Kia ora! Welcome to my website.
A little about me – I’ve lived in New Zealand for nearly two years, and on the Kapiti Coast for about 18 months. I’ve got a Kiwi hubby who left Wellington for Sydney about 25 years ago – swearing he’d never return. Then we met in 2004 and started coming back here every year or travel and spend time with his family. We realised we loved it and decided to move here. It’s one of the best decisions we’ve ever made!
We live in Otaihanga and my art studio is right here on our half-acre property. Kapiti blows me away every day with how beautiful it is. In my first year here I learned that all Kiwis have a mihi, in order to introduce themselves and their family heritage. I knew that I wanted my mihi to talk to this immediate love that I had of this landscape, so I asked for some expert help to write it.
You can read my mihi here – I think it captures how much I love this place and how connected I feel to it. Of course, I miss my Aussie family a lot, and hopefully it won’t be too long before those borders open up again!
About my creative practice
My creative practice mostly involves two things – writing and painting. I find that both work together quite well – I write when I’ve got painter’s block and I paint when I can’t figure out what to write next! And often I find the missing pieces of my novels in my paintings. It’s a curious, mysterious process that I love.
I love to paint because it’s so relaxing. I work full time as well, so I never have as much studio time as I’d like, but painting is a very nourishing, relaxing process. It’s like yoga, it gives your mind a break from thinking. You stop working from a mental space and let your intuition take over.
I am an abstract painter. I’ve never been very good at painting from visual references. I have spent quite a few years trying to loosen up and let whatever wants to come, come. I rarely have any idea of how a painting will turn out. I just turn up, pick up a brush, choose one or two colours and then just start. I usually then keep the same colour palette and move from one painting to another. That’s why I usually have about thirty paintings on the go at any one time!
Nature and the ocean are two of my biggest creative inspirations. I love flowers of all kind. It’s impossible to go for a fast-paced walk with me as I usually have to stop every few minutes to admire and take photos of different kinds of plants and flowers on my phone. They usually become my source inspiration. And the ocean just makes me feel good. It’s of the reasons I love the coast so much. As soon as I come over Pukerua Bay and see that first glimpse of the ocean, I just exhale. I’m home. I’m happy.
Courses and Workshops
I’ve been leading creative teams in my day job for a long time. One of the biggest thrills of my work is to nurture other creatives and support them as they grow, develop and fully realise their talents and abilities. More recently, since moving to New Zealand, I’ve been running courses for adult learners at Wellington Community college. Adult learners are amazing, I meet people from all walks of life who are diverse, interesting and all unique. Adult learners come to courses and workshops really committed to being there, and I love to fuel their interest and curiosity by showing them new things. I’ve often thought that as adults, we can often forget how fun and playful learning new things can be. It’s awesome and I love delivering all of my courses.
New in 2021 – Studio-based experiences and programmes
For the very first time in 2021, I’m running creativity courses out of my studio. I’m delighted to be able to invite people to come and enjoy my painting space and to experience the beauty of Otaihanga. Our property has so many different nooks and crannies to sit and sketch, think, write, draw, doodle and play – and then there’s the studio itself! These courses are for everyone – no experience required! I hope to see you there sometime this year – we’re going to have a great time.