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Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to find out more about what makes this creative brain of mine tick.


I was born in Sydney, Australia a long time ago when there were only three tv stations and you had to get up and walk over to the tv to change the channel. I spent various times in my childhood living in Sydney, Perth and the UK where I went to boarding school for a few years. My mother is a very talented artist I have always  been drawn to creative things. I had a bit of a propensity for the dramatic and studied Expressive and Performing Arts at UNSW.

I moved to New Zealand in 1995 and got a Real Job. I dabbled from time to time with painting, but mostly just for birthday cards and such. I dreamed of becoming a children’s book illustrator.

Elise Painting Howick Beach Watercolour Artist.jpg


After having children, my passion for children’s literature really took off and my dream of writing and illustrating my own book was realised. In 2015 I published Rabbit’s Big Idea.

Then in 2018 I published a novel for middle grade readers called When Gina Pressed Enter which was a finalist for the Tom Fitzgibbon Award.

During the first COVID19 lockdown in March 2020, I was very lucky to be invited to collaborate with local children’s musician Claudia Robin Gunn on her digital album Sing Through the Year - A Little Wild Childhood, which was funded by Creative NZ. It was so fun to create the illustrations for this project. Since then, I have illustrated another two more albums for Claudia. It’s so great to be kicking it with another local super mum! 

Elise Painting Snow Mountains Art.jpg


As with a lot of Creatives, I have lots of other interests. I love book making and junk journaling. I use new and upcycled materials to produce my books and love learning new binding techniques.

I also sew and it’s a skill I’m forever grateful I learned as a young girl. 

Of course, I love to travel and especially paint en plein air (outdoors). It’s the most wonderful way to truly connect with the place you are visiting and is so much more satisfying than taking a quick snap on your phone.


Not long after publishing Rabbit’s Big Idea in 2015, I really started to get back into painting. I took part in an online challenge called The 100 Days Project and did a painting a day for 100 days. This was the launch of my art career.

I began to sell my work, which was a thrill beyond words. I decided to quit my part time job and focus more on my painting. I was dabbling between acrylic and watercolour, but soon realised that my heart truly lies with watercolour.

Since then I have done my best to improve my skills and connect to my local art community. I teach Watercolours for Beginners at Uxbridge Art Centre in Howick, am President of the Howick Art Group and have completed a number of community art beautification projects. I also teach online and give art demonstrations for clubs and workshops.

Elise De Silva Art Class Painting East Auckland.jpg


I've been fortunate to have my work showcased in exhibitions and in the media.

Times Article - Three artists make finals. Read article here

Times Article - Memories of Howick. Read article here


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