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Ashley Mcdonald

Ashley McDonald 2023

Ashley McDonald The NZ Artist

CONSCIOUS PERSPECTIVE

Self-taught artist Ashley McDonald was published in a ‘Youth Art’ article in The New Zealand Artist Magazine in July August 2016, and has continued on with her remarkable journey. Seven years later she catches up with us and in her own words, tells us her story.

My artistic journey began by accident. When I was in my early teens I would paint and draw for school homework (or just for fun). I’d draw things I was interested in - such as birds and fish. One day I painted a portrait of my pet Siamese fighting fish. I posted the end result online to a group of tropical fish enthusiasts. Almost immediately I had comments asking me whether I would take commissions and if I could ship internationally. It was quite overwhelming, as I was in my early teens at the time - I had no idea if I could even send art outside of New Zealand. My first commissioned piece was completed at age 15 and was shipped to the United Kingdom. My artistic career snowballed from there. Once my first commission arrived in the UK, the owner posted the piece online, bringing more queries and future commissions. Before this, I had never thought about selling my artwork.

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Tessa Ralston

tessa-ralston-aotearoa-artistINSPIRED ILLUSTRATION

I’ve come to find that art seems to always niggle it’s way back into my life, even, perhaps, when I’m trying to distance myself from it. I have no true recollection of ‘getting into art’, but like most children inherently are, I was drawn to painting and visual expression.

With my mother being a graphic designer, I was fortunate enough that she fostered my artistic energy and patiently encouraged my creativity – and amusingly, she simultaneously firmly discouraged my entering the graphic design world. I believe there is a subtle divergence that happens when artists are ‘made’, and that is when they keep drawing, painting and playing after they are no longer children.

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Janet Marshall

Janet Marshall - Aotearoa Artist

DREAM CHASER

English-born Kiwi, Janet Marshall has exhibited and sold her work as far afield as England, Japan, USA, Canada, Australia, Italy and China and designed stamps for NZ Post and NZ Fish and Game.

Janet is a founding member of Nature in Art, Gloucestor, England and has work in numerous collections including Nature in Art England, NZ Milk Board USA, NZ Post, NZ Treasury, Puki Ariki Museum Taranaki, and Birds in Art, Wisconsin, USA. She has also written and had published five illustrated children’s books as well as an illustrated garden diary of her former home Te Popo Gardens in Taranaki, called ‘Images of a Garden’.

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Canvas

TELL ME ABOUT CANVAS

What is it that professional artists look for in the painting surface when selecting a canvas? As in most things it comes down to personal preference. Durability and longevity are generally top priorities, but when it comes to the actual painting surface things get a bit murky.

Words like slippery, thirsty, aggressive, tooth, absorbent. What do they mean? Basically artists want a surface that suits their individual painting style.

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Tonal Values

GETTING YOUR TONAL VALUES RIGHT

“Tonal values are critical. The lights and darks contribute more to the success of a painting’s composition than any other factor, including colour. In fact your painting will really only be as good as the tonal values.”

By Greg Albert, The Simple Secret to Better Panting

A painting with only mid-tones risks being flat and dull. Value or tonal contrast creates visual interest in a painting. A high-key painting is one in which the contrasts in value or tone are extreme, from black right through the range of mid-tones down to white. A low-key painting is one in which the tonal range is narrower.

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Gouache

WHAT IS GOUACHE?

The History

Gouache is both a technique and a product. The technique, dating back to before the renaissance, refers to the use of white to achieve opacity in water based colours. Originally used for illuminating manuscripts, it was Paul Sandby in the 18th century who first used the painting technique extensively and later the Pre-Raphaelites.

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