Q+A: Karyn Hitchman


What type of subjects do you prefer to paint?

I paint portraits with a Renaissance twist. Think of the towering hair of the period intertwined with flowers, pearls and birds. I also paint New Zealand plant and birdlife, inspired by our many years of guiding in the South Island’s mountains and forests. I love to capture the light dappling through trees and the colours and shapes that it forms.

Have you always been in love with art?

I have been in love with art forever! My sisters and brother were always good at science and math and I thought I’d missed out on those brains. But I was the envy of them as I scored the family art gene. I was all about drawing and making things when I was younger and luckily my parents encouraged that.

Where do you like to work?

I love working in my studio, which is just as well as it’s where I spend most of my time. I have everything I love there: my cats, my garden, my plants, my books and most of all, the sun. The studio is a light, airy space with large bifolds that open out to our garden. It is here that I spend my time planning, painting, packaging, etc. Whilst working I listen to music, podcasts (mostly art related), audiobooks, and, of course, the occasional Netflix movie.

Why do you like working with oil paints?

I adore the lovely buttery consistency of oils and the slow drying time as it allows me to work wet in wet and to mix straight on the canvas.

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