Alexandra Heyes

Alexandra Heyes is an established New Zealand painter specializing in figurative painting
and portraiture, with work in collections in the UK, Europe, USA, Australia and New
Alexandra makes many of her own paints and mediums to achieve the beautiful
hues and textures which are a signature of her painting.
Her preliminary charcoal drawings capture the natural personality and essence of her subjects.
Her work is mostly influenced by the Spanish and Italian painters such as Velaquez , Goya and Caravaggio.
Alexandra Heyes exhibited in Antibe, France in 1994 and was invited to exhibit at the Hotel de Paris in Monte Carlo.
After returning to New Zealand Heyes continued to paint, specializing in portraiture, and figurative painting.
Her daughter Sarah inspired much of her work in the following years.
The Gillan gallery in Parnell exhibited and represented her and in 2005.
Heyes established her own Atelier galerie in Auckland where she held annual exhibitions,
engaged in conservation framing, gilding, restoration, and tutoring.
In 2008 she travelled to France again painting a portrait commission in Paris.
Her portrait work and figurative painting have become highly sought after.

In 2019 Heyes and her partner were given permission to paint in the Alhambra Generalife,
in Granada, Spain, and are planning a painters workshop there in Spain which will be ‘the
opportunity of a lifetime’ for Artists to paint in some of the most unique and incredible
locations in Andalucia in September 2023.
The water gilded frames

Alexandra uses a technique called water-gilding for many of her frames. This is a process
which takes time and skill.
The first part of the process requires each frame to have eight layers of white gesso which is made freshly and applied by hand while warm, then carefully sanded in between layers to an extremely smooth finish. The second stage involves applying four layers of red bole (a clay based pigment) which is applied like watercolor to each frame. This is then finally burnished with steel wool ready for gilding.
Water gilding takes extreme patience as each loose leaf of gold is so fine that the slightest air movement can crumple it or blow it away. The gold leaf is applied with a gilders tip made out of squirrel bristle. After all the sheets are applied the frame is then burnished to either a bright shine or made mat by the application of a stearic acid and tempera medium.
The frame around the ‘Baignuese de Valpincion’ after Ingres has an extra addition of Italian punch work which is done by hand.