Vonnie Sterritt

Vonnie Sterritt

Full time working artist

Vonnie was born in Clyde, Central Otago, she has a Fine Arts Degree from Canterbury University and is a Post Graduate of Massey University.She has worked as an illustrator for the University of British Columbia, Canterbury and Massey Universities and is the Illustrator of the "Maketu" series of children's books by Taramea Publishing. Vonnie's paintings celebrate the colour and light aspects of what are unique New Zealand landscape compositions, particularly the Manawatu.

International Exhibitions include, Vancouver, (Canada), Missoula, (Montana), (supported in part by a Palmerston North City Council Creative Arts Grant) , and St Louis, (Illinois). as a result of her International Reputation she was awarded a Resident Artist Scholarship to Southern Illinois University in 2006.

Vonnie has exhibited widely in New Zealand both as an invited artist and solo exhibitor.


"I paint because I do not know how not to!

Painting is both an obsession and vocation.

Growing up within the surrounds of the Clutha and now the Manawatu rivers mean water described gorges and plains are so much a part of who I am. Overwhelming light, skies, seasons, and landforms allow me enormous compositional scope. I am convinced there is a connection between painter and landscape that is emotionally intimate. My particular connection is the Manawatu river and the way old macrocarpa and Nikau punctuate this regions' landscape.

My endeavour is to construct beautiful paintings, with that little extra something, born out of the gift I have been given."

Studio Location :

791 Main Street, Palmerston North, New Zealand

Email :

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Vonnies Paintings

  • Light on the Old Macs

    The energy of these lovely old trees is described in warm siennas. Macrocarpa so much a part of the Manawatu rural scene.

    Read more

  • The Rangitikei

    A softly washed and glazed painting, of the view on the right just after Vinegar Hill.

    Read more

  • Taonga

    I have some beautiful Paua Shells and and precious old Kete .... just had to put them together in a still life.

    Read more

  • Early Morn

    This painting is the product of an early morning walk, the sun has just begun to warm the day. The colours are a lovely balance describing shadow and light.

    Read more

  • ‘Sunlight on the water’ at the Sledge Track

    Sunlight, transparency, stones in the water are always fascinating and challenging. This work is particularly peaceful and descriptive of the Tiritea stream.

    Read more

  • Pohangina towards Totara Reserve

    This work uses scarffito to draw the image prior to applying layering acrylics wash and glaze.The work was drawn on site near the tank on the hill above the Reserve cliffs. With Totara Reserve in the left for ground. The river is the Pohangina.

    Read more

  • Pohangina River

    Just past Totara Reserve. Sketched and Painted Plein Air. (on Location).

    Read more

  • Road through the bush

    I call this ‘a painted sketch’. Briefly drawn Plein Air on the way up the Pohangina.
    It has the energy and honesty that always look for in my work.

    Read more

  • The Ellery

    Towards the Arawata, West Coast of NZ. I have a friend living at Haast, one of the most beautiful places in New Zealand accessing the relatively undiscovered rough rivers and dense New Zealand bush. A wonderful place to paint.

    Read more

  • The Clearing

    Originally this painting started as plien air. I find the West Coast inspirational. Particularly the Nikau Palms and small clearings dotted with cows.

    Read more

  • Iconic Coromandel Pohutakawa.

    Just had to paint this during the New Zealand Christmas vacation. After all it is our Christmas tree.

    Read more

  • Towards Ruahine Street from the River

    A peaceful painting describing early mornings on the Manawatu River walkway ... the best time of day.

    Read more

  • Nikau

    It’s always such a pleasure to paint these native palms, they are always individuals with personalities. These Nikau are a composition created from my sketch book.

    Read more

  • To The Beach. (Himatangi)

    This work takes you on one of my regular beach escapes to Himitangi. The colours are underpinned with the warmth of rose madder and red golds.

    Read more

  • The Gorge

    Gorge paintings are increasingly difficult to achieve on site, this one was sketched just above the Gorge walk carpark and completed back in the studio.

    Read more

  • Mangaweka

    Describing the Beautiful Rangitikei River and surrounds on a summers day. Painted partially Plein Air.

    Read more

  • Winter on the Manawatu River

    Fabulous warm tones complete this beautifully lit composition. A joy to paint.

    Read more