredibly talented and we had regular exhibitions and frequently sold our work. It was an extraordinary time.”
Now back in New Zealand, Jude has been living at 7 Saint Vincent for five years and is still as passionate about painting as she has ever been. Unlike some artists who have a signature style, Jude’s works are spectacularly diverse – from rich and colourful landscapes through to bold and graphic designs.
“I think it’s because my husband and I travelled to so many different countries and I was influenced by so many different styles and cultures. There are very few people who have been lucky enough to have these experiences. I’ve had a wonderful life!”