Kerry Fenton-Johns

New Zealand

Mediums: Acrylic

Style: realistic


green island and pohutukawa


I was born 1967 in Christchurch New Zealand. I grew up in Sumner a suburb of Christchurch. My first memory of drawing was a primary school trip when the whole class went down to the beach and to my amazement I looked at shag rock and transferred my vision onto paper. Throughout high school I would often draw in my books and copy the answers down from a friend. I really enjoyed art and music at high school. I didn’t stay long I wanted to get out into the big wide world.

One of my earlier jobs after leaving school was at a florist shop arranging flowers, customer service etc.  It had been picked up that I was a creative type. I paint reality because my mind seems to at time wonder all over the place and painting slows down my breathing when I get into the zone. I paint where I holiday… live, have lived (landscapes) and what I love. Flowers and trees and child hood memory's come into play too.

Can tell us about your first experience with art?

When I was a child I had a great imagination and used to pretend to be creature's in books - put on shows for a friend's mum & dad and draw and colour in as most children do.


Do you have a music preference when creating art?

The radio. I flick stations - at times list to interviews with other creative types actors, musicians, artists. When a great song comes on I wish i had four hands and then I could play while I paint.


From a Cutting


Do you have a day job?

I teach painting from my home to a small art class and speak every now then to local art groups.


What are you trying to convey to viewers through your art?

The Beauty of creation, people and places and reflect the beauty of where I live.


Creative process

I start taking a lots of photos when something is in season - a native plant for example. Then I will go into the city and print out the great ones that standout. Then I will draw it out on a canvas - the out line of the subject, trying to make sure the composition is good. At times I crop images or use more than one to make up a work.

Then I block in the colours, quite roughly at times, and then as the tin layers of acrylic paint build up it become more and more realistic.



Nature. I just look out the window, or around the room. I have a very busy mind so I find inspiration everywhere, even looking up at an building or looking closely at a plant in the garden.

Colours. When being driven in the car looking down an alley way. I try and look at things in different creative ways .



Annually with an art group, also annually with the Otago at society. My first solo exhibition was in 2005 Christchurch. Also I exhibited 2008 in Dunedin at gallery de novo, Dunedin International art port in 2010, and Gallery De novo in 2013 to celebrate 10 years painting.  


Harata and Kete


Have you sold any of your artworks?

156 to date. How? Through art gallery's mostly, also from home and some commissions.


How do you promote your art on the internet?

Facebook and my website



My Country, dear friends who paint, books, travel, the internet, studying the old masters.



Kees Bruin, a Christchurch based artist, his skill with oil painting, ideas, detail is incredible. He is a living master.


Memorable experience

European tour including visits to Paris, Venice, Rome, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Italy, the Greek islands and more. I would do it all again in a flash - so much to see, so much to do, so much to soak up.... SO MUCH ART !!!


If you could live your life over again, would there be anything you would do differently?

No, because then I would not have learnt any thing or be the person I am today.


What plans do you have for the future of your art?

Another solo exhibition at some stage, hopefully hooking up with a writers to have work published in books, and more teaching. I just love sharing my love of painting.


Advice for emerging artists

Kerry Fenton-JohnsDon’t give up even when you don’t sell work. Enjoy the journey, work hard just like its a paid job, paint for hours & hours & hours.


Kerry Fenton-Johns

New Zealand

Website: Kerry Fenton-Johns | Facebook

1 comment:

  1. lovely interview - great art - and some fab advice at the end too!


Thank-you for your comment!