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Welcome to the NZ Art Guild blog - here you will find the news updates, links to members art, information about art exhibitions and events, art challenge winners etc.

For full information about the NZ Art Guild, its services and to become a member go to NZ Art Guild

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Artists Collaborate to Raise Funds for KidsCan

Coordinated by the NZ Art Guild the collaborative project titled ‘Light of My Life’ will be unveiled on Tuesday July 26th. This one of a kind artwork is compiled from 56 individual artworks created by NZ artists who were provided with a small, wooden panel with a prepainted background colour. The theme of each of these artworks is “Our Future” and interpretation was left entirely up to the artists.

When all of these individual artworks are combined they create an overall image and a stunning one of a kind artwork measuring 1.3m x 1.15m. The overall image of the collaborative artwork is kept secret, even from those participating in it, until the unveiling night.

"We are really excited to be working with KidsCan on such an amazing project," says Sophia Elise, Executive Director of the NZ Art Guild. “We are truly appreciative of the support and generosity we have received from Guild members over the past 6 years with these fundraisers. KidsCan rely heavily on donations to do their amazing work and our members are thrilled to get behind such a worthwhile charity.”

Not only will “Light of My Life” be exhibited at this event, there will also be over 100 fantastic artworks exhibited including paintings, photography, jewellery, glass art and much more. ‘Our Future’ opens on 26 July at 5pm at the Mairangi Arts Centre, Mairangi Bay, Auckland, entry is free and everyone is welcome. Unveiling take place at 6pm.

“Light of My Life” will be exhibited from July 26th until August 6th. It will be auctioned on Trademe from July 27th with 100% of the proceeds donated to the KidsCan Charitable Trust. 100 limited edition prints of this artwork will also be available for purchase with a % of the proceeds being donated to KidsCan. To bid on this artwork login to Trademe and keyword search NZ Art Guild.

To see previous collaborative artworks go to
For further information about this event contact
Sophia Elise,
Executive Director,
NZ Art Guild
or phone 027 630 1810

For further information about KidsCan and to support their work in the community go to

Monday, 27 June 2011

NZ Art Guild June Featured Member ~ Leo Cappel

Let me introduce myself, Leo Cappèl.
I was born in Amsterdam, in 1933. I survived the war by hiding in a small village in Friesland. Afterwards, to recuperate, the Red Cross sent me to Switzerland, to live with foster parents. I am a graduate of the Rietveld Art Academy in Amsterdam, and studied art in Paris as well. Living in different countries and having to speak several languages had a profound effect on my personality and, I guess, on my art.

I can't help being an artist, but for me art means painting, and also sculpting, writing - novels, short stories, plays - and finally music. All are interwoven: when I am sculpting I tell a story. When I write a short story I paint a picture with words. When I build a musical instrument, I sculpt not only the object, but also the sound it has to produce. When I write the music for one of my musicals the lyrics are part of the plot, and the melody tells about the singer, about the person I have created. And in many of my paintings the rhythmical patterns of music can be recognized.

And that is where the NZ Art Guild comes in. Years ago I tried to join the Arts Council. 'You sculpt too, don't you?' they asked. 'Yes.' 'Then you better try the craft council. Sculpting is not ART, just craft.' Such ignorance! By now some of their administrators are beginning to catch up, but they still put the various arts into separate compartments. Little boxes. Not so the NZ Art Guild, no tunnel-vision there! When I wanted to exhibit two of my painting-sculpting combinations in Wellington, they went out of their way to help me and make it possible. In their newsletter they listed a play wrighting competition! (yes, that is the correct spelling, you don't write a play, you wright it) Thank you NZ Art Guild! I entered a 75 minute play. The results won't be known till November, keep your fingers crossed for me.

The cast of my musical 'PAPAGENINA'S FLUTE', produced by the Northland Youth Theatre. My three art forms: the costumes, the set and movements on the stage satisfied me as a visual artist, the way my black-and-white scribbles on paper turned into real people on the stage made the writer in me happy, and hearing for the first time the songs and the interlude music I had written, was very, very moving for me as musician.

I married a young lady, Karen, who was just as interested in music as I was. She had studied at the Amsterdam Conservatory, so music was one of the several things we had in common. We have now been happily married for 54 years.

Much of our music is centered around the instruments I have built, like this lyre. I considered my instruments as sculptural items

After we immigrated to New Zealand I made small dioramas at the Canterbury Museum and later the large dioramas in the Auckland War Memorial Museum. For 22 years!!!

What I consider as one of my major 'creations' was the yacht Claes Compaen, which I designed myself, and, with the help of our family, built in Auckland. To me she was a living sculpture. Our treasured home for 16 yrs

Our main sources of income during our sailing and live-aboard days were sculpting; building and selling early musical instruments; giving concerts and writing. In that order. Don't try and pigeon-hole me though, it won't work.
Most of my sculpting I could do 'down below' in our large main cabin, but bigger work had to be done on the aft deck. Much of my work was intended as a social comment.

When someone saw this sculpture at a solo exhibition one of the visitors whispered: 'How the hell did he know how I feel?' And a few moments later she sighed: 'At least somebody understands.'

I felt the need to get away from the surface, away from the solid looking bronzes I did earlier on. I tried ferro-cement and open mesh, and our large deck was ideal for that work. But I also developed combinations of mesh-sculpting and oil painting, 'paintures'. More satisfying.

Now we are landlubbers once again, quick a shock after 16 years aboard followed by 10 years on tiny Kawau Island. Still trying to balance my three art forms, the last few weeks I have been printing two more books (my memoirs - talked into it - and an anthology of poems which I translated into English), while a mesh sculpture and a large painture are waiting to be finished.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

‘Strangely Familiar’ Images Represent an Iconic New Zealand at Terrace Downs Resort.

New Zealand Art Guild Member Natasha Shackleton has been passionate about art and creativity her entire life, for as long as she can remember she has been excelling in artistic fields throughout life. Her art is well known and has gained popularity over the years particularly through online sales.

Her works symbolize iconic “kiwiana” images and offer a fresh perspective of the world around us. Natasha is very competent and successful in accomplishing any commission or painting that is required of her, this is due to her training and her ongoing employment in the design field.
Natasha is member of the NZ Art Guild and currently residing in the South Island, her formal training is in graphic design and her current career as a custom tattoo artist means that she can bring a unique and special flair to New Zealand Contemporary Art.
Her artistic diversity means that she can work with nearly any medium, from acrylic paint to photorealism style coloured pencil drawings, she is competent with any subject from landscapes to vehicles & cartoon to realism.

Natasha is recognized for her "Moonlight Bay" series, her distinctive kiwiana works, and her realistic portrait paintings. Her art is easily recognizable for her use of dynamic tones, vivid colour, great lighting and strong contrasts.

Natasha is an artist with that has her heart in the right place who lives and breathes art in her every day life. She is an easily approachable individual and this personality is very much portrayed in her artwork. It is for this exact reason that Natasha’s art is so popular and sort after by so many people.

Curator for the show, Rachael Inch comments “Natasha creates works that everyone can enjoy. After the first earthquake in September 2010, she exhibited with the NZ Art Guild at South City. Her works proved the most popular as all the customers mentioned that her art made them happy and feel good about what they had been through. One man had lost everything and biked to the exhibition with all his belongings (a backpack of clothes) he bought two of her works on the spot, first art work he had ever purchased!

Natasha produces works that are priced well so there is an opportunity for anyone to invest in them as she climbs the ladder of success and this is certainly a collection of works that shouldn’t be missed while they are in the district!”

The opening evening is on Thursday 7th July 2011 starting at 6:30pm seated for dinner at 7pm and will be a relaxed and fun filled evening with entertainment, good food and great company.
There special menu and a complimentary drink on arrival that is created specifically for the art evening. Terrace Downs have also created great discounted accommodation for the evening.
Bookings are essential.

Enquires can be made by emailing, texting or phone
021 1229317

Friday, 3 June 2011

NZ Art Guild Featured Member MAY 2011

Marimba Powley

Can you tell me about yourself and your art?
Marimba Powley is an artist who enjoys creating both paintings and sculptures. She grew up in a semi-rural town north of Auckland and now lives in Southland with her partner, three daughters, two dogs and Elijah the cat.
“I’ve been creating in one form or another for as long as I can remember. Art has always played a very central role in my life. Each series I work on is a journey, I just have no idea where it’s going until I get there. I often work with several concepts in various mediums side by side, one idea gliding into the next”
“The wire figures I am working on are helping me to explore body language. I’m not so fussed about working the finer details of the figures – hands, face etc. I don’t want the viewers to get caught up looking for answers in the work that come from the more obvious places. I am intent on exploring the emotions that are displayed through body movements. I have a tendency to become very familiar with each piece; they take on personalities and each has a definite character.”

What is it you love about art?
“Art for me is like the last piece of my own personal puzzle. I use my own work to explore the world around me. The creative processes allow me an opportunity to understand myself and the people around me.”
“When viewing artworks by other artists, I like to be challenged. The most interesting works for me are the ones that create conversations. I may not like what the artist is saying but if a piece makes me think or feel I appreciate it and the work is then successful in my eyes.”

What is one of the hardest things about being an artist?
“One of the most difficult aspects of being an artist is trying to explain what I do and why. If I was particularly skilled with the written word perhaps I would be a novelist rather than a visual artist.”

What is the easiest part of being an artist?
“The easiest part is most definitely the fact that I can follow my crazy plans as and when I get them. I can let loose that big kid inside and simply play with stuff. Some of my favourite work has come from an urge to just make something with whatever is in front of me at the time.”

What are your goals as an artist?
“My ultimate goal as an artist is to continue growing; to never become stagnant in my work. I would like to be able to look back in years to come and know that at some point I have created opportunities for discussion.”
“I have no particular aspirations as far as “recognition” for what I do. I do what I do for me and it’s just a bonus to be able to share that with people. If I can continue to do what I love day in and day out for the rest of my life, I’ll be a very happy lady! Who could ask for more from life than that?”

Can you tell us about your experience with being a member of the NZ Art Guild?
“I’ve been a member of the NZ Art Guild for nearly three years now. In that time I have been given the support and encouragement to grow artistically and at the same time, I’ve met amazing people from all around the country. I have been given many opportunities which have been very beneficial to my professional career.