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Look closely at Anthea Weir’s art, it’s not made of what you think

31 Mar 2022

Anthea Weir is a passionate recycler, turning trash into treasure from her home on the Kapiti Coast. On top of being a full time graphic designer and painter, she’s added a new string to her bow: becoming a collage artist. When she’s not diving into Resene paints for her art, she’s tearing up habitat magazines she’s finished reading for colourful collage works.  


It was an afternoon of creativity with her daughter that started her collage journey. “For a number of years I ripped out funky magazine pages and stuck them to book covers, so when Aisha (10) and I started a project for school, I already had the magazine pages colour coded.”  

Old magazines are given a new lease of life by Anthea. “I have always enjoyed reading all sorts of magazines so when I started collaging I had piles of magazine papers ready to go,” Anthea says. 

She says seeing a whole page of teal blue or sunshine yellow brings the greatest excitement. “habitat pages are fantastic as they often have those deep colours that I look for.”  

Commissions keep Anthea busy, and the most popular are her New Zealand native birds – especially the tui and fantail. She also displays her framed original collages in cafes, gift shops and creative art spaces.   

Magazines she uses are all donated to her by friends or thrifted. Sometime she’ll spy a good pile of magazines at a second-hand store. “Cooking magazines are great. I love the backgrounds they put behind recipes. Flicking through the magazines is no chore – it can leave me inspired, hungry or excited all at the same time, not to mention I get to tell my husband and kids I am working!”  

Her creative space has moved from the dining table to her conservatory. A view of a lake with swans, ducks and the odd kingfisher keeps her company. Plenty of inspiration for art arrives this way.  

Anthea is also a keen painter, and a big fan of using Resene paints. “The first time I used Resene paint was when I was commissioned to do artwork for Cafe Twenty Eight in Wellington. They wanted the background to match a wall they had just decorated.” Anthea couldn’t find the perfect match in paper or wallpaper, but thankfully a brain wave struck her. “I realised I could paint the wallpaper exactly the same colour. It was Resene Alamo and it looked amazing.”  

Since then she’s created beautiful backgrounds for her collage art by mixing Resene colours together. “As I love to paint, I am in my element doing this. The background for a tui and proteas piece was created using Resene Botticelli, Resene Cello and Resene Tom Thumb.”  

Her latest finished piece is a collage of Dr. Martens boots. “The challenge for this one was that the boots were all black, but adding in extra colours can be the best part as it makes the subject ‘pop'. I am waiting for it to dry now and am planning to paint the background with Resene Double Alabaster. I painted my house this colour so I know it’s a goodie.”   

Anthea says it’s a great feeling that something that started as a simple family homework project turned into a business.   

Find out more about Anthea’s work,   

Published: 31 Mar 2022