Downtown art attack

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A monarch butterfly in flight fills out the shape of a grand piano. 

It’s one of 21 quirky watercolours conjured up by highly-rated Bannockburn artist Alan Waters (right) for an exhibition opening today in Queenstown’s Artbay Gallery. 

Waters was one of only two New Zealanders invited to a world artists’ exhibition to mark the opening of a new gallery in England last October. 

A former professional clown and pet store owner, Waters says he had an “A-ha moment” 16 years ago “and I’ve been painting full-time ever since”. 

“I’m an ideas person – I’ve got thousands. You’ve got to be different. 

“There are enough people around to paint the Earnslaw, the lake, the Remarkables and all that stuff – not for this kid,” he says. 

Invercargill-raised Waters has a gallery on a Bannockburn mountain top, near Cromwell. 

Until his Queenstown exhibition finishes at the end of this month, he’ll be an artist in residence each Saturday at Artbay from 11am till 3pm.