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Lynda Bell

lynda-bell-aotearoa-artist“Being an artist was all I ever wanted to do. I felt discouraged in high school and did not feel ‘good enough’ and also thought that perhaps art was a lonely career. I wanted to help others, so I went to teachers college with the intent of one day being an art therapist. Teaching however was not creative enough for me. Stress made me ill, but whenever I was at home sick I would create stories and illustrate them. One time I was off work for a week and I created a whole children’s book.

When I saw an ad for The Learning Connexion that said ‘turn your life into a work of art’ I knew that was what I wanted to do so I took a leap and moved to Wellington. Being around other people who loved art encouraged me to believe that I could actually be an artist.

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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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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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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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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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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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Carla Sclanders

carla-sclanders-aotearoa-artistBLESSED INSPIRATION

Born in South Africa and immigrating to New Zealand in 2020, Carla Sclanders is inspired by God. “He has blessed me with a gift and I am driven to portray a glimse of His Glory in all that I am able to create.”

She began with a pencil portrait of her daughter and was so pleased with the result that she began to do more family portraits. “My passion for art grew with every artwork I created especially once I started experimenting with colour pencils. Posting pictures of my artwork on Facebook lead to people contacting me for commissions and so my hobby turned into a part time job.”

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Rosemarie Murphy

aotearoa-artist-rosemarie-murphyPLAYING WITH LIGHT

As a child Rosemarie Murphy always loved drawing and spent most of her pocket money on art materials, but it wasn’t until she was in her thirties that she started to try other media and materials. “I have dabbled in acrylics, watercolour, pottery (hand-work mostly) and silk dyeing, but pastel is the one that I have worked at the longest. I was introduced to pastel by Maxine Thompson, Master Pastelist in New Zealand. My sister, Raewyn, invited me to one of Maxine’s workshops and like so many of Maxine’s pupils I was hooked.

Having had no formal training, Rosemarie learned by attending many workshops - some in watercolour and acrylics, but mostly in pastel. For a long time family and milking cows stopped her from making art full time and she would attend a workshop and then put her work away until the next one. “This is NOT the way to improve,” she states adamantly.

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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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