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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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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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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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Mary Sneyd

mary-sneyd-aotearoa-artistFABRIC AND THREAD

By Matt Mortimer

Artists of all types are often asked about their favourite instruments to make their creations. Music artists will have an instrument of choice that gets that certain sound, a painter may have a brush or easel they love and others, like textile artist Mary Sneyd – well, they reach for something different entirely. And her choice is…? “My sewing machine, because my work has many layers and it is impossible to sew by hand!”

This sets Mary apart from many who call themselves an artist, much like the clear difference between her occupation when she is not sitting behind her sewing machine. “I still work as a doctor/scientist three days a week and do textile art for three days a week or sometimes four - if I can get away with it! - so although I’d like to be one, I’m not a career artist.” 

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Raewyn Harris

raewyn-harris-aotearoa-artistKORU CREATIONS

By Matt Mortimer

We are spoilt across our wonderful country with such natural wonders and beauty right on our doorsteps – or a short drive away. Napier-based artist Raewyn Harris utilises this, camera in hand, to be reproduced later as beautiful watercolour paintings. 

“My creative soul is driven by daily walks on the beach, around our local estuary, walks in our native bush and in forests, enjoying our lakes and rivers, mountains and spectacular landscape features in New Zealand. All the while I’m challenging myself to learn new techniques and skills. My camera is always with me when out and about and the photos I take provide a rich source of ideas for my paintings. Trips overseas also provide photographic opportunities.” A natural ability and experimentation with materials shine through with accolades coming as early as her pre-teens. 

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Orca-aotearoa-artist-kristin-kay

Kristin Kay

aotearoa-artist-kristin-kayCLAY GIRL

In her childhood, Kristin Kay’s eldest sister Simone, eight years older than her and very creative herself, would often make games to use their imagination. “She would also make me and my other sister Ruth monthly magazines, hand drawn women's fashion pages, puzzle pages, baking recipes, facts about animals, anything.

A magical childhood was had by us girls. Unfortunately, just after her 19th birthday, when she had become a young adult down in Christchurch, her driver crashed the car at quite a speed. No one survived. But I always remember her instilling her creativity in me, her drawings, how she could make something out of nothing. It just stuck - she is still a big part of me.”

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Julia Sternkopf

aotearoa-artist-julia-sternkopfTHE GIFT OF TIME

Julia Sternkopf is a self-taught artist, originally from Germany. She loved to draw and paint as a child and in high school, she drew people’s portraits for $20 a shot, although her real interest at that time was music. She moved to New Zealand in 2018 and is happily ensconced in Lake Hawea where she gains much inspiration from the scenery surrounding her.

Always having been told that being an artist is not a good career choice, Julia was disappointed with her art education at school. “We never even looked at the Old Masters and were solely focussed on Modern Art – I didn’t enjoy that very much.”

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KiwiEgg-aotearoa-artist-guy-dutoit

Guy duToit

JOYOUS ARTISAN

Born in South Africa and now a proud New Zealand citizen, Gideon (Guy) du Toit tried woodturning as a hobby and discovered a real passion and natural talent for it. He took his passion to France, where he studied at Ecole Escoulen, a woodturning school that was created in 2012 on the will of the municipality of Aiguines to promote the unique know-how of woodturners, knowledge which is deeply embedded in the cultural heritage of the territory. Guy qualified from here as a professional production and artistic woodturner.

“Giving up everything to go to France to study full-time was very hard. Not being able to speak French and having to be immersed in the school and classes full-time was exceptionally hard.”

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Sonya Prchal The NZArtist Magazine

Sonya Prchal

Sonya Prchal

PAINTING WITH THREAD

Originally from Pukekohe and now based in Whangarei, Sonya Prchal has always loved art and has drawn and painted from a young age. “I started working with textiles in 2003 and first entered works in our National Quilt Symposium in Wellington in 2009. When four of my works sold, I was encouraged to create more and started teaching fabric painting and stitching at the next Quilt Symposium in Queenstown, at subsequent symposia and tutoring classes throughout New Zealand.”

Sonya has always managed to fit in daily practice in her studio, but has only recently been creating on a full time basis. “I love making works that draw in an audience and start a discussion. I enjoy commission work, and take great pleasure seeing joy on the faces of people when they receive their favourite pet replicated with thread.” 

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Bryony Bedggood

Bryony Bedggood The NZ Artist

A COMPLETE CREATIVE

Other than art lessons while at school, Bryony Bedggood is a self taught artist who has always been drawn to creative pursuits such as dance, music, writing, and of course, art. “Our Mum studied art in Dublin and our Dad played guitar and was a wonderful influence in taking time to stop and really see things. They always encouraged my siblings and I to follow what we loved doing.”

Creating is what makes Bryony happy, “I feel very off kilter if I’m not creating. I’ve had a few different careers with a high element of stress, also interesting life experiences that have contributed to me wanting to focus on my art.” Being an artist gives her the freedom to explore all the different things that excite her. “I have way too many ideas floating around my head to not follow through! Sometimes I definitely feel like there isn’t enough time to cover or discover all the ideas in my head!” She also plays flute and piccolo in a couple of orchestra and chamber groups.

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