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Lynda Bell

lynda-bell-aotearoa-artist“Being an artist was all I ever wanted to do. I felt discouraged in high school and did not feel ‘good enough’ and also thought that perhaps art was a lonely career. I wanted to help others, so I went to teachers college with the intent of one day being an art therapist. Teaching however was not creative enough for me. Stress made me ill, but whenever I was at home sick I would create stories and illustrate them. One time I was off work for a week and I created a whole children’s book.

When I saw an ad for The Learning Connexion that said ‘turn your life into a work of art’ I knew that was what I wanted to do so I took a leap and moved to Wellington. Being around other people who loved art encouraged me to believe that I could actually be an artist.

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Tut Blumental

tut-blumental-aotearoa-artistBorn in Israel, Tut Blumental has been passionate about art from a very early age, exploring and working with different methods and mediums. After graduating from Avni Institute of Art and Design, Tel Aviv, Israel, in 1994 she started work as a graphic designer in advertising agencies but continued painting in her spare time. In 2006, after immigrating to New Zealand with her family, she decided to follow her dreams and be a full-time artist. 

Tut’s overwhelming pleasure comes from the joy of expressing her feelings through painting and the ability to share it with different audiences and lighting up their day. Over the years, she has learned to listen to her inner voice as well as different ideas and opinions. “I open my mind and keep believing in myself even when the road doesn’t always go as planned.

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Lanie Wilton

lanie-wilton-aotearoa-artistGISBORNE MAGIC

When Lanie Wilton was growing up, she says, there was no shortage of talent in her family. Her mother, aunties and grandmother all carried a creative flair, if it wasn’t poetry or paint it was the use of fabric. Lanie was also very blessed to have had inspiring high school art teachers. They allowed her to make the art room her second home.

By Anita Nossiter

Lanie quite vividly remembers seeing Lisa Wisse-Robinsons’ stunning landscape paintings in a magazine while she was attending high school as an art student. She loves her earlier landscape work, composition and her colour use. After returning from her OE in 2006, she studied art and earned herself a Diploma in Art and Creativity from the Learning Connection. In 2009 she qualified as a high school art teacher at Massey University in Palmerston North.

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Pam Crowther

pam-crowther-aotearoa-artistPAMELA'S SOUTHERN SYMPHONY

Artists continually strive to bring a piece to life, to fill a canvas with something that personifies a thought or represents a feeling. For artist Pamela Crowther, this is the earliest part of the process. Just as a songwriter starts with no sound and starts with one part of an arrangement – as an artist, Pamela has to start somewhere too. 

by Matt Mortimer

“I begin with the largest shapes filling in dark and light areas, usually in one colour, mainly using a brush for this. I’ll then place another three or four colours to start with, using retarding medium on palette – then it’s mix and begin. My technique varies considerably. I basically follow my instinct.” This instinctive approach works well, as she then branches out into the work, on the way to a sometimes-lengthy process to create each work. “Colour, colour, colour – the desire to change the blank white space into some exciting, thought-provoking or sometimes just decorative. Starting the painting takes courage and the need to prepare yourself for mental stimulation and then, near the end of the painting, dealing with exhaustion.”

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Gwyn Hughes

NATURAL PROGRESSION

Gwyn Hughes’ father and grandfather used to paint and it was a natural progression for him to become an artist. Gaining a National Diploma at Wrexham College of Art, Wales between 1980-1982, he was excited to explore his creativity and find his own path and as most artists do, he took inspiration from all of the great artists he came across. Gwyn tells us his story.

I first came to New Zealand in the 70s through a joinery internship. I joined a band, secured a couple of residencies in Christchurch and stayed for five years. After moving back to Wales from New Zealand, I would pop into a gallery run by a local artist, David Williams. I started to draw birds and local landscapes, and paint watercolours, and I was encouraged to pursue the arts as a career. I completed my four-year Illustration and Design Diploma in two years. I have never been a great one for entering exhibitions or awards but know as an artist it’s how you put yourself out there. I have been very lucky throughout my art career and I have received loads of support from family and friends who have always offered encouragement and critique. 

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Nancy Frazer

nancy-frazer-aotearoa-artistNancy Frazer is a full-time self-taught artist who specialises in contemporary art, using acrylics on canvas with a strong emphasis on textures and vibrant colours. She has never had any formal training. “Growing up in Singapore, I always wanted to be an artist from a young age but circumstances did not allow me to pursue that dream. I married and moved to New Zealand in the early eighties, but it was not until the late nineties, after raising a family that I was able to fulfil my dream.

“In 2008, I was one of eight artists selected by the NZ Art Guild to display a painting in London in aid of the NZ Shore Plover. ‘Suze’ in Mayfair, London agreed to exhibit the works in its gallery. An auction of the paintings was then held at the residence of the NZ High Commissioner to the UK. I was also invited by ‘Avinki Ltd’ to exhibit my artworks at the New Zealand Avant-Garde Showcase held in Hong Kong in February/March 2009.  In 2012 I was selected as a finalist in the second art contest organised by ‘Artavista.com’ and sponsored by ‘World Wide Art Books’, where I received an ‘Honourable Mention’. I have also been selected as a finalist on two occasions, for the ‘Molly Morpeth Canaday’ art awards held in Whakatane.”

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Lorna Allan

lorna-allan-aotearoa-artistA PASSIONATE PROCESS

Otautau Gallery in Southland and The Artists Room Fine Art Gallery in Dunedin are a far cry from Alaska, such is the range of locations and distance the artwork of Lorna Allan has travelled. “I have paintings in Alaska, other parts of the US, Australia and the UK.”

From simple beginnings of chalk on a blackboard, to what you see today highlights years of experience and expression. “I have had no formal training as in art school. In those days education for girls was considered a waste of time and money as we would only get married and have children. I recall clearly the first day I started school at High Street School, Dunedin. The teacher gave me a piece of chalk and I was allowed to draw on a board with my name on it while she got the other children onto their work.  When I had finished, I took the chalk to the teacher to give it back to her.  She said, “Oh no dear. That’s yours for always as long as it lasts”. I was overwhelmed with her kindness as I had been told I was to learn reading, writing and numbers and not to play around with “that rubbish” at school.”

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Pam Mundell

pam-mundell-aotearoa-artistBETTER BY THE DOZEN

An evening with friends, a little wine and some chat. Sounds like a typical night, anywhere across New Zealand. What started as one such evening for artist Pam Mundell, triggered a journey into the world of art, starting her down a road that hasn’t reached a destination yet. In her case, this was an evening with friends that changed everything.

“I began painting 12 years ago, purely by chance, so having formal training never occurred to me. Maggie Cross, a Whangarei artist, invited a few friends round to try out painting. She put a wineglass in my left hand (and kept it topped up), and a paintbrush in my right. It was so much fun I haven’t stopped yet, although the wine had to go!” After being caught by the irresistible pull of creating works herself, her inspiration is all around and conveniently for Pam, mostly close to home. From the wonderful scenic spots she’s resided in, or places she’s visited, there is no shortage of things to paint or creations to come to life on her canvas. Like a lot of travellers, Pam has a camera in tow to capture locations and scenes for later works.

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Romuald Rudzki

romuald-rudzki-aotearoa-artistTHE FIRST PREALIST

Inspiration to create art is drawn from various areas for each artist. For Manawatu-based artist Romuald Rudzki, his motivation stems from a rebirth of colour, following a tragedy.

“I have painted since childhood but did not take up my place at art college when I was 18 as I was advised that I would “end up as an unemployed artist.” In 1988 I was in a head-on collision with a drunk driver which left me blind for several months with retinal detachments, as well as a spine fractured in two places. When I eventually regained my sight, I was struck by how each colour is so different from any other, for example, blue cannot be described in terms of red. I therefore started painting again.”

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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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