Pahiatua painter wins a UK title for her work on furniture
Pahiatua painter Jeanie Simpson has been named as the first official Annie Sloan Painter in Residence from New Zealand, a unique programme launched by the worldrenowned United Kingdom colour and paint specialist.
Living on a hill country farm in Tararua for the past five years, Jeanie began painting old furniture and homewares three years ago while raising her two children. She has a strong interest in art and design — something she draws on heavily for inspiration in her pieces.
“I am absolutely thrilled to be chosen as part of this amazing international programme, especially to be the first from New Zealand,” she said. “I’m passionate about re-using tired, unloved furniture because of the better-quality workmanship and materials and the sense of individual history each piece carries with it. Then, when I paint furniture, I honour the history and origin of each piece by drawing inspiration from different eras and art movements — Art Deco, 70s modernist, pop art and even folk art as examples.
“I love it, I’ve found my niche. It’s great fun and just so satisfying turning revolting furniture into usable pieces.
“This has been an amazing experience to be able to paint more, explore new designs and techniques and start pushing boundaries between art, design and craft. I’m proud to put New Zealand on the Annie Sloan map.”
Jeanie has a diversity of artistic styles and tries to stay faithful to the original design of the furniture she paints. She studied for a Bachelor of Design and is interested in theory of design and art.
“If it’s a 1960s or 70s piece I might do something which reflects that. I published a few pieces on my own Facebook page. Annie Sloan from the United Kingdom had set up a New Zealand page looking for projects to feature, then she got hold of me. She is quite enthusiastic to find new people who are doing interesting things with chalk paint, maintaining the momentum of upcycling so it doesn’t just become a trend.
“I was absolutely over the moon when I found out I had been awarded the first New Zealand Annie Sloan Painter In Residence award. There are only two or four people world-wide annually who get awarded it. Within the furniture painting world its a pretty awesome achievement. I’m feeling the pressure to carry on performing. Sometimes I have to do some restoration and can get help from my father who is handy with his skills. It can take two weeks researching each piece.
“With all the environmental messages about reusing rather than throwing out and starting again, upcycling is quite timely.The amount of furniture in secondhand shops and lying around in people’s garages is abundant. The quality of new furniture is generally pretty crappy when compared with the old,” she said.
Jeanie’s work gives pieces a modern twist from a base of 20 chalk paint colours which can be blended to make more colours. In the United Kingdom pieces are sold at high-end stores.
Jeanie was supplied with Annie Sloan products, creating seven projects published on Annie Sloan channels through social media and print worldwide. It took Jeanie three months to do it.
PAHIATUA’S Jeanie Simpson has been named as the first official Annie Sloan Painter in Residence from New Zealand.
STRIKING paint work takes this writing desk to a new level.
AN example of the work which earned Jeanie Simpson the first Annie Sloan Painter in Residence in New Zealand.