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Drawing the movement of fabric over form. This was how I started.

Drawing in Paris

My intuition guided me to visit Paris and in 1991 I saw first hand the collections of European designers Valentino, Dior, la Croix, Guy Laroche, Oscar de la Renta.
Standing beside the catwalks, I was compelled to draw the stunning new season releases. 

As a child, my sensory awareness, the touch and movement of cloth was acute. My grandmother and I went to the theatre and the ballet and I loved the swish of colour and cloth. In 1985 I began working at the Court Theatre wardrobe in Christchurch. And then moved to Wellington to study Fashion Design. My final year collection won the New Zealand Wool Board prize in 1987. These were the paving stones that led me to the Paris Shows.

Entry to these fashion launches in Paris allowed me to work directly as the models paraded the catwalk. My figurative life drawing experience compelled me to bring my paper closer to the action and I squeezed myself between the enormous lenses of the photographers right to the edge of the catwalk. My lessons in pattern drafting from my student years were invaluable as I could see the details and work out the cause and effect, drawing in darts and seams; the reasons for line and flow. I captured the balance of a garment, whilst writing notes to prompt watercolour painting at the end of each invigorating day, while the vibrancy of tones and textures were still fresh in my memory.

Later a friend of Valentino Garavani commissioned a collection of these drawings and I am stoked to have five of these works in Valentino's home in Switzerland.

There was a big chunk of life (20 years) where my creativity was for family; raising Lucy and Fergus with Stew. I loved being artful with cooking nourishing home grown food and inviting our children and their friends to explore their own artful play; each day different. I felt a big and beautiful responsibility. I committed my heart and soul to being present to what was needed in each moment as mother and wife. I am so grateful for this gift, of being human. Of being a creatress. 

Amongst this life in the flowing tussock and matagouri of the Porters Pass foothills, our children at school, I longed to share my creative expression and found a beautiful collaboration with drawing and wedding celebration.



... gentle brushstrokes, awash with grace...  

Kind Words...

"Every year on our wedding anniversary, I put on my wedding dress and my husband and I share a glass of bubbles and dance. Discovering Jessica’s work and being painted wearing my favorite dress was an amazing experience. The end result is not only a beautiful, authentic and unique piece of art that we absolutely love, but also the essence of a treasured memory".


(Bride - In celebration of 25 years marriage)

"Jessica’s work is truly lovely and I was so pleased to have her paint my daughter-in-law in her wedding dress as a gift... I felt it was something very unique and special, a family memory that will be treasured beyond my lifetime".

 Amanda (Mother of the Groom)

Jessica Gunn Emma Buhler oil 1 (1)_previ

Mixed media on wallpaper board


Jessica Gunn  

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