Remembering Merrin Westerink

My favorite Golden Bay painter Merrin Westerink passed away October 2006. I just found out, over a year on.

We found her lovely old homestead and gallery by chance in the January 2005. She was in India when the Boxing Day (Asian) Tsunami occurred, and on her return she painted a series of dark red and lucious brown paintings. They were the first abstract paintings I was interested in, and I walked back and forth between the two rooms trying to figure out which one I wanted. They were dark and restless but not sad or dangerous. (I can't find these on the web site.)

In the end, however, we bought the more peaceful Immigration 1 (14th from the top), because it was more peaceful to look at, (something we look for in paintings in our house), and would have been a more suitable memory of our holiday in Golden Bay, and she liked the idea that particular painting would not go too far, that she could have visited it if she wanted to. The piece continues to give us and our visitors endless hours of enjoyment, recalling our holiday (actually, two holidays in Golden Bay within 2.5 months), and how she described her Golden Bay.

And Merrin was a weaver long before she turned to painting; one of her gallery rooms had a huge old 8-shaft loom in the corner.


  1. Hello Meg..I only just found out Merrin has passed..I used to live in the Bay back in 92 for 10 years..spending time at Fairholme with her and her children...Iam saddened to hear this..she touched my life in many ways...I took an art course she tutored and she believed in me and that course forever changed my lack of belief in my creativity...to belief and self worth..she will forever be in my heart and missed..blessings Shekinah

  2. Hi, Shekinah. From memory, this spring marks the second anniversary. And I still can't get over that she's not with us any more, because she wasn't old or frail when we met her. At least not visibly, and we spent long hours in her gallery choosing a painting.


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