Wildlife paintings, portraits & pet portraits by New Zealand Artist Karen Neal


Hope & Son Art Awards, Dunedin

Absolutely thrilled to have won 1st Prize at the Hope & Sons Art Awards in Dunedin for 2020.
The opening was being held the same night as the "Jewels of Zealandia" opening
in Wellington, whilst I had a phone call during the week from a lovely lady at the Otago Art Society to inform me I had won a prize, I had no idea which one, until my parents (my mum Margaret pictured below), happened to be enroute to Queenstown and accepted the award on my behalf. The exhibition is currently being held at the Dunedin Railway Art Gallery, until 28th November.

"The judges described the work as "precisely fitting the brief, Light and Shadow. It is skilfully rendered in dramatic tnes of black, white and grey pastel work. The patterns of light and shade are beautifully contoured across the face evoking the look of a Renaissance painting. It invites the viewer to wonder who the subject is and what they are gazing at."

The pastel painting was titled "Aperture" as part of the Lace Moko series of my son Jakob.
Read more details on the painting here.

New Zealand Tui Painting Pastel

PANZ (Pastel Artists of NZ) National Art Awards

Delighted to have won Highly Commended (Second Prize) in the 2020 Purely Pastel  national exhibition
with "Boss... Incoming".
The exhibition went ahead following our release from the lockdown, at the Dunedin Railway Art Gallery.

Following the exhibiton, Boss... Incoming was also awarded "Peoples' Choice Award".

"A strong eye-catching painting. Tuis are popular subject matter for artists and that makes it harder to do something that is different and original. This format and close up makes me feel like I better duck out of the way but the opportunity to be able to study the beauty of a tui draws me back in. The play between blurred and sharp rendering gives an optical quality of movement and that point of difference is what made us all weak at the knees."

New Zealand Tui Painting Pastel

Tasman National Art Awards, Mapua

Absolutely thrilled to be awarded a Merit Award in the Tasman National Art Awards with my Takahe scratchboard
"Back from the Brink"

The depiction of the Takahe is an astonishingly skilfully handled example of the notoriously difficult scraperboard technique, usually a black and white medium, cleverly augmented with coloured inks to create the wonderful iridescence of the wing feathers. Its dramatic lighting demonstrates exquisite control of light/chiaroscuro and conceptual restraint in using iridescent colour only in the wing of the bird. The colour used only in the wing leads our eye up to the uncoloured head that gave the optical illusion that there was colour.

Click on image to read more about this artwork

The Tasman National Art Awards is being held in Mapua at the Community Hall, until 12th October.
Please see their website for more information and to see the other award winners.

Other photos from the exhibition, including my pastel paintings "Winter Preening" & "Boss... Incoming"


Group Exhibition - Parliamentary Buildings, Wellington

Sooo thrilled to be included in this group exhibition with 7 other very talented bird artists! It will be held at Parliamentary buildings, Wellington. Artists contributing are Carol Theologo, Melissa Boardman, Chris Helliwell, Niels Meyer-Westfeld, Judi Lapsley Miller, Hannah Shand & Rachel Walker.

Artists are electing to donate a percentage of our sales back to conservation groups who are working tirelessly to bring back our native birds to our beautiful country. I’ve chosen the Hutton’s Shearwater Trust in Kaikoura whose colony was severely effected by the recent earthquakes.
10% of my sales in this exhibition donated to the Huttons Shearwater Charitable Trust, Kaikoura

If you’re in Wellington I can recommend a parliamentary art tour which takes in art throughout the Beehive and Bowen House, including this gallery - details on the parliament website. I did this tour and found it fascinating!

Some photos from the Opening Night...

5 new scratchboard original artworks (above)
and two pastels are included in the exhibition (bellbird above, and fantail below)

Photo credits to Linton Miller & Jakob Neal

Green Party MP Eugenie Sage (host of the exhibition at Bowen House), at her opening speech



IAPS (International Association of Pastel Societies)
34th Juried Exhibition, Albuquerque, America

It was an honour to have "Hare of a Whisker" accepted into the IAPS exhibition. This is the annual exhibition for all Pastel Societies internationally, with only approximately 150 paintings accepted from 1000 entries submitted worldwide.
See here for all the finalists in the exhibtion

ISSA - International Society of Scratchboard Artists
Art Awards / Exhibition

"Andalusian Stables" was accepted into the Masters Category of the ISSA (International Society of Scratchboard Artists)

Kentucky Artisan Center
Berea Kentucky, USA, May 17th to July 31st 2019

This is my second exhibition with ISSA, the first being in Australia. The very first time exhibiting in America, which is hugely exciting to be there with other international scratchboard artists from all over the world! The artwork almost didn't get there, when damaged by couriers prior to leaving the country, and a quick revarnish, and it was sent on its way again.

PANZ Pastel Artists of NZ - National Art Awards

3 artworks were selected into the finals of the PANZ national art awards (Pastel Artists of New Zealand). This year the exhibition was held in Stratford, near New Plymouth.

Impressions National Art Awards

3 artworks were selected into the finals of the Impressions National Art Awards, Nelson.

A scratchboard "The Monarch To Be", and two pastels "The Teenager" and "Our Alpine Treasure".
The exhibition wa held at the Mapua Hall, 29th September to 13th October 2018
"Our Alpine Treasure" was sold in the exhibition.

Art Expo Nelson Exhibition

Delighted to have 23 new artworks exhibiting at this amazing art expo.
Always such a great vibe with some amazing artists to see, definitely worth a visit!

(Currently uploading photos of new artworks, please check back soon)
...including 11 miniature scratchboards, 1 large zebra scratchboard, 6 New Zealand native bird pastels (round frames),
and 6 small bird studies on tea/coffee stained deckled paper

2018 national Peters Doig Marlborough Art Awards

Exhibition is on daily at the Yealands Estate Marlborough Gallery, High Street, Blenheim until 10th June.
Really worth a look, some beautiful artworks. Two of my artworks were selected for the exhibition. I was wrapt to have two portraits included in two totally different mediums, "The Net Mender" (a Portuguese fisherman Scratchboard), and "The Teenager" in Pastel (a rather unusual composition for a portrait @ 30cm x 1 metre in size).

PANZ (Pastel Artists of New Zealand) Exhibition

National Pastel Convention in Timaru. Opening Friday night, 6th April
Pastel art from members of the PANZ (Pastel Artists of New Zealand), being showcased in Aigantighe Gallery April 7 -22.
If you live near by go check out the wonderful world of pastel art.

Aigantighe Gallery, Timaru - April 7 -22

I have three artworks accepted into the exhibition (thumbnails below)
"Secrets", a monochrome portrait
"Our Forest Treasure" (New Zealand Kaka)
"The Copper Haired Boy" (portrait) - photos to come

Art Expo Nelson, Exhibiting 18 Original Artworks

I've been busily working away on a body of work to exhibit at the Art Expo Nelson, website is now updated with the latest artworks. I will be there for limited hours during the expo, demonstrating some scratchboard work.

18 August - 20 August. Trafalger Centre, Nelson

A terrific showcase of art from all over the country. 3 days, 100 artists, 1000 artworks. Plus really good coffee!

Art Expo Nelson 2017 art exhibition

David Shepherd Wildlife Artist of the Year 2017, London

Very excited that "Playful Contagion" was selected to exhibit in the "David Shepherd Collection",
Mall Galleries, Trafalgar Square, London

(Postnote: unfortunately this artwork was held up in Customs for 6 weeks, and disappointingly didn't make the exhibition, and now safely returned to New Zealand. They are becoming well travelled elephants!)

Elephant scratchboard


International Scratchboard Exhibition, Adelaide

Exhibiting at the ISSA (International Society of Scratchboard Artists), exhibition being held in the Stump Hill Gallery, McLaren Vale Visitors Centre, Adelaide, South Australia, from Friday, February 10 - Thursday, March 16, 2017.
Karen shown in the studio with her two entries "Playful Contagion" & "Cheeky Crossing"

Karen Neal Scratchboard Artist

PANZ (Pastel Artists of NZ) National Exhibition, 23 April to 1 May 2016

The PANZ annual national exhibition was this year held in Mapua, Tasman.
I was delighted to bring home 3 awards from this show with two monochrome pastel portraits. "Max", a portrait of my brother was awarded Highly Commended (second place), and he was also voted People's Choice, always a humbling award.

PANZ national pastel exhibition

"The Artist's Cat & She" also won a Merit Award.
An interesting video critique of this artwork by guest artist and judge visiting from America - Stan Sperlak (PSA) America

Karen Neal at PANZ national pastel exhibition

Marlborough Art Society Holiday Exhibition

The Marlborough Art Society holds an annual holiday exhibition over the christmas and new year period. I have 3 original artworks exhibiting, and a limited edition giclee print. Pictured below are two miniature paintings "Falconesque" and "Puffinesque", acrylic on box canvas. Also exhibiting is the silverpoint "Okarito Kotuku III"

Art Expo Nelson, 24-26 October 2015
Saxton Stadium, Nelson

The Art Expo Nelson is held over 3 days (Labour Weekend), with over 1000 artworks from 175 artists.
This year I had 3 panels (as opposed to 2 panels last year), and exhibiting approximately 16 original artworks,
and a selection of canvas limited edition giclee prints.

I was very humbled to be included for the second year as one of the 15 finalists selected for the Paramount Art Awards with
"Do My Stripes Look Big in This?" (scratchboard)

Artist Karen Neal Nelson Art Expo

"Marlborough Art Society Annual Members' Exhibition" 1-23 August 2015

"Okarito Kotuku II" was awarded 1st Place in the Pastel category, and also voted by the public as "The Peoples' Choice" award,
at the Marlborough Art Society's annual members' exhibition.

Judges’ Comments: “The textures of the elegant bird are convincing with contrasts of light confidently handled on this large scale. “

Okarito Kotuku pastel painting

"Monochromatica" 4-26 July 2015

A joint exhibition at the Yealands Estate Marlborough Gallery, 204 High Street, with the theme 'monochrome'

Artist Karen Neal with other artists monochrome exhibition


"A3 Unframed" WOW Museum / Reflections Art Gallery, June 2015

A joint exhibition with invited artists at the prestigious WOW Gallery

WOW Museum Reflections Art Gallery exhibition Artist Karen Neal

"Top of the South" PANZ Pastel Exhibition, February 2015

PANZ hold an biannual pastel exhibition for PANZ members in the Nelson/Marlborough area. I exhibited "Mocha Choccalabby"
... and she bought home a beautiful prize for Peoples' Choice Award, of a box of Unison pastels

flutterby rock paintiing


Marlborough Art Society Christmas Holiday Exhibition

"Anticipation"exhibited at the Marlborough Yealands Estate Gallery,
204 High Street, Blenheim, 2014/15.

snow leopard scratchboard by Karen Neal



"Surviving Sumatra" was shortlisted as a finalist in the 2014 Impressions Art Awards, at the Refinery Artspace, Nelson.



"Himalayan Snow Queen" scratchboard was exhibited at the Nelson Airport, as a promotion leading up to the
Impressions Nelson Art Awards, for the previous year's award winners.

She was resident at the airport for 3 months and created quite a bit of interest in the medium scratchboard.
Please click here to read more about "Himalayan Snow Queen"

snow leopard scratchboard by Karen Neal


It's always such a compliment when I think people have voted for my artwork in an exhibition, so was naturally absolutely thrilled to hear that my pastel of Mocha (a chocolate labrador) had won the Peoples' Choice Award in these national art awards.

flutterby rock paintiing


The South Island's Premier Art Expo
Friday 11th to Sunday 13th July 2014, Saxton Stadium, Nelson
Some photos from the expo...

Nelson Art ExpoNelson Art Expo exhibition

Nelson Art Expo display

"Kaimanawa Dawn Spirit"
was one of 15 artworks selected as a finalist in the 2014 Paramount Art Awards(part of the Nelson Art Expo). These paintings were displayed in a separate area (as per the photo below).

Nelson Art Expo artwork

Click here to read more about "Kaimanawa Dawn Spirit" and the story behind the Kaimanawa horses

2ND PRIZE - May 2014

"Okarito Kotuku" was awarded Second Prize in the national exhibition, The Peters Doig Marlborough Art Awards

These were judged with a panel of 3 judges, 65 selected out of 160 artworks submitted
(awarded The Marlborough Art Society Award of $1000).

Okarito Kotuku was also awarded "Peoples' Choice Award"

Judges' comments:
“A tour de force of fine detail, highly rendered in an exacting medium (scratch board). Bird works can appear static, but this is distinguished by a sense of reality, and the striking impression is of stillness, against a superbly subtle play of dark and light.”

PANZ (Pastel Artists of New Zealand) 2014 National Exhibition

Southland Gallery & Art Museum, Invercargill
4th April until 1st June, 2014

"Lace Moko IV" was awarded Highly Commended (2nd place)


Thrilled to have been awarded the Peoples Choice Award for "Himalayan Snow Queen" (scratchboard)

abby scratchboard



Delighted that "Flutterby Rock" won the Peoples Choice Award in these awards
for pastel artists within Nelson Marlborough and West Coast

flutterby rock paintiing



Delighted to announce that the pastel painting "Lace Moko III"
has been awarded the Supreme Award in the Nelson Impressions Art Award for 2013.
It also came a very close second in the Peoples Choice (by one vote).

The Impressions Art Awards, The Refinery Artspace, Nelson, 14th September to 5th October.

art awards

Pictured with the framed pastel painting, on the Opening Preview & Awards night.

Read more about Lace Moko painting here

Also exhibited amongst the finalists at the The Impressions Art Awards
was the scratchboard "Are A Zebra's Stripes Black...or White?"

zebra art



Pleased to have been awarded a Merit Award in this national pastel exhibition with "Lace Moko II"

The exhibition was held at the Southland Museum & Art Gallery, Invercargill, August 23 to October 2013.

lace moko II



Thrilled to have been award 2 prizes in this exhibition for "Abby" (scratchboard)

Best in Fauna category / Peoples' Choice Award

abby scratchboard


TSB Arena, 26-28 July, 2013.

15 artworks exhibited at the NZ Art Show


Debut Solo Exhibition

3rd November to 14th November 2012

30 Original Oil & Pastel Paintings & Scratchboards (& a selection of Giclee Prints)
exhibiting at the Marlborough Art Society Gallery, Blenheim.



"Ringtailed Lemur" was awarded the "Judge's Merit Award" (3rd prize) & also awarded "Runner-Up People's Choice"
The exhibition is on until 3 September 2012, at the Refinery Artspace, Halifax St, Nelson.


"Purely Pastel" national exhibition, Blenheim.

2 paintings judged and selected into the national PANZ (Pastel Artists of New Zealand) exhibition,
held in Blenheim 1-15 April 2012
"Nightswimming" (black swan) is soft pastels (sold at the exhibition)... and "It's Fairly Black & White" in oil pastels

Top of the South PANZ Exhibition

"Ai Sleepy" won Peoples' Choice in the Top of the South PANZ Pastel Artists' Exhibition.
This is Nelson/Marlborough/West coast region. "Lil Swimmer" also made it to 3rd prize.

Tiger painting by Karen Neal was judged into the BBC Wildlife Artist of the Year finals


Southern Pastel Artists Positively Pastel Exhibition"

"Lone Wolf" pastel painting

These two artworks were exhibited at the Invercargill Southern Pastels exhibition
I was delighted to hear "Lone Wolf" won a Merit Award in the Animal Section.


"Impressions Art Awards - Nelson Exhibition"

Three artworks have been selected into the Nelson's "Impressions Art Awards 2011".

A New Zealand kingfisher painting by wildlife artist Karen Neal"Lone Wolf" pastel painting


"Marlborough Art Society Annual Members' Exhibition"

Two paintings of mine are included in Marlboroughs annual members' exhibition
***These two paintings were voted 3rd & 4th in the Peoples' Choice Awards***

Tiger painting by Karen Neal was judged into the BBC Wildlife Artist of the Year finals


Passionate About Pastels Exhibition

3 pastel paintings in the Passionate About Pastels exhibition at the Mairangi Art Centre, Auckland.
The exhibition is being held from 17th November to 30th November. These are "Snow Today?" , "Strut that Swamp" & "Lil Swimmer"


Southern Pastel Artists Exhibition

Three pastel paintings have been accepted into the Southern Pastel Artists Exhibition at the Southland Musem & Art Gallery, Invercargill, from 6th August to 3rd October 2010. These are "Snow Today?" , "Strut that Swamp" & "Maine Coon Kitty"

"New Zealand Affordable Art Show"

I'm excited to be included in the New Zealand Affordable Art Show in Wellington, 29th July to 1st August 2010.
I have entered "Pirinihehe", "It's Fairly Black & White" & "Lil Swimmer"



A joint exhibition at the Marlborough Art Society gallery.

Joining me Claudia A. Marie, a Blenheim photographer artist,
and Maree Hassall, another wildlife artist from Motueka. This was our debut exhibition for us all.

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