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Meet our Art Tutors and Presenters

Introducing our talented pool of tutors and presenters. Get to know them more before signing up to a course at Estuary Arts

Meet our team of talented tutors and presenters

Claire Erica

Claire-Erica (1971) is a self-taught contemporary realist painter living and working in Matakana New Zealand.
Born to English parents and growing up in South Africa, she has developed a life long commitment to wild life, landscapes and native studies. The daughter of a professional British Photographer and potter, this award winning artist is easily recognised for her attention to detail and unmistaken painting style.

Her personal photographic observations of the natural environment, she draws ongoing inspiration and enthusiasm to capture the detail and essence of the wild birds of New Zealand.
Claire-Erica's diversity of mediums encompassing a wide variety ranging from Acrylic, Ink, Graphite, Cherry Pip Charcoal, Carbon and mixed media. The use of archival cotton canvas is specifically prepared for the fine detailed brush strokes. Hahnemuhle and Fabriano archival papers are selected for their smooth surface and texture for her graphite and dry medium work.

Di Toi

Di Toi is an emerging potter with a modern contemporary style. She has a great attention to detail and her pottery is finished to a fine standard. Di loves experimenting with new shapes on the wheel and when it comes to glazing she enjoys overlapping glazes to get that lovely blend of colours. Altering forms after they have been created on the wheel is another interest the she enjoys developing.

Di has been a creative person who has been interested in varying forms of art her whole life, but the draw to work with clay has become a passion that continues to grow and grow. She has been a member of Estuary Arts Centre for 2 years now and has attended a number of pottery classes and workshops to learn various techniques.

This year Di will be both tutoring and developing her own skills further at polytechnic by studying part time for a diploma in ceramics. 



Nicola Warner

Nicola paints vibrant, contemporary landscapes, working primarily in soft pastel and oil pastel with mixed media. She is fascinated with colour and texture and how it changes with the light. A Red Beach local, Nicola finds her inspiration in beaches, big skies and beautiful places.

Nicola takes great delight in passing on what she knows to others, helping them to find a style they love to work in and pointing them to other pastel artists who might inspire them. The endless variety of styles which can be achieved with pastels makes them a wonderful medium to work in.

Pauline Smith

Pauline is a trained teacher, well skilled in identifying student’s learning points and breaking them into small achievable steps.  Her main passion is watercolour painting with pastel painting running a close second. By drawing realistically Pauline believes students can then paint or draw anything, with confidence built on a complete understanding of the drawing process.


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