Brenda Knight has worked in caves, as a travel agent and as a detective.
She never thought she would be an artist.
Now she is.
Mrs Knight, of Christchurch, was invited to exhibit her work at the Mt Hutt Memorial Hall, and her art will be on display until October 3.
It has been a road of many turns.
Mrs Knight was brought up on a dairy farm in Horowhenua with three younger brothers.
Later, at university in Otago, she excelled at sport.
Nowhere in her schedule – on her radar at all – was art.
After university, she did a variety of jobs: was a cave guide, a travel agent.
Then in 2005 she joined the police and wound up as a detective in the family violence team.
Then in 2015, out of the blue, she quit.
“I just went in and resigned.”
She said police work, was a calling, and had stress, but that was not why she left.
Deep down, she said, she wanted to grow herself.
Art, in the oddest of ways, beckoned.
At the time, she and her husband were renovating a house.
She wanted a large, funky, abstract piece for a wall and could not find what she wanted.
So the independent girl of farming stock decided to do it herself.
That was the start.
House renovated, she started putting paint on canvas.
There was never a plan; just colour and the hope something would emerge.
“The background to my paintings is all colour, then a picture pops out. It is based on listening to my intuitions.”
Mrs Knight has learned to trust her intuition, freeing herself to trust in her own ability.
She says her paintings are sometimes triggered by people she meets, or, oddly, places she has yet to visit.
The latter has arisen when she has visited places, such as Mexico, and realised, somehow, she has painted what she saw there.
“I try to paint what excites me; I keep meeting the right people. It’s syncronicity (meaningful coincidences).”
Mrs Knight, for the moment, is concentrating on her art, but she has run workshops on unleashing creative freedom techniques, such as those that took her from cave exploring to policing to trusting her intuition in art.
And Mrs Knight loves coming to Mid Canterbury, where the scenery is also an inspiration.