Whanganui painter Tim Minnell is not one to promote his own work, but Bricksticks owner Greg Betts is happy to do it for him.

"Tim sold three paintings during last year's open studios, and people were very happy to get them," says Betts.

Minnell says he is driven by a desire to reproduce the images he sees in his head rather than an impetus to show or sell the finished works.

"I always had the vision of the finished picture in my head. I had to go to art school to learn the techniques to achieve that."


The school was The Art School Salisbury in Wiltshire, England, in the late 1970s and Minnell said it gave him the techniques to bring his visions to life.

He also learned portrait painting and has been his own recent subject.

"I did start painting it from a mirror image and you can tell because my ears are on the opposite sides," he says.

The tip of his right ear is missing and in the portrait it is the left one.

"I'd like to say I lost it in a boxing match, but it's not very exciting - it was skin cancer," he says.

Minnell is one of nine artists who will be housed in Betts' converted brickworks home and studio for Whanganui Artists Open Studios 2018.

Betts will be featuring his own bespoke wooden furniture pieces, and he will be joined by fellow furniture maker and painter Chris Wilson and woodsman Ross Greenbank.

Other painters are Jenny Kenny, Maurice Fitzgerald and Jason Todd who will be joined by sketcher Chloe O'Leary and sculptor David McGill.


Aaron Te Rangiao will occupy the rectangular kiln space in the Twin Kilns Gallery with his sculptures and carvings.

The gallery consists of the old kilns that were part of the former brickworks that closed in 1959 and were still standing when Betts purchased the Georgetti Rd property in the 1970s.

Both the rectangular and the round kilns are ready for open studios and artists will occupy spaces upstairs, downstairs and in between.

There will also be Creative Space workshops where visitors will be welcome to learn new skills and discover their creative sides.

Songsmith David Chadwich will also provide the soundtrack for the second weekend of Whanganui Artists Open Studios on March 24 and 25.

Pick up a Whanganui Artists Open Studio guide at Whanganui i-Site or visit openstudios.co.nz