"Boss Incoming" (New Zealand Tui)

Print: (300x500mm)

By Karen Rankin Neal


Karen is delighted to have won Highly Commended (Second) in the 2020 Purely Pastel national exhibition.
The exhibition will go ahead following our release from the lockdown, at the Dunedin Railway Art Gallery, dates to be confirmed.

"A strong eye-catching painting. Tuis are popular subject matter for artists and that makes it harder to do something that is different and original. This format and close up makes me feel like I better duck out of the way but the opportunity to be able to study the beauty of a tui draws me back in. The play between blurred and sharp rendering gives an optical quality of movement and that point of difference is what made us all weak at the knees."


Tuis are undeniably the boss in the New Zealand native bird world, hence the title. You will understand if you've witnessed a tui flying in and bossing out the other birds from 'their' tree! I usually like to paint from my own reference photography, but when I saw a photo by fellow artist Melissa Boardman, it just spoke to me... thank you Melissa for allowing me to use your beautiful photo as a reference! I had been visualising a series of paintings evolving to show the movement of birds in flight, pastel being a perfect medium to show this with its blendability and softness. Melissa is an illustrative artist, who also frequents Zealandia Eco Sanctuary for reference photos and for the pure enjoyment of hanging out with the birds. Melissa was a fellow artist in the group bird exhibition at Bowen House, Parliamentary Buildings.

Open Edition Giclee Prints available


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Boss Incoming By Karen Ranken Neal