The Other Side


So you’re an artist…

What do you paint, What do you do, Where do you work, Where are you from, What do you like, What are you like, What have you done, Where have you been, Where are you going, What do you love, Why do you paint?

These are the questions I’ve asked myself over and over and over again among others. You see yourself – but is it how others see you? It’s an interesting thought. In my bid to become every bit the artist I believe I can be, it’s pretty important to see yourself from every angle – to see yourself from – the other side.

Karina x


Artist – Dreamer – Lover – of Life

May the 4th

So where’s the year gone already – shit, it’s the 4th of May on this side of the world and so far, it’s been the busiest year I’ve ever had for a long time.

Coming back from holiday at Christmas time, landed me straight into a job – like anyone living in this small tourist town – we all need to do something – lest we curl up and die of boredom – and there ain’t nothing worse for me than being bored as shit and too broke to travel – so I’ve taken charge of my life again – giving it a shot – working for a luxury accommodation place in town part time.  Nothing flash – just a service job – just a job – for money – just that – nothing more.  And it’s kinda fun – most of the time anyway.

Some days are busy though – so frantic, you’re running around all day from room to room – and it’s eye opening how people leave the state of their rooms.  Massively eye opening – and as it turns out – it don’t matter how much money you’ve got – some people are lovely and respectful – some just bloody rude – in every social economic group you’ll find that – and that’s my biggest inspiration to keep on painting.

And working in teams too – that’s pretty fun – and we’ve seen it all… there’s the bossy people, the patronizing ones, the gossipy types and the rest of us – and it’s humble, highly educational and I can’t wait to leave – for Christchurch, for Dunedin, for Brisbane and for New York… that’s what keeps me going.

You see, I almost never talk about art with anyone here – because like anyone that works in a creative field, the times that you do go out, you talk about everything else – and usually what they’re all up to and where we’re going to travel to next.  So it’s no wonder people don’t know what an artist does – no wonder they think we do nothing all day when most of us work harder than ever on our dreams.  So I’m gonna share a funny story – pretty much word for word how I recall it just for a laugh – and maybe one day when I look back on it all it’ll make me even more appreciative of the people that do understand – and there are some wonderful people that do – and that’s another story…


They’re like – ‘…how does that happen, how do you even begin to plan that, there’s no guarantees of anything in the art world…’ I could go on…

“Yeah I know, it’s crazy – I don’t know… but I’ll tell you this…  There are no guarantees, that’s the thing.  And there is no easy way, no matter what you’re doing or what stage you’re at – every step is hard.  It’s like at this stage, you’ve got to be the artist, the planner, dreamer, writer, marketing person, salesperson, all of it.  You’ve got to write your own articles, answer questions, plan events, plan months and even years in advance, save up for all of that, keep painting and pushing yourself while everyone around you thinks you’re mad! – It’s not easy man… but I know it’s gonna be worth it so I keep on going…”

Then they’re like… ‘yeah but it must be easy to book a gallery though’

“Yeah, depends on the gallery and they’re all different.  And an event like an art show as well – there’s so many options… Like last year, I applied for the Pacifika Festival in Auckland, decided not to go in the end because my work isn’t strictly Pacifika anymore, so change of plan.  Then they ring me the next month, please pay your deposit for the Rarotonga village exhibit where I was going to do live painting – and she’s like, we’ll send you a separate email – so instantly I’m thinking, that’s not right and I’d already decided not to go.  Then there’s the Wellington show – was gonna go to 2 different galleries in the city initially, then thought the space in Civic Square would work because that’s mainly where I’d studied as an art student.  But when I went back to check it all out, it just didn’t feel right anymore – which really surprised me and showed me how much I’d actually grown which was awesome.  Then there’s the art show in Wellington I applied for, the studio spaces in Auckland as well and there were a couple of those.  When you add in a few galleries and other events there’s just so much that goes on behind the scenes people have no idea about – and that’s a good thing and why I don’t usually talk about art”

‘Yeah, I think I get it now’ they said… ‘it’s pretty confusing’

“I know, tell me about it… but it’s all good.  I think it’s all starting to make some kind of sense.  That’s why I set up Monark Gallery so I could be the artist and the gallery sometimes – then you’ve got more freedom but it’s harder that way because you have to forge your own way out there – but then again, everyone has to do that so that’s nothing new.  I’m just sick of doubting myself anymore you know – why not just go for it, no matter if it fails or not – everything is risky if you think about it for too long”



Well it’s not really much more than a little insight into an artists brain.  Because every artist, no matter what style of art they do – every artist goes through almost every thing like that on a daily and nightly basis – for their art.  And it’s all totally worth it.

And so – on this, the 4th day of May – I have to be cheesy and say this…

May the 4th be with you all… and thank you

Karina x

Play on…


Find the River

Speeding through the year, rapidly finding meaning, we’re beginning to make sense of the flow.  Like life in motion, overlooking the deep and the river, the one full of snow…

And it’s mind blowing!!!

What we share – what we learn – how we see – what we are – how we connect – with our heart – how it speaks – through our art – and just…

Like the river to the ocean goes…

It’s really beautiful,  when it snows.

Love and respect! – Happy new year!

Karina x


Time is Precious

On the move, life is a constantly moving target. As the days melt into weeks, I find it good sometimes to reflect on the journey.

The time it’s taken to just be.

It’s a great feeling.

After 6 years in Wanaka – here’s a little glimpse of the outdoor studio – on this, a beautiful morning in November.

Have the most precious day…

Thank you so much

Karina x



The Phoenix

Island of North


Not many words here – not in ink anyway.  The last few years I’ve just written, written, written and literally poured my heart out – so many beautiful conversations – so many thought provoking and inspiring moments.  As the journey continues I’ve learnt so much – found so much and regained that spirit that had been eluding me for years.

If it’s a feeling of being understood then I’ve found that – If it’s expressing yourself in many languages then that’s been realized too and if it’s an appreciation of friendship and support both artistically and personally – then yep, that’s also been found.

Scream in Colour…

Enjoy your weekend, Thanks so much

Karina x

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I’ve spent a lifetime trying to understand this art journey. A lifetime!

And it’s actually kinda simple really – that is once you free your mind and mine was pretty cluttered. It’s like everything you’ve ever lived, felt and experienced all jammed up in your head – adding to that everyday all the new stuff. Then there’s the challenge of expressing all that, expressing yourself, living the dream you’ve got and finding inner peace all at the same time.  No wonder it’s such a massive challenge and believe me it is.

But with views like these, fantastic and beautiful support and quality reading – it’s all really making perfect sense.

Thank you for the poetry – it really helps creativity to flow in all directions.

Have a beautiful day.

Karina x


Ask any artist what their tools of the trade are and they’ll all have their favourites.  As a florist – writer – poet – photographer & painter – these are mine.

The colour and fragrance of spring, one paintbrush, a journal packed with words and emotions and a coffee mug, combined with music, travel and imagination – what more do you need?

And just as the quote below says – “Don’t be afraid to do something big” – and they’re right. It’s been a busy year, full on – now it’s time to turn up the volume and fkn go for it! Can’t wait.

Happy Spring – it’s awesome to be here.

Karina x