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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

KOTARE © Vivienne Paterson 2021 - Ceramic on Wood 20cm

Vivienne in her small studio cutting clay to create hibiscus flowers

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

Photography, botany, tramping and the natural environment have always been strong interests of mine and together inspire my pottery. My career has been in science, mainly in the field of plant chemistry research and as a science technician in school but I have always had an interest in art.

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

I started pottery as a hobby 20 years ago at the local Kowhai Art & Craft club when my children were young and have experimented with a range of subjects and techniques.  I love to create beautiful things from raw products and I often enhance them with scavenged driftwood and recycled copper.   The process of shaping each item from clay can be very therapeutic and results in unique pieces.  I am motivated by the positive feedback I get from people who enjoy the results as much as I do.

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

Electric kiln firing suits the brightly coloured kowhai, pohutukawa, hibiscus and other flowers that I create. The glaze coated on the clay undergoes an “oxidation” reaction when fired in the kiln and the resulting colours are predictable.  In contrast, glazes in a Raku firing undergo “reduction” and the results are very variable and more rustic.  Beautiful lustre and metallic effects can be achieved which are exciting to use to capture the vibrant colours of our native kereru, kotare, tui and piwakawaka.  

LOCATION:  Warkworth

TRAIL VENUE > Old Masonic Hall, 3 Baxter Street, Warkworth

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KOWHAI © Vivienne Paterson 2021 - Ceramic on Copper Pipe 40cm

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Blair Fraser

Above Left: Blair in his Sandspit studio working on the interactive installation in preparation for the now cancelled Sculpture on the Shore Exhibition   Above Right: Close up detail of ZEN-REMEMBRANCE © Blair Fraser 2021 - Coloured Boards made from Wood and Painted Vinyl 

Who are you and what do you do?

I'm Blair Fraser and I am a multi-media artist living in Sandspit. I have a background in horticulture and garden design. I come from a very artistic family so creating art and sculptures is a very natural and organic process for me.


What does your art mean to you?

It is everything, it is everywhere in my life. I can't ever imagine not doing something creative. I find inspiration in everything, and I am constantly amazed at how much art there is in everyday life, if you care to look.


What materials do you use to create your work?

I started out painting but really enjoyed the tactile quality of different material (I like to get my hands dirty, being a gardener helps), so I started to add paper, wood, plastic etc to my work. Painting became sculptures. I very much like to work with clay, it has a life of its own and you can let it decide the final shape.  Adding glaze is another art form altogether. 


Blair Fraser - Never To Be Seen - ceramic & painted organic materials sculptures.jpg

Are there specific subjects or themes you return regularly to your art? What are they and why?

I enjoy organic forms, things that form over time and evolve into something unexpected.  This is particularly good for working with clay to form ceramic sculptures.  I also like ordered designs and patterns especially those found in the Japanese culture. I am currently working with Zen patterns, both on clay and vinyl. My travels in Japan were very inspirational.  I enjoy the duality in creating art, organic and ceramic, light and dark, order and chaos.


2 Kanuka Road, Sandspit

NEVER TO BE SEEN © Blair Fraser - Ceramic & Painted Organic Material

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Lucy Rice

Lucy in her studio in Algies Bay

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

I moved around a lot as a child. A lot of my paintings are abstract landscapes of memories or emotions. It can be as simple as a colour, food or smell that will spark a memory or association with a feeling or person ... and the painting just flows from there.  


What inspires you?

Music and my mother. I love listening to music while I paint - sometimes certain songs can trigger memories and paintings often relate to certain songs (and are often named after them too!)  My Mother passed away this year from cancer. She told me to "Just paint, Darling" and so ever since I have been inspired by all that she was and is to me still. She is the reason for what I do, I light a candle and she keeps me company while I paint.


Favourite or most inspirational place?

My local beach at Algies Bay or Scandrett Regional Park, Mahurangi East.


Why art?

I love that feeling of being in a creative state of 'flow'. I have spent years as a Photographer and always felt the need for more 'hands on' creative expression.  I painted in school and have a BFA from ELAM, so it's lovely to be reunited with a practise I have missed so much over the last couple of years.  Art gives me the freedom of expression and peace of mind.  A quiet personal space where I can be totally me, heal and feel a whole lot of joy. 



57 Athol Place, Algies Bay, Mahurangi East

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TUSCANY BORDER © Lucy Rice 2021

Acrylic & Pastel on Canvas

EAST © Lucy Rice 2021

Acrylic & Pastel on Canvas

Yvonne Gray

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Yvonne Gray
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Above Left: Yvonne working in her home studio in Orewa.  For the Mahurangi Artist Studio Trail, Yvonne will show her work at Talia Russell’s studio in Mahurangi West. Above Right:  CATCHING LEAVES © Yvonne Gray 2021 - Mixed Media on Paper, 330mm x 420mm 

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

I’m an expressive acrylic painter and printmaker. Having always been creative, I’ve found that expressing myself in art gives me a great deal of satisfaction and focus and has now become part of my daily life. I’m always amazed and delighted when an art lover chooses and connects with one of my works.


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

Each layer is thought out starting with gesso and ground colours, then both heavy body and fluid acrylic paints are used on either paper or canvas, along with mark-making, collage, patterns, textures, words, figures, and different colour combinations. I use a variety of mainly large brushes, stencils, pencils and pens and any mark-making tools that I can find.


What is your artwork exploring, underneath everything?

I try to convey a response to an idea or issue or capture a moment or place in an expressive way.


LOCATION:      Orewa

TRAIL VENUE > Talia Russell's Studio in Mahurangi West

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FRAGILITY © Yvonne Gray 2021

Acrylic on Canvas - 760mm x 760mm

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APPROACHING STORM © Yvonne Gray 2021

Acrylic on Canvas

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Cherrie James
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Top Left:  Cherrie in her home studio in Mahurangi West surrounded by many of her wall-hung mixed media works.

Centre Left:  STANDING STILL © Cherrie James 2021 - Mixed Media Wall hanging - ceramic and steel

Bottom Left:  MANDALA INSPIRED © Cherrie James 2021 - Ceramic bowls on a sand and pebble base with wooden surround.  This is Cherrie’s 2021 Sculpture on the Shore entry, inspired by the repetitive Buddhist patterning used for mediating and contemplation.

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

I have been an art teacher and pottery tutor for over 20 years and consequently, I have tried many different art practices from bronze and glass casting to weaving, and print making so I can share the knowledge learnt from trialling these different technical skills with my students.  So, I classify myself as a Mixed Media Artist. 


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

I have my own studio and kiln.  My art practice provides on-going opportunities for problem solving, learning and pleasure.  My curiosity to try new things and give something a go to see where it will lead has often led to new directions in my art practice which helps alleviate any boredom from setting in my creative process.  For instance, this year I learnt how to weld and STANDING STILL is the result. However, I have found that nothing else besides clay has offered more possibilities and spheres of interest for me to explore and so it has been one constant in my art practice over the years.


What inspires you?

I have been lucky to have travelled widely and visited many galleries and artists. I am constantly inspired by works of art l see, whether it be the colours used or feeling the art invokes it becomes a starting point for exploring and learning from for me.  At other times, it could be an event that happens that calls me to create an artwork in response to it, or just a need to have a laugh and do something unexpected.  My work can at times be described as quirky, varied and often humourous.



Opahi Bay, Mahurangi West

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Alysn Midgelow-Marsden on her sewing machine in her studio 2021 (1).jpg
Alysn Midgelow-Marsden

Alysn busy in her studio using unexpected materials and techniques to create her textile based art works

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

There are two major factors which tie into my creative life, and which ran side by side for many years, then moved apart and are now intertwined once again.  The first is that I can’t remember a time when I didn’t spend time ‘making’, or stitching. These efforts were not always successful, but we all must start somewhere!  As I grew older my creative efforts included painting and poetry but continued to include fibre arts.  The second major influence is a combination of biochemistry, marine biology and conservation which were my degree subjects.

I think that my approach to my art and my world view is informed by the investigative, experimental exploration which is the basis of the scientific method.  Since living at the coast, I have been reunited with the coastal environment, at the same time the reality of climate change, (not the ‘sometime in the future’ version, the happening now - tipping point – life is going to change) is beginning to hit home with a vengeance.  Over the last 18 months my work has been concentrating on the dual themes of the place, culture and stereotypes associated with textiles; and the coastal and marine environment – it’s beauty, raw energy, and challenges.

What process, materials, techniques do you use to create your artwork?
When I am asked ‘why textiles?’, a reason which is high on the list is that textile arts encompass such a wide range of techniques and materials. Textile artists and embroiderer’s have a long, distinguished, and complex history in every age and culture, though they are also surrounded by stereotypes and misconceptions.  Contemporary textiles artists are also adept at appropriating industrial materials.  These factors make textiles a lively, exciting field with historical depth and breadth to be involved in. I hope my works stretch traditional definitions and dissolve boundaries between sculpture, installation, textile, video, and wall-based works.

To list all the materials and processes I use would be both lengthy and boring, so I am going to only mention the most unusual.  For my ‘fabric’ I am most often using fine metal shims in copper and pewter, fabrics created from copper, brass, bronze and stainless steel or waste plastic, for ‘thread’ I use wires in copper, stainless steel, aluminium, and iron.

In terms of techniques, to colour I might paint, print, and dye, spray, drip, heat, oxidise and more, when using threads, I am happy with hand stitching and free motion machine stitching, with crochet, knitting and weaving.  Mostly, possibly due to early days as a textile testing technician – I tend to have a flame or other heat tool in my hand regularly, and any new material I come across must be tested in the flames just to see what it does!

What is your artwork exploring, underneath everything?

I am driven by curiosity about the human psyche, science and the social stereotypes of textiles and stitch and have a long-standing fascination with the ability of abstract expressionism to portray emotional energies.   My works often explore transformation and change, the mystery and potentiality of the hidden and unseen. My pieces invite you to see that, for instance, a cocoon might be a place of positive change, or a place to hide; or that a sense of distraction could be an empty bleakness or a calm meditation. Your viewpoint is everything; the approach and personal interaction with the pieces is everything. I want my pieces to engage with the space between our conscious and unconscious minds, disrupting the boundaries between knowledge and emotion to create dramatic, contemplative, and visually stunning artworks which walk a narrow path between concept and aesthetics.

When we really look, we see not only individual objects but their edges. If we examine this closely, this point at which one thing becomes another, whether merging or distinct, then in this space, we feel more strongly the presence of the objects or emotions or history which surround us. It is dynamic, it creates tensions, strange interactions which touch on inter- and intra- personal interactions.

So, ‘underneath everything’, I am interested in what textiles ‘mean’ and how art can affect us on a personal level.

LOCATION:   Tawharanui Peninsula

Alysn Midgelow-Marsden 2021 - collecting memories of loss (detail), plastic, wire 65 x 45
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Below:  Detail of COLLECTING MEMORIES OF LOSS © Alysn Midgelow-Marsden 2021 

Wood, Plastic and Wire - 650mm x 450mm


Right:  VISION & ACTION © Alysn Midgelow-Marsden 2021 Stainless Steel Fabric - 120mm x 195mm

Why art?

To me, art is my escape from reality, enabling me to explore my thoughts and emotions through the use of colour, texture, and whatever else tickles my fancy.  Creating is as important to me as breathing.


How do you work?

On any given day, I have at least 30 art projects that I work on simultaneously depending on mood.   Sometimes I feel like letting loose with big bold splashes of colour and then other times I find satisfaction doing tiny little dots creating delicate textures and patterns. I have a wide range of applications that compliment my desires to create.  Most of the time I have no idea what I’m creating, but trust in my intuitive approach that has no boundaries, allowing me to play and discover. 


What inspires you?

Inspiration comes in many forms, from appreciating the colour of a stormy sky or the contrast between light and dark, patterns in nature or to cultural patterns, delicious textures, mystical thoughts of imaginary creatures, and magic are all but a few things that make me want to create. 

LOCATION:  Warkworth

Tanya McCabe
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Above:  Tanya in her studio

Below Left:  PECKING ORDER © Tanya McCabe 2021 - Acrylic on Canvas

Below Right:  Detail of HONGI © Tanya McCabe 2021 - Acrylic on Canvas

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Tanya McCabe - Hongi (detail) - acrylic on canvas.jpg
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Welfe Bowyer
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What is your background and how does that inform your art? 

I studied Architecture at Victoria University in Wellington and was still working in the field when I began to create jewellery. I have a love and obsession for architecture, sculpture and forms of any scale, and my jewellery is heavily affected by these influences, from understanding structure, weight, materiality, patina, texture, and colour and of course how these elements interact with the body. I want my jewellery to have a tactility to it that cannot be ignored.


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

I use a combination of materials when creating my works, from traditional metals of gold, silver, and bronze (both cast and fabricated) in combination with found objects I gather from my immediate surroundings or that I have collected over time. Most recently these seem to involve wood, rope and paint. I also like to 'sample' textures from the environment and replicate them.


What is your artwork exploring, underneath everything? 

My work has the ability to uplift materials that might have otherwise had no value. I explore ways to subvert tradition, hierarchy, and the expected norms of what might be deemed precious. In combination with celebrating the process through documentation and recording of data, revealing this information can start to inform and change the finished piece. 


How does art-making impact other parts of your life? 

As I like to utilise found materials in my work, this has a large effect on all parts of my life as I am always looking out for potential objects that might work, in any situation or location. For example, one of my current hobbies is sailing, and working on a wooden boat is providing interesting scrap materials such as rope, wood, and metals that can be upcycled into elements of jewellery.


LOCATION:  Snells Beach, Mahurangi East

Above Top:  Welfe in his studio workshop

Above Middle: Untitled Pendant © Welfe Bowyer 2021 - Sterling Silver, Enamel, Nylon, Gemstones

Above: Way Markers Necklace © Welfe Bowyer 2021 - Found Wood, Paint, Steel, Nylon

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