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Gaylene Lonergan

gaylene-lonergan-aotearoa-artistSILK

Gaylene Lonergan was taught the art of painting on silk by a master silk painter in Bali, Indonesia around 30 years ago. Since that time, she has further refined her learning and experimented extensively, adding many techniques in an effort to enhance her art. Gaylene tells us how she came to be where she is today.

I had always harboured a desire to be an artist, but did not know where to start. Serendipitously, my husband and I were travelling in Bali and I saw an opportunity to try my hand at silk painting under the guidance of a master silk painter. I developed an immediate connection with the medium and following a few lessons, I returned to New Zealand determined to continue with my newly found skills – I was hooked. Once I saw how people reacted to the work I had completed, I felt empowered and wanted to repeat the experience. Putting a smile on people’s faces when they attend an exhibition or purchase one of my works provides me with the ultimate satisfaction and the motivation to continue to produce works in my own style. 

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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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Audrey Anderson

audrey-anderson-aotearoa-artistALWAYS AN ARTIST

Audrey Anderson grew up in a home where both her parents would draw and practice art. “When visiting my grandfather, he would show me how to harmoniously work with water and colour. It was a normal part of life I suppose, like eating or sleeping.”

“I have always been an artist; I don't think there was a time in my life where I ended up doing it. I have just always done it. It's my career, it's my livelihood. The funny thing is there have been times in my life I have thought about changing my career path, but then something from the arts industry would call me back again, and I would cancel my plans and just continue being an artist again.”

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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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Michaela Voigt

MICHAELA JANE VOIGT

Always a very creative person, when the decision came in year 13 to decide what was next for Michaela Voigt, it was either going to be something along the lines of Sports and Nutrition or something creative and she chose an Applied Arts Degree - a Bachelor of Applied Media Art at the Southern Institute of Technology which she completed in 2013.

“I did focus a lot on the digital side whilst studying but my favourite class, looking back, was definitely life drawing. Since graduating I have mostly been a full time Graphic Designer putting work into the odd exhibition but in the last couple of years I have really started pursuing my love of drawing again in particular flowers and botanicals.”
She finds inspiration in all that surrounds her. “I draw things I have seen that are memorable to me and it’s usually the little things.

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Sarah Pou

Sarah Pou - Aotearoa Artist - The New Zealand Artists Magazine

COLOURFUL AFFAIR

Studying Visual Communication at Unitec in Auckland from the early age of 17, Sarah Pou went on to have her art showcased in several high street art Galleries in Auckland and then later in London. She met her husband when she was travelling in England and her artistic career was put on hold in favour of consistent income.

After the birth of her first child she painted childrens nursery artwork and one of her customers proclaimed that she was an ‘illustrator’. This resonated with her and after returning to New Zealand and having their third child, she felt an overwhelming desire to create again, which she could not ignore. She started to develop her style whilst working and looking after her young family. “Time was very limited so I carved out time in the evenings. Although it was tiring, I felt fulfilled and content when I was creating.”

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UK ARTIST Amanda Bates

Amanda Bates - Aotearoa Artist - The New Zealand Artists Magazine

Trees prompted Amanda Bates’ move from palette knives and oil paint to pen and ink. “A particular group of beech trees at Avebury were responsible for this switch,” says British artist Amanda, who grew up in a house called Haere  Mai, which she understands to mean ‘Welcome’ in Maori.

By Tim Saunders

“Growing on top of the henge (earthen bank), their intertwined roots have been exposed by soil erosion, caused by a combination of weathering and visitors feet. The resultant lattice is fascinatingly ornate and well beyond the scope of my knife work. Brushes didn’t seem to hold the answer either; the magic that I was reaching for didn’t seem to be present in a realistic depiction. I tried several approaches, including a diversion into a stylised use of colour that took on a life of its own for a while but it wasn’t until I reached back in time for my pen and its promise of crisply rendered detail, that I realised that colour itself might be the problem. It seems to be well known among photographers that a sharp monochrome photograph will show detail better than any colour photograph could. The reason for this has nothing to do with any inherent superiority of black and white film over colour; it holds true in digital photography. It is simply that colour distracts the eye from detail and it seems that our brains can only cope with so much visual information at a time.

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Lizzy Dickie

lizzy-dickie-aotearoa-artistCELEBRATIONS OF LIFE

Born into a family of nine children, Lizzy Dickie has always been encouraged to pursue her creativity. Art is an important part of life and something her family celebrated. Lizzy was encouraged to go to university and study her passion, which at that time was sculpture. Having studied in the UK, achieving a BTEC Diploma pre-foundation at Mid Warwickshire College in 1996, a BTEC Diploma in art and design at St Martins College in London and finally receiving a BA Hons in Fine Art from Coventry University, she travelled extensively and volunteered in various parts of the world, creating murals and teaching.

She settled in Auckland and worked as the lead mural artist on ‘Storyfest’ for the Waitakere City Council for several years. “This gave me the confidence to create work for others, but honestly, Instagram has given me a real outlet to share my more personal work and to meet other creatives who inspire me daily. Instagram gives me the freedom to create what I want and gives me the confidence to call myself an artist.”

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Keeley Eastwood

keeley-eastwood-aotearoa-artistEASTWOOD MYTHOLOGY

Myths, legends and the other-worldly creatures that bring them to life have long caught the attention of young and old. Authors and illustrators alike have been caught in the web of tales spun across generations. The fantasy genre is one of the key elements that sparked something in Keeley Eastwood and became one of the core inspirations behind her works.
Photos by Brad Mosen Photography

“As a child I have memories of loving illustrated children’s and young adult’s books and televised stories featuring anthropomorphic animals, fairies, mermaids and other mythological creatures,” she says. “These included the Beatrix Potter series, Wind in the Willows, tales about Greek mythology, The Dark Crystal, The Chronicles of Narnia, The NeverEnding Story, The Borrowers, Labyrinth…” Keeley also describes human emotion / states of being, animals and her love for the natural world as other major influencers.

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