Featured Artists

Periodically we feature the talents of one of our members .  All we require is a short blog outlining your background and interests, plus some photos of your work.

Please contact John Whittaker at monckton@xtra.co.nz


Alan Herbert is our fourth ‘Featured Artist’

My name is Alan Herbert and I am based in the township of Rongotea, just west of Palmerston North where I have my pottery studio, and live with my wife Trish.

I developed my style of Agateware pottery by experimenting with second hand clay I obtained when I first started out doing pottery after taking a class to learn the basics of throwing etc. I noticed the marbling effect in wedging clay and decided to develop that style with using either white or terracotta clay, both of which had the same firing and shrinkage qualities. By recycling the clay I turned off from the pieces I made I also had further colours to use.

I utilize an unglazed effect and produce pieces from small thrown items to larger urns and forms. By incorporating the colours into the clay base at the wedging stage and turning off the form the result is an individual pattern that is non-repeatable so each piece has a unique pattern to it.



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John Tidball is our third ‘Featured Artist’

John Tidball was born, raised and schooled in his native England. During the  Second World War, he attended the Harrow School of Art on a scholarship. John says: “Those years were some of the happiest in my professional life allowing me to dabble in all the artistic media available at that time, learning alongside fellow artists and peers; absorbing exciting new ideas and techniques in two-dimensional art.”

John Tidball is known for his elegant paintings of New Zealand cityscapes, landscapes, harbour scenes and his portrayal of everyday life in this country and in the places to which he has travelled and captured ‘the essence of the place’. John’s rendering of locomotives, especially of steam trains, as well as that of yachts and boats has brought him much success as an artist.

A lifetime of graphics, lettering, book and logo design; sign writing and the skilful application of gold leaf followed as he practised the craft of the commercial artist. At one point he was concerned that although he had both the talent and ability “my creativity often came to a standstill under the precise routine required of the commercial artist trade.” It was really only after his retirement from the commercial art world that John found his true calling and dived in with a fresh approach. He achieved success as an artist known for his landscapes and still lifes.  Recently John has been taking inspiration in new colour mixing and ‘wet in wet’ effects producing bright and vivid paintings of his favourite subjects: fishing villages, boats, trains and rivers.  Now in his late 80s, the artist forges ahead pushing the boundaries of colour, light and that all important element…detail.

John Tidball is known to many for his model train layout featuring an English village and countryside which he himself has constructed and painted over the course of many years. John loves to paint landscapes and in particular marine subjects; he is fascinated by reflections on water and has depicted many such scenes in his sought after paintings.


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Esther Nitschke MBE is our second ‘Featured Artist’

Esther Nitschke was born in Taihape in 1936.  She started spinning and dying New Zealand wool off the family farm over 52 years ago.  the wool was then made into cushions, bags and tablemats.

Esther started weaving six months later and developed her passion for woolen fashion clothes, but the bread and butter work remained the rugs and cushions. Esther dyes her own wool so that she can ‘work in vibrant colours’.

When asked ‘why do you do art’? Esther replied ‘because I can do it.  At school I had no brains, but I could always do things with wool. My working days were spent as a tailoress in Wanganui, where I started work when I was 16 years old and worked until I was 20.  I got married and then lived on a farm with my husband for the next 35 years until we retired to the Coromandel where I opened a studio. During those years, I was also a Founder Member of the Art Centre in Marton’.

It was after that move to the Coromandel, that Esther first started producing her hand painted silk scarves as she felt that the silk work add another dimension to the work she was doing with her weaving.

And what about that MBE? ‘I received my MBE in 1994 for my services to weaving, as I had taught weaving to so many weavers from one end of New Zealand to the other.  I had to go down to Wellington to Government House and was presented with the MBE by the 16th governor general of New Zealand, Dame Catherine Tizard’.



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Thank you Esther for the wonderful contribution you make to the Feilding Art Centre.


Glen Davies is our first ‘Featured Artist’

Art was my favourite subject at High School.   After I left school, I had a long career in Financial Services working for Insurance Companies, being an Insurance Broker and then working in the Banking Industry.  

I always thought I would go back to art once I retired and had the time.   This came about in 2011 when my husband and I were living on the Gold Coast.   I attended an art group once a week, run by an Australian Artist Kevin Taylor, painting in oils on subjects of my choice, with him being an expert in critiquing.   I have never actually had any formal training.  

We then moved back to New Zealand and settled in Feilding in 2013.   Soon after, I joined FADAS and attended the ‘have a go’ mornings on Tuesdays.   My favourite subjects were always flowers as I am a keen gardener and love the beauty of nature.

Recently I have branched out and tried different subjects, mainly animals and currently landscapes.





Thank you Glen for being our first contributor.