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Surf’s up

By 17 June 2024June 21st, 2024Culture Etc, North&South, Sponsored Content


Surf’s Up

Artist Andre Roth creates seaside landscapes brimming with life — barrelling waves, coral, orca, nikau and pōhutukawa — on dinged-up and pre-loved fibreglass surfboards.


Nadia Shaw-Owens

When Andre Roth made the move to New Zealand from South Africa eight years ago, her fine-art and oil-painting skill set transitioned into that cruisy, languid Kiwiana style that is fondly associated with Aotearoa summers and good times at the bach. It sells well, and Roth’s setting of Papamoa certainly serves up enough inspiration for her beachscapes. “There’s quite the market for my surfboards because of the big ocean culture here.”

Roth works by commission, and typically her boards are sold to people with holiday houses and a bunch of fond memories to collage onto the boards. The current piece she is working on is a gift from a husband to his wife, with a glorious mish-mash of native bush, Disneyland, the Eiffel Tower, the Grand Canyon, Rangitoto, and a few family dogs.

And can she please squeeze in the family of six too? “I’m not very tech savvy,” laughs Roth, “I should do a computer course really, because right now I draw everything up for mock-ups, and then rub it out and start again if I need to shuffle things around.”

Roth suffers from that internal conflict many artists battle – how do I put a price on my work? “I want everyone to be able to buy one. I do get people saying ‘Oh, you could charge double’, but then I get people who are like, ‘Can I pay it off? Or, ‘Can you do it for $400?’” The surfboards start at $600, and take Roth a couple of weeks to complete. This cost covers the sourcing of the board too, which she searches for on Facebook Marketplace or TradeMe, looking for damaged goods that just require a quick patch-job before painting. “It is an upcycling project too, really. I fix them up, then prime the fibreglass with an all surface Resene primer. Once I am finished with the commission, I cover them with Resene Clearcoat UVS so they can go outdoors too.”

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As for her favourite colours to paint with, Roth walks over to her tower of Resene testpots to hum and haw. Her hands gravitate to all shades green and blue – Resene Riptide, Resene Paradise, Resene Clover, and Resene Pacifika. She makes sure to use them straight out of the pot without too much mixing, in case a customer needs to patch up a chip or a scrape in the artwork.

Roth has generously offered one of her favourite pieces for auction to North & South readers, with all proceeds going to the good cause of Paint New Zealand Beautiful, which is a programme designed to reduce littering and graffiti behaviours via the encouragement of public art displays and murals. “Murals just make towns a super-cool, bright place to live in!” exclaims Roth, who has previously painted native penguins, oystercatchers, and local pooches on transformers around Papamoa and Takapuna.

Go to TradeMe and search ‘North & South and Resene Charity Art Auction’ to place your bid for a solid wooden surfboard cut-out original by Andre Roth, which she describes as an “easy on the eye” design, with natural tones, blooming flowers, rolling waves and sunshine. To the lucky winner, Roth has some advice: “Definitely hang it inside. It is so detailed, with fine line work, so I reckon it looks better in an open space, that isn’t too busy.”

Check out Andre Roth on Instagram at @oceanandarts and send her DM to kick the commission process off. Auction closes Monday 17 June.