Jillian O’Brien





My journey as an artist began after attending Night-School classes in 2009. I enjoyed learning basic drawing techniques, from an excellent teacher, Julie Davidson. Sadly, the government pulled the funding after two terms, so the classes finished, however,  I volunteered my home to any of the participants, should they wish to meet regularly. Two women put their hands up, and we’ve been meeting every week since then, and of course have also become firm friends.

Julie’s classes taught the use of chalk pastels, and pastel pencils. Pastels are a very forgiving medium, because you can erase your mistakes! I learned to love using the vibrant colours to create portraits, and also images of flora and fauna.  My favourite chalk pastel brands are the French Sennelier and Alain Picard which are hand made in the USA. I prefer using Carbothello pastel pencils, and Pastelmat paper, which has a slightly rough finish that grips the pastel pigment.

I’ve sold several works, mainly to friends and family, and was voted People’s Choice in a PANZ exhibition a few years ago, with my “Little Boy Blue”, which is one of my favourite works. The price of my works may seem high in comparison to others, however pastel must be framed under glass, because it is quite fragile, and framing costs are at times prohibitive!

I hope you enjoy viewing my work, on display at County Fayre Pohangina Village, and may even feel tempted to purchase a piece.

Nga Mihi,

Jillian O’Brien.