The latest mini-exhibition at the Waipukurau gallery is a collection of paintings by Marton painter Julie Oliver, who doesn't always use typical canvases for her rural idylls.

Saw blades and milk cans have been used and she has been commissioned by DoC to create murals for tourism enhancement. She grew up in Australia before moving to the Rangitikei region in 2000.

Julie says "as I settle into my 56th year, I find I'm one of the luckiest people in the world. I live in NZ, I am healthy as is my family. I am inspired every day, with surrounding beauty just under the Ruahine ranges, in the Apiti region.

"My work is my art, whether it be painting detailed commissions or painting what inspires me at any given moment. Most of my work is in acrylic these days.


"I enjoy my work most when it is almost unconsciously created, letting 'something out there' a little take over. That is invigorating.

"What I enjoy seeing through these works are a consistency of gentleness in colour and space, with an element or two of ever inspiring solitude.

"If there is any visual drama it's only hinted at to keep a tad of imagination alive as it must be, I feel."

As well as seven works on canvas or board for sale there is a display of small 60cm saws with rural scenes, bullock teams, trucks, tractors and mobs of sheep idling across hillsides. Julie paints these on commission, often visiting the farm first and using family photos. The most popular image is one with farm dogs. An additional benefit of using saw blades is that the artworks appeal to men who might normally have little interest in paintings. Large 2m long saws take up to 200 hours to complete.

Exhibition runs from August 17-29.

Electra Gallery, Ruataniwha St Waipukurau, is open 10am to 4pm Monday – Friday and 10am–12.30pm Saturday.