Will a Hawke's Bay artist's latest work get the attention of a pop superstar? Debra Thompson hopes so.

Inspired by Elton John's upcoming Mission Estate concerts in Napier in February, the Havelock North artist has painted a large portrait of him.

"He's just an icon," Thompson said.

The painting is 80cm by 122cm and is a mixed medium work of acrylic paint, spray paint, pen, stencils and watercolour.


It took about two weeks to complete.

Thompson describes her work as "pop urban style which is inspired by current events and popular culture".

She lists her artistic influences as Andy Warhol, Banksy, Voka and pop artists.

After painting all her life Thompson was inspired to change her style from traditional painting to a more urban style in 2017.

Her paintings all have an abstract wall behind a portrait of an iconic figure.

"I like to create this wall behind the person or subject in the painting so the owner can bring a piece of the street from outside to inside their home," she said.

Thompson paints part-time for 10 hours a week from a dedicated studio in her Havelock North home.

Elton John is among some esteemed company in the painter's studio sitting alongside Jackie Kennedy, Freddie Mercury and Pania of the Reef.


The large portrait will be one of many of Thompson's paintings to go on sale at the Tremains affordable art exhibition from March 27 to 29.

She hopes the owner of the painting will feel "a sense of fun and freedom".

"It is something interesting to look at that has a modern feeling of right now."