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McPhee, Rachel

Returning to New Zealand for her university years, Rachel studied law. At Canterbury and then Waikato universities, she gained a B.A.L.L.B., taking English Literature and Mandarin as her majors and finished five years ago with a Masters in Law.

“If I had known about a design course, I would have taken that avenue!”

Rachel works as an in-house lawyer for the Inland Revenue Department. She did not have much spare time in between study and work to paint and draw, and after university she started work in Brisbane. Moving around a lot meant that it was difficult to keep a good supply of art materials. But when she returned to New Zealand and settled in Wellington in 2008, she began frequenting the art supply stores and got back into painting. At first, Rachel painted in oils and acrylics. Then she came upon a “Splash” exhibition, enjoyed the display of sparkling watercolours and was offered a membership brochure.

Since joining Watercolour New Zealand Rachel has taken every class that she can accommodate in her busy life of work and sport. She enjoys learning from a range of people and each course has given her something new to experiment with. “I like to play with the paint and see what evolves. I haven’t developed a particular style as yet.”

Rachel is hoping her baby girl will be a good sleeper, so she can find time between feeds and nappies to paint. "In the future, I would love to be able to work part-time and paint.” In the meantime, however, Rachel is keen to develop her skills and form her own style.

"Watercolour New Zealand is made up of such a fantastic group of people and I have learned so much from so many of them in a short space of time."




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