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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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Sheelagh McHaffie

IN FOR THE RIDE

A self taught artist, as her mother was, Sheelagh McHaffie has embraced her self discovery to art as a blessing, considering it a unique way to approach her passion.

Sheelagh was always drawn to the arts. As an only child in a pre-digital world, she would often just sit, observe her surroundings and draw. Having had a hiatus from her artwork for 20 years, after losing her mother and raising a daughter with ASD she found there were too many pressures to continue. “At the beginning of 2019 I was officially homeless. I had separated from my husband who was living in Australia, and had not enough means to support myself. I returned to NZ with my two children, aged 4 and 18, and the bags on our back. My mother passed away in 2005, so I was very much on my own. I had to overcome my own fear, guilt and judgement from others, and truly trust that I knew what was best for me. Starting over forced me to evaluate my life, I had finally been brave enough to put myself first but there was a huge hill to climb.”

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Daniel Carter

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Oriental Dragon, 1200 x 800mm, Blowtorched on wood.

DESIRE FOR CREATION

The closest Daniel Carter came to formal art training would have been extension art classes and graphic design throughout intermediate and college years. “These classes were taken above my selected art classes, as the art teachers noticed I had an interest and above level ability for my age group. I left college at an early age to become a car painter, which ultimately led me towards the automotive artistry of airbrushing.”

The artist life started for Daniel at a very early age, “As a young child my parents encouraged my artistic abilities. By year two of primary school, my father Roger would sit with me for hours, teaching me how to draw realistic people, muscle cars, fighter planes, architectural buildings with two-point perspective etc. We didn’t have much but wherever I went I would have a small pad and pencil, taking inspiration from my surroundings, nature, birds, people, cars, buildings, that sort of thing.

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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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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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Andrea Robinson 2022

Drawn to painting native birds and flowers from a young age, Andrea Robinson’s first sale was as a teenager when a friend bought one of her drawings for a few dollars. “I started to sell my drawings and designs on pillowcases, tablecloths, and tee-shirts. As an adult I continued to paint and draw around my office job and family. I started selling professionally in 2015 and I now sell my artwork through galleries and art shows.” Featured in The New Zealand Artist Magazine before, in 2017, Andrea has caught up with us and tells us where she is now.

Creating artwork is as important to me as the air that I breathe. It is the language I use to tell my story, to celebrate nature, and to raise awareness of environmental issues. This has always been my biggest motivating factor. Three exhibitions I am particularly proud of include exhibiting work in The Garzoni Challenge, curated by the Uffizi Gallery in Italy; receiving two excellence awards through Manhattan Arts International, New York, and receiving a Special Recognition Award in ‘All Women’ Art Exhibition 2022, in Santa Fe.

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Siobhan Demeester

siobhan-demeester-aotearoa-artistMY HAPPY PLACE

From the moment Siobhan Demeester opens her eyes in the morning and sees the sun hit the top of the gum trees outside her window, she just wants to put those colours onto canvas. “Everything I see I convert it into a painting. I take my camera with me everywhere I go and am constantly taking photos to paint. Then when I go to bed at night, I dream about painting…quite obsessive really.” Obsessive or not, the positive feedback she receives from people and the fact that when she paints, she is in a very happy place, motivates her as well as winning prizes, being commissioned and selling her work.

Born in England and sharing her time between Australia and New Zealand, Siobhan completed two years at Gold Coast Art School between 2011 and 2013. When she moved to Russell Island, she saw a notice on the board at the ferry terminal, advertising a workshop with New Zealand Master Pastelist, Maxine Thompson, which she promptly signed up for and has never regretted.

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Ken Tanner

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ROOM TO MOVE

Brought up in the London suburbs and having studied art as a school subject, an enthusiastic teacher encouraged Ken Tanner to maintain his interest in art, which he has done for over 30 years. Training as an engineer and then working in construction management, Ken found there was not much room for creativity in his daytime work, so art as a hobby became a welcome respite, giving his creative mind room to move. He moved to New Zealand in 1974 but busy with his wife and children, and his work, he only really started to paint in the 1990s. Since then painting has become a large part of his life.

Ken’s inspiration, he says, is mostly to do with the creation of an image, rather than trying to convey some political message. “I really enjoy the realism but I did an abstract course some years ago and I now also enjoy developing the realistic image into a more abstract form.  I have entered some of these paintings into the Howick Art Group’s annual competition and they have taken 1st prize.  One of the judges, Evan Woodruff, said that the work was more abstractionism than pure abstract.”

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Estefania Mondaca

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Born in Chile, South America, Estefania Mondaca is just starting on her artistic journey and we are pleased to introduce her work to you.

Estefania is currently studying for a Bachelors degree in Architectural Studies at ARA Canterbury. She has learned that all ways of creating achieve the same point, which is to create, whatever name you call it. Inspired by life itself, the things she sees that make her think or suprise her; she finds that in Chile the focus was on people, the human figure and a totally different landscape to New Zealand. Here she is inspired by the remarkable beauty of New Zealand’s terrain. “I normally go out and take photos, for example, the Heaphy Track on the West Coast, which was the first awakening for me to this beautiful country. I started to draw and paint what I saw. I think walking is a big inspiration for me, giving me an understanding of my feelings and perception of what I see.”

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Carina Sim-Smith

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CARINA CREATES

Born in Singapore, Carina Sim-Smith is a marine biologist by profession and a very talented artist in her free time. She taught herself how to paint by attending art classes and workshops by various tutors at her local arts centre, and by hours of practice.

“I’ve always enjoyed art but could never afford any of the pieces in art galleries that I liked, so I decided to learn how to paint so that I’d have something to hang on my walls. I enrolled in a beginner’s art class and found that I really enjoyed painting.” She feels the pressure of having to earn a full-time income from her art would ruin her enjoyment of creating. “For me, art is an activity that I do for pleasure.”

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