LoadingLoading ...

Amanda Jane Wilkes

Amanda Jane Wilkes (BFA) is an established Christian artist.  Her abstract landscape paintings have their roots in New Zealand’s rich landscape tradition with artists such as Petrus van der Velden and the Canterbury Regionalists but they also have a connection with Mid-century American abstraction and the sublime in the landscapes of Milton Avery and the humming, hovering forms of Rothko’s late works. 

Amanda Jane Wilkes

The influence of Amanda's tutors from Canterbury’s School of Fine Arts, particularly that of Riduan Tompkins, is also evident in her technique. Wilkes applies thin veils of colour in multiple layers, often employing pastels over high key colours, juxtaposing tints of complementary colours as a foil to their opposite. This gives her work a vibrant luminosity. She has departed from a naturalistic colour palette in favour of stronger hues reminiscent of Gaugin’s Tahitian paintings and the Fauves.  

"I grew up in the 70s and 80s on the outskirts of Christchurch surrounded by open skies and an expansive vista which nurtured my love for landscape painting. In the late 80s while working on a high country merino sheep farm in the Southern Alps I had an experience that transformed my life, I encountered Jesus Christ.  At the time, the future looked bleak and depressing, so I called out to God in my brokenness.  His presence came into that room and an overwhelming awareness of His love for me. The words he spoke to me brought joy and peace to my heart and mind, these have remained constant throughout my life; even in hard times.  Not long after, I decided to go back to study full-time where I came under the tutelage of UC Fine Art graduate Mark Lander, who creates large works on his own handmade paper and paint. After gaining entry to Canterbury University's Fine Art School I was tutored by Ridwan Tompkins and Simon Ogden. I graduated with a Fine Arts degree in painting in the early 90s."   

"After UC I spent a couple of years producing and selling work through Philip Hadfield's 'The Cornerstone Gallery', (a Christchurch gallery based in the Historic Arts Centre Buildings).  Raising and home-schooling four children through the 90s and into the 2000’s also kept me busy. Still, I was able to produce new and exciting work which I exhibited through other Christchurch art galleries in The Arts Centre, Merivale and Sumner. Works sold through these galleries are now in private and corporate collections worldwide.  I never tire of drawing or painting, and the creative process produces its own energy and excitement. I work with a variety of mediums on paper, board and canvas. Through the creation of new works in watercolour and acrylic, charcoal and pencil drawings done on-site and a store of digital images I am creating a whole new body of conceptually imaginative work. The focus is on bold forms and colour. The impressionists of the past influenced my earlier work from UC. These included Monet, Corot, and the Dutch artist Van der Velden creating atmosphere and mood through the layering of paint. The influence of Mark Lander and my tutors at UC helped me to step out of the confines of the 'traditionally painted' landscape.  There is no necessity here to depict the land through natural eyes. The whole creative plan is to be led by God's Spirit.  The benefit of being led by him results in an intuitive and emotive response to the views I see.   I use natural forms drawn from landscape and reduce them to basic shapes allowing an examination of the formal relationships between shapes and colours. The layering of abstracted forms creates deeper illusory pictorial spaces and a greater complexity of spatial relationships for the eye to explore. This optical layering connects in turn back to my original subject matter, the layers of the land and strata of the rock face."


"For we shall go out with joy, 

And be led forth in peace;

The mountains and the hills

Shall break forth into singing before us,

And all the trees of the field shall clap their hands"

Isaiah 55:13

Work History: 1987/88 - Evening tutorials with artist Mark Lander, Preparatory work for entry into UC Fine Arts Degree.

1989/92 - Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting, University of Canterbury, Christchurch

1991 - Group exhibition, Fine Arts Gallery, University of Canterbury

1992/94 - Exhibition with potter, Philip Hadfield, The Cornerstone Gallery, The Arts Centre, Christchurch

1995 - Solo exhibition at The Celebration Centre, Christchurch - Commissioned oil Painting, St Silas Anglican Church.

1998/02 - Exhibited work over 4 years, The Arts Centre gallery

2000/02 - Exhibited work at Min Fine Art's Gallery, Merivale, Christchurch - Creative charity art auction for Ugandan ministries - Group Exhibition The CC, Christchurch

2004/05 - Group exhibition, The Look Gallery, Redcliffs, Christchurch

2005/10- Exhibited works at The Art Centre Gallery.

2006 - Women's painting tutorial, at The Lighthouse Art Studio, Christchurch

2009 - Initiated and tutored a 6 week drawing and painting class, Central Christchurch - Community Art tutorial for women, Aranui Primary school, Christchurch

2010 - Invited tutor, landscape painting tutorial, The CC, Christchurch

2011/19 - EQC contracting work, rebuilding residential and corporate properties after the Christchurch earthquake.

2018 - Commissioned work for private collector Work accepted for the cover of the Ngai Tahu quarterly magazine

2019/20 - Excursions into Southland and Canterbury to build a new body of work for exhibition

2020/22 - Continued painting during lockdowns and restrictions to build latest body of work.

Featured Artists

Raquel Clarke

Raquel Clarke

Esther Dexter

Esther Dexter

Kelvin McMillan

Kelvin McMillan

:Jane-Louise: Kellahan.

:Jane-Louise: Kellahan.