Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Meeting of Cultures series

'Alofa' Sharpie on Cartridge paper - $25

'Meeting of Cultures 1' Sharpie on Cartridge paper - Gifted to my lovely friend Meri Marshall

'Meeting of Cultures 3' - Sharpie on Cartridge paper - $25

'Meeting of Cultures 2' - Sharpie on Cartridge paper - Donated to The Leach Family Trust Fundraiser

'Meeting of Cultures 4' - Sharpie on Cartridge paper - Gifted to the Mana Education Centre


I have been playing with coloured card and sharpies, and this is the result - Christmas pressies which can be framed as mini artworks or used as bookmarks.  I gave all of these to friends...

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Monday, 10 December 2012

ECE and Primary Teachers/Educators

Maori and Samoan Design Resource Kits
(Scroll down for Ideas for Using Kits)

Maori Design Resource Kit, Samoan Design Resource Kit
- suitable for Year 0-1 Primary/Pre-School/Kindergarten/Home Educators/Aoga Amata/Kohanga Reo.

Maori Design Resource Kit, Samoan Design Resource Kit
- suitable for Year 2-8 Primary/Intermediate.

Maori and Samoan Design Resource Kits: Ideas for Use

Pre-Literacy Skills/Colouring -in:
Exercising fine-motor skills for holding a pencil; manipulating writing materials; following and drawing within lines; building the foundations for eye-tracking, hand-eye co-ordination which are essentials for reading.

Visual Art:
Exploring design elements in the Pacific, where they come from and how they have developed within the NZ setting; playing with colour, (complementary / hues / monochrome); creating the 'stained-glass-window' look (using Maori and Samoan design); learning how to discern, participate in, and celebrate their own and others’ visual worlds; learning begins with children’s curiosity and delight in their senses and stories and extends to communication of complex ideas and concepts.

Social Sciences: Identity, Culture and Organisation:
Looking at different cultures and how they communicate visually; learning about society and communities and how they function; learning about the diverse cultures and identities of people within those communities through their designs, artwork and crafts.
Learning Languages : Cultural Knowledge Strand:
Learning about culture and the interrelationship between culture and language;  comparing and contrasting different beliefs and cultural practices.

Mathematics : Number and Algebra/Geometry and Measurement:
Algebra: generalising and representing the patterns and relationships found in numbers, shapes, and measures; Geometry: recognising and using the properties and symmetries of shapes and describing position and movement.


Treaty of Waitangi :  Acknowledging the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the bicultural foundations of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Cultural Diversity : Reflecting New Zealand’s cultural diversity and valuing the histories and traditions of all its people.

Inclusion : Ensuring that students’ identities, languages and talents are recognised and affirmed and that their learning needs are addressed.

Useful Links:

Thursday, 6 December 2012

'Meeting of Cultures Series'

'Alofa' (love) - A one off original 'sharpie' drawing on cartridge paper
Sent to my 50th 'Liker'  on my LittleTaniwhaArt FB Page - 
Nise Brown
'Meeting of Cultures 1' - A Christmas gift for a beautiful friend Merry Christmas Meri :))
A one off original 'sharpie' drawing on cartridge paper

'Meeting of Cultures 2' - 
Donated to The Leach Family to help raise funds for one of their own to have an operation.
A one off original 'sharpie' drawing on cartridge paper

'Meeting of Cultures 3' - A one off original 'sharpie' drawing on cartridge paper

'Meeting of Cultures 4' - A one off original 'sharpie' drawing on cartridge paper - a gift for some wonderful friends :)))

Friday, 23 November 2012

About me - a short novel LOL!

I have drawn pictures and painted ever since I can remember (I’m sure I drove my Mum crazy with thousands of ‘artworks’ brought home from pre-school and primary school).  I was fortunate enough to have Robyn Kahukiwa as my art teacher for most of my years at Mana College in Porirua, during that time she was working on her “Wahine Toa’ book/exhibition.  Robyn continues to be a great motivation and inspiration to me as an artist. 

Speaking of which, it took a long time before I was comfortable with calling myself an ‘artist’, I felt like a fraud, I was surely just a ‘dabbler’ in art?  Apart from spending a short period of time in the mid-80’s in Auckland, creating bone-carvings and teaching bone-carving at a local Community House in Devonport, I did not indulge in anything as esoteric as art…for some time after that I was far too busy child-rearing with two small children, (Waiata and Honore),  and care-giving other children through Barnardos. 
After moving back down to Porirua in the late 80’s, I was lucky enough to be accepted on a Taha Maori course being offered on Takapuwahia Marae.  I spent nine months (it was supposed to be a three month course) learning nga taonga - te reo Maori me ona tikanga.  
Takapuwahia Marae Aunties with gift - "Te Ahi Kaa"
 I got my ‘painting on’ again at the end of the course and gifted the ‘Aunties’ (tutors) at the Marae a painting.
In the early 90’s I did a large mural for Titahi Bay North School (my two children were attending the bi-lingual unit and I was teacher-aiding there). 
Titahi bay North School Mural - "Poutama Matauranga"
I was doing some small paintings mostly as gifts for friends and family.   In 1993, I was blessed with child number three, (Te Aihe) and within twelve months I began an adventure into retail with my lovely friend Meri, we opened a small ‘new-age’ shop in Titahi Bay called ‘Aihe Crystals and Crafts’. 
Native American Smudgestick Cleansing Ceremony (with a twist)
I starting playing with aqua pencils on watercolour paper during this time and created a few ‘mandala’  (circular spiritual patterns/drawings) and some paintings for friends and customers; I met some amazing people, learned a lot about running a shop and I also learned the lesson that a business can’t run on love alone. 
The next few years were busy with child-rearing, teacher-aiding and surviving as a solo parent – no painting… I still didn’t see myself as an artist at this stage.  In 1999 I was accepted into the Wellington College of Education and began my three year academic journey to become a Primary teacher.  Visual Art block courses and a trip to the Cook Islands for a Multi-Cultural Studies Course.  I was in my element and produced quite a bit of work, some of which was exhibited there along-side other students’ work.  
"Nga Hau e Wha" - Pencil on cartridge paper
I think this was when I started to admit to myself that I am an artist, but just quietly.  I began exploring pacific design/symbolism during this time in response to my Samoan partner Andrew and his family becoming a part of my life.
Teaching has been a great experience that has enabled me to use my creativity to set up my classroom learning environments, teach art to my students (year 1 – 6) and contribute artistically to various aspects of school life such as school production set design.  I have taught mainly in low-decile, multi-cultural schools that have a high Polynesian and Maori population.  I absolutely loved my students; I truly appreciated the different cultures to which my students belonged and I soaked up as much of their cultures and respective art/symbolism as I could.   I didn’t really have time to engage in personal artistic pursuits until mid-2007 when I painted for a fundraiser for Porirua School (where I was working), I organised and set up a Silent Auction and donated a painting for it.  
A very Pregnant me with Silent Auction Painting
Over the next few years, I continued to dabble in art doing the occasional painting on commission or for friends and family, but my focus was well and truly grounded in child-rearing.  I had two more beautiful children, (Rohan and Bronte), with Andrew; and my daughter Waiata gave me three precious part Cook Island mokos (grandchildren), who I have been caring for through Porse.  I was getting to the stage where I felt was going to burst if I didn’t find an outlet for the frustrated artist in me!!   In late 2009, a teaching colleague (and long-time friend) asked me to come for a term and teach art to a small group of talented students; that got my creative juices flowing!  I had a lovely group of students once a week for a term, which I took step-by-step through the painting processes using NZ artists such as Robyn Kahukiwa (who else?) and Don Binney as motivation. 
Earlier this year, as a part of a group of local women called Charlie’s Angels who have been fundraising in support of a lovely young woman who had cancer (and who has since, sadly, passed away), I created a painting to auction off on TradeMe using a circular offcut of plywood and my 'kanohi taniwha' or ‘taniwha-face’ motif in acrylic, (“Kia Kaha Wahine”: white on white with pink accents).  This painting proved to be the catalyst for the next stage in my artistic journey…
By the time both of my youngest children and two of my mokos were at school, I had made the decision that I was going to work towards bringing in an income that was time-flexible, capitalised on my talents/abilities and above all –I was not going to settle for less than working at something I enjoy/love!   A good friend of mine (and her very patient husband) offered me space in their rumpus room to use as a studio and the key to their house so I could have daytime access, an offer that I very gratefully accepted.  I began collecting old photo-frames, used/unwanted canvasses and off-cuts of plywood to use for my paintings. 
During this time I went to a WorksWonders  ‘KickStart’ Seminar run by two wonderful ladies  – which is “designed for those who want to start or change careers, set some personal goals, get back into work after children or redundancy, or want to set up (or expand) their own business”. (http://workswondersnz.blogspot.co.nz)  …and KickStart me it did!!  I began to ‘network’ (read as ‘do coffee’) with some excellent, caring and knowledgeable women, (thanks Biddy, Jane and the P.B.Angels, Angela B., Kate J., Margaret T., Tori, Teressa and Angela R.), and with their input, ideas and support I began planning for my grand new adventure… 
And so the journey begins… along with doing a bit of ‘relief/supply’ teaching to keep my hand in: I have developed an art extension programme to take into schools to work with small groups of talented, artistic students; I have been painting in my wee ‘studio’ and creating enough paintings to put together an exhibition; I have set up a blog (a triumph for this I.T.-challenged arty type) through which to sell my paintings and visual art teaching resources; and I am in the process of developing resource kits for primary (Years 1-8) and ECE (kindergarten - new entrants) based on Maori and Pacific designs. 
I think that if you can dream it - you can do it!! If you create art – you ARE an ARTIST!!

Monday, 19 November 2012

Maori and Samoan Design Teaching Resources

I am not far off getting my Maori and Samoan Design Resource Kits published!! Cheeehoooo!!
I am in the process of getting the designs and words (in Maori and Samoan) checked and ok'd then we should hopefully get into production...
I have also developed an Early Childhood version of the Maori Design Resource Kit, a more simplified version for the littlies :))))
All of these kits may be used as a resource for Maths ( shapes, symmetry, rotation, reflection etc), Social Sciences (learning about diverse cultures and identities), Learning Languages (cultural knowledge), Visual Art (colours, line, Maori/Samoan design elements), English (looking at symbolism, visual language), Mental Health (relaxation,colouring activity) and acknowledging the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi through reflecting the cultural diversity of people in Aotearoa - New Zealand.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

My business card....

My Business Card

Very exciting, I got my first lot of business cards today.... and....
 I've nearly finished my Maori Design Resource Kit....rock n roll!!!!! 

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Teaching Resources - sneak preview

I'm working on the idea of providing visual art teaching resources online and through MEC. So far I'm working on a senior (year 5-8) design resource using Maori design elements and there will also, at some stage, be a Pacific design version.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Cheers Dahlings!!

LittleTaniwha Paintings are now for sale!  As I produce new paintings I will post them with their dimensions and price.  I am also available for commission pieces.  

Contact me on:  littletaniwha@gmail.com

Cheers Dahlings!
 Thanks to my beautiful daughter Waiata and my lovely, supportive friends Biddy & Al, Tori, Teressa, Angela R, Margaret, Maz, Kate and Charlie's Angels - Jenina, Lucy, Louise, Rach, Carla and Jane & Angela B from WorksWonders, and of course my b.f.f. and sister, Dee. It's amazing what a few months can do ~ I am an artist!!

Paintings For Sale Now!

Kia Ora, Talofa Lava, Kia Orana and WELCOME!

Scroll down to check out my paintings that are for sale!

If you are interested in purchasing any of my paintings or would like to discuss a commissioned piece, please contact me on:



~ motivated by experiences of my blended, multi-culturally layered family.
Acrylic on hardboard in a recycled photo frame.
White on white with a touch of aqua, using Maori and Samoan symbolism.

305mm x 360mm (framed), 200mm x 255mm (unframed).

(Guardian Figure / four-petalled flower motif  from Siapo designs).

 ~ motivated by experiences of my blended, multi-culturally layered family and inspired by parenting cross-culturally with my partner.
Acrylic paint on recycled plywood.
White on white with a touch of lavender, using Maori and Samoan symbolism.

410mm diameter.


Detail of middle panel - Frigate Birds
Some idea of the size of it

~ motivated by experiences of my blended, multi-culturally layered family.

Acrylic paint on box-frame canvas.  White on white and black on black, using Maori and Samoan symbolism. 

1300mm x 970mm.


~ motivated by experiences of my blended, multi-culturally layered family and exploring the commonalities between cultures. 

Acrylic paint on box-frame canvas.  Black on black, using Maori and Samoan symbolism.

380mm x 760mm.

Please contact me on:  littletaniwha@gmail.com  

Monday, 17 September 2012

Doing What Comes Naturally....

Frustrated artist, disillusioned Primary teacher, home-educator, full-on busy Mum/Mama…
Hmmmm…finding ME-time…PRICELESS!

I have: one lovely man; my two youngest children with me and both at Primary; two older sons popping in every now and then; my daughter (who lives next door and is doing her 4th year of study); her three girls who I have been looking after through PORSE; plus two opportunist dogs and two always-hungry cats…which has for the longest time translated into…not much time for me!

With the two youngest now both at Primary I had to start thinking about how I was going to bring in an income that was time-flexible, capitalised on my talents/abilities and above all – I have decided that I am not going to settle for less than working at something I enjoy/love!
"Mana Island" painting
Soooo….?  That being said, I’d love to be a full-time artist and with the help of a lovely friend who offered me a corner of her rumpus room to use as a studio, I am working towards an exhibition of my paintings (maybe on-line) – exciting! This means that I have to be confident in my talent, and trust that people will actually want to buy my paintings…aaargh!  But it won’t bring in the money until I’m ‘famous-er’, (watch this space), so…
My Studio (thanks Biddy)
I have had an idea percolating away in the back of my mind for a while, to combine teaching and art as extension for talented/artistic year 5-8 students, and I had trialled it briefly at a local primary school for two terms in 2009/10.  It was very successful, and even better, fulfilling and enjoyable!  I sat on this idea for a while until attending a ‘Kickstart Workshop’ earlier this year by the lovely ladies of WorksWonders fame (workswondersnz.blogspot.co.nz), which got my creative juices flowing (translate as: gave me a boot up the backside) and I started to network...
"Graduation Painting" Element
I ‘did’ coffee, um, I mean I had networking meetings, with some lovely, knowledgeable, supportive women (thanks Angela, Maz, Kate and Margaret) and developed an ‘Art Extension Programme’ and resource kit over a two month period and I have now got up the courage to contact local Principals (the scary bit) to present my idea and hopefully book a couple of schools for next term/next year.  I'm just waiting now to hear back....

I am now working on developing my ideas further with setting up my own blog, developing teacher/student resources and selling my artwork.  Now, that’s exciting! 
Now to get over myself, get out of my own way and get on with it!  Talk about feel the fear and do it anyway!!