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Vonnie Sterritt

A Fulltime 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.

Artist Statement

"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

Square Edge, Studio 103,
47 The Square,
Palmerston North

  • Tui for the Jensen family

  • Stan and Benny

  • Ellen

    A painting of my daughter playing in the sand at Gore Bay. 

  • Polly

    Polly is my wee foxy poodle. She is always with me, either in the studio or out in the field. This is a demonstration work for a workshop about painting animal portraits.


  • Ira

    Ira's portrait is a brief and gestural work leaning on blues to under paint the flesh colour. A dramatic little painting describing a vibrant and energetic lady.

  • Poplars

  • Candice Paewai

    This book is titled ' Makatu Tuna',and was commissioned as one in a series 

    I have illustrated for Candice, who writes about New Zealand Fauna. These illustrations are the ' story board.'


  • Broadway Radiology Commision

    Commissioned by Peter and Sarah Dixon - A special painting for one of Palmerston Norths newest architectural landmarks. The brief was the river, in particular the Te Matai Road bend. It was a joy to paint one of my favourite views of the Manawatu river

  • Chinese Pheasants - Tim and Bronwyn McClintock Commission

  • Zeus

  • The Rangitikei with Aorangi

    The Client wanted certain aspects of the region in this composition.

    A compilation of ideas forms this composition.

  • Nikau with New Zealand Bush

  • Robyn and John Naylor Commission