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Hillary Austin

Hillary Austin
Teaching Wednesday night art classes at the Hub.jpg

Hillary (far right) with her Wednesday night art class students at the Hub

Fire 45x45xm Oil on Canvas SOLD.jpg

FIRE © Hillary Austin 

450mm x 450mm - Oil on Canvas (Sold)

Moon Light in Pakiri 30x30 oil on canvas SOLD.jpg

What is your background and how does that inform your art?

I am an Australian. I am predominantly, though not exclusively a Landscape painter across mediums, but I find I generally return to oil paint as a preferred medium as it allows a certain luminous viscosity that works well with my brush style. I went to Art school in Sydney and finished my post graduate degree in professional art studies back in 1988 and though I have engaged in many other arts and non-art related fields I have always painted or engaged in some way with my work most particularly in the last decade when I decided if not now than when? I have exhibited widely through professional galleries in solo and group exhibitions in Australia and recently in NZ and have work in private collections around the world. I am greatly influenced by the works of Kevin Connor and Clarice Beckett two great Australian artists and William Turner for his magnificent feel especially with sky application. For me he was the first British abstractionist.

What is your artwork exploring, underneath everything?

My art practice has naturally evolved over the many years that I have practiced it. I have however, been keenly interested in the landscape as a generic form to communicate feelings of memory and places that the viewer might also feel they respond to on an intuitive level. My work seeks to understand the pressure points in the subject’s image, which serves to provide the all-important vanishing point and pinch point as I have come to reflect as the best way to describe what I’m trying to capture. As a fairly gestural expressionist, my work does not rely on detail but more seeks to provide a feeling of place. My work offers the viewer a possible memory from their own story, their own journey.

Are there specific subjects or themes you return to regularly in your art?  If so, what are they and do you know why?

Big skies are my go-to, drama in the cloud formation or tone. The landscape is a part of this general pursuit to capture the light and mood of place. One element is no less important than the other thus the fixation with vanishing points and pinch points.

How has your art practice changed over time?

My work has become far more intellectual. Once I really began to identify what I was doing on a natural level, I could then more clearly see that I was definitely chasing an understanding that would come through the work and speak to its viewer on a cellular level and invite them into the work past the surface to evoke a personalised viewpoint from a generic template.


Foundation Gallery & Arts Hub, Leigh

TRAIL VENUE > Matakana Country Park, 1151 Leigh Road, Matakana

MOON LIGHT IN PAKIRI © Hillary Austin 300mm x 300m - Oil on Canvas (Sold) 

Julia Fraser

Julia Fraser

Why art?

I enjoy being able create.  My mother was a talented artist, and my sister is also a very accomplished artist, so now that I have the time it followed that I too would try my hand at painting.


What type of art do you do?

I usually paint in acrylics and drawing in graphite and pastels and I have also dabbled with water colours.  Time away from my easel is spent doing spinning, knitting and crochet.


Are there specific subjects or themes you return to regularly in your art? If so, what are they and do you know why? 

I draw animals, mainly horses as I have ridden, judged, and bred horses most of my life.  I also do pet portraits.  My other love is painting flowers and my large colourful garden is a great source of inspiration.



384 Sandspit Road, Warkworth

Julie Fraser - Kakapo cropped.jpg

KAKAPO © Julia Fraser

200mm x 250mm - Pastels

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Julia in her happy place at her easel

Paula Wheeler

Paula Wheeler
Paula Wheeler - Work in progress which can be a messy business.jpeg

Paula Wheeler with a work in progress which can be a very messy business

Paula Wheeler - COPPER QUANDARY - glass detail inlay & iridescent effects close up.jpeg

Detail of COPPER QUANDARY © Paula Wheeler showing the glass details and iridescent effects of the fluid acrylic with resin coating finish.

What type of art do you create and what motivates you to make it?

I enjoy creating vibrant fluid abstract art.  My artwork fulfils an absolute freedom of expression that can be hard to find.  A complete freedom from constraint, there are no rules that I have to follow about the design, colour, composition, or application of technique. 


What process, materials, techniques do you use to create your artwork?

I use fluid acrylic paints and pigments, combined with other mediums of varying viscosity to create the designs and patterns.  I often coat the completed design in a high gloss clear epoxy resin to highlight the iridescent effects and vibrant colours.  There are many different fluid acrylic styles, I have used the ‘bloom’ technique for many of my recent pieces.


Are there specific subjects or themes you return to regularly in your art?  If so, what are they and do you know why?

The very nature of using fluid paint, gives it a bias towards all bodies of water.  The ocean, rivers and springs being great sources of inspiration.  I am so fortunate living in coastal New Zealand, to be given daily reminders of the beauty and serenity of the ocean, so this is often the focus of my art.



Hatfield’s Beach

TRAIL VENUE > Bohemian Cider, 11 Duck Creek Road, Warkworth

Karena de Pont

Karena de Pont

What is your background and how does that inform your art?

As an artist your life can’t help but inform your art in some manner or form.  Regarding myself, it could be my fascination with how light reflects off a surface from my years observing car painters at work in the family’s panel-beating business or how stage lighting illuminates and provides drama to dancers on a stage from my interest in dance and performance or reflecting on social justice and gender issues from my years working as an Administrator for Anglican Women in Ministry in Aotearoa New Zealand and Polynesia.  All these things and more, inform my art practice either obviously or in a subtle way.

How do you work?

I’m a natural multi-tasker and this year I am consciously applying this to my art practice and am deliberately working on more than one series of works at a time. Whereas in the past I might have devoted a couple of years to a singular series of works I found by the end of each series I was desperate to move on to something else – just to use a different palette or technique.  I really like the challenge of painting and working with different techniques and mediums – it helps keep my creativity levels up and my work “fresh”.  Therefore, when I come to a natural impasse in one area, e.g., oil painting, I can always change tack and work on another series of work, e.g., water colours or abstract acrylic works.  I have become more motivated and productive in my art practice since I’ve stopped denying my multi-tasking attributes.

What process, materials, techniques do you use to create your artwork?

The process, materials, and techniques I use depends on each series of work that I am creating.  For instance, in the And It Was Said series, I am using acrylic inks on photographic gloss paper and allowing the paint to flow across building up layers of transparent washes so that words or drawings can be seen through the various layers.  Whereas in the Islands series, spray paint and acrylics layered with a palette knife to build up texture and movement across the 3D surface of reclaimed and recycled wood blocks require different techniques and processes.  Then again, the Winifred series is a body of oil paintings painted on handmade paper, quite traditional in process and techniques used.

How does your work comment on current social or political issues?

I have never walked the streets in protest with a placard in my hands but that doesn’t mean that I’m passive to the world and its issues.  It is through my art making that I address these things, as in the #Me Too series there is always a focus underlying each series of work on the human condition and our emotional responses to the things that impact on our life.  In the And It Was Said series I have also been able to make work addressing many issues including Black Lives Matter or using quotes or lyrics to highlight current events.


27 Opahi Bay Road, Mahurangi West

Karena de Pont - In her Studio working on Islands .jpg

Karena de Pont in her studio preparing wooden blocks for a work in her ISLAND series on recycled wood.

Karena de Pont - close up of Saddle 2.jpg


© Karena de Pont 2021, Islands series,

Acrylic on Recycled Wood Blocks

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TRUMP CARDED © Karena de Pont 2019

Acrylic on Paper - One of the final works in the #Me Too Series

Maureen Roke

Maureen Roke
Maureen Roke - Maureen with her sketch book & dog.jpg

Maureen and her sketchbook can often be seen around Sandspit 

What is your background and how does that inform your art?

Growing up on a farm in Matakana with no official art education at school, I began my painting life in the UK with an adventure into the school system doing night school A Level art with a brilliant teacher. This was followed by a wide range of tutors and working with English artists, mainly in watercolours. I exhibited and sold paintings in London.  I have worked as a floral designer and tutor for many years, both in the UK and NZ.  Back in New Zealand to restart myself I went to Hungry Creek Art School.


What type of art do you create and what motivates you?

My passion is for sketching both realism and abstract, rural and urban.  Later I may extend these into larger works in watercolour, acrylic, oil or mixed media paintings on paper, board or canvas.


Favourite or most inspiration place?

One of my favourite places is Sandspit where I live and have my studio, because the views are inspiring to me as an artist.  Fishing boats, yachts, cute cottages, baches, beach, harbour and bush, all beautiful or just interesting.  As a result of all this inspiration, I have printed a small book of sketches called, Rambling around Sandspit, available for sale at the Mahurangi East Library.



Sandspit, Mahurangi East

TRAIL VENUE > Studio 22, 22 Muncaster Road, Snells Beach


THE CUP FINAL © Maureen Roke - Watercolour


WAVERING © Maureen Roke - Oil painting

Talia Russell

Talia Russell

What type of art do you create and how does your background inform your art?

I am a silk screen printer who creates large scale silk screen prints.  Influenced by my design background and my love of travel, I have always loved travel posters from the 20’s and 30’s and have been influenced by these fabulous designs along with British Painter Brian Cook through his use of colour and composition. 

I choose silk screen printing as my art form for the following reasons:

  1. Silk screen printing is made to be large scale and is a magical process with lots of planning and designing that goes on before the actual printing.  I love the matt colour and how each stencil lines up to create a finished art piece. It’s a very satisfying feeling when the stencils align, and the colours harmonise beautifully next to each other.

  2. With my Industrial Design background and influence of mass production, I like the idea that all the effort that I put into creating an art piece goes further than just one piece of art – I don’t just get one finished piece of Art, but a limited edition, which I can then also print in other colour variations to my heart’s content.  Each piece being hand printed, each colour is hand pulled, with possible minor variations to each print therefore making each piece unique and original.

I describe my art as ‘Iconic views seen in a different light’ Juxtaposing elements of realism with the surprise of surrealist colour combinations. I try to emulate the original travel posters through their design and style with my choice of colours and composition, giving them a new twist. 


540 Mahurangi West Road, Mahurangi West


Talia in her studio lining up the screen print by eye and not trying to get paint in her hair

From North Head to Rangitoto sm.jpg


© Talia Russell 2020 –

78 x 54cm, 11 colour, limited edition silk screen print

Ian Anderson

Ian Anderson
Ian Anderson putting the final touches on ITS A RICH LIFE.jpeg

Ian Anderson in his studio with IT’S A RICH LIFE © Ian Anderson 2019 – putting the finishing touches on

Ian Anderson - One Blood Speaks All Lives Matter - progress 6 detail_edited.jpg

 A close up look of a current work in progress ONE LIVES SPEAK - ALL LIVES MATTER which Ian is endeavouring to finish this year.

What is your background and how does that inform your art?

I have always dreamed of being a creative but due to misadventures in my youth and misaligned educational process of the 50s and 60s, I lost my way.  According to my mum I may have been an ADHD kid.  Dealing with lifelong clinical depression, mood swings and withdrawal symptoms my inner torment (secrets) led to some significant failures and then numerous spiritual experiences dramatically altered my perception of the future and approach to art.  On the journey out of those dark places I had visions and dreams which woke a hunger for the supernatural and a deep desire to touch base with my maker.  Obviously, all this is now part of the metaphor in my creative inspirations.

I spent numerous years learning various art and craft skills, honed in the alternate hippy drug culture of Australia and New Zealand.  After my aha moments I faced the past in Australia and came back to New Zealand in the 80s.  I was given an opportunity to illustrate and design in a friend’s commercial art agency and was quickly elevated to join the commercial world of Christchurch and Wellington newspapers working as a graphic artist, campaign designer, and illustrator and editorial cartoonist.

The positions included being an Assistant Art Director, Creative Director, fashion illustrator, editorial illustrator, political cartoonist, campaign director, and general artist, designer, illustrator while learning the twists and turns of an industry traveling speedily from drafting boards and pencils to digital skills on computer.

Additionally, I developed hobby photography skills photographing natural scenery, and earning numerous awards on the way.  This led to people and wedding photography. In 2016 the combination of these skills turned a corner and morphed into a lifelong dream to be a fully competent artist.

What does your art aim to say?

This work "One Blood Speaks – All Lives Matter" was started before Covid-19 was a name and Black Lives Matter became a media narrative.  I delved into the narrative and decided I would tell a real-life story from my medical doctor friends in Southern Sudan to countermeasure the fears and hatred we see in our media today.  The baggage of the past is a poisonous thing if we don’t learn how to forgive and not pass on our prejudices and bitterness to the next generation. These kids are a fine example of enjoying their differences without hatred.  This work is still in the making and I am hoping to finish the painting before November this year as I juggle between other commitments. 



Level 1, 44 Elizabeth Street, Warkworth


Pauline Gough

Pauline Gough

What is your background and how does that inform your art?

I grew up on a farm and married a farmer, hence many of my paintings have a rural theme. I tried painting when our children were young but gave up as there were too many distractions due to an energetic family and farm business! Therefore, I began to seriously paint when my youngest was finishing high school 11 years ago.


How do you work?

I work quickly and energetically. I like my work to have a raw authenticity and try not to overwork pieces. I can spend an entire morning on something, then come back after lunch and paint over the whole thing and start again because it just doesn't feel right. I like to use big brushes and a lot of paint!


How do you make it?

I normally start with a photo or picture for inspiration, but my resulting painting may have little resemblance to it by the time I'm finished. I work intuitively, pushing the paint around until it pleases my eye. This may take 1 or 2 hours or a number of days, in some instances. I generally paint alla prima (wet on wet painting technique). Presently I'm enjoying quality acrylics.


What does your art mean to you?

My art means everything to me and yet I'm not attached to it, and this is why I have no trouble selling to collectors. I love the process of painting and excitement of not knowing at the start what the end result will be. It's always a delight when a piece of my art resonates with a buyer.



Between Matakana & Sandspit, Mahurangi

161 Sharp Road, Matakana

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A studio selfie of Pauline Gough in her studio in Matakana

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LIFESTYLE BLOCK © Pauline Gough – 90cm x 76cm acrylic

Jo-ann Farnell

Jo-ann Farnell
Jo-ann Farnell in her studio 2021.jpg

Jo-ann Farnell in her studio at Snells Beach

Jo-ann Farnell - Strapped for Cash 2021 - 560x710mm mixed media.jpg

What is your background and how does that inform your art?

I was raised on a farm and spent my working life in horticulture producing beautiful gerberas and table grapes, so nature/life has always inspired me and working outside "the norm".  My artistic aspirations were sparked when I joined "Group 55" mentored by Mary Hayward a London trained professional artist.


What type of art do you create and what motivates you to make it?

My work features found objects, mixed media, sculpture and abstract.  I enjoy creating innovative works presenting the natural beauty of what is around us.  Life stories are intertwined with my work.  My "Heritage Series" one of which is in the Wallace Collection features pure white bones -vestiges of life - mounted on original farm posts, honours our forebears.  I'm motivated to get people thinking about the interaction with consumerism and nature.


Favourite or most inspirational place?

The Mahurangi area, with space, beaches and our Studio 22 where four artists meet weekly to explore and create art.  The interaction inspires me to look at different ways to present what is around us.


"Man needs music, literature and painting - all those oases of perfection that make up art - to compensate for the rudeness and materialism of life" Fernando Botero.



Snells Beach, Mahurangi East

TRAIL VENUE > Studio 22, 22 Muncaster Road, Snells Beach

Jo-ann Farnell - IN OUR BUBBLE 2021 - 150x150mm - Mixed media in Pawlonia wood.jpg

STRAPPED FOR CASH © Jo-ann Farnell 2021 – 56cm x 71cm - Mixed Media

IN OUR BUBBLE © Jo-ann Farnell 2021 – 15cm x 15cm-  Mixed Media in Pawlonia wood

Sisi Wei

What type of art do you create and what motivates you to make it?

I do landscapes, animal drawings or portraits. I never stopped practicing it because I love it so much. I have been drawing my daughter since she was a baby and now, she is almost seven.  I can tell my skills have got better and better with all the practise.


What process, materials, techniques do you use to create your artwork?

I normally use watercolour as a base colour for my portrait work. Then I work over that base coat with prismacolor pencils for more detail work. For landscape I like to do oil painting since it can keep wet for a long time and I can coat a few more times on the top.


Why do you make this type of art?

For portraits I like to start with the eyes. I get satisfaction and fulfilment by watching the persons face from a general sketch to full details. For oil painting I prefer clouds, waves, and galaxy they are natural and mysterious. 



OWL Community Hub, 120 Rodney Street, Wellsford

Sisi Wei
Sisi Wei - putting the final touches to a portrait.jpeg

Sisi Wei at work drawing a portrait of a boy named Whi who lives in Tibet.

Sisi Wei - The Galaxy - oil painting .jpeg

THE GALAXY © Sisi Wei – 45cm x 30cm - Oil painting

Sisi Wei - Tibetan woman A4.jpeg

TIBETAN WOMAN © Sisi Wei – A4 -  Prismacolour Pencils

Philippa Stichbury

Philippa Stichbury
Philippa Stichbury - FLOCK FROCK - WOW.jpeg

Who are you and what do you do?

I have always enjoyed making and creating and as a daughter of a potter dad and weaver/sewer mum have always had the opportunity to be involved in the arts. Having been a primary school art teacher for many years has enabled me to use and experiment with a wide range of media, techniques, and styles. Now that I no longer work in a school, I am looking forward to concentrating on developing and extending my own practice. I enjoy working in a variety of media- predominantly clay, paint, digital art & design and textiles- tapestry, sewing, knitting and quilting.

What process, materials, techniques do you use to create your artwork?

My main personal artistic outlet while teaching has been constructing World of WearableArt (WOW) garments and I have had eight pieces included in WOW shows since 2012.  Each garment has been designed to tell a story and each uses a different media and style. This has helped me explore a wide range of ways of making and creating and to develop and hone my skills.

What inspires you?

I am often inspired by New Zealand nature and landscape, and the interaction of colour, texture, and pattern.


60a Cowan Bay Road, Pohuehue, Warkworth

FLOCK FROCK © Philippa Stichbury 

World of WearableArt 2014 

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Philippa Stichbury in her studio


LANDSCAPE © Philippa Stichbury 

60cm x 90cm - Oil on Watercolour Paper 

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TUI © Philippa Stichbury 

20cm x 32cm - Digital Print

Glenda Hopkins

Glenda Hopkins

What is your background and how does that inform your art?

My studies with the New Zealand College of Fashion & Design have influenced my art when I consider colour, texture and balance within a composition.


Why art?

I started painting a few years ago as a form of stress relief.


Who are you and what do you do?

I am a CEO of a Charitable Trust that has a focus on those without a voice, as in pre-school children and adults with intellectual disabilities. The Trust Hears and Responds to needs within the Glenfield North Community. I love seeing the voiceless empowered.


What type of art do you create and what motivates you to make it?

Nature makes my soul beat; it surrounds me and draws me into the work as I paint and draw with different mediums such as charcoal and fluid art. As I paint, draw, and create I am removed from the busy world, and it calls me to breathe in.  I find the light and colours of nature truly inspiring.


Mau te manawa ka okioki

(Take a breath and rest)



The Grey House, 129 Ridge Road, Scotts Landing, Mahurangi East 

Glenda Hopkins - Holder of Pounamu - charcoal & acrylic on bamboo paper.jpeg
Glenda Hopkins in her studio putting the final touches onto the Eye of the Kereru.jpeg

Glenda Hopkins in her studio putting the final touches onto EYE OF THE KERERU 

Glenda Hopkins - Eye of the Kereru - Acrylic on Canvas.jpeg

EYE OF THE KERERU © Glenda Hopkins - Acrylic on Canvas 

Glenda Hopkins - The Pipi Gatherers - Acrylic on Canvas.jpeg

HOLDER OF POUNAMU © Glenda Hopkins – Charcoal & Acrylic on Bamboo Paper 

THE PIPI GATHERERS © Glenda Hopkins - Acrylic on Canvas 

"By George" Paul McRae

By George Paul McRae
Paul McRae - By George - montage from raw material to finished work - Sculpture on the Sho

From raw material through to finished work.  This photo montage shows the transition for a 'By George' sculpture exhibited at the Sculpture on the Shore exhibition a few years ago.

Why art?

Why not? It's my happy place where all the noise and confusion of this busy life just disappears in a blaze of creation. 


What type of art do I create and what motivates me to make it?

I create sculptures from ancient swamp kauri that show off the beauty of one of the world's rarest and most valuable timbers.  Working intuitively with each piece, inspired by free-flowing shapes and form including natural, traditional and modern elements to ultimately evoke an emotional, physical and spiritual response.  My motivation is the journey through the creation process and then being able to share that journey with you. 


Is there a connection between my message and the way I make my art?

Yep, for sure.  The message is "intuition" - trust it. If you can see, feel, or sense it in any way, then that is your truth. We can both be looking at the same picture from different angles and what I see you may not. The beauty of art - embrace it.



OWL Community Hub, 120 Rodney Street, Wellsford

Paul McRae - By George - On the grinder .jpg

Action shot of George on the grinder

Paul McRae - By George - Whale's Tail & Blessing Bowl commission work.jpg

One recent commission for 'By George' a WHALE'S TAIL & BLESSING BOWL

Martha Stafford

Martha Stafford
Martha Stafford - At work in her 'studio' (living room).jpg

Martha at work in her 'studio' (Living Room)

Martha Stafford - Goldfinch 14cmx14cm.jpg

GOLDFINCH © Martha Stafford - Thread painting on Canvas 14cm x 14cm 

What type of art do you create and what motivates you to make it?
I've always been fascinated with organic structures and the natural world. I studied Fine Art: Painting and Drawing at university in England, and focused on insects and bees, mapping their movements by weaving pieces of thread on large boards, displaying their movement patterns. Now, the work I create continues to be inspired by nature and wildlife. Living in New Zealand keeps me constantly motivated as I am surrounded by beautiful landscapes and creatures. 

What process, materials, techniques do you use to create your artwork?
Thread painting is my primary medium. I use unprimed canvas, sketching my design lightly, afterwards I begin the slow process of painting/drawing in the design with sewing thread. I find using sewing thread, rather than traditional embroidery thread, allows me to achieve the desired level of detail. I work in layers and have also incorporated oil painting into some pieces. 


How has your art practice changed over time?
From creating silly patches for friends in my bedroom, to now producing larger, more detailed landscapes and animal portraits, I feel I have matured and honed in on my skill. My practice is less frequent (due to real life/work) but it is much more measured and precise. I have also recently started to explore landscapes, opening up a new avenue to explore.


TRAIL VENUE > 1 Motiti Street, Warkworth

Martha Stafford - Work in progress - Piwakawaka landing on Manuka 19x24cm.jpg

A work in progress - PIWAKAWAKA LANDING ON MANUKA - Thread painting on Canvas 19cm x 24cm 

Martha Stafford - Motuora Island - The Oyster Catcher Meet 19x24cm.jpg

MOTUORA ISLAND - The Oyster Catcher Meet © Martha Stafford - Thread painting on Canvas 19cm x 24cm 

Peter Mansfield

Peter Mansfield
Peter Mansfield - Installing My Land in the trees final.JPG

Peter installing his latest carving MY LAND IN THE TREES.  Peter says "sometimes I see things in pieces of wood.  In this case, it was two slabs of Macrocarpa a friend gave me".

What type of art do you create and what motivates you to make it? 

For me it's all initially about the idea, where the inspiration comes from in the sleepless hours, sometimes I will see, hear or dream a concept. Often the pieces of wood suggest they are hiding something inside, and it's up to me to uncover it. Then I start planning the best materials, size and who I might want to share the end creation with.   Some project ideas need to ferment in my brain for a while, others I just have to build straightaway. I'm not one to draw a deliberate plan on paper in advance, I just let it evolve inside my head as I'm proceeding from one stage to the next.

What is your artwork exploring, underneath everything? 

I like to make people think. Usually, it is a play on words which reveals another aspect or viewpoint. The artwork is a communication between me and the viewer, often with multiple levels of interpretation. It's okay if people don't "get it", but great when they do, and it prompts a smile. Hopefully a conversation starts, and we explore, educate and engage.


Why art? 

Because I eventually learned that if a person has a talent to create, it is incumbent on them to share that talent, and art especially differentiates mankind from the other animals that inhabit the planet. I've been blessed with the DNA of my forefathers who worked with wood and metal, and I know I'm doing what I am obliged to do when I'm working on a piece and do not want to stop. When the talking inside your head says, "I just want to do a bit more". I previously only created for myself, friends, and family.



40 Tamatea Drive, Snells Beach, Mahurangi East

Peter Mansfiled - Elegant.jpg
Peter Mansfield & Antecedent.JPG

Peter at the computer with a digital creation on screen called PETER & "ANTECEDENT" © Peter Mansfield 2021, which is about going from Ruanui to Homanui.

EleGANT © Peter Mansfield 2021.  One of his many ANT sculptures of which he has made 12 so far with plans to make a further 100 in this series of works.

Rick Urban

Rick Urban
Rick Urban - Of Hand & Heart Art Gallery, Warkworth.jpg

Rick Urban standing amongst the many outstanding works in OF HAND & HEART ART GALLERY, 19b Queen Street, Warkworth and Rick invites us to come 'just behind Pete & Mary's Cafe down the yellow brick lane' to one of Warkworth's hidden delights. 

What is your background?

I'm originally from the States and lived in New York City working as an Art Director at a large international Ad Agency on Madison Avenue. I was transferred to their London office and took my first pottery classes at night and on weekends as I didn't want to spend my life convincing people to buy things they didn't need. After two years of part time classes I was lucky and got accepted to the well-known Harrow Studio Pottery College. It was an exciting two years learning from many of England's top potters. 


After the Harrow training I packed everything and moved back into my Soho loft apartment in NYC and worked again doing TV and magazine ads, saved like crazy and after one year quit again. I travelled the US, discovered a charming tiny town in the mountains of North Carolina and set up a pottery studio. Over the years I started to exhibit other potters work in addition to my own pots and ran a well-known pottery and gallery for 27 years. 


In 2006 my wife and I moved to New Zealand and opened the painting and pottery gallery, OF HAND & HEART, in Rotorua. After three years we relocated to Warkworth and now have a popular gallery down the Yellow Brick Road, beside Pete and Mary's Eatery on Queen Street in Warkworth.


What type of art do you do & what motivates you to make it?

I mostly make handmade pieces at the workspace I have at the gallery. I create a range of decorative clay tiles, hearts, leaves and flat lace vases in addition to Rusty Metal wall art.   At my workshop at home, I make functional pots on an English pottery Kick Wheel first designed in the 1920's by Bernard Leach, the granddaddy of pottery.


I'm motivated to make pots that people can use every day, mugs to drink their coffee & tea from, bowls to serve their salad from and vases to display their just picked flowers in. I feel lucky to have a life where I can spend my days turning a simple ball of clay into something that expresses my style and artistic leanings and to pass on to others a little bit of me.


Of Heart & Hand Gallery, Queen Street, Warkworth

Rick Urban - TUMBER WITH CLAY SHELLS - Wood Ash glaze.JPG

TUMBLER WITH CLAY SHELLS © Rick Urban 2021 - Wood Ash Glaze

Rick Urban - TORSO VASE - Raku fired.JPG

TORSO VASE © Rick Urban 2021 -

Raku Fired

Rick Urban - WINE GOBLET - Shino glaze.JPG

WINE GOBLET © Rick Urban 2021 -

Shino Glaze

Vivienne Paterson

Vivienne Paterson - Kotare - ceramic on wood - 20cm high.jpg
Vivienne Paterson
Vivienne Paterson in her studio making hibiscus 2021.jpg