Esther Smith

Esther Smith is an Auckland based Floral painter

Esther Smith is a contemporary New Zealand painter working in realism to create enticingly detailed floral works.

Working in oil on canvas, Smith captures every intricacy of the flower; every fold of a petal drapes across the canvas, inviting immersion within her alluring palette and energetic compositions that exude a sense of harmony in full bloom. Smith is interested in overarching themes of duality and transience; noting particularly, “the human construct of time: whether linear or cyclical… microcosm / macrocosm, Dionysian / Apollonian, and utopian / dystopian… “. The floral subject emphasises this notion of the passing of time, our fleeting enjoyment of a moment, the waxing and waning of nature’s beauty.


Smith graduated with a Bachelor of Visual Art and Design from EIT Hawkes Bay in 2001, going on to exhibit in group exhibitions and showing work in galleries in Napier, Wellington, and Auckland.

In 2010, Smith and her husband Guillaume, a French winemaker, purchased land on the Waimarama road where they built a cottage and planted the gardens – providing endless inspiration for the painter, a self-confessed “lover of colour” and avid gardener. Soon after, in 2012, they welcomed their daughter Lilly and established their vineyard and label, Maison Noire. Smith now paints full time from her studio situated amongst the gardens, the vines, and birdsong.

Parnell Gallery has represented Esther Smith since 2023.


Someday I'll Wish Upon a Star