Nelson Suter Art Society

to promote and encourage the cultivation and production of work in the visual arts

Kayla Russell

Ever since I was young, I have had what I now look back on and diagnose as a case of ‘wool gathering’; My bare feet may be sinking into patches of moss, but internally I am a part of a larger ecosystem of out-of-sight wonders, critters, and life; Mushrooms aren’t just fungi, they are homes, hats and little organisms with personalities; Moths fly towards light because that is where they gather for their private book clubs; A hen’s favourtie hobbie is gardening, and frogs knit. I paint soft, whimsical watercolour paintings that capture this internal dialogue.


I work predominantly in watercolour. I adore the versatility of colours and shades, all achievable through something as simple as water. My paintings have a quiet presence, while at the same time conveying delightful amusement which watercolour helps me capture perfectly. Although seemingly childlike my paintings have a nostalgic note for anyone who enjoys nature and finds themselves staring into the abyss of moss and beech forests (regardless of age). The same peace I feel when I pick up a paintbrush is parallel to when I am amongst nature and outdoors. It is a window into a world beyond the leaves, acorns and forest floor.


As an adult this mindset fosters continuous ideas and inspiration for paintings, making for quite an enjoyable outlook on life! Originally from the little coastal town of Maraetai in the North Island, I have relocated to my new home in Nelson.  I have grown up painting, drawing, making art out of anything within or outside of the home, there wasn’t a creative outlet we didn’t follow as a family, or a time when art wasn’t a part of our lives. Over the past two years, painting has taken a stronger hold in my life. Prioritising time to paint and explore the possibilities that come with producing your own work.


You can find and purchase my work at or pop into the Little Beehive Co-Op in Nelson.  

Facebook: Kayla Nancy Illustrations  Instagram: kaylanancy_illustrations