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Barbara Uini

barbara-uini-aotearoa-artist.co.nzMostly a self-taught artist, Barbara Uini also studied illustration for a year at the Chisholm Institute in Melbourne, Australia. Serendipitously she happened to find an old tin of watercolour paints at the back of a dusty cupboard where she lived and at about the same time, was gifted a subscription to a monthly art instruction magazine. Barbara began to fill up any snatched moments by teaching herself to paint. The magazine had lessons for a range of media, but she focused on the watercolour tutorials at that point, because that was the art material that she had access to. And that is how she became primarily a watercolour artist. Barbara expands . . .

Becoming an artist has really been a lifelong process for me, and I love the fact that you are never finished learning and challenging yourself in art. I have always loved to draw, but I really began to take my art seriously about 25 years ago when I was a stay-at-home mother with pre-schoolers. I was enchanted by some of the illustrations in the books that I read to my children, and the realisation that I really wanted to be an illustrator is what set me off on my artistic journey. I was attracted to illustration because I love books and storytelling and the idea of telling a story visually really appealed. I also love the idea of working to a brief whilst still having licence to add nuances to a children’s story that are not contained in the writing.

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Carla Sclanders

carla-sclanders-aotearoa-artistBLESSED INSPIRATION

Born in South Africa and immigrating to New Zealand in 2020, Carla Sclanders is inspired by God. “He has blessed me with a gift and I am driven to portray a glimse of His Glory in all that I am able to create.”

She began with a pencil portrait of her daughter and was so pleased with the result that she began to do more family portraits. “My passion for art grew with every artwork I created especially once I started experimenting with colour pencils. Posting pictures of my artwork on Facebook lead to people contacting me for commissions and so my hobby turned into a part time job.”

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WAKE (Alex Tikaram)

WAKE Alex Tikaram The NZ Artist

ESOTERIC CANDOUR

“I want to say I had formal art training at school, but what did school teach anyone apart from how to prepare yourself to be short on cash. Art was something that I always did that cost me next to nothing that I could learn alone and in my own way, so no, no formal training.”

It’s hard for Wake to pinpoint how he ended up being an artist. “Anyone who does anything slightly creative is an artist to me, but to define it to something more specific, I started to take it seriously when a friend of mine made a social media page for me around the end of 2020, to exhibit and possibly sell some pieces. A couple of years ago, I would never have dreamed of people wanting to pay actual money for the things I draw. However, I sold a piece to a guy all the way in the USA which I’m pretty proud of, it’s very humbling.”

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Roxanne Milson

THE MAGIC WEAVER

We introduce you to Roxanne Milson, an artist formerly of Australia, now living in Tauranga. Roxanne tells us her story:

I haven’t had any formal art training. My education was based in Graphic Design since I was predominantly a digital artist until two years ago. When I was pursuing education, graphic design was all that was offered for digital artists but it turns out it was not what I wanted! I wanted to illustrate, to draw, to create. So the internet and books were the things that educated me. If I wanted to know how to do something, I looked it up.

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Vanessa Pollen

featured-vanessa-pollen-aotearoa-artistINHERENT TALENT

Vanessa Pollen hails from sunny Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty – and like the name of the bay, she has plenty of artistic skill and drawing talent, which has been sharpened by hard mahi. She recently told us her story, and here we share it with you...

I guess I’ve been lucky whereby I have always been able to draw. It certainly runs in my family with my father, aunt & granny to name a few all being very good artists in different mediums. My passion would be drawing animals, both pets and wildlife. It gives me so much joy when I draw someone’s much loved pet who has passed on or is still around. When we immigrated to New Zealand in 2016 and I saw how much people here loved their pets, just as much as I do (we had to leave our pets in Zimbabwe which was heart breaking) so I decided to begin drawing again and took it up full time in December 2019.

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Wendy Ricketts

wendy-ricketts-aotearoa-artistCompelled to paint and draw animals, especially their eyes, Wendy Ricketts tells us how she uses her artistic talent to focus and calm her busy mind while producing works for commission, family and friends.

I was first inspired to draw after seeing a study of a hare by German artist Albrecht Durer. I was taken by the detail and softness of the rendition. I love the faces of animals and the detail needed to produce them. I strive to produce it, sometimes to my detriment. You can get so caught up in the detail that you forget the result you were intending to achieve. Or the mood you were trying to show in the animal. Animal faces convey so much, especially the eyes. I have always loved the natural world and have a fascination with wildlife. 

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Kerry George Aotearoa Artist

Kerry George

Kerry George Aotearoa Artist

DO IT ANYWAY!

Kerry George is a 33-year-old kiwi from Wellington who is a full time cook at a childcare centre. She has a seven year old son and likes drawing and painting in her spare time.

“How long have I been an artist? Well I guess It goes way back to when I was at primary school. I wasn’t very good at learning, found it all too hard so rather than asking for help I noticed if I keep my head down and keep quiet, teachers seemed to leave me alone rather than making me do the school work. So, while my head was down, I just drew pictures. I was really into horses so always drew them, then started drawing people but used to get annoyed they never turned out realistic, so rather than thinking negatively about my work, I looked at it in a different way and thought I’m good at drawing cartoon people! 

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Ashley McDonald

ashley-mcdonald-aotearoa-artistARTISTIC NATURE

I am a 16 year old that was born and raised in Hawera, a small town located in South Taranaki. As a child, I grew up loving nature and animals alike. I have a huge interest in the environment around me - particularly trying to make a difference in the conservation efforts around New Zealand. My favorite hobbies include photography, fishkeeping and of course, art. 

My journey as an artist began around 8 months ago, when I was 15 years old. I had done a small painting, inspired by my pet Siamese Fighting Fish. I posted this painting in a few of the worldwide tropical fishkeeping forums that I am a part of, not really expecting anything from it. My notifications exploded almost immediately with people commenting on how much they enjoyed the piece. 

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Adult Colouring In – Mitchell Manuel

COLOURING IN - ALSO AN ADULT PAST-TIME

Colouring in books have moved from the children’s toy-box into the hands of adults all over New Zealand and the world. A number of local artists have already published or are in the process of producing adult colouring books and according to recent report in the NZ Herald sales are rocketing, there are even colouring in clubs and a number of Facebook pages like Kiwis who Colour and Kiwi Colourers.

It’s not so much that people are suddenly finding their artistic roots they are using the practice of colouring in and blending of colours as a way to relax, de-stress and self-express.

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Beverly Reid

Beverly Reid - Aotearoa Artist

THE JOURNEY

Californian-born Beverly Reid has had a passion for art since childhood. “When I received my first set of Crayola crayons and a colouring book, I loved the exciting hues of colours I could create with them, which led me to drawing different things on my own. My very first memories of drawing were that of a sailing ship, Black Beauty and a ballerina. I was so excited with all the details I could put into my drawings making them ‘come alive’, I wanted to do more! This began my art journey into enjoying realism which still continues today!” .

Apart from a short college course in 3-Dimensional Art in 1994-5, Beverly is a self-taught artist with no formal training, but dedicated to perfecting her craft, and developing her own unique style. “I love being an artist, because I can communicate a feeling or capture a moment in time through my work, and share it with other people. There’s nothing more gratifying to me, when I receive feedback that my art made someone stop, stare at it and keep looking at it!

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