Sunday, January 12, 2014

Summer Bears

As you might be aware, I often infuse my work with some underlying concept, based upon a love and concern for the environment and the beasties that dwell on our planet. My recently released 'Summer Bears' series was no different. Habitat loss and increasing temperatures threaten many species around the planet.
Black Bear 2013

The series was partially inspired by my cat, who has hyperthyroidism. The first summer, just before she was diagnosed and put on thyroid medication, I noticed that she wasn't coping with the heat particularly well. Placing ice-blocks in her drinking water seemed to alleviate her discomfort.
Panda Bear  2013
From that spark of an idea, I started thinking about what could be done to help other animals, who were used to cooler climates, to cool down. It was here that Summer Bears came about. These particular bears are not in the wild, as you can see by the cushions they are sitting on.
Sun Bear  2013
Each have been given a frozen treat to help them to cool down, away from their natural environments and in climates that they wouldn't naturally be found in.

Photo essay from the NZ Herald
My mum and a friend of mine drew my attention to this cute photo essay in the New Zealand Herald. Rio Zoo has been coming up with similar solutions to help the animals cope with temperatures of up to 48 degrees. Again an example of how similar we are to our animal cousins.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Happy New Year!

This gorgeous image is by Griottes

I hope you and yours have all had a wonderful Festive Season. My little family and I have had a lovely time which involved far too much food and wine and lots of rambling conversations and catching up with other family members. As you might have guessed, one of my (many) New Years resolutions is to get back into blogging again. As well as being a useful means to convey some of the concepts that surround a new series of illustrations, I find that it can help me to clarify some of my own thinking process and ideas. Hopefully you as a reader, find some of my posts interesting too. If not I apologise :)

sorry, original source for this image is unknown 

It seems that many of us exhaled a collective sigh of relief as 2013 ticked over into 2014. I had seen a few images like the one above, asking for 2014 'to be good'. It wasn't until a friend on facebook made the connection that so many people commented that 2013 had been a terrible year for them; I know that has been the case for quite a few of my friends. Is it to do with our subconscious being superstitious at the number of the year? Have many people found it tough floundering through yet another year of recession? Or did many people have events that were sad and significant occur? Hopefully you yourself had a good year in  2013.

Woodhill Forest

One of my missions this year, is to make the time to get out in nature more. When life gets too busy, it can be so easy to bury yourself in work, forgetting about doing the things that you love and that inspire you. Getting out at Woodhill on my mountain bike was a fabulous way to start the year. Sadly it has been so long, that my family members whose butts I normally kick, kicked mine. I am determined that that shall never happen again!

Coastline at Mount Manuganui
Another thing which I aspire to do this year, is being grateful for all of the positive things that happen in my life. Not only on a grand scale but also all of the little happenings that occur daily. Some people go as far as making gratitude jars, I aim to just make a mental note at the time of the event or a little quite summary at the end of the day. For me I aim to balance out the frustrations that occur in daily life by focusing more on the positive and to consciously count my blessings, which are many.

A sunset sky at Matakanaval
Hanging out with friends and getting to see some of my favourite bands live is also something that brings me great joy. Starting the year dancing to Fat Freddies Drop and Shapeshifter for me is now mandatory I think. What makes you happy? How to you like to start your year?
So far 2014, you have bought me fun, good people, laughter and a truckload of ideas to explore in my painting. It hasn't even been a week yet, but already I like you a lot!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Snow Beasts

image from Advocacy Britannica

There is something rather amazing about animals that have evolved to survive some of the most extreme conditions on the planet. The Arctic and other similar environments have influenced the evolution of such creatures as polar bears, arctic wolves and snow leopards. Like many folk who are aware of the increasing issues associated with global warming, how these stunning creatures will continue to survive in altered climates is a something that is of concern to me.

image fromThe Guardian

Sir David Attenborough is one of my biggest heroes and I have so loved watching the programme Frozen Planet that was screened earlier on in the year. Like many of his documentaries, it has been the source of inspiration for my latest series; 'Snow Beasts.'

'Polar Bear' 2013

This series was attempting to explore notions around how animals who are dependant on arctic conditions could potentially survived in an environment where the temperature has increases. Already places are having issues with wild animals hunting / foraging closer to inhabited areas, due to habitat loss. Animals who are domesticated face a greater chance of survival.

Peruvian Llamas

Peruvian llamas as pictured here are marked with coloured tassels on their ears to note their bloodlines and ownership. This inspired me to experiment with similar adornments on wild animals who live in cooler climes.

'Snow Leopared' and 'Arctic Wolf'  the initial idea

This was my initial idea, but while painting them, I started thinking that conceptually it was a great idea, actually having these amazing wild beasts with their ears pierced like cattle made me cringe. Also there was that 80's association . . .
I was not about to add war paint.

So in the end I edited out the ear tassels and I am very pleased with the results. It still alludes the ideas that I was exploring without being lost to 80's pop music references.

'Snow Leopard' 2013

'Arctic Wolf'' 2013

The limited edition giclee prints of these, both in A3 and A4 format will be available for purchase at the Auckland Art and Craft Fair. It is this Saturday the 29th of June at the Edge in the Aotea Centre.

If you can't get there, they will eventually be available too.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

celebrating and shaming . . .

We all love our pets regardless of the rotten deeds they might sometimes perform. One of my favourite places online for a giggle is Dog Shaming . . . here is one delightful miscreant below.

'Is it cold in here or is it just Zoey?'

Another site to make you snigger is My Cat is a Dick. Sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words.

I hate to think what this furry fiend was plotting.

Because my own feline at times lives up to her name, I decided to share her latest shining moments with you. 

Normally she is not this appallingly behaved, but just going through an adjustment period . . . I hope!

Now that you have seen a few examples, I am sure you can think of some misdeeds that your furry pal has done. Either that or you might have a hilarious photo that doesn't need a caption at all.

You mission  . . .

Is to email me a photo of your favourite beastie, either caught in the act or with a description of it's trick placed next to it.
It must be your own photo or one that is taken by family member or friend.
Entrants must be one of the fabulous folk who is a liker of the ellaquaint facebook pg.
Only one entry per pet.
I will then post the picture on my facebook pg over the next week and a bit of the school holidays. The photo with the most number of likes WINS.
The competition closes Sunday the 5th of May at 8.00pm. The winner will be announced at 8.30pm.

Up for grabs is two archivally sound giclee prints worth $70.00. They have been professionally printed on William Turner paper. The winner gets to select them from the ellaquaint range on Felt :)

email entries to

Thank you you darhlinks! x

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Spring Markets

So we are starting to build up to the Christmas season and already applications are being taken for markets all over the place. Here is a list of some of the markets we are confirmed to be attending . . .

  Do stay tuned for an updated list :)
This coming weekend Crafternoon Tea celebrates their 3rd Birthday. Come and join the celebrations!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

and the winners are . . .

It was such a tough decision, I had to get my flatmate and my mum to help me to decide on our winners. Thank you so much to everyone who entered, it was just wonderful reciving such fabulous pictures daily in my inbox.

please get someone to email me through your choice of A5 animal print :)

The Junior Section really was a knockout! So many talented young folk out there who are obviously inspired by animals too.

Some of my favourite are works were

'Birdies Outside Our House' by Ruby aged 4
'Oscar' by Josh aged 7 3/4

'Kea' by Tasmyn aged 7

Enough of my rambling, the winners are . . .


'Sparkle Tiger in the Feather Jungle' by Luca Gribble aged 3 3/4

'Cuttlefish' by Caleb aged 12

'Panda' by Toni Liberona

Two of our winners were in the same family, how awesome is that? Again thanks so much to everyone who entered. It was so much fun and I think I we will have to do it again sometime. Enjoy the rest of your school holidays :)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

To Celebrate . . .

the fact that there are now over 400 of you fabulous folk who take an interest in ellaquaint. It really helps to inspire and motivate me so thank you :) Also it is the school holidays! That is another wonderful reason to celebrate, though for some of you it might be a mixed blessing ;D

Please read the competition guidelines below . . .
There are 3 catagories . . . so 3 prizes up for grabs!
If it goes really well I might add another prize too :)

an ellaquaint giclee print

RRP $50.00 each
for the winner of each catagory

which are . . .

Junior 0 - 12
Teen 12 - 18
Adult 18 - infinity

Junior Artists

To draw or paint your favourite animal, it might be real or imaginary.

Please make sure you have provided your
A description of what the animal is
Which print you would like to win

Teen Artists

To draw or paint or enter a photograph that you have taken of your favourite endangered species.

Please make sure you have provided your
What the animal is
If it is a photograph, the date and place it was taken
Which print you would like to win


 Adult Artists

To draw or paint or enter a photograph that you have taken of your favourite endangered species.

Please make sure you have provided your
Age (only kidding)
If it is a photograph, the date and place it was taken
What the animal is
Which print you would like to win

To enter

Have a look at our ellaquaint Felt store to decide on what print you would like to win.
Please email your entries to and include all of the appropriate information.
I will then post the pictures to my facebook pg. Please tag or share the images so that I know they are connected with you :)
Also if you would like to be added to a mailing list please let me know, otherwise don't worry I won't add you to it.


You must be closely connected to a 'liker' to the ellaquaintnz facebook pg or a 'follower' to the ellaquaint blog.

One liker or follower = one entry per entrant
of course there can be more than one entrant per family :)
One liker and follower = two entries per entrant
of course there can be more than one entrant per family :)

The images must be done by the entrant and without assistance.

The competition closes Wednesday 10th October at 7 pm and winners will be announced on Thursday 11th October at 7pm on the ellaquaint facebook page.

By entering you allow ellaquaint the right to post the images and to post them on both the ellaquaint facebook page and the ellaquaint blog.

No bribes will be taken, no matter how yummy the baking or cute the puppy is.