Nick Kirby has always called Wellington home. He says he never had a realisation that he was drawn to art yet has loved it his entire life. What inspires Nick constantly changes, growing up he was influenced by monsters, dragons and cartoon animations however as he changes so does his influences and vice versa. Nick, like all true artists, has a need to make art. He says he likes “being able to turn what’s in my head into a thing that’s out in the real world”. His creative process relies heavily on his vivid imagination and his excitement to bring it alive. He also enjoys the freedom of art.
Featured artist and Pablo’s volunteer of the week Soren Lane grew up on Wellingtons south coast. From the age of 12 he decided he was going to get good at art and did this by absorbing as much art as possible. Focusing mostly on pencil and paper drawing at first then attending the Learning Connexion at the age of 15. When asked why he enjoys art he replies, “that’s like asking why do you enjoy breathing.” Art is such an integrated part of his life that he can’t imagine not having it, similar to wearing glasses. He enjoys trying new things and his favourite techniques are the ones he doesn’t fully understand yet…read more on our Roar FB.
Mel Upjohn is a Wellington born artist. Art has always been a passion of hers and her favourite subject at school. She was always good at drawing however wanted to learn how to paint abstractly. When she was in her early 30’s she decided to follow her passion and return to art school. She completed her Honours in Art at the Learning Connexion in Island Bay.
In her work, Mel uses images of strong women to create empowerment. She paints with acrylic and mixed media and uses moulding paste to create texture in her work. The first image featured here is called “Surrender” and is about letting go of things in the past that can hold you back.
Featured art tutor of the week Mica Still grew up in Oregon, USA but calls Wellington home. She had an amazing high school art teacher who encouraged her to attend art school and take art history classes. She loves art for different reasons, as an introvert she uses it as a way to have a voice and tell her story. She says creating gives her power, strength and solace. She also makes murals as street art and in buildings. She uses animals in her murals to act as guardians of the space that protect people that pass through. You can see her work @micastill or www.micastill.com Read more on our Pablos-Roar FB.
Featured artist of the week Sam Jenks comes from the land of Pōneke. His art practice started at the young age of 8 where he found he could draw quite well. He ended up designing the cover of his school production Noahs Ark and held his own role playing group called Section Rogue. His first paid art project was while he was studying at Design school at Massey and considers that his breakthrough in art. He enjoys making art for the creative state of mind and sensitivity that occurs, he also enjoys seeing what gets created at the end. He enjoys pencil and oil pastels. Sam is also a jazz musician and plays the trumpet and piano everyday. He is also writing a movie script about schizophrenia, jazz, drugs and celebrities called “Last of the Choir Boys”.
Grant Gurney grew up in the Hutt Valley and enjoyed the nature around there. He has been interested in art since the age of 5 but really got into it once he started coming to Pablo’s 10 years ago and loves being around creative energy. Grant has a vivid imagination and loves connecting to animals and nature through art. He calls himself an Expressionist and paints as a way to express how he perceives things. He specialises in acrylic painting yet also enjoys pastels and experimenting with different techniques. He gets inspiration from all the different artists at Pablo’s. He finds art us a way to express emotions and share ideas.
Johanna G-M is a Wellington-born artist. She started her interested in art when she was very young and is self-taught. She didn’t have good experiences with her art teachers and once leaving school had time to develop her artistic practice. At the moment her interest is using mixed media such as layering inks, pens and acrylic paint. When asked why she enjoys art she states, “It’s pretty much the only thing that makes sense to me. It’s therapeutic and a way to communicate with people without talking or socialising.” Her inspiration is drawn from her cat Gregory, a Tabby, and her curious interest in micro-biology….. Read more in Volume 2 of Pablos Post.
Zenny – Pablos art studio therapy dog and pet! Zenny loves to come to work and lay in the art gallery enjoying the sunshine. People come to see the gallery for the art but also love the sight of dog relaxing in the corner to pat which he enjoys himself. He is extremely loved by all the artists and brings joy to their everyday lives. He is often taken out for walks by the artists during their lunch breaks at the studio providing them with comfort
Mokena hails from Tarawhiti (Gisborne). He has always liked art especially after winning a drawing competition in primary school. However he learned the true value of art after being homeless in Melbourne at the age of 21. Following this he went to art school at Toi Houkura and used art as a therapy to help recover from his traumatic experiences. He says “art gives you a voice and allows you to express yourself freely, it helps facilitate difficult conversations as people are more inclined to pay attention”. One of his passions is helping others through his experiences and sees art as a spiritual practice. He uses acrylic painting to express his emotions and lived experiences.
Andrea Penrice calls Wellington home but grew up in South Taranaki which gave her exposure to Māori culture and art. She denied her own passion for art yet has always been creative through sewing. Since coming to Pablo’s she has allowed herself to engage with her “creativeness” through different opportunities to express herself. She has been attending for one year and has found she has come more into herself in the last few months. She has found a “better sense of self”, “strength” and “knowing of own limitations and boundaries”. The new art therapy groups have helped her reconnect with her feelings and connect with her own creative process.
CJ is from Wainui and began his interest in art at the young age of 4 when he started drawing. He enjoys art as he finds it a challenge and helps his focus. His favourite mediums are colouring in, painting, using stencils. He enjoys taking photos of the moon and sunsets and also uses Lego to create. He uses gel pens when colouring in but gets frustrated when they smudge. CJ gets inspiration from seeing other artists work and visits galleries frequently.
Suzy Hobbs, born and raised in Wellington, an animal rights activist and a vegan enthusiast, realised her passion for art when her mental health took a dive last year. She started to attend Pathways day service in Lower Hutt where one of the Pablos tutors, Frances, held a regular Friday art therapy workshop. She soon came to notice her ultimate love for colour and ever since has been inspired. Pablo’s has become a big part of Suzy’s life as she says that if she was to do art at home not much would get done, whereas Pablo’s is a place for her to get out of the house to a safe and supportive environment not only for her art but for her mental health… Read more in Volume 2 of Pablos Post.