Rachel Brebner loves food, painting and jazz. Not necessarily in that order, but she has successfully managed to combine all three passions into one through her paintings. Brebner, whose oil and water colour paintings are on show in an exhibition titled Lively Forms at LKF The Gallery, is a musician-turned-artist who loves food. Now aged 34, the New Zealander studied music from the ages of five to 25 and has a degree in music and art history. 'It's unusual to do a music degree and end up an artist,' she admitted. Brebner studied at Otago University in New Zealand, where she concentrated on the piano, viola and conducting. Her brother gave her a box of watercolours 10 years ago and the conductor's baton was soon replaced by the paintbrush. 'Music was a discipline, it took years and years of practising scales and performing. Art is a total pleasure. I love it and I can do it. It has taken over from music,' she said enthusiastically. Her current exhibition is the product of five months' hard work in Hong Kong. 'Hong Kong is just awesome, it's very sensual. I love it, there is always something going on. It is the total opposite to New Zealand. In fact, it's funny but the first painting I ever did was of an impression I had of Hong Kong, even though I had never been here. I painted the hills at the bottom and houses at the top, the way they are in New Zealand.' For this exhibition, the majority of paintings are watercolours. Lively Forms has three distinct sections: food, musical instruments and Chinese objects. The food pictures depict bowls of fruit with the brightest of backgrounds, as well as bottles of wine and candles. The musical paintings are a flurry of movement and are more abstract. 'The food and jazz paintings are fantasies. Jazz is such a mass of energy. I've done music for so many years I can't help it.' Brebner's Chinese-inspired paintings are more graphic, and painted in rich heavily textured oils. All the paintings demonstrate a passionate use of colour, texture and love of the subject matter. Brebner grew up in a food-loving family, where before breakfast was finished lunch would be discussed. 'At the moment I'm into simple food. I just like to throw things on the table. If it takes longer than 20 minutes I get nervous,' she said. When asked whether she applied the same principle to her paintings, she gave a musical analogy: 'For painting I let it flow out, so it takes longer than 20 minutes. But if people pay several hundred dollars to hear a piece of music that takes 20 minutes, you have to remember the years of practice and sacrifices that have been made. 'I have made lots of sacrifices for my art - always having to make time in between doing other jobs.' Brebner has never had any formal training in art but did study with Ruth Cole, one of New Zealand's top contemporary oil artists, whom she describes as a 'gutsy oil landscape painter'. 'I really love her use of texture. I could never paint landscapes - there's no need to bring them inside. In New Zealand landscape is everywhere.' Even though she admits to letting her music skills lapse, she still has a passionate love for it. 'I always wear my Walkman when I paint. I listen to lots of jazz, never classical music. For example, when I painted For The Hungry (a vibrant red, pink and yellow watercolour of Chinese bowls), I was listening to Aretha Franklin on continuous loop.' Summer Breeze is a textured watercolour using gesso - a paste which gives a fresco-like finish of bowls of fruit - edged with potato prints. A visit to the Jazz Club to see top British performer Stan Tracey and his band when they were in the SAR premiering a work commissioned by the former governor inspired the painting Stan Tracey's Quartet. It is an evocative triptych of trombone and saxophone players - so much so you can almost hear the notes. Brebner admitted her favourite way to paint was to combine jazz and food. 'I love to have people over to the studio to drop in, have a cup of coffee, put on some music, have some wine - and I can just disappear for moment and paint.'