Issue #6 February 1st 2019
First published in Nelson, New Zealand by: Sears Co | Studio S www.searsco.nz email@example.com 027 974 3879
Layout and Production: Sears Co | Studio S Publishing and Design: Sears Co | Studio S Issue #6 Published February 1st 2019 (Digital) All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without written permission of the copyright owner. No responsibility is accepted by producer, publisher or printer for any infringement of copyright or otherwise, arising from the contents of this publication. Every effort has been made to ensure that credits accurately apply with information supplied. Views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author, and not necessarily to the authorâ€™s employer, organization, committee or other group or individual including the editor and publisher of Creative Nelson. ÂŠ 2019 by Sears Co (Studio S, Creative Nelson and Amanda Sears)
Welcome to Issue #6 of Creative Nelson! Over the last couple of years Iâ€™ve met, photographed and edited interviews for 83 people and it has been awesome! To be able to connect with such a range of talented locals has been so inspirational for me and the Creative Nelson project as a whole has been such a rewarding experience. Iâ€™m sad to say that Issue #6 will be the last edition of Creative Nelson as I change focus to my other businesses and projects. Amanda Sears Editor & Publisher
Donna Allfrey Mixed Media & Textiles P-5
Halfdan Hansen Managing Director at Jens Hansen P-6
Catherine Walters Painter, Author and Illustrator P-8
Penny Royal Graphic Designer and Illustrator P - 10
Nicole Russell Painter P - 12
Thank you for all your support, it has been amazing!
Haven Macleod-East Author P - 14
Lisa McGregor Upholsterer P - 16
John Sears Musician and Photographer P - 18
Michelle Bellamy Painter P - 20
Nicola Reif Pastel Artist P - 22
Name: Donna Allfrey Creative: Mixed Media and Textiles Website: N/A
What inspires you and keeps your creativity flowing? Colours, fabrics, objects, recycling or reusing objects – I can see the potential in things and I like the fun of discovering that.
Tell us a little bit about yourself... I have lived in Nelson for 6 years. Moving from Christchurch after our house was red zoned in the earthquakes.
What highlights and achievements have you had? I won the 2004 Trust Power Water and Nature Award with a painting called Coastline. I won the phone book competition 2006 in Christchurch with a painting depicting the heritage of the region. In 2012 my WOW entry ‘Typecast’ in the Bizarre Bra section received an Honourable Mention and went on to be exhibited in the Wearable Art Museum and Te Papa. I have been a finalist in 2009, 2012, 2013 and 2016.
I have always been creative. I always seemed be able to draw quite well and make things. I would always paint artworks but could never finish a painting. My husband Lex suggested I go back to school and finish 7th form Bursary Art as I had left school after the first term of Bursary art at the age of 17, because my parents said “there was no future in art” and would not allow me go to Art School. I went to Hagley Community College and learned so much, it was amazing. I gained painting/sculpture and printmaking qualifications there. An art consultant saw my work and took me on as one of her artists and that’s how it all really started. I enrolled in NMIT in 2015 and studied Object Design, (another one of Lex’s ideas... he is very supportive). The course was incredible I learned so much and one of my tutors told me that I was a tactic learner which really explained a lot about the way I worked. I met so many other creative students, they all were very inspiring.
Do you have any big or exciting plans for the future? I have recently opened a Gallery/Store in November at 28 Nile Street, called Tula & Niles by Design. There used to be a shop there owned by Christie and Larry so we look forward to carrying on the legacy of great art and service. Tips and advice for others finding their creative path: Keep learning, find a class to go to, mix with other creatives, enjoy the process and don’t give up; if one thing doesn’t go well find another way.
What is your earliest creative memory? I remember a friend at primary school always asking me to draw horses for her. What is your background and what is it that you do? My background work wise is as a window dresser and ticket/sign writer, so I am very comfortable with using a paint brush. I have also renovated several houses, and have an interest in interior design. I paint, draw and create sculptures and wearable art. Explain the way in which you work: I usually start out with an object or material to inspire me, I play around with these and find different ways to create my work. I have entered The World of Wearable Art since 2009, I love the process of developing a garment, it starts off as one thing and changes completely into something else. Describe the people/places/idols/situations that have shaped your creativity: Dame Suzie Moncrieff and Heather Palmer have inspired me greatly, Heather being very encouraging and Suzie with her many inspiring stories of her life creating WOW
Issue #6 | February 1st 2019
Name: Halfdan Hansen Creative: Managing Director - Jens Hansen Website: www.jenshansen.co.nz Tell us a little bit about yourself... I was born in Auckland and at the ripe old age of one came to Nelson with my parents in 1968. They were both born in Denmark and back in those days most people would have described them as ‘Bohemian’. My father Jens has come to be known as one of the founding fathers of the craft (artisan) jewellery movement in New Zealand. He had trained as a jeweller in Auckland in the 1950s and furthered his training back in Denmark in the early 1960s. It was there he met and married my mother Gurli and travelled back with her to New Zealand in 1965. After growing up in Nelson, going to Nelson Central School, Nelson Intermediate and Waimea College and getting an Electrical Engineering degree at Canterbury University I spent 15 years with a company called Schlumberger in the international oil & gas service industry before settling back in Nelson in 2002. My brother and I had inherited the family business by then and I spent much of my time concentrating on the sales and marketing of the retail business and our growing e-commerce website. What is your earliest creative memory? Making up dances at home with my sister and friends I’ve always found my creativity channeled within technical processes and systems and remember having a computer hobbyist magazine accept my first software program for publishing when I was about 12. It was probably more an example of ‘deconstruction’ than creation, but my mother likes to recount a story of finding me alone at an early age at my father’s jewellery bench with a hammer, a steel plate and a parcel of gemstones that I was merrily smashing one by one! What is your background and what is it that you do? With my background in engineering and technical management I’m informed as much by the latest tools such as computer aided design and 3D printing as I am by my respect for the history of manufacturing methods such as drop forging and lost wax casting. I like to think we are an old world family jewellery business dabbling on the leading edge of technology. Explain the way in which you work: While I shouldn’t call it ‘problem solving’ I do love using my technical background and knowledge of the jewellery trade to provide our clients the best possible service. We follow a very much co-creation process with the client, with our knowledge of what is possible and functional helping the client to realise their concept. Issue #6 | February 1st 2019
Describe the people/places/idols/situations that have shaped your creativity: I’m a huge fan myself of Arne Jacobsen and Henning Koppel and the furniture, lighting and tableware that they created. My father was also strongly influenced by the post war Scandinavian design movement and we still recreate many of his classic designs today. Probably the most important life lesson that shaped me was when, as a young intern, I was given a task that I did not know how to complete and eventually admitted defeat on. When I shrugged my shoulders my boss challenged me with ‘So what are YOU going to do about it…’ and I had a ‘lightbulb’ moment. I suddenly understood that while it is ok to give up and ask the teacher for the answer at school, I realized that in real life one has to take ultimate responsibility and find the answers oneself. What highlights and achievements have you had? It is true that ‘the world’s most famous ring’, The One Ring, created by Jens Hansen for Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit movies will likely be our business’ most famous design. In 2010 and 2012 I worked with Weta Workshop to create a series of co-branded ‘prop’ The One Ring replicas which are still sold by Weta worldwide. I’m very proud of our ‘The Gold Kiwi’ necklace which was our company’s first New Zealand Registered Design in 2015. We took some of our own advice (about always being prepared to use outside specialist help) and engaged an industrial designer Erika Hansen (no relation) to help us create a 3D concept which our jewelers could finesse. Do you have any big or exciting plans for the future? We have just released a range of classically inspired modern signet rings which we are able to custom engrave by hand or with our very cool detailed and accurate laser engraving machine. Being able to uniquely personalize a ring with one’s own graphic, logo or symbol is huge in today’s market. Tips and advice for others finding their creative path: Obviously be authentic and true to yourself. Find what you love and do it. But for better or worse, realise that the most important thing to understand, (assuming you want to make a living selling your work) is that the product or service won’t sell itself and the most important thing you can do is invest appropriately in marketing. If you don’t like it or want to market yourself, that’s fine but make sure you engage the help of someone who can help you do it. The most important business advice I’ve ever learned is that to be successful a product or service ideally needs to be exclusive, desirable and credible in equal measure. 7
Name: Catherine Walters Creative: Painter/Illustrator Website: www.catherinewaltersart.nz Tell us a little bit about yourself... I grew up in Welling, about 10 miles from London. My mum loved to paint and draw and always encouraged me. My dad was more of a handyman but he did have a little kiln in the shed where he used to make enamel jewellery; sometimes I was allowed to help. After graduating I moved to Yorkshire in the north of England where I stayed until 2004 when my husband took on a job in India. We lived there with our three boys for three years, finishing with a round the world trip: Japan, Australia, Fiji, US and, of course, NZ. Walking along Tahunanui beach under a crisp winter’s sunset convinced us that Nelson was the place we wanted to live. What is your earliest creative memory? I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t scribbling away with my crayons. I think my first creative memory was of trying to draw a horse’s head and my incredible frustration that it kept coming out as a big round circle. Later, I liked to write and illustrate my own stories usually about animals. I remember making a little book called “The Vet’s Cat Who Was Really a Vet”. It was crammed with as much detail as possible: birds, butterflies, ants, bees. The heroine of the book wore a rather splendid hat! What is your background and what is it that you do? At 17 I had no idea of what I wanted to do with my life. Then my art teacher suggested I apply for Art college, which turned out to be what I’d secretly wanted to do all along – I’d just never imagined I was good enough. I did a foundation course in art at Medway College before going on to study for BA (Hons) Graphic Design in Hull, where I had the option to specialise in Illustration. After college I spent over a year in London, hauling my oversized portfolio around the underground to see all the publishers. It was a long time before I got my first break and eventually I had to set myself a deadline by which I had to get a commission. On the morning of that day I trudged out to the supermarket, feeling inconsolably bleak – it seemed that I wasn’t going to be an artist after all. As I arrived home, I could hear the phone ringing; it was Oxford University Press with my first commission. More work from greetings card publishers followed, and finally, the thing I’d been dreaming of – a picture book commission from a small publishers called Magi Publications (later Little Tiger Press). “Max and Minnie” was a story about two cats - and still full of all the little details I’d loved as a child, (although neither of the cats was wearing a hat). I went on to illustrate and write many more books. There was nothing more excitIssue #6 | February 1st 2019
ing than being given a plain page of type and having to bring it to life. Explain the way in which you work: Now I don’t have a text to rely on, I sometimes find that a photo sparks an idea for a picture, but more often I’ll have a picture in my head that I need to bring to life. I always use acrylic paints; their quick drying properties make them ideal for painting detail. I For years I achieved the fine detail in my work by shaving the hairs off a regular brush until just a few remained but I’ve recently discovered a rigger brush that is not too floppy and has just the right degree of springiness for me. MDF board is my favourite support, although it’s quite heavy. Canvas is much lighter if you have to send a painting by post. Learning to “paint big” has been a challenge though – I’m still secretly more comfortable with picture book size. What inspires you and keeps your creativity flowing? Inspiration is an elusive thing. It was something I always took for granted until I moved to India. The experience was so overwhelming that I couldn’t paint at all. It took me a few years of living in NZ before I was ready to pick up my brushes again. When I did, my painting style had changed; suddenly my landscapes were full of brilliant colours, textures and patterns. All the things that had fascinated me in India finally blazed out onto canvas. Sometimes you just need a bit of space and time. My most recent paintings are a return to a more naturalistic look. NZ forests with translucent ferns and sunlight filtering through the trees have been my latest inspiration. The fleeting changes of light, the weather and the seasons are all important in my work. In fact, it sometimes feels as if I have too much to inspire me – so many ideas, so little time. Having said that, I’m a terrible procrastinator when it comes to starting a painting – the thought of all the hours it will take to finish can be quite daunting. What highlights and achievements have you had? Seeing my first book in print was definitely a big highlight for me. Becoming a member of the collective at Arty Nelson on Trafalgar St was another. It is possible to lead rather an isolated life as an artist. Being part of Nelson’s creative community and meeting so many wonderful artists has been an incredible experience. Tips and advice for others finding their creative path: Just remember the words of Andy Warhol: “Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they’re deciding, make even more art.”
Name: Penny Royal Creative: Graphic Design/Illustration Website: www.pennyroyal.me Tell us a little bit about yourself... I grew up in Golden Bay at the Collingwood end, until I was 18. I then moved to Christchurch in 2000 for a year and flatted, worked hospitality jobs, partied and painted in cold flats. Then I moved back to Nelson to work for Sealord on their deep-sea fishing vessels for 2.5 years. I ended up leaving fishing for a series of administration jobs but have stayed in Nelson since. My grandmothers were both creative; Joyce Royal was a painter, and my great grandmother Ivy Evelyn Adelaide Turnbull was also a painter. My father would tell you he isn’t creative but his hands that built motorcycles would tell a different story! What is your earliest creative memory? I have always been creative. My mother tells a story of when I started school and was adjusting to the rigid timetable. I would come home each day and furiously make things for an hour as if to get it out of my system, before I could relax. What is your background and what is it that you do? While I had always painted and drawn for a hobby, I had never pursued it as a creative career until later in life. When I had my first child in 2009, being a stay at home mum, I started making children’s clothes and soft toys as a creative outlet. This lead to designing fabric on www.spoonflower.com, and then being a part of the Little Beehive Co-op for 3 years. I have always considered myself a ‘jack of all trades, master of none’ as I can turn my hand to most creative pursuits but could never find one that I was especially in love with. But then in 2014 I started a Bachelor of Arts and Media degree at NMIT, focusing on graphic design and illustration.
rary graphic designers, illustrators and artists including Paula Scher, Jean Jullien, Edel Rodriguez, Del Kathryn Barton, Tony Rodriguez, Paul Blow. What inspires you and keeps your creativity flowing? I love the tactile and visually stimulating act of flicking through design and art books. I also love stationery; the textures, colours and patterns of all the different types. Plus my Instagram feed is full of illustrators, designers and artists who are daily creating new and beautiful things to inspire me. What highlights and achievements have you had? Graduating with a Bachelor of Arts and Media from NMIT in Dec 2018 Do you have any big or exciting plans for the future? I have a part time design job lined up to start in January after I graduate, and several freelance opportunities, which is a very exciting way to finish my degree. Tips and advice for others finding their creative path: As a student at NMIT we get the opportunity to meet and often work with successful creatives. These people are an amazing resource and incredibly inspirational and really generous with their time and advice. One of these people recently gave us an awesome piece of advice … “Don’t be an arsehole”... When you are professional and positive and kind and don’t let your ego affect your relationships with people, amazing opportunities can appear before you. Don’t be a doormat but be a nice person.
Explain the way in which you work: I use illustration and graphic design cohesively in all my work; I integrate illustrative elements into my graphic design work, I also approach my illustrations from a design mindset. I like to experiment with different aesthetics, methods and materials, rather than having a set style I stick with. Describe the people/places/idols/situations that have shaped your creativity: Being a part of the Little Beehive Co-op surrounded by all the different creatives started my journey of pursuing a creative career. Then the tutors, technicians and students I have spent the last four years with have shaped the creative I have become and my focus for entering the workforce. I am also inspired by contempoIssue #6 | February 1st 2019
Name: Nicole Russell Creative: Painter Website: www.nicolerussellart.com Tell us a little bit about yourself... I was born in Stuttgart, Germany. My parents were business people and so were my grandparents. Hence, when I had to choose a profession I started off as a bank clerk and later became a lawyer for stock exchange listings. In 2001 after the stock market crash and to my father’s shock I quit the law firm to sail around the world. Already back then I knew that I would not return to Germany, but what I didn’t plan was to meet my kiwi-husband-to-be and end up in Auckland in 2003. Our two girls were born in Auckland, we bought a house and founded a company. In 2009 our business made us relocate to Annapolis, MD, USA, and there, for the first time I had some time for art classes. How lucky was I to find a fantastic teacher and I got hooked on watercolours. In 2015 we set sail again, this time with the kids and a cat, and arrived in Nelson in 2016. Finally I had the possibility to become a full time artist, specializing in watercolour and oil paintings and starting with my own little watercolour classes and Painting for All Levels at Waimea College. What is your earliest creative memory? My earliest creative memory would be sitting at my grandmother’s kitchen table and painting my dream house on a piece of paper (square front, two windows and a door, a triangle roof). Explain the way in which you work: I prefer to paint from life, meaning I either set up a still life in the studio or I paint outside, plein air. My preferred way of painting with watercolours is actually in my little watercolour journal. Sometimes I paint a subject that fascinates me so much, that I can see a bigger painting in the studio developing. If this is the case, I take lots of photos, and do little thumbnail sketches of the subject until I find the composition that I like. Based on these sketches I start my watercolour painting in the studio. However, to make a watercolour painting exiting for me, I have to use different texture techniques like splattering, dry brush, texture medium, salt, wax resist, etc. The more I can use in a painting the more exiting it is for me and the happier I am during the process. With both media (watercolour and oil) I try to work with a limited palette of three primaries (red, yellow, blue) two earth colours and white. With these primaries I mix my oranges, greens and purples, which I find far nicer then what I can get out of the tubes. Describe the people/places/idols/situations that have shaped your creativity: I would probably start with Ross Whitlock who has been Issue #6 | February 1st 2019
my favorite plein air mentor. He taught me how to find a story in a painting and how to paint fast and small with a limited palette. Raoul Dufy’s paintings show me how you can have fun with colours: “The subject itself is of no account; what matters is the way it is presented.” Picasso is actually one of the artists I struggle with but he said something that I can so relate to: “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” What inspires you and keeps your creativity flowing? A big part of my creative process are the little doodles in my journal. They are always easy to do and I love taking time for them, since I find it very relaxing. It’s my so called “me”-time. They take only 10-20 minutes. One way or the other, they keep me in my creative loop, even if I’m too tired to paint. Having a painting buddy is also fantastic and being part of an art group is very inspiring. The art groups offer painting mornings and getting together with other artists makes art more of a social experience too. It can get quite lonely in your studio. What highlights and achievements have you had? My highlights were when I painted my first watercolour painting and I actually really liked it and so did my teacher. My next highlight was when I entered my watercolour paintings into an exhibition for the first time. And guess what, my next highlight was when I sold a painting for the first time. And what came next was an award, also a highlight. Last year was a highlight when I became a member of the gallery collective ART@203. Another, different highlight is, when I have a student that leaves the class with a smile on their face and I get positive feedback on how motivating my lesson was. Tips and advice for others finding their creative path: I believe that everybody who wants to be an artist already has a certain style set in themselves. Sometimes it’s a matter of identifying it and accepting it. My style with watercolours for example has always been very bold. However, I preferred the watercolours that are subtler and always tried to paint this way, but it never worked. Eventually I had to accept that this is who I am. Then, try to experiment with as many different things as possible. For example, use anything but the brush to create a painting, create texture, be inventive. This is not only fun, but it teaches you a lot about yourself as an artists. Mind you, sometimes it teaches you only what you don’t like. Paint as many pictures as possible. Try to finish a painting a day. It teaches you much more than working for months on the same painting. You are more likely to learn from your mistakes if you are painting a painting a day. You will hardly repeat that mistake the next day.
Name: Haven Macleod-East Creative: Children’s Book Author Website: N/A Tell us a little bit about yourself... I was born in Melbourne, however came to Nelson when I was about 2 (in late 1993). Other than a few years away in Christchurch I’ve been here ever since. I would say both parents are creative, my father with machines and my mother with poetry. I was creative at school, I still have a book I wrote when I was 6/7 (so 1998/1999) in fact so it’s always been there. What is your earliest creative memory? I can remember drawing bad pictures at Nelson South Kindergarten! The first proper creation I made was a painted pot at Tahunanui School (blue with red stripes). What is your background and what is it that you do? Well I have been working in food manufacturing to pay bills and fund my trips abroad plus share purchases. But in 2017 I followed my passion and wrote a book called Here Comes the Wonderkid of Cricket. The book was created as a way to get kids into cricket (I also identified a gap in the market, or what I believe to be a gap in the market). I really only know of one other writer who writes cricket picture books (her name is Rachel Wong, author of The Legend of Morvidus) so I think there is an untapped market there. The tools I use tend to be words and merging stories I’ve heard with real events... Hard to explain in a short paragraph.
What inspires you and keeps your creativity flowing? What inspires me is creating something new that has not been done. Inspiration comes from what has been done and any dream I have, blend them together and voila you have a story! I find the hard part is getting the book publicity though. What highlights and achievements have you had? Other than self publishing last year (2017) so far I have nothing of note. Hopefully that will change with some exposure. Do you have any big or exciting plans for the future? I have written book 2, just need to get the illustrations done at some point this or next year. Of course there’s not much point making a 2nd book if no one knows about the first book. Tips and advice for others finding their creative path: I would suggest creating something because you love the idea... Anything else should be secondary. Also a lot of time and money (both yours and others) will be necessary to achieve the goal. Illustrations by Polly Rabbits
Explain the way in which you work: The story itself is about a boy (Johnny Midwicket) who loves cricket but is too shy to express his love for the game. Through a few chance events his parents and then the rest of the neighbourhood start realising how passionate he is towards cricket. With their help Johnny begins practicing the game. The climax of the story is where Johnny and some of his friends (and teachers) play a game of cricket (that brings the community together). I try to use rhyme (but not necessarily perfect rhyme), I try to write what comes naturally without imitating others too much. Although I imagine there is a bias towards various author and teacher styles etc. that are there subconsciously. Describe the people/places/idols/situations that have shaped your creativity: It’s difficult to pinpoint any particular situation, perhaps a short lifetime of experiences have melded the story together. I suppose at one stage I wanted to play for the Black Caps so since that never happened I chose to write a book on cricket instead. Issue #6 | February 1st 2019
Name: Lisa McGregor Creative: Upholsterer Website: www.bohovelvet.co.nz
Do you have any big or exciting plans for the future? My upholstery classes are growing and I would like to teach more people how to upholster. Its incredibly addictive and fulfilling.
Tell us a little bit about yourself... I moved to Nelson 15 years ago from Windsor UK. My husband and I wanted a change in our lives so we found the perfect little place in Ruby Bay, Nelson. My Mother was a sail maker and also dabbled in upholstery while my father was a horticulturist and ecologist. I’ve always been creative from just a wee girl. Getting lost in colours, patterns and fabrics makes me happy and content.
Tips and advice for others finding their creative path: Finding a creative path is very exciting. You may have to try a few things before you stumble upon what makes your heart sing.
What is your earliest creative memory? My earliest memory of being creative was making a skirt. I was about 6 I think. I loved that skirt. Pink gingham ... oh and a head band to match! What is your background and what is it that you do? I’m an artist at heart, a lover of fabric and an up-cycler of all sorts of furniture. With roots in traditional upholstery and a passion for sharing knowledge when it comes to re-purposing furniture. I was trained in England, nearly twenty years ago. My first piece was a ‘massive arm chair’. I attended both night and day schools. I did diplomas and travelled to study. A master craftsman eventually recognized my natural talent and offered me a 10 year apprenticeship at Windsor Castle in England! Unfortunately I had already committed to coming to NZ at that stage. I also inspire and educate many people through my upholstery classes, often many attendees have returned time and again to discover even more skills. Explain the way in which you work: I am an emotional creator. I feel my way through a piece. That in itself can make my craft hard to teach, some of my students get it while others need more facts and structure. Describe the people/places/idols/situations that have shaped your creativity: Tricia Guild is always an inspiration to me with her colour texture and form. I will always refer back to her. I think of her as the Jamie Oliver of interiors, haha! What inspires you and keeps your creativity flowing? People, nature and my children inspire me. To keep my creative flow going I work on a few pieces at a time. They then develop over time into master pieces I’m lucky in that my work is not boring, everything that comes into my workshop is unique. Issue #6 | February 1st 2019
Name: John Sears Creative: Musician and Photographer Website: www.searsco.nz/johnsears Tell us a little bit about yourself... I was born in Blenheim, in 1982, and was adopted by my parents who lived in Havelock at the time. Soon after we moved to Spring Creek, where I spent the first half of my life. I had a very creative childhood, both parents were musicians who love art. My mum loved crafts and is also a natural painter and dad a creative scientist (and vicar) always tinkering with things. I moved to Nelson for a few years and went to Nelson School of Music, then had a long cold stint of living in Dunedin and pursuing my music career as a singer and guitarist in an unpronounceable metal band called Mirikachinist. In 2013 I moved back to Nelson with my wife Amanda and started playing in a few bands, including the church band and a local heavy metal band. Not long after moving up I also finally made the decision to start pursuing my long standing passion for photography. What is your earliest creative memory? When I was around 7, I would clear the lounge floor, pull all the curtains shut and leave only a small lamp on. I placed a tall wooden stool on its side in the middle of the room then put on my dad’s padded jacket and old motorbike helmet... The stage was set. I would put Space Oddity by David Bowie on the record player and climb inside my wooden spaceship. As the countdown commenced my mind would explode into life and my imagination would run wild and free. Time stood still. What is your background and what is it that you do? I am a musician and photographer. I started guitar in my mid teens, learning to sing and play mainly to Nirvana. I attended the Nelson School of Music in 2002 and had some amazing experiences, including a mini-tour down the West Coast and up to Golden Bay to get a real-world experience of being in a performing band. I spent a fair chunk of time in Dunedin where I played in a heavy metal band. My photography really come about later in life with fine art and landscape photography being what really captures my imagination... Inspired by the picturesque landscape of New Zealand. Explain the way in which you work: Musically for me the riffs come first. Any song that I have written started with a bunch of guitar riffs, and the lyrics are like the final coat of paint. I’ve always found it hard to express myself verbally. So my emotions are put into the music. I’ll soon recognise what I’m writing about and link a theme to the song. Once I’ve written down my ideas around the theme I describe them in detail, explaining the ideas in my head and from there it’s like putting a puzzle together where I think of grooves and Issue #6 | February 1st 2019
melodies and lyrical hooks. With my photography whenever I am out and about I usually take time to scan the land and embrace being in that scenery or geography and often see something that is worth capturing. I’ll see a composition that I can visualise as a photo and try to capture it exactly how I’m seeing it and how it’s making me feel. Describe the people/places/idols/situations that have shaped your creativity: My parents have shaped and nurtured my creativity, I saw the joy they got from music which instilled the same passion in me. I would watch a Cliff Richard video of mum’s on repeat and watch him run down on the stage and do an amazing acapela piece. The turning point for me though was when I saw Cunning Stunts from Metallica around 1998. I remember thinking this is the most energetic, exciting and fierce thing I’ve ever seen and got goosebumps. I pretty much just fell in love with that style of live performance that Metallica had and from then on I wanted to be doing what they did. Photography: Chris Mclennan, NZ landscape photographer and Tony Hewitt, fine art photographer. What inspires you and keeps your creativity flowing? I’m inspired by being able to create something with my music that I have a connection with, that other people could also have a connection with and possibly writing an amazing song that moves people in the way I’ve been moved by music. I also love that feeling of connecting with the world through music. I listen to as much music as possible. Travelling, exploring nature and seeing beautiful landscapes in New Zealand and capturing that beauty in a photo keeps me inspired constantly and my creativity flowing with photography. What highlights and achievements have you had? - Mirikachinist won the 2010 South Island NZ Battle of the Bands in Christchurch and we got an all expenses paid trip to Auckland for the final. - Touring with Mirikachinist with NZ heavy weight band 8 Foot Sativa and Brazilian metal band Eminence and releasing a professionally recorded EP with a bunch of merchandise and support from The Rock FM and getting some airtime through them. Do you have any big or exciting plans for the future? Recording my first single with Bryce Wastney for my new solo acoustic guitar project. Tips and advice for others finding their creative path: Don’t over-think it. Never pass up a good opportunity. Always have something handy to jot down ideas because they can come to you anywhere at any time and capturing those moments could produce your best work – as a creative you are having those moments all the time. 19
Name: Michelle Bellamy Creative: Painter Website: www.bellamygallery.co.nz Tell us a little bit about yourself... I grew up and was educated in Nelson, New Zealand, with my parents and two younger sisters and brother. I am a second generation New Zealander with Central/Northern European grandparents who were both artists. Spare time involved heated drawing competitions between family members, and expeditions into the outdoors. I am mainly self-taught, although both parents are artists, my mother an illustrator, and father a painter and sign-writer. I gained valuable knowledge and critiques of my paintings from them as my skills developed over the years. A painting would be finished and both parents would have to evaluate it before it could leave for the gallery. I started painting works early in high school, and sold them in local cafes. What is your earliest creative memory? The earliest records of me creating, were apparently at age 2, I drew a very life-like sheep. Not long after that I got into my mother’s oil paints and half completed a painting and painted a big green tree in the sky. My earliest memory is sneaking into the sign writing workshop while my Dad was in his studio and getting into all his tins of half dried up paint that he used in the early days of sign writing. What is your background and what is it that you do? I guess being brought up with Dad being a sign-writer, I have always been drawn to vibrant colour, composition placement and typography, although not all of this displays in my work. Explain the way in which you work: I have worked in all mediums but have a great love for the special qualities that acrylic paint offers. Acrylics suit my temperament and particular way of using illustrative detail combined with watercolour layers. I paint with acrylics on board, with the occasional work on linen. Pen, ink and pencil are always great fun to work with. Usually when I approach a painting, I prep the surface to perfection, then start sketching, blocking and putting down some nice thick vibrant colours with darks. From this stage on the layers get progressively thinner, more delicate and refined. Working with acrylics can be a challenge, as the colours very easily head down the muddy, dull track. So I like to bring the intensity back between every layer of detail using pure, fine washes. My working method is a semi-planned process, although I have absolutely no idea what the final piece will look like. I have a vague idea of colour relationships in the painting and a clear idea of composition, although this may be altered during the process. Issue #6 | February 1st 2019
Describe the people/places/idols/situations that have shaped your creativity: Other artists that inspire: Colin McCahon, Stanley Palmer, Graeme Sydney, Michael Smither, Max Gimblet, Martin Popwell What inspires you and keeps your creativity flowing? Things that inspire me to paint what I paint; a moment when you are throwing stones with the kids at Cable Bay, and the evening light caresses the hills. On a mountain with the golden hues illuminating in the tussock. Looking out into our bush-clad valley up the Brook, and a soft haze filers across the hills. Everyday moments captured in colour and light. Keeping creativity flowing can be a challenge, especially with the time-consuming nature of my work. For sanity’s sake I cannot be left to my own thoughts. I’d be completely distracted, so I resort to audiobooks. I have “read” endless hours of fiction, stories carrying me through the tedium of fine detail work. Funny enough, I have noticed that when I visit a painting later at a gallery the specific audiobook that I was listening to while I painted that part echoes through my mind. What highlights and achievements have you had? I completed two large commissions for Sir Robert Jones in Auckland and Wellington. I have had many exhibitions around New Zealand since 2005. I have not entered many art awards and have never won an art award but have always won the Peoples Choice awards. 2018 WINNER OF THE NBS PEOPLES CHOICE AWARD AT THE IMPRESSIONS NATIONAL ART AWARDS 2018 WINNER OF THE HOPE AND SONS PEOPLES CHOICE AWARD 2011 NEW ZEALAND PAINTING AND PRINTMAKING AWARD, FINALIST AND WINNER OF THE PEOPLES CHOICE AWARD Do you have any big or exciting plans for the future? I have just started working full-time again after having two daughters, so a bit of travel will be planned for the short-term, to explore new areas to paint. Tips and advice for others finding their creative path: Stick at it. Put many hours in. Be very stubborn. Be inspired by the world around you and learn from what others do. Persistence through failure is essential.
Name: Nicola Reif Creative: Pastel Artist Website: www.nicolareif.com Tell us a little bit about yourself... I grew up in the Tasman area then moved to Christchurch to University where I studied a Bachelor & Masters of Science, specifically in Geology/Paleontology. When I finished my degree in 1996 I moved to Western Australia to work as an undergound geologist in the mining industry. where my artistic eye was able to visualise things in 3D very easily. In 2006 when our boys were little I went part-time and completed certificates in printing and graphic art at Curtin University of Technology. I also attended night classes in acrylic painting. While I enjoyed the painting it wasn’t until our teacher brought in some pastels to try that I switched to soft pastels. I then discovered pastel pencils and haven’t picked up a paint brush since! When the boys were little we moved back to Nelson to be closer to family and I started to dabble in my art more. I was asked by a friend to do a portrait of her dog three years ago (2016) and have been doing wildlife & pet portraits ever since. I come from a very creative family in various forms, woodwork, sewing, craft, photography. What is your background and what is it that you do? My background is in science. I guess my love of animals has always ruled my life. The background in biology and morphology has been invaluable for anatomy & knowing how form affects function. I paint very detailed, realistic wildlife, bird & pet paintings using mainly pastel pencils with some soft pastel & pan pastel. Explain the way in which you work: I love the vibrancy & immediacy of pastel and the tactile nature of pencils & pastels. I’ve always loved sketching/ drawing. I start each painting with a detailed sketch of the subject. I then transfer a very basic outline to my pastemat paper. I use soft pastels and pan pastels for my base and background. Then I use pastel pencils to build up layer upon layer of colour & fur/feather detail. The layers are what create the beautiful depth & vibrancy to pastel paintings. I pay particular attention to the eyes and strive to capture the soul, the vulnerability, the power and emotion. I want the viewer to feel a connection to the animal, to feel the respect and love as I do. When I’m not painting I spend my time travelling around taking my own photos of animals and birds. After my pencils my camera is my next favourite thing. Describe the people/places/idols/situations that have shaped your creativity: I am inspired by many and varied wildlife & realist artists. From some of our own amazing New Zealand wildlife artists to “greats” of the international wildlife artist Issue #6 | February 1st 2019
scene. I am particularly inspired by Robert Bateman, Carl Brenders, Gary Hodges & Richard Symonds. Aside from being brilliant artists they all have a common thread of a commitment to wildlife conservation. One of my favourite quotes that I try to draw by is from the great Robert Bateman…..”I’m after the air in the hair, I’m not after every hair”….I’m not always successful but I continue to strive to be. What inspires you and keeps your creativity flowing? I am inspired by our beautiful nature every day. Sometimes it’s as simple as the play of light on fur, a feather colour, texture or a look in an eye and I find I have to draw that subject. I get ideas at any time of the day or night and have a sketch book full of ideas I hope to paint one day. When I find my creativity stalling I like to take my camera out and just get out in the “wild” go for a walk in the fresh air. It doesn’t have to be up in the mountains, it can be as simple as the mud flats or the beach or even the zoo or wildlife sanctuary. There is wildlife everywhere when you look. I love to use my art to help with wildlife conservation in whatever way I can. I feel it is my purpose & inspiration for doing what I do. My husband likes to call me a “wildlife warrior with a pencil”. What highlights and achievements have you had? My biggest highlights so far is to be accepted into the 33rd IAPS (international association of pastel societies) online exhibition. To be juried in out of over 2000 entries was a huge honour in itself. But then to find out I had won an honourable mention left me speechless. In the same week ( early october) I found out the same painting won second place in the Pastel journal 20th Annual Pastel 100 competition. It will feature with a short article in the April 2019 issue of the pastel journal. Do you have any big or exciting plans for the future? I have a few exciting projects coming up next year. I am donating a painting to the NZ Whale and Dolphin trust to auction off for their much needed research into out endangered Hector & Maui’s dolphins as well as Southern Right Whales. I also have a big project involving illustrations for a series of children’s books in the pipeline but I can’t talk about that yet. My first kids educational book on Northern Right Whales is soon to be published in Florida, America and will be distributed throughout the schools. Tips and advice for others finding their creative path: Do what you love not what anyone else or any trend dictates. Stay true to what you love to make and in whatever style is yours. One of my all time favourite quotes is from the great Dr Seuss…”Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you! 23
83 Creatives 2017-2019 Nelson & Tasman New Zealand
The 6th and final Issue of Creative Nelson showcases 10 talented Creatives from the Nelson/Tasman Region. Painters, jewellers, musicians, de...
Published on Jan 31, 2019
The 6th and final Issue of Creative Nelson showcases 10 talented Creatives from the Nelson/Tasman Region. Painters, jewellers, musicians, de...