Posts Tagged ‘arts and culture’

New from DuvalSmith

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017

Night: landscape in atmospheric blues by DuvalSmith. An original work in acrylic ink on paper.

duvalsmith blog

 

Purchase from DuvalSmith now »

 

Tauhou tête-à-tête

Tuesday, June 6th, 2017

Hello there! This friendly pair of Tauhou or Silvereyes by Brooke Hartigan is available as an A4 giclée print on matt paper, ready to be framed.

artbybrooke blog

 

See more Art by Brooke here »

 

Birds, bush, and sea: the uniquely New Zealand art of Liz Abbott

Monday, June 5th, 2017

Working from her Blueskin Bay studio, full-time artist Liz Abbott draws inspiration for her original oil paintings, pastels and prints from the landscape around her. A well-known New Zealand painter, Liz’s regularly exhibited and award-winning art can be found in public and private collections throughout the world.

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What do you make?
I make pictures in a variety of mediums from woodcuts to pastels to oil paints.

How did you get into your art practice?
I grew up in Christchurch surrounded by large oil paintings hanging on the wall that were created by my great great Aunt Annie Elizabeth Kelly née Abbott (1877-1946) who was a leading NZ professional portrait artist during the 1920s and 30s, so it always seemed normal to me to pursue art as a career.

As a child I attended Saturday morning art classes at the CSA and when I left school I completed a Diploma of Fine Arts with Honours at the Dunedin School of Art, where I majored in printmaking and papermaking. Several decades later I gained a Master of Fine Arts, this time majoring in painting, from the Otago Polytechnic School of Art in Dunedin.

I developed my woodcut prints of New Zealand birds into a business as a way of supporting my other art practices. I make my woodcut prints an open edition which keeps them affordable, accessible, and easy to post – I like providing authentic original artwork that has been made here in New Zealand – this includes the harakeke paper from Whanganui that I print on and the mat boards and frames from Tauranga that I present them in.

What inspires you?
I have always been inspired by the birds, bush and coastline. In our own garden we have daily visits from pīwakawaka (fantails), kererū (New Zealand pigeons), tūī, korimako (bellbirds), riroriro (grey warblers), kotare (kingfishers) and even Australian eastern rosellas!

Blueskin Bay and Doctors Point beach are a five minute walk from home and Orokonui Ecosanctuary – a predator-free home to kākā, takahē and kiwi – is a ten minute drive away. Recently we were lucky enough to visit the northern royal albatrosses (toroa) with their chicks at Taiaroa Head, a half hour drive from Dunedin.

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Describe your creative process:
Most days include drawing and often I will take my sketchbook and pastels on my walks to work directly from nature. On wet days I will often just draw what is on the kitchen table… my 89 year old neighbour provides me with beautiful home grown flowers to draw. I also take photos of birds to use as reference for my woodcuts – I create several new designs each year.

Tell us about the techniques involved in producing a woodcut print:
I start with drawing and playing around with various compositions. I then simplify and scale down the drawing and transfer it on to MDF in reverse before carving the block and printing it on my locally made printing press. Sometimes I will make several carvings before I am happy with the end result. I hand-colour the finished woodcuts with several layers of watercolour so no two prints are exactly the same.

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Describe your workspace:
Organised chaos! I am lucky enough to enjoy a large lined double garage with sea views over Blueskin Bay which is the hub of all my making – it is a busy creative space!

Who is your hero/heroine? Why?
I have many including my mother who inspires me with her exquisite felting, knitting, crochet and paua jewellery – she has been a prolific and accomplished maker all her life and her work room is a treasure trove of colours, textures and countless ongoing projects – more organised chaos!

Your favourite feedback from a customer:
I enjoy all the feedback I get – it is wonderful when people take the time to share their responses to my work!

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What’s your favourite childhood book and why?
One that stands out is The Borrowers by English author Mary Norton, which features a family of tiny people who live in the walls and floors of a house and “borrow” from the big people. I remember making a model of them for a school project and mum “knitted” some cotton on to pins for me!

What are you reading now?
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens and A History of Pictures by David Hockney and Martin Gayford.

What are you currently listening to?
Spotify – it is so much fun looking up favourite artists and discovering new ones. I work best with music!

Recommend an album:
Ernest Ranglin’s Below the Bassline always puts me in a good mood.

A favourite quote:
There were many favourite quotes in our family including: “To thine own self be true and it must follow as night to day thou canst not then be false to any man” (Shakespeare). My grandmother used to tell me “There is no such word as can’t” and that “Every little bit helps, said the old woman as she did wee wee in the sea”!

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Tell us about your pets:
My husband Rudie and I are the proud parents of Russell, a mixed terrier who accompanies me on my walks – he gets a little impatient when I bring out the drawing materials and is inclined to kick sand to get me to hurry up and throw sticks instead!

What would your advice be for those starting out in a crafty business?
Being a full-time self employed artist involves much more than making pictures. You have to be willing to build good working relationships with outlets and suppliers, market your own work, manage your accounts and fluctuating income as well as being self motivated, energetic and positive!

What’s in store for the rest of 2017?
Continuing making pastels and paintings and working on a series of designs featuring extinct birds such as the huia and moa, as well as developing other designs of Dunedin’s architectural attractions to accompany my recent woodcut of Dunedin Railway Station.

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Liz has very generously offered a prize for one lucky Felt reader of a $69 gift voucher (that’s enough for one of Liz’s gorgeous large prints) to be redeemed in her Felt shop. Awesome, thank you so much Liz!

To be in to win this lovely prize, simply leave a comment telling us (a) which New Zealand native bird is your favourite and why, and (b) what you like about Liz’s story and her art. We look forward to reading your responses! The voucher draw will be made on Friday 15 June and is open to New Zealand residents only.

 

Explore Liz’s beautiful artworks on Felt now »

 

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Simple, stylish, strong – and upcycled

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017

Never get your earphones tangled in your bag again!

This beautiful and sleek earphone holder from Multiverse Designs is made from reclaimed kauri house beams, and hand-finished with natural hemp seed oil and beeswax to bring out the beautiful grain and ensure longevity.

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Available in oval or oblong, it’s also customisable with your own design – talk to the good folk at Multiverse Designs to find out what’s possible!

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multiversenz

All by hand

Tuesday, May 9th, 2017

These beautiful native bird artworks from Liz Abbott Art are made by hand at every step of their creation.

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First Liz hand-carves woodblocks, and then she inks them up with oil-based ink, using a hand roller or brayer. The inked image is impressed with a hand-operated printing press on to textured paper, hand made from New Zealand flax (harakeke).

Finally, Liz hand colours each woodcut with watercolour – making every print a unique and original work of art.

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Purchase from Liz Abbott Art here »

 

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Capturing beauty

Tuesday, April 11th, 2017

This gorgeous A3 giclée elephant head print from Waterprints captures both the power of its subject and the amazing textural qualities of watercolour beautifully. We think it’s unforgettable!

waterprints blog

 

Purchase from Waterprints here »

 

Some bunny will love this

Tuesday, March 28th, 2017

How could this chap fail to bring a smile to your face? Sandra of The Felted Room makes her characterful and colourful cushions from sustainable or recycled materials. They make a perfect gift and look great in any setting, from nursery to lounge.

feltedroom blog

 

See more from The Felted Room »

 

Orca by Ana Aceves

Thursday, March 16th, 2017

A4 giclée print - Orca by Ana Aceves

Born in Zamora, Spain, Nelson artist and illustrator Ana Aceves has many strings to her bow, with a Bachelor of Arts in Music and a background in graphic design and art direction. Orca is an A4 fine art giclée print on watercolour paper of an original illustration, printed in Nelson and signed by Ana.

 

Buy now from Ana Aceves »

 

Native New Zealand bush: wood engravings by Allan Gale

Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

Neinei print by Allan Gale

Northland artist Allan Gale works in a secluded bush valley in Waitomarama, creating his intricate wood engravings from end grain kauri. The Neinei print, pictured, is one of a limited edition of 70 printed from a single hand carved block, and is signed and numbered in pencil by Allan.

 

See more by Allan Gale »

 

Nurturing creativity

Saturday, February 18th, 2017

Writer and artist Z.R. Southcombe (Zee) loves to share her passion with others – especially young creators – and we love her inspirational and educational books for youngsters who want to develop their creative ideas.

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I am a Writer, a collaborative project with seven kiwi authors, encourages, motivates, and gives practical ideas for young writers to explore creative writing and cultivate their unique voice. I am an Artist, which Zee worked on with six kiwi artists, likewise provides practical ideas and encouragement for young artists to find and nurture their unique artistic identity.

Both these fantastic books are available now on Felt, along with an inspiring range of Zee’s other creative projects.

 

Explore Zee’s work here »

 

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