Wademans on water: Spike and Sue Wademan in their new marina studio


A prominent Queenstown marine and aviation artist and his artist wife have jumped ship.

Spike and Sue Wademan, who’ve operated out of the Queenstown Arts Centre they co-founded 20-plus years ago, are now working from a floating studio over the Frankton marina.

Appropriately, it’s a marina Spike did the concept drawings for.

With Queenstown Art Society’s lease over the arts centre expiring in May, ‘‘we thought we would like to have our own space,’’ Sue says.

‘‘And we thought a marine artist should be in the marina.’’

Spike adds: ‘‘It feels like I’m finally coming home.’’

Spike, who first drew ships as a five-year-old in his native England, has exhibited in a marine-specific gallery in Massachusetts, in the United States, for the past 10 years.

Sue says when they visited in 2018, they were inspired by studios dotted along the Cape Cod coast.

She agrees it’s been hard leaving the arts centre — ‘‘it’s a lot of history and a lot of connections’’ — but says people are already supporting ‘Spike’s Blue Boat Shed Studio’.

An inspiring art teacher, Spike is also taking classes there.

Sue: ‘‘We had our first art class in there and one of the ladies said, ‘oh, we just had an earthquake’.

‘‘I said, ‘I think it’s a jetboat going out’.’’

Visitors are welcome by appointment.