Anna Cahill is a Auckland-born writer based in Brisbane. She has just published a biography of one of New Zealand's most well-known expatriate artists, Douglas Kerr MacDiarmid, called Colours of a Life. MacDiarmid, who left New Zealand as a young man to embrace the culture of Europe, was a friend of other creative countrypeople of his generation including Rita Angus, Charles Brasch, Allen and Betty Curnow, Theo Schoon, Frank Sargeson and James Weir. At the age of 96 MacDiarmid still lives in Montmatre, Paris. Colours of a Life was launched at the NZ Portrait Gallery on July 12, with an exhibition of MacDiarmid works from public and private collections on display until September 23.