Patricia Howitt

I am a self-taught artist inspired mainly by the outdoors, wilderness and wildlife. My love of art began as a young child. Although I was forbidden to consider art as a career, it became the underlying driving force in my life, and it has sustained me through some difficult times.

I work in acrylic, oils, pencil and vector.

Throughout a 14 year career as a government lawyer, I created, exhibited and sold art - inspired by weekend forays into the high country around our capital Wellington. These activities kept me sane. The artworks were a way to reach out and 'possess' the wild country I would love to have lived and worked in.

At present I live in the Far North of New Zealand. More recently, while caring for my mom who had developed Alzheimers, I freelanced on the net in webdesign and graphics - working principally for an Australian company in vector design (2004-2009). Unfortunately, that job folded.

In 2010 I was approached to illustrate a book - 'Taketakerau The Millennium Tree', on the strength of work displayed on the Internet. The book, published in 2012, won 5 awards, including Finalist in the 2013 New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards - Non-Fiction Category. See .

I am now putting my time back into art and have just started exhibiting again.

For my CV which includes awards and exhibitions, see
For press cuttings, see

My other interests are gardening and classical archaeology. Visit my site at


Icons of Aotearoa

My interpretation of many symbols that have become part of how we as New Zealanders identify ourselves.

Go Fishing - Hi Ika “Go Fishing - Hi Ika”

Mixed media combination of fishing symbols, based on Maori carving and art forms.

These include the carved whalebone fishing hook (matau), the spiral koru, and a carved greenstone or jade inanga (stylized whitebait) pendant

Vector plus.

Night Journey “Night Journey”

Maori war canoes on a night journey.

Maori Waka, Aotearoa, new zealand, maori, waka, canoes, night sky, planets, koru.


Sea Urchin - Kina “Sea Urchin - Kina”

Sea Urchin, kina, Evechinus chloroticus, seafood, shellfish, new zealand, kai.

Matariki - Pleiades “Matariki - Pleiades”

Matariki is Maori for The Pleiades. The rising of the Pleiades star constellation (late May early June in Aotearoa New Zealand) marks the Maori New Year. The Koru or unfurling fern frond is also a symbol of birth and new beginnings.


Illustration - The Millennium Tree

Illustrations created for the book 'Taketakerau The Millennium Tree' published in New Zealand in 2012.
36 illustrations in all - gallery quality acrylic 15" x 20"..


The Migration “The Migration”

Polynesian explorers find Aotearoa, 800 - 1000 AD: brilliant navigation aided only by the stars and the flight-paths of migratory birds, including the Long-tailed Cuckoo.


Kiwi, Bats, and More “Kiwi, Bats, and More”

Night scene below the tree with kiwi, bats, native owls and insects - some of our most well-known forest wildlife by night:


Native Pigeons Feasting “Native Pigeons Feasting”

Native pigeons (kereru) and Red-crowned Parakeets (kakariki) feast on the rich berries of the Puriri tree (Vitex lucens).


Burial Rituals at Night “Burial Rituals at Night”

A Maori tohunga leads the ceremony as the tribe gathers to bury ancestral bones in the hollow trunk of the ancient tree.


Haast's Eagle and Moa “Haast's Eagle and Moa”

Haast's eagle was the largest eagle the world has ever seen. It preyed on large birds that are now extinct. Probably also humans.


Waiting in the Whare “Waiting in the Whare”

Maori children wait inside their family hut while their parents gather shellfish off the rocks. Historic fishing hooks at the front.


Exploring A New Land “Exploring A New Land”

A Polynesian immigrant and his son explore the forest in the new land that will become their home.


Wetlands Wildlife - Waioeka Flats “Wetlands Wildlife - Waioeka Flats”

New Zealand wetlands as they were. Details inspired by botanical surveys on Plimmerton Swamp, Wellington.



My greatest inspiration is the wild country - especially 'on the tops', where far-reaching views give a sense of grandeur and mystery.

Shining Down Like Water “Shining Down Like Water”

Mt Taranaki from near the summit of Mt Ruapehu on a cold day.


Back To Nature “Back To Nature”

Part of a 'Journey' series reflecting on the journey of life. Mt Ruapehu in the background.


The Pinnacles “The Pinnacles”

High country in the Coromandel / Waikato. Evocative wilderness landscape.


Tender Is The Night “Tender Is The Night”

Night view inspired by the sand hills at Mitimiti on the Hokianga Harbour, Far North NZ.


The End of the Farm “The End of the Farm”

Spring showers cloak the hills as musterers and their dogs bring home the flock. Behind, a magical glimpse into the northern end of the Tararua ranges (Wellington, NZ)


The Sacred Place “The Sacred Place”

A sacred mountain in the Far North New Zealand. It has a distinctive outline, and when seen from certain angles looks like a table mountain, ,


Country Road “Country Road”

Clouds loom over a lonely country road in darkest Africa. Strip roads date back to bullock carts in pioneer days.

Oils on board.

The Weather Breaks “The Weather Breaks”

I used to travel on circuit through the central North Island of NZ, and the stretch of country from Rotorua through to Whakatane always fascinated me.