Meet Our Tutors A-Z
We are always looking for new and exciting classes and workshops to offer our community. If you are interested in running a workshop or course please email us at email@example.com
Tanya Blong: Contemporary Painting Tutor
Tanya Blong is a painter and educator living in Muriwai, Tamaki Makaurau. She graduated Hungry Creek and Art school in 2006 with further studies at Browne School of Art.
She is an educator for Creative Matters and regularly holds adult art workshops.
Blong’s painterly and figurative work relates to society at leisure, the luxury of time and the act of being idle, often floating ideas of access, privilege and exclusion. Exhibiting regularly, her work is held in private collections in America, Australia, Europe and New Zealand.
With 10 years tutoring experience in New Zealand and Australia, Tanya brings practical and insightful experience, with an interest in development through contemporary practice, hands on learning and dialogue.
Mindy Catt: Making Space & The Art Garden Art Tutor
My name is Mindy Catt, an artist/teacher working and living in West Auckland. I have qualifications in fine art and education, a background in photography.
I have worked in the arts community for about 15 years. teaching process-based art-making and visual language to preschoolers, school kids, teenagers, adults and the elderly.
I love working side-by-side with people to support them in learning techniques to share their ideas, and to connect with art and each other.
I believe that when learners are in an environment where mistakes are encouraged, experiments are celebrated and ideas given time to develop, they are able to have a rich and transformative relationship with art.
Helen Dol: Knitting Tutor
I am a local resident of Kumeu for the past 8 years, I am a photographer and a helper of many. I ran my own custom knit business for a few years 6 years ago. Photography and knitting are my life passion as well as teaching and help people learn new things.
Amber Emm: Realism Painting Tutor
My style of teaching is hands on. Everyone comes with his or her own project and whether they are complete novice or experienced painters get help individually. I work my way around the students one by one, helping them with their individual journey whether it is in watercolour, acrylic or oils.
I can advise or show how to improve on technique, colours, use of brushes, and order of process, layout and design, etc and onto selling.
The classes are friendly and talkative and I have several students who have been coming to me for years for the friends, atmosphere and support they find in my classes.
I have a policy that when you pay for the 10 consecutive classes, and know you will miss some, you can make them up in any of my other classes as long as it is within those 10 weeks.
My background is a tradesman sign writer, having had my own business for 10 years before I began painting full time. I am represented by 3 Auckland galleries and have regular exhibitions. I have been published in “New Zealand’s Favorite Artists” twice and have won numerous awards over the years.
I was talked into teaching in 1998 and have loved it ever since. I have become great friends with many of my students and value their input into my life as I feel I get as much for them as they do from me. I have been teaching at Kumeu Arts since 2012.
Kate Hursthouse: Abstract Painting Tutor
Kate Hursthouse is a New Zealand artist, illustrator and designer known for her vibrant use of colour and pattern. She has created contemporary artworks, illustrations, hand-painted murals, and an illustrated children’s book for a range of clients.
Kate is influenced by the therapeutic power of art and its ability to transform lives. Her creative process is a form of meditation, and she uses colour, pattern and intuition to explore her inner self. She volunteers at Mapura Studios working with artists who have been impacted by stroke, brain injury or cerebral palsy.
Kate has exhibited across New Zealand and internationally and her artworks have been gifted to former Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern and the Māori King, Kiingi Tūheitia.
In 2022, she launched The Creative Mother Podcast, talking with creative women about the impact of motherhood on creativity and business.
Charlotte E Johnson: Studio Photography Tutor
Charlotte E Johnson:
I’m a photographic artist and educator. Originally from the UK, I'm now living and working in Auckland as a professional digital imaging specialist.
I capture original works filled with emotion: contemporary portraiture and landscapes, particularly seascapes. My art has gained a national audience within Aotearoa-New Zealand as part of several exhibitions, books and magazines, and international publications.
I hold an associate-level honours with both the Royal Photographic Society (ARPS) and the Photographic Society of New Zealand (APSNZ), as well as being an accredited PSNZ judge.
I’m proud to say I’m a Digital Imaging Advocate for Sony New Zealand. My teaching style is encouraging and supportive. I offer tutoring and mentoring in a wide range of subjects - I love to share skills and knowledge. Continuing our personal development is how we stay inspired.
Contact me to see how I can help you take the next step with your photography.
Holly Manning: Kumeu Children's Art Club Tutor
Holly Manning is the Kumeu Children's Art Club Tutor and is also one of our Member artists. Her personal outlook on life and attitude towards art is reflected well in her students who produce fun, colourful and energetic creations.
As a multidisciplinary artist Manning draws, paints using a variety of media particularly watercolour, gouache, coloured pencils, and POSCA pens. She creates zines and also does embroidery.
Working from people she sees, and places she’s been Holly classifies herself as a ‘storyteller.’ She translates life events or just the ‘everyday’ subject matter into a world of her own.
Manning’s purpose behind her creativity is very simplistic;
“Everything I make is about having fun and bringing joy – what else would be the point?” And she brings this vibrancy to our Art Club children.
Janet Mazenier: Cold wax painting tutor
Janet Mazenier leads Cold wax painting workshops; she has a formal training background and is a full-time practicing artist who completed her Master of Fine Art at Elam, University of Auckland and is now in the first year of her PhD in Creative Practice at AUT.
Janet, like others who use this gorgeous medium, is entranced by its ability to create rich surfaces, texture and luminosity.
Facebook: Janet Mazenier
Diana Peel: Palette Knife Painting Tutor
Auckland based artist Diana Peel creates impactful floral impasto paintings. Peel's paintings transform simple and refined shapes into dramatic scenery of graceful forms, brilliant colours and texture. Using a palette knife she drags and pulls her paint over the canvas, by not over working the marks she retains gestures in the luminous oil paint giving her surfaces a tactility and energy.
Peel draws on a background in music, having studied it for 9 years, as well as studies in academic drawing and painting. Peel also worked as an interior designer for some 12 years, giving her insight into the powerful effects of placing art in a space. A full commitment to painting came after moving to New Zealand where she became inspired to capture the nature and botanicals of this beautiful country.
Now an established artist and tutor, Peel exhibits her work in galleries throughout New Zealand. She is
steadily growing her following with works now acquired into numerous private collections.
Michelle Reid: Painting Tutor
Michelle Reid is a visual artist and educator living in Riverhead, Tāmaki Makaurau. She graduated with a Bachelor of Textile Design from Massey in 2001, and in 2019 gained a Postgraduate
Diploma from Elam School of Fine Arts with Distinction.
Reid has received a few painting awards and her artworks are held in contemporary private collections in Auckland.
Michelle is also a Kumeu Arts Centre committee member, a Creative Matters educator, and completed the Toipoto mentoring programme in 2022.
In her artwork Reid explores atmosphere aesthetics and emotional spaces. Reid is interested in the smudging of space between locatable and lyrical references. Recent exhibitions include ‘In The Wild Ballet’ at Lakehouse Arts and ‘Iteration 14’ at Mothermother.
Lesley Smith: Botanical Art Tutor
BA(Hons) Graphic Design, DipSBA(Dist)
I have been tutoring at Kumeu Arts, running the botanical art classes on a Friday morning for about the last 5+ years.
It is a small class of like-minded people who enjoy getting absorbed in the details of all things botanical – and often edible! I love seeing the joy on people’s faces as they complete a drawing or painting or suddenly grasp a particular watercolour technique.
I hope to share my passion with you and inspire you to see the delicate beauty and glorious detail of plants around us and successfully transfer that beauty to paper.
Come along and see what we do!
Kathryn Tourell: Children's pottery tutor
Magdalena Urbankova: Life Drawing Tutor
As an artist I wear many hats. I am a painter (oils), an illustrator (ink, water-colours), a sewer and I also dabble in ceramics.
I am fascinated by human figure, the space it occupies and creates while interacting with its environment. I paint in oil, although mostly non-figurative themes. Nevertheless, in my practiceI constantly return to figure drawing.
My mediums of preference are charcoal and water-soluble graphite. I studied with Joel Tidey (figure drawing) and Julie Gridinsky-Friedman (oil painting).
Louise Wild: Ceramics Tutor
Louise Wild is interested in creating textures and patterns on the clay surfaces. She makes hand built pottery tableware and decorative pieces using stoneware clay.
Louise spends a lot of time at the beach and in rural New Zealand and loves the simplicity of mother nature; texture, pattern, colour, shade, earth, sea, sky.
She has been a member of Kumeu Arts for over 8 years, and tutors the Friday morning Ceramics course.