Posts Tagged ‘painting’

New from DuvalSmith

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017

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

duvalsmith blog


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Creativity for a rainy day

Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

We’re all for hunkering down inside on rainy days like these! What you need now are some crafty projects to settle in with. Felt has a great range of materials, tools, patterns and kits to get you started – here’s a few to tempt you!

Gorgeous watercolour paints from Celia Wilson, made from locally-sourced pigments.

celiawilson blog

Fabulous customisable stretched artist’s canvases, boards & blocks from Stretched.

stretched blog

Lovely yarns from a variety of very interesting creatures, hand dyed by Crock.

crock blog

Cosy winter knitting patterns from Honeycakes too!

honeycakes blog

Or maybe cross stitch is more your thing? Teribear has you sorted.


And how about some fabulous cookie cutters from Making It for rainy day baking? Mmmm, cookies…

makingit blog

Feeling inspired? Check out the whole creative range in our Leisure and Activities pages today!

A perfect tension: the art and craft of making artists’ canvasses

Monday, September 12th, 2016

Stretched canvas maker Alanah Tocker freely admits she has an obsession with timber. With more than ten years of industry experience, Alanah joined Felt a year ago to offer her high quality, fully customised painting surfaces as Stretched – a very appropriate name! Alanah starts with New Zealand first grade kiln dried pine, which is handcrafted into stretcher frames of 35 and 45mm and stretched with quality 12 ounce cotton duck canvas. The canvas is then primed twice by hand for a perfect painting surface.

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stretched 1

What do you make?
I make stretched canvasses, boards and blocks for artists. I often work directly with artists to ‘create’ a surface that they are looking for to complete their artistic ideas that they cannot make or buy elsewhere.

How did you get into your craft?
I have always painted, and being a poor student could never justify paying crazy prices for poor quality canvasses. I was lucky to be taught to make canvasses from scratch by David Heaphy, the technician at the School of Fine Arts at Canterbury University. David made and sold to full-time artists, so I learnt the tricks-of-the-trade from the best.

Do you have formal training or qualifications in your craft?
I have a BFA from the University of Canterbury, where I studied sculpture. The art school workshop was so well appointed I was able to learn woodworking, casting and mould-making, foundry skills, welding as well as critical thinking. Following art school, I worked as a screen printer, a stretched-canvas maker for local artists, and then as an artist’s technician for Phil Price and Hannah Kidd, whilst retaining a painting practice and selling canvasses.

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Your favourite materials, tools and processes?
Wood is my favourite material to work with, it’s so versatile and I can craft anything from it. My favourite tool would be a very old wood plane of my great granddad’s, which I still use regularly. My favourite process is taking a 4×2 and a roll of cotton-duck canvas and producing a beautiful stretched canvas. If I want to paint on it I know it’s good!

What inspires you?
I love being in the workshop or studio – it’s my happy place, it brings me energy. I think I am supposed to say “my kids”… I guess they’re pretty inspiring too! I love the fact that my boys think it’s totally normal to have a mum using power tools and a builders pouch – which it should be! No surprises they want to be builders!

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Often it’s the customers that keep me focused, their feedback and gratitude for helping them translate their vision into reality, make me feel great about what I produce.

Is there a philosophy behind your work?
Simple: Locally-made and careful production will always result in premium quality products.

Describe your creative process
The creative process for crafting my artist’s surfaces involves putting myself in the artist’s shoes; it helps being a painter too! I and ask what does the ideal surface look like? What details are important and what do I need to do to achieve that. Then I build from there.

Describe your workspace
I work out of a 100-year-old workshop-turned-garage-turned-workshop again at home, in organised chaos! The fun comes when the bigger canvasses need to be walked outside, just to be turned around! It can be chilly but it makes me work fast to get warm, which is easy as I usually have lots of projects going on at once!



stretched 9

Five words that describe your mind:
Enquiring, introverted, passionate, authentic, inspired.

Your favourite feedback from a customer:
“Your canvasses and rimu blocks are absolutely stunning!” Feedback from last week’s order, feedback makes me happy!

What are you currently listening to?
Tiny Ruins, a Melbourne based singer-songwriter, beautiful music to paint to.

Recommend an album:
The Lumineers by The Lumineers, always a go to for the workshop!

What’s your favourite childhood book and why?
Pottle Pig by Shirley Hughes (also my boys’ favourite!). I love the naughty pig that always gets into trouble along with the lovely illustrations, reading it now makes me love and reminisce about the farm I grew up on.

What are you reading now?
The Goose Bath Poems by Janet Frame, love her work – so honest.

Who is your hero/heroine? Why?
I would have to say hero and heroine would be my mum and dad. They’ve always encouraged my love of the arts, from Dad starting me off on his tools at age 10, to Mum taking me to buy paints. They’ve supported me through art school and even now look after the kids one or more days a week so I can get my orders out. They are awesome.

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A favourite quote:
Live simply, dream big, be grateful, give love, and laugh lots.

Tell us about your pets:
One old whippet named Uma, one old cat named Meow-meow and a selection of chooks, names dependent on if they are in the veggie garden!

If you were a crafty superhero what would your name and superpower be?
Timber Woman – with the power of building and shaping anything using just her mind.

What advice do you have for those starting out in a craft business?
Start now. Get on Felt. Have a great website, and have real conversations with your audience and client base – no matter how big.

What was the last handmade item you brought and what attracted you to it?
A Mother’s Day tea towel for my mum, it also came with a hand printed card, from the Felt website of course!

What’s in store for the rest of 2016?
Starting to build our first home with my partner, wrangling a 7, 5, and 0.25 year old! And of course finding time to paint…

I have some exciting new developments for artists’ surfaces. I am working on developing a special laminated circular stretcher frame made from a mould, I also have a new ‘floating’ artists board in development and I would also like to promote some of my oil paintings on the Felt site… watch this space!

Alanah has very generously offered a marvellous prize for one lucky Felt reader of one of her new 500mm diameter x 45mm deep stretched canvas circles, stretched with a 12oz canvas and primed twice by hand. These are made from a marine laminate timber using a mould technique and have a total value of $65 plus postage, and will be available on Felt from next month.

To be in to win this absolutely unique prize, simply leave a comment telling us what appeals to you about Alanah’s story and her craft. The draw will be made on Friday 23 September and is open to New Zealand residents only.

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The Grey Warbler/Riroriro by Rea Art

Saturday, July 23rd, 2016

The Grey Warbler / Riroriro (Blue) by Rea Art

You’re more likely to hear one of these shy birds than see one in the New Zealand bush – their distinctive warble is beautiful and melodic. For Māori, the sound of the Riroriro signified it was kōanga, or springtime. This gorgeous fine art print is reproduced from an original oil painting by Rea Art.


See more fine art prints by Rea Art »


Introducing Felt Arts & Culture emails

Thursday, June 30th, 2016

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Spring morning by Kirily Taylor
Original handcoloured woodcut by Liz Abbott
"Whisper" woven wall hanging by Mahana Textiles
Miniature sketch bowl by Wigleyware


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Blue Water, a Kara Rohrstaff original

Thursday, June 30th, 2016

Blue Water by Kara Rohrstaff

Blue Water is a set of two original acrylic paintings on boxed canvas by Auckland-based artist Kara Rohrstaff. Heavily textured with varying shades of blues and white, the texture increases and decreases as the color deepens and lightens. It’s a beautiful feature piece for any wall.


See more art by Kara Rohrstaff »


Like diamonds in the sky

Sunday, June 26th, 2016

Diamond design hand painted cork board by Pinned

Pale pink diamonds on natural cork – what a gorgeous combination! This handpainted pinboard by Pinned will add a touch of glamour to your home office, or make a creative backdrop for an inspiration board. Team it up with some nice sparkly pins to make a work of art that’s useful at the same time.


See more cork board designs by Pinned »


A humble hedgehog, hand painted, stitched and crocheted by Sandee Hjorth

Wednesday, May 11th, 2016

Hand painted fabric wall art with crochet frame by Sandee Hjorth

This little chap is one of a collection of hand painted motifs on fabric by Wellington designer Sandee Hjorth. He is painted on fabric, stitched with quilted detail and framed in crochet – a miniature piece of art, intricately crafted. Hang this one on your wall or commission your own – Sandee also creates custom pieces.

Hand painted fabric wall art with crochet frame by Sandee Hjorth

Hand painted fabric wall art with crochet frame by Sandee Hjorth

Hand painted fabric wall art with crochet frames by Sandee Hjorth


Order now from Sandee Hjorth on Felt »


Featured Seller: Satherley Silks

Monday, September 28th, 2015

Silk artist Kay Satherley paints in vibrant dyes onto Habotai silk in a rustic shed that’s cold in winter and hot in summer, but the ideal environment for her creative process. Inspired by her garden and natural surroundings north of Auckland, Kay has hand painted and sold well over a thousand pieces, each one unique.

kiwisilks pohutakawa

What do you make?
I hand paint on silk. I paint scarves, wall hangings, cushions, kimonos and silk paintings which are stapled onto canvas blocks. Also when I have time I still occasionally get to my other painting on canvas.

How did you get into your craft?
My sister who paints silk in Switzerland kept saying I should paint on silk as I was a struggling artist. She thought it may be more easy for me to sell my work, so I eventually got the hint! And it worked.

Do you have formal training or qualifications in your craft?
I specialised in art at teachers training college and studied under New Zealand artist Louise Henderson for three years.

Your favourite materials, tools and processes?
Materials: Habotai silk and silk satin. I love the silk now as it is always presenting surprises as you work, there is that bit of freedom involved as the dyes are affected by different temperatures and humidity. Once I realised this after some disasters, I could start to make it work to my advantage.

Tools: soft brushes that hold the dye well and gold and silver gutta to give the works a zing.

Kay at work

Is there a philosophy behind your work?
Beauty in nature is always uplifting and expressing it in my paintings brings me joy.

Describe your workspace:
A large rustic shed, fairly cold in winter but that actually works better with the dyes becoming enriched on the silk. It isn’t a precious space so the fact that I make messes doesn’t matter!

Five words that describe your mind:
Inquisitive, enquiring, dreaming, positiveness and optimism.

What inspires you?
Nature, my garden and the beach all give me a motivational lift.

kiwisilks garden

Your favourite feedback from a customer:
It’s hard to choose but here are a couple of lovely ones:

“When I saw these beautifully designed scarves I instantly thought of my mother-in-law and aunt who are wonderful women who deserve the best. These scarves and what they depict are like them – taonga, beautiful and rare. I have recommended these to my friends who appreciate great artistry from a person who is gifted, designs from the heart and with passion. Thanks, Robyn.”

“The scarf has arrived and is just beautiful thank you. I have treated myself to this one and plan to wear it at an international convention in Rotorua next week which I am part of the planning committee for. We have a cultural welcome night so I will wear it as a feature with my black dress and ponamu.
They would of course make beautiful gifts and I will no doubt be back for another some time soon. Thanks, Helen.”

Do you have any pets?
Two cats, Riella the ragdoll/Siamese and Shiraz the Tonkinese; two Pekin ducks, Pong and Sierra; two pilgrim geese, Little Tacker and Sabby; two white fantail pigeons, Gin and Fizz and six chooks… you did ask!

kiwisilks kiwi

What are you currently listening to? The Concert Programme while I paint.

What are you reading now? American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld.

Who is your hero/heroine? My Mum and Dad, and my husband Michael.

A favourite quote:
If you don’t live life on the edge you are taking up too much space.

What would your advice be for those starting out in a crafty business?
Be patient, it may take time but if you are passionate it will happen.

What was the last handmade item you bought and what attracted you to it?
A little flax bag from the islands with a bright island fabric print on the front, a colourful flower design.

What’s in store for 2015?
Going like the clappers from now until Xmas painting silk and maintaining our display garden and shop.

Love Kay’s creations? Check out more of her beautiful silk painting in her Felt shop.

kiwisilks prize draw

Kay has generously offered a prize of this beautiful hand painted silk square (pictured above) valued at $39, for one lucky Felt blog reader. To win this lovely prize, leave a comment telling us what you like about her story and art. The draw will be made on Friday 9 October and is open to New Zealand residents only.
kiwisilks kina

Featured seller: Avoir

Monday, July 6th, 2015

Avoir Young designs and produces unique, vibrant hand-painted hats that are sure to catch the eye and the imagination. Avoir takes pride in the individuality of his designs – everyone is unique, so his hats are too.

avoir tiger vs dragon fedora

What do you make?
I make funky, artistic and unique hand painted hats, caps, fedoras and clothing.

How did you get into your craft?
My background is in graphic design – I used to work for a press company for many years doing all of the prints, logos, brochures etc. I felt that my routine was becoming the same every day and I really wanted a change. I was watching a documentary about hand-painting on television and that’s how I started. I did some research and found a course in Korea where I went on to study for about 1 year, then I came back to New Zealand in 2010 to start my own hand painting collection.

Do you have formal training or qualifications in your craft?
I have a Bachelor of Visual Communication Design which took me four years. I also have a Certificate of Hand Painting from Korea which took me about a year, where I started to refine my style.
Your favourite materials, tools and processes?
My favourite materials and tools are fabric paint, glitter, pens, brushes, studs and of course hats and clothing. In terms of the process, after I pick the right garment for the right design it normally takes 1-2 days to complete. Since completing my design studies I know how to get the right ideas, research, and brainstorming and apply this into my style, after I have made a sketch, I start to paint.


avoir angel tattoo fedora

What inspires you?
Mostly tattoos, cool artwork and illustrations.

Describe your workspace:
Messy! I definitely cleaned up for you. Hand painting isn’t exactly a glamorous craft. Usually, I am ending up with all of the clothes, paints and the tools everywhere.
Five words that describe your mind:
Unique, positive, happy, thankful and different!
Is there a philosophy behind your work?
My motto is ‘One of a kind’- everyone is different and nowadays the clothing is not, so I wanted to break that rule.


Your favourite feedback from a customer:
“This is probably my favourite hat to date! When I saw you had another Phoenix hat for sale, I had to purchase it. And my initials on it look AWESOME! Definitely love the stars and the cold blue colour goes really well with the dark red tone of the Phoenix. Thank you so much for all your help! Whenever people ask me where my hats are from I always tell them about your shop :) Thanks again!”

What are you currently listening to? French music. I don’t know the title of it!
Recommend an album: Hotel Costes, Etta James, Sam Smith and Louis Armstrong.
What’s your favourite childhood book? Peter Pan. I don’t want to get old!

What are you reading now?
I used to read, but nowadays I only read the articles or scribbles from internet. What a shame.
Who is your hero/heroine and why?
Superman… I guess he is the strongest! Art wise – probably Don Ed Hardy.

A favourite quote: “Here comes the sun…”
If you were a crafty superhero, what would your name and superpower be?
Multi-Taskeeeer! I do the buying, making, drawing, painting, marketing and selling all myself.
What would your advice be for those starting out in a crafty business?
Be patient! Even if you do not sell anything. Don’t panic.
What was the last handmade item you bought and what attracted you to it?
I bought a few handmade soaps from the last market I attended. The smell and the packaging was irresistible, we are still using it at home and I have given some away as gifts.
What’s in store for the coming year?
I have a really exciting year ahead. I will be attending more markets and making more hand painted hats and clothing. I currently have a few custom orders to make but I will be focusing more on kids’ custom hats (which includes my three kids as well!).


To see more of Avoir’s amazing hats visit his Felt shop.

Avoir has kindly offered this gorgeous prize for one lucky Felt blog reader: a hand painted snapback cap with an awesome unicorn motif worth $59 (pictured below). To win this great prize, leave a comment telling us what you like about Avoir’s philosophy and his creations. The draw will be made on Friday 17 July and is open to New Zealand residents only.

Prize _Hand Painted Unicorn Snapback (RRP$59)_with adjustable size band at the back