ella thomas

This is a record of my art making, the experiences that I have in everyday life that inspire me and a document of the paintings that I produce. Sometimes I will mention different facts or stories that bear some relevance to manu / birds and New Zealand native flora. One of the key ideas within my work is the celebration of the uniqueness of the native species within Aotearoa / New Zealand.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Birds in the Bush

Happy New Year! Well it is February but I'm not so late if you go by the Chinese New Year.

Well I have decided to have a bit of a studio clear-out and make a determined effort to find new homes for some of my painted manu. That means a Sale! Not just any sale but a 'Birds in the Bush' sale.

Check out ellaQuaint on facebook for further details as to the manu that will be available for you to take home :)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Festive Manu

Here is a sneak preview of some of the gorgeous, new manu that I have painted for the Auckland Art and Craft Fair that is happening this Saturday.

Toutouwai in progress

Tauhou in progress
Christmas Tui
Kotare in blue

Christmas Riroriro

If hitting the malls to do your Christmas shopping seems a bit hideous, come along and see all of the fabulous wares . . .  Auckland Art and Craft Fair blog.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

On his Perch

my favourite tui yet!

So I was very well behaved and I did complete him in a sensible fashion. I so love the simplicity of oriental aesthetics and the whole philosophy around what is 'not there' being as important as what is, leaving out the perch was definitely pushing that sentiment a bit too far.

Ehoa Tui 2011

It is so nice getting used to my little camera again. I had lent it to my mum so she could take it overseas with her and I borrowed her camera instead. Although her camera is so much flasher, I love my little lumix.

detail of the layered up reds and greens of the pohutukawa

detail of the tui

Enjoy . . . there will be additional images within his listing should you wish to be nosy Ehoa Tui on Toggle

Friday, September 30, 2011

Ehoa Tui

Not the best photo . . .
Well this is the first painting that I have done of a tui for a wee while and I love him to bits! The problem is he doesn't seem to want to perch on anything. He was meant to be like a companion piece to the work that I painted for my mum a few months ago so I kind of feel that he should be grounded by something.

The colours are richer in life.

Maybe an idea for later, painting birds sans environment?? Ehoa Tui translates to being 'Tui Friend'.

Friday, September 23, 2011


Piwakawaka Koanga 2011

Well I don't know about you, but I am one of those people who loose some of their mojo in winter. Something about the short days, frosty mornings and random snow falls which channels my inner bear and makes me want to just sleep and eat. A little bit of sunshine can make all of the difference and this piwakawaka (fantail) heralds a creative spurt (I hope).

There are many subtle layers of umbers, siennas, blues, creams, ochres that have been layered up to create the texture of his plumage. I probably spent a bit too much time on him and this photo really doesn't do him justice, it is slightly overexposed and has flushed out the colour. I am not going to complain about too much light though! The name 'Piwakawaka Koanga' refers to 'Spring Piwakawaka'. I like the idea that that play with words can also talk about the action of how the wee manu bounces around the place. He should be listed for sale soon.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Tiotio Ruru

Tiotio Ruru 2011
I adore ruru; there is something quite magical about their ability to swoop past on silent feathers. Years ago I was at a family friend's house and after dinner we sat in the dark watching out ruru out the window pounce on moths that were attracted to the porch light. It really was like a silent ballet.

No camping trip or bush stay is quite complete without being lulled to sleep with the 'morepork' call of the ruru. It so reminds me of my childhood.

Tiotio refers to the 'call' of the ruru, again I have used the pattern from a vintage copperplate to symbolise the sound that he makes.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Korimako Waiwai

close up of Korimako Waiwai

I finally got the korimako watercolour finished and able to print him off to join wee piwakawaka. Unfortunately I overworked the kotare painting so I am going to redo it again at sometime as it was looking so cute. Enjoy :)

I haven't used watercolours in this way for a while so it has been fun getting used to them again. Korimako has turned out really well in my view, he has that cheeky twinkle that I associate with bellbirds and aim to capture when painting them.

Should you be interested in checking him out, limited edition prints of him are available for sale on Felt Korimako Waiwai listing on Felt

About Me

My photo
Auckland, New Zealand
Ella Thomas is a contemporary artist who lives in Auckland, Aotearoa. She is of Ngapuhi descent and has a passion for the beauty of the whenua (land), the sea and for the unique flora and fauna of New Zealand. The concepts that are explored within Ella's work are based upon notions of conservation, ecological balance and extinction. Her paintings often feature nostalgic patterns reminiscent of the mid to late 1800's, the era when European colonization occurred. It was during this time that many unique species of birds became extinct. The rarer a bird became, the more prized a specimen of it became. Alive or dead. Much of Ella's paintings are celebrations of the unique character of our surviving taonga (treasures). Ella has a Bachelor of Visual Arts and has been working within arts related industries for many years. She has paintings in collections nationwide, Australia, England and the USA. Finally the plunge has been taken and Ella has committed herself to fulfilling a dream, that of becoming a full-time artist.