Artists Biographies

Peter Augustin

Peter Augustin is a Whitianga based artist originally from Slovenia. After living and working as an artist in Switzerland for 35 years he relocated to New Zealand where his modern expressionism style quickly gained him a loyal following. Peter's work has been exhibited many times in Switzerland and he has featured in numerous exhibitions  in other European countries. “My work reflects the passion and excitement of being an artist. It is symbolic, laden with colour and emotion. It is part of a larger context of culture and life rhythms, of present and futures and lands travelled in”. -Peter Augustin

Tut Blumental

Prior to being a full-time artist Tut worked as a graphic designer for 20 years, now, Tut is living her dream of being a full-time artist by putting her talent and experience in the design world to use. Colour remains an interest to Tut as it is something that can trigger emotive responses along with an ability to represent a time of day.

Tut’s consideration and attention to harmony is present in every aspect of her work, from size of canvas to how she chooses colour and applies it. Another aspect of what makes Tut’s paintings so captivating is how she uses colours to radiate off and blend into each other, creating a magical atmospheric painting.

Escha van den Bogerd

Escha was born in The Hague and attended the Rudolf Steiner school learning painting drawing and art history. After finishing school she studied art in Florence, Salzburg and Holland. Escha has developed a style that combines figurative and abstract images working together and reinforcing each other. Her work has delicate compositions and colour palettes of many of the Italian Romance artists and her use of wash like techniques adds drama and vibrancy to her paintings.

Escha lives in Wellington New Zealand  where she is represented by The Kiwi Art House Gallery and sells her work in Europe and the USA, where she is represented by the country's largest gallery chain. She has exhibited many times in solo and group shows in her native Holland and New Zealand plus exhibitions in Geneva, Stockholm, Venice, Vienna, New York, New Jersey, Moko City Japan and Listowel Ireland.

Vincent Duncan

Wellington artist Vincent Duncan has been painting his exuberant heavily textured oils full time since 1993. He has become without doubt one of Wellington's most successful artists. His work is in many  homes, in Wellington hospital brightening up the wards and bought by numerous national and international visitors to the capital. His secret ingredients;  joy and fun! Vincent says "My passion for art began when I was very young, it has always been a priority for me to express myself though my painting. I am a self-taught artist. By creating my own vision of what I see and experience in my city, I try to make my viewer feel good and happy. I love texture and colour. I like people to touch my paintings and feel the textured oil. I describe myself as ‘cheeky and intuitive’, painting what I see and feel. An artist has to see the world differently These things make my paintings humorous, symbolic and uniquely my own.  

Sam Earp

Sam is a romantic realism artist with a passion to learn his craft through personal experimentation. Sam's work is notable for the power and feeling of his wild seas, the subject of his most intense and evocative paintings.

"I was born on the island of Guernsey in 1979 but grew up in the South West of England where I did a lot of drawing and painting from an early age, I always loved landscape art even as a child. I moved to the beautiful country of New Zealand in 2009 and have been here ever since.I have a passion for painting landscapes, especially water and the sea, which I enjoy painting most of all. I also love to paint outdoors on location (en plein air). I love recreating the colours, light and atmosphere of nature on canvas. Painting gives me an enormous sense of well-being and connectedness.I especially love the dramatic landscapes and beautiful colours that are so unique to the New Zealand wilderness and I channel this into my mountain paintings.”

Joy de Geus

Joy originally trained as a graphic designer. She developed her drawing and watercolour painting during five years living on the Chatham Islands, painting the landscape and portraits of the islanders. Moving to Europe where she lived for fifteen years, Joy studied art at graduate and post graduate level in universities in France, Holland and Italy. Returning to New Zealand she began teaching art part time and became involved with Wellington art, participating in various exhibitions and events. Appreciation of her clean and often highly detailed watercolours steadily grew and in 2008 she won first prize at Watercolour New Zealand's national exhibition. She then spent 18 months in Holland, where her parents had emigrated from, painting on commission. Now settled in Wellington, Joy paints scenes of the city in her own signature style, making full use of those typical New Zealand blues and greens that define the landscape.

Claudia Grutke

Claudia Grutke was born in Germany, where she lived, worked and studied until 1996 when she immigrated to New Zealand. An interest in art started early. Drawing and painting was enjoyed as a pleasurable hobby for many years. While working professionally in primary healthcare, some private lessons were taken to explore drawing, painting and abstract art. Apart from these lessons she is mainly self-taught. Claudia decided to turn her passion for art into a profession while living through the sequence of earthquakes in Christchurch in 2010 and 2011. After moving to the North Island of New Zealand in 2013, she now lives in Raglan and works from her studio at home. Very often she finds herself exploring the transition of land, sea and sky while using a variety of textures. As a result, abstract landscapes or seascapes emerge, the Paciïfc ocean at her doorstep offers great inspiration for these paintings. Her art is part of private collections in USA, Europe and New Zealand. Winner of the “Artist of the Year” competition 2014 by Chroma. Was invited to participate in “Little Treasures” International group exhibitions at Galleria De Marchi, Bologna in December 2015 and December 2016, “Women Essence Project” International group exhibition at Hernandez Gallery, Milan, April 2016 and International group exhibition organised by Trevisan International Art at the Ateneo de Madrid, October 2016.

Lauryne Hart

Lauryne was born in South Africa and after moving to New Zealand settled in Auckland where she began exploring and experimenting with colour and ideas of observing everyday life. She paints bold striking strongly colourful large works that remind us of art deco mural paintings of life from 1930s America. Lauryne says  "My works are examples of the near infinite palate of human experience. I hope to show the rich vibrancy of shared culture that has been such an important part of my life. I portray the diversity, beauty, character, vitality and emotions of people in narrative portraits. I try to draw the viewer in with form, colour and expressions."

Gabriel Heimler and Anna Proc

Gabriel was born in Paris to Hungarian/German parents where he studied at the influential art school Ecole des Beaux-Arts. He moved to Berlin after his studies to pursue a career as an artist. He quickly gained a name for himself after being asked to contribute to the Berlin Wall mural project, where he painted the 'Wall Jumper' in 1989. This became an unofficial symbol for Berlin and the Berlin Wall murals are now incorporated as an historical park. His mural was the catalyst for a successful 20 year career with a major Berlin Gallery involving  numerous solo and group exhibitions, having work  sold at Sothebys auction in New York, being an instigator of post war revival of Jewish culture in Berlin, and creating an international European art project 'Art Express'.

In 2010 Gabriel moved with his partner Anna Proc to Wellington, where together they have begun a collaboration that has resulted in the 'Mover' mural on the QT Art Hotel, annual major solo exhibitions and being selected as part of the New Zealand entry into the Beijing biennale in 2019.   Anna Proc's artistic background  was in creative crafts and art administration, but since joining with Gabriel she now paints with him on the same works and contributes to the creative ideas.

Jane Hyder

Jane is a Wellington based visual artist who produces paintings and prints of still life,landscapes and figurative narratives in a colourful expressionist style. In 2010 she graduated from Massey University with a Graduate Diploma of Fine Arts, majoring in painting. Her artworks and published art books are held in the permanent public collections of Massey University,The National Library of New Zealand,The Hocken Library, Te Papa Library and Parliament House Wellington.

Jane exhibits nationally and internationally in solo and group exhibitions,in 1994 she held a solo exhibition Pacific Renaissance at New Zealand House, London, where her monoprint The Promised Land was purchased by The High Commissioner.

Zad Jabbour

Born in Beirut Lebanon, Zad Jabbour is the son of a well known Lebanese artist. He learnt to paint when very young as an apprentice to his father. Their work was to travel Lebanon repairing church frescos. As Zad grew up he learnt from copying old masters and also attended a French art academy. He became a professional artist at an early age and in his career has exhibited in Lebanon, (where he owned a gallery and ran an art school) Jordan, France the UAE and New Zealand. After leaving Lebanon he was appointed the resident artist at the Al Mushref palace in the UAE and painted the portraits of the King and members of the royal family, and the palace's murals. Zad has family ties with New Zealand and in recent years has lived with his family in Auckland. Since moving to New Zealand Zad has painted realism style oils of everyday life, concentrating on Wellington. His work has parallels with the American artist Edward Hopper.

Tatyana Kulida

Tatyana Kulida is a Russian born artist who trained in fine arts in the USA, where she lived and exhibited for 12 years, and in Florence Italy, where she studied at the Art Academy for three years before becaming an Academy tutor for three years. Since 2015 she has lived in Wellington where she runs her own art academy and studio in Cuba St. Two of her still life paintings were bought by USA museum collections, the Cameron Museum of Art and the New Britain Museum of American Art. She has been awarded several prizes including the de László Award for Classical Draughtsmanship from the Royal Society of British Artists, London, in 2015 and the 4th year Prize residency, the Florence Academy of Art 2013-2014. In New Zealand in 2018 she was commissioned to paint the portrait of former Prime Minister Bill English, for the National Party. In February 2022 the Beehive hosted an exhibition of her portraits of New Zealand climate scientists and others involved in climate and enviroment activism and research.

Bruce Luxford

Of his surrealist art Wellington artist Bruce Luxford says, 'I'm searching for pictorial stories that are based on the idea that the painted picture knows itself to be metaphorical, rhetorical, transformational, fictional.'  For his subjects Bruce looks into human values and the driving forces that underpin our actions. He also enjoys attempting to capture  the cyclic energising effects of nature in landscapes and the human imprint on them.

Since establishing his studio/gallery in Seatoun in 2003, Bruce has had several successful exhibitions including his solo 'Spontaneous' exhibition for the Kiwi Art House Gallery in 2015.  He also sells individual works through galleries and independently throughout NZ and overseas.

Tracy MacDonald 

Tracy MacDonald is Wellington artist who uses with bright vibrant colours to depict landscapes, sunsets and sunrises and often harakeke (flax). Her style incorporates graphite pencil outlines that bring a unique look to her paintings. Tracy is a member of the New Zealand Art Guild and The New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts.   

Bill MacCormick

Bill's paintings in watercolours and oils over 40 years have covered a wide range of motifs. Early landscape work was followed by the influence of more urban environments. Although the motifs are from contemporary New Zealand-people, the buildings around them and the landscape-stylistically there are influences from his exposure to French impressionist works and early watercolours. A feeling for open spaces and the marks of those who have gone before us come through in much of the work.

Rob McGregor

"I am a full time painter living in Mt Maunganui. Bold, bright canvases depict the New Zealand I love: its landscapes, people and their leisure-time pursuits. NZ coast, flora, beach and seascapes, sunbathers, nudes, café scenes, music and yachts provide content for my canvases. Many of my paintings reflect the summery, coastal, holiday atmosphere that imbues the area in which I live. However, annual overseas trips result in some paintings that reflect European or Asian themes. I also enjoy the challenge of creating abstract works that rely on colour, texture balance and mood. Reproductions of  my paintings have proved extremely popular: many thousands have been purchased by New Zealanders and visitors to the country, who have no doubt felt associations with the same things that interest me." 

Alfred Memelink

Alfred Memelink is an  artist who has become well known for his Wellington region seascape and street scene watercolour paintings. Alfred taught himself to paint on long sea voyages where he worked as a marine engineer. He now only works part time at sea, allowing him to follow his passion for painting more fully. His affinity for the sea shows in many of his paintings of the Wellington harbour and the vessels that call to visit. Alfred has a strong following in Wellington.

Graham Moeller

Graham started as a full time artist later in life after a career that included professional golf and retail. Now painting from his studio gallery in Taupo his  depictions of the New Zealand landscape evoke positive memories of  places we all know and love. Graham says 'If a picture paints a thousand words then I hope my landscapes reflect a little of me and New Zealand's wonderful scenery and often tranquil moods. Although I am a self taught artist studying graphic design taught me composition, attention to detail and the effects of light, all of which now influence my style. All my life I have been acutely aware of my surroundings and constantly see new and exciting views. I'm grateful for the wonderful gift of successfully transposing these observations onto canvas.'

Dianne Taylor

Wellington artist Dianne Taylor started painting watercolours seriously in her 50s, and in just a short time became a sought after and hugely admired master of what artists consider the most difficult of mediums. Recently she has been painting acrylics on canvas in a style similar to her watercolours. One of these was a commission in 2016 from the New Zealand Governor General of the view from Government House. In 2017 she was selected by Watercolour New Zealand as feature artist for Splash, the annual national exhibition. In 2019 she won the People's Choice for best painting at Splash and in 2020 won the second and third places. In 2020 she was one of four artists selected to represent New Zealand at the International Watercolour Society Moscow exhibition. Dianne writes 'My involvement in watercolour commenced comparatively late in life after a friend gifted me paint and brushes. I painted on and off for a few years, learning from library books, but it wasn't until 2001 that I began to take art seriously. In 2002 I joined the NZ Academy of Fine Arts and have successfully exhibited my works at the Queen's Wharf galleries in Wellington. I am also a member of  Watercolour New Zealand and regularly participate in their exhibitions. I am still learning  and  participated in two workshops; one by Malcolm Beattie and the other by a brilliant watercolourist, Joseph Zbukvic. I have dabbled in acrylics and find them less stressful than watercolour, whereas watercolour can test my patience and I have had a few frustrating moments where one mistake can see a painting relegated to the bin, then I look at the exciting, atmospheric, subtle and moody works by top watercolourists and this is what inspires me to carry on with this fascinating if somewhat exasperating medium.'

George Thompson

Waikanae artist George Thompson is renowned for his colourful and energetic paintings of New Zealand people and places. He is equally accomplished in watercolour, oils or acrylics, and has the rare ability to paint with skill using various techniques in all of these mediums.  He believes in using colour in innovative and bold ways and has developed a unique style of passionate impressionism that is apparent in all his mediums. Wellington City is a common subject and his large colourful city scenes create a feeling of movement and life.  He also loves painting in impressionist style oils and acrylics those places in New Zealand he feels a special affinity with, his series on the central plateau being a notable example. 

Ronda Thompson

Ronda specialises in textured oil paintings of the Wellington city shoreline, usually she will catch the early morning or early evening light in her paintings, and combined with attention to small details of the city, gives her art a unique feel.

“I paint in oils, mainly using a palette knife, so my artwork is quite textured. My genre at present is inspired by the beautiful Wellington waterfront and the many types of water craft found there.”

Diana Treeborn

" I love to paint but also to tease and challenge your imagination with my abstract swirly art. So many worlds are accessible through art and it always brings out the inner self of the person who looks at it. Everyone perceives situations and images differently even though we are in the same situation. I was born in Germany, lived in Spain and Costa Rica and am now a New Zealand resident"

Iwen Yong

From Wellington and now living in the Wairarapa, Iwen has been influenced by the art of Peter MacIntyre, Douglas Badcock and John Crump, who mentored Iwen as he learned the techniques of oil painting landscapes. Iwen made the leap from accountant to full time artist and  is a young emerging artist painting in a loose  impressionist style.

Graham Young

Born in England, Graham has lived in New Zealand since 1982. Originally trained as a photolithographer, he had a long career in the design and print industry, which also included running his own design and prepress studio. Graham returned to concentrate on his first love of oil painting in the early 2000s.

Using vibrant colour and detail he has built a reputation for creating realistic paintings that capture the familiar, yet often overlooked scenes found throughout New Zealand. His work represents snapshots of the laid back Kiwi lifestyle from coastal beach to suburban and rural scenes. He also focuses on signposts of the past with the old vehicles and caravans that have given pleasurable memories to our lives as they get swept away by the rate of modern progress. The human imprint on the landscape is a vital part of his work.

He has exhibited widely in New Zealand with his paintings gaining recognition, making their way into collections both here and overseas, including Australia, USA and the UK, with his adopted home remaining his primary inspiration. Graham's books 'Lazy Days' and 'A Painted Journey' capture his love of New Zealand in full colour.