Quirky Fox Gallery owner Vicki Fox is enamoured by the beautiful work of Waikato artist Jane Crisp and has ensured that Crisp's work will be hanging on the Hawera gallery walls next month.

Crisp has said previously she is inspired by her love of the natural world and was mostly self taught.

When she was a child she spent time drawing, painting and creating whatever she could get her hands on.

Her fascination with birds came about after falling in love with a large coffee table book of Ray Harris Ching's work, that became her inspiration.


"At the age of five I had my classmates lining up wanting me to draw their pictures in their story books; that's my earliest memory of recognition for my artistic abilities."

Throughout her childhood she said she would spend hours drawing, painting and crayoning in her huge stack of colouring-in books.

"Making all kinds of things from whatever I could get my hands on."

She says not only is art her life but it is everything she knows.

"It is the main constant that has always been with me since as long as I can remember."

There was a level of vulnerability in sharing your art with others, she said.

"When creating and putting your work out into the public eye, if you're not feeling nauseous afterwards then you're not showing up. If you don't feel like you're walking naked down the street then you're not showing up. If you are going to be all that you can be in your work here on earth you have to show up in full vulnerability. Anything less and you're just pretending."

She has begun to understand this in the past couple of years.

"Slowly the courage builds with each painting to show up fully."

The title of one of her paintings, Saving Grace, came about from a walk with her dog when she found a limp thrush on the bush track.

The thrush lived, and as it fluttered back to life she started the painting.