Sit There and Draw That!

New Zealand artist Barc (born Helen Priscilla Crabb, in 1891) was an eccentric, bold, forthright woman who perhaps lived before her time. The source in her later years of encouragement and learning for many of today's respected New Zealand painters, she made her mark on the New Zealand art scene. Born and raised in the Manawatu, Barc studied at the Julian Ashton Art School in Sydney, in London during World War I, and throughout her long life back in Australia and New Zealand. From an early age she taught art and teaching it well became a passion almost as important to her as drawing and painting. From the mid-1940s she offered art classes in her rented rooms in Wellington, where she demanded discipline, intelligence, studiousness and more discipline from her many students over the years. In exploring the life and ideas of Barc, Sit There and Draw That! provides background to the development of a distinctly New Zealand movement in painting. Barc was a focus for new artists who were the innovators of their day. She encouraged them to develop a sense of artistic integrity that owed less to artistic movements in Europe and more to their own perception of what was relevant to New Zealand and their own lives.