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Kerri-Lee Gunter

kerri-lee-gunter-aotearoa-artistBorn in East London, South Africa, Kerri-Lee Günter has been in New Zealand since 2009, living in and enjoying the majesty of Invercargill. She gets her passion and talent from her mother’s side of the family – mum, grandfather and great grandmother. “As a child I was given books with blank pages and encouraged to express my creativity in them.  At the age of nine my mum realised I had a passion for art and decided to send me to art lessons after school and at 18
I decided to pursue my passion further.”

Starting with an Art & Design Certificate – 2007-2008 – at Buffalo City College in East London, Kerri-Lee went on to qualify with a Level 5 Diploma in Painting – 2010-2011 – at Aoraki Polytechnic in Ashburton, and also gained a Bachelor in Applied Media Arts – 2012-2014 at the Southern Institute of Technology in Invercargill.

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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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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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Rosanne Croucher

rosanne-croucher-aotearoa-artistGENEROUS GIFT

From a young age, Rosanne Croucher loved to make things. She won a few colouring in competitions as a child, which was very encouraging. “During high school I took art subjects, but I wasn’t sure how that would translate into a career, so I ended up moving to Auckland and beginning a Health Science degree.”

Two years on, she experienced some health issues and felt a deep need to re-establish creativity in her life. “The following year I did Bible college through my Church Equippers and it was there that I began to develop a vision for a career as an artist. I started up an art group at church and enrolled at Unitec to study a Bachelor of Design and Visual Arts. Looking back, I cringe at some of the work I made during my degree and Masters, but I made some great work as well and learnt so much.

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Art Capener

art-capener-aotearoa-artistArt Capener did a short amount of formal art training at UK Liverpool Art College way back in the early 60s but found he didn’t really like it, instead taking the long road of being self-taught. “Being taught how to do something is OK but the excitement of discovering it for yourself is much better, I feel. Quite often new techniques are discovered by what I call ‘happy accidents’ – that’s when you’re almost giving up and so you try again and again. Suddenly you find yourself standing back and saying, wow did I do that?”

“I have no idea what drove my interest in art, I do a lot of geneology research and have gone back over 1500 years, but amazingly I never found an ancestral artist. Having said that, I’m sure many of them would have drawn or painted at some point. I get all the inspiration I need from nature – not just the scenery but the vast array of colours, it’s also very theraputic as we all know colour can lift your spirits or have an opposite effect, adding beauty or drama to a picture. I admire the work of many artists such as Jonathan White, Tim Wilson and the works of 18th century Russian artists, such as Ivan Aivazovsky. 

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Jackie Krzyzowski

Jackie Krzyzowski-aotearoa-artist-the-nz-artist-magazine

DETAILED DELIGHT

Jackie Krzyzowski never had any formal training but always enjoyed drawing as a child. She used one private workshop and various online tutorials to get her started with pastels. She explains further:

I spent most of my adult life with horses and riding as a hobby and with family life, working full time and studying part time there was not much time for anything else. I always thought that one day I might come back to my art. Getting older, I was not fit enough to carry on with the horse riding and moved to breeding and showing miniature horses. This was successful for 10 years, but again, getting older, mobility issues were making this hobby more difficult and so I decided to retire from it. Then came COVID lockdown and I was looking for something to do and now I am on this new, amazing art journey.

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UK Artist Tony Feld

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Painting a variety of subjects from buildings to wildlife, keeps Tony Feld busy.

“But my method is very much the same no matter what I am painting,” he says. “I usually square up a picture, so draw a grid on a print of a photograph I am working from. I transfer that onto the surface I am working on and go from there. Quite often a complicated painting can take anything up to a month to draw out, even before I have started painting.” Tony’s painting of a leopard took a month to draw out and another five months to paint.

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Kim Mitchell

kim-mitchell-aotearoa-artistFREE SPIRIT

Rebelling about being told what and how to paint, and being a free spirit, travelling from place to place for extended periods of time, Kim Mitchell never really pursued her talent. “It wasn’t until around the first lockdown in 2020 that I admitted to myself I wasn’t happy with my current situation and wanted a change. In the last year I have found myself more driven and motivated to paint, committed to making a change for myself and wildlife, my enduring interest.” 

Kim’s biggest motivation is the plight of wildlife in the world today. “If I can use my skills to raise awareness about endangered animals then I feel like it would be a waste to not at least try. People talk about finding their purpose in life and up until now I’ve never really known what I want to do. I have studied geology, geography, cartography and journalism, with fleeting aspirations of using these to map wildlife habitats. One day I may combine all of this but for now I believe my biggest impact is creating realistic paintings. These can hopefully have a global reach and not only bring joy to people’s homes but also help raise awareness of our beautiful wildlife.” 

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Dylan Keys

dylon-keys-aotearoa-artist-the-new-zealand-artist-magazine

CREATIVE INTUITION

Self-taught artist Dylan Keys has been creating since he was a small child. “I always wanted to be a full-time artist but it was an unexpected series of events that led to it actually becoming a reality. Unfortunately, I’ve been in poor health for a number of years and one of the ways I cope with the pain and unpleasant sensations is to distract myself by drawing and painting.”

“A few years ago, I did a realistic charcoal drawing which caught the attention of leading motivational speaker Craig Harper, who is also a writer and educator in the areas of health, high performance and personal development. He shared my work with his online audience and I soon had a few commission enquiries coming in for charcoal portraits. Although my preferred style has always been a very loose and expressive one rather than realism, I decided to make the most of that momentum. I launched my website and social media pages soon after and I’m lucky enough to have been a full-time artist since.”

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Alison Gilmour

Alison-Gilmour-aotearoa-artist

VISUAL STORIES

Alison Gilmour has always been a visual person and able to draw. Part of her job as a graphic designer was illustrating and visualising with art markers. In 2001 she did some night classes at Mairangi Arts as a fun thing to do with a friend. “In one of the classes I started doing some still life drawings in coloured pencil. They were pretty good so I decided to go out and buy some acrylic paints, canvas and brushes and give it go. They were good, so I carried on and the rest is history.”

Alison finds inspiration is everywhere. How the light falls on an object or vista, how colours change with the light. Marvelling at nature’s detail and beauty, especially flora and the sea, she loves to note how weather affects them. “I thoroughly enjoy being able to express myself on the canvas and use my talent to create beauty, painting detail and sculpting my subject matter through light and depth to make the beholder overjoyed.” 

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