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Jayeta Valentine

I’m a mixed media painter and a mad keen art teacher from Taranaki.

I love both jobs!  One is very Zen, the other is Wow-Kapow sociable. Perfect balance. 


I zig zagged into painting by happenstance.  When I graduated from Otago, I had no idea what I wanted to do in life… so I drifted into a two decade voyage of teaching English. Even though I liked teaching (and it DID force me to be more disciplined! ) I loathed the relentless essay marking and admin. So, when I eventually washed up teaching in an art classroom, I thought I’d died and gone to heaven.  


On a whim, I decided to go painting full time, and I’m still painting and teaching adult art classes in 2024! Hallelujah!   


But I am NOT a reclusive, introverted artist! Quite the opposite. People are my oxygen, and I get a LOT of  satisfaction watching my students master skills and thrive.  

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A little bit of  my  history? I was a "disappointing" art student early in my life. Macrame, photography, screen printing were definitely not-my-thing and I was kicked out of my high school art classes (twice)... then promptly off to Otago University to redeem myself. After that, I taught English reasonably happily for twenty years. But I was ‘arty’ at heart and I remained a fabric painting, drawing, doodling, day dreamer throughout my school ma’am years.

Luck definitely played a part in my transition from teaching to painting. I hadn’t even thought about approaching galleries, but luckily, a friend who owned one approached me. My ‘debut’ paintings sold out quickly, giving me the confidence to ditch my day job and paint full time. Several big solo exhibitions in New Plymouth sold out over the next few years.

Then there was a was a ‘public’ hiatus for four years, where I continued to sell paintings but I really lurked under the radar… while I pursued other interests and projects.

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