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Claire Broughton

claire-broughton-aotearoa-artistNATURE'S BALANCE

Self-taught artist, Claire Broughton first picked up a brush in 2002 and became enchanted with the flow and magical qualities of watercolour. She attended a workshop with New Zealand artist Susan Harrison-Tustain in 2010 which she found invaluable, along with all the support and encouragement she received from Susan. “She really helped me to polish the rough edges off my work, making it look more professional.”

A certificate in Drawing Nature, Science and Culture: Natural History Illustration through the University of Newcastle, Australia in 2016 provided an excellent understanding of drawing, especially botanical drawing which in turn has helped her to achieve realistic watercolour paintings.

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Elise De Silva

elise-de-silva-aotearoa-artistDRAMATIC LIGHT

Born in Australia, and having a talented mum as an artist, Elise De Silva reflects on her fondest memories of heading out to the foothills of Perth with some paints and a couple of sausages for the BBQ. “It was only recently that I realised I’ve been painting en plein-air since I was 10! I have to admit, while I enjoyed art, I never felt very good, but I dabbled all throughout my life.” Elise expands on her story.

Nature is my biggest inspiration. I’m always looking at cloud shapes, sunsets, interesting shapes, water and reflections too. New Zealand has so much beautiful coast-line, I’m never at a loss for inspiring subject matter. Boats also feature strongly in my work. I’m not a boatie myself, I get dreadfully sea sick, but I think boats are so evocative of freedom, serenity and adventure. I’m also drawn to any landscape with dramatic lighting. If there is no dramatic light, then a scene just doesn’t drive me. I want my art to evoke beauty and bring people joy and peace. 

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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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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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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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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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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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Graham Christensen

graham-christensen-aotearoa-artistsGraham Christensen is a rural artist living in the Manawatu. At 72 Graham has spent the majority of his life involved in farming and agriculture – not painting. 

By Natasha Christensen

Graham was in his early 60s when he and his wife Sue were discussing what their up-coming retirement might look like. They had already been living for the last seven years on the Gold Coast in Australia managing a holiday resort in Surfers Paradise. It had been hard work with very little down time and the plan was to move back home to New Zealand to be closer to the grandkids. Their intention was to buy a small farm in the Manawatu, but Sue was concerned that Graham would not have enough to keep him busy on a daily basis. He was such an active person she didn’t think it was a good idea for him to hang around the house all day in between small farm jobs. In 2012, with a birthday approaching and recalling the conversation, Sue, on a bit of a whim, purchased Graham a gift voucher for three painting lessons ‘Learn to Paint’.  In just three lessons Graham was hooked – and painting has since become his great passion.

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