Miriama Arnold was born and raised in Rarotonga. From the garden of her family home, Arnold, aged 24, paints water colours, a continuation of creative side projects that have journeyed with her through secondary school and studying architecture at the University of Auckland.
Arnold began painting watercolours seriously a couple of years ago, designing a wedding invitation for her cousin and then painting her first floral series. She works in a variety of styles including pen sketches and graphic design from her architecture study, taking inspiration from tattoo motifs and patterns, artists such as Judith Kunzle, Loretta Reynolds and Apii Rongo, and the world around her. In June 2019 Arnold returned to Rarotonga after deciding that architecture was not the path she wanted to take. Where in Aotearoa New Zealand she painted from photos, she now had an entire island to experience.
“What I really enjoy is the process. My art is for other people – the process is for me,” says Arnold. “I have the opportunity to observe from life, to work with light and shadow, to paint how I see it and how I interpret it. My art is a reflection of my lived environment. Returning to the Cook Islands has provided an abundance of subjects. Flowers of the Pacific have inspired my latest collection, working with water colour and pencil. Focusing on local flora has presented both challenges and opportunities. So often we take for granted the complexities of design within nature. As an artist I am able to remind viewers both of the complexities and the simple beauty of the whole.”
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