About the Artist

Painting in the Studio

I live on a small farmlet in beautiful rural New Zealand, and am lucky enough to have endless inspiration for my paintings right on my doorstep.

I paint in acrylic, and I enjoy its flexibility, in that it is possible to combine a watercolour-like transparency with oil-like richness. For my wall paintings I use wood or hot pressed paper instead of canvas as a surface because the smoothness makes it possible to paint very fine details.

My obsession with the cute and tiny has meant that over the years my brush sizes have got smaller and smaller. I have now reached the smallest size there is and it's still too big!

As a child I spent a lot of time observing the intricate details of the plants, animals and birds around me, and also the way they interacted with each other. This had a lot of influence on my artistic style. I love to portray ‘close up’ moments in the busy lives of the creatures I paint and to capture their expressions and emotions.

I’ve also always loved to make things out of natural objects that I have found or collected. I particularly enjoy painting on stones because each is like a little blank canvas just waiting to be picked up and transformed into a cute animal ready to bring happiness to someone! You can read more about my rock art in my blog.


Living on a small plot of land surrounded by animals, a large vege garden, and lots of fruit trees, I'm trying to live the self-sufficient lifestyle. Combining this with a career as an artist sometimes gets a bit intense, as it's like having two full time jobs... If sometimes the view out of the studio window looks more like an impenetrable jungle than a productive vege garden, I just have to remind myself that at least the chooks are having fun in there, even if the veges aren't!

My life is currently ruled by one cat, one dog, nineteen hens, three roosters, seven sheep, and a small herd of goats. The chooks all have very individual personalities and keep us supplied with eggs and a lot of entertainment. Then there's all the antics the goats and sheep regularly get up to... we don’t need TV at our place, you just have to look out the window!

Mouse the whippet and Ollie the cat are my beloved friends and studio companions (and occasional artist's models) of the past fifteen years. They are pictured above doing, as usual, an excellent job of moral support while I work.

Mousewhisker Studio is so named because of the mouse which hops onto my signature when I’m not looking. The ‘whisker’ part expresses my aspiration to create art ‘fine enough to be painted with a mouse’s whisker!’

  • Me

    Animal slave and vege garden labourer, who also has skills with a paint brush.

  • Ernestina Mouse Potton

    Studio assitant: Un-biased artist's admirer and full-time armchair embellishment.

  • Oliver Tootles Potton

    Studio assistant: Workspace obstructionist & artist's hot water bottle.

  • Chooks (x22)

    Ferdinand, Isabella, Maudie & Co...

    Gourmet free-range egg vendors, early morning alarm system, soil tillers, and garden pest disposal squad.

  • Sheep (x7)

    Bertram, Peggoty, Woolhelmina, Mildred, Henry, Lambie & Freckles

    Woolly paddock cuteness, lawn & pasture maintenance team, and donators of 100% natural knitting supplies.

  • Goats (x8)

    Violetta, Milly, Hazel, Teddy, Twynkle, Petal, Tigger & Badger

    Flappy ear entertainment troupe, tree removal & mulching specialists, fence reconstructionists, and top quality garden manure suppliers.


Follow me on Instagram to see posts of my latest creations and shop updates, as well as pics of my animal family and farmlet happenings.