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Quiet Observations

Aratoi Museum of Art & History, 12 Bruce St, Masterton

April 20th - June 16th 2024

The exhibition is a mix of paintings for sale and paintings from private collections. 

Click on image to enlarge. 

IMG_8271 (2)

Oil on canvas 600 x 400mm NZ$ 3200


Oil on canvas 1000 x 500mm NZ$ 9000

Arapaoa Island, Tory Channel

Oil on canvas 1200 x 850mm Private collection

First Light, Milford Sound

Oil on canvas 900 x 700mm NZ$ 12,000

Makakahi River, Northern Wairarapa

Oil on canvas 1200 x 600mm Private collection

Mangahao River, Northern Wairarapa

Oil on canvas 750 x 500mm NZ$ 7000

Oretei River, Te Awaiti

Oil on canvas 300 x 300mm Private collection

Tasman Glacier, Aoraki Mt Cook

Oil on canvas 900 x 450mm Private collection

Mitre, Tararua Ranges

Oil on canvas 600 x 400mm NZ$ 2800

Northern Wairarapa at Dawn

Oil on canvas 900 x 400mm Private collection

Ruamahanga River at Dawn

Oil on canvas 400 x 400mm Private Collection

Tararua Ranges at Dusk

Oil on canvas 750 x 500mm Private collection

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For me, one of the biggest challenges of this exhibition was coming up with a name. Seems crazy doesn’t it, but analyzing and putting into words, what you do on a subconscious level can be a difficult thing for many visual creators, as we just do what we do. I didn’t start with a name or a theme, I just wanted to paint landscapes. 

I knew I would borrow some from collectors, and produce some new work, so as I selected images, I curated a body of work that would be cohesive but show the diversity of the NZ landscape. I then asked myself what do these works have in common?  

I have always had a love for the natural world. My grandmother, the artist Myrtle McDonald and my grandfather Mac a keen photographer, came from Southland and Otago, and shared with us from an early age, their passion for the landscape and the flora & fauna of this beautiful country we live in. I suppose without thinking about it, they taught us how to see, to observe and to appreciate the world around us. 


Observation is a core principle of being an artist, and how we choose to express this observation determines the style of work we produce, for example realism or abstraction or expresssionism. I have always favoured realism and having trained as an architect, I am naturally drawn to detail and form. 


I’m also very interested in the geomorphology of our landscape, the weathering and erosion that alters the geology of our long narrow mountainous islands in the South Pacific spanning 35 to 47 degrees south in latitude, 1600kms long and 400kms at its widest point. 

You combine this with the weather patterns, particularly the westerly winds known as the Roaring 40s which cause gales over the South Island and the lower North Island, and we predominantly get heavy rain on the west coast with the Southern Alps and North Island Ranges blocking the rain to the east, making the land much drier.

This dynamic weather creates amazing cloudscapes, and this affects how the light falls on the land and water. 


And it’s this light that captures my imagination and feeds my soul. I am constantly observing how light changes through the day and the seasons, and sometimes when I’m out walking, I’m stopped in my tracks and can be moved to tears. 


This emotional response to the environment is what I want to convey in my paintings, this quiet moment in time when you feel one with this place, this sense of stillness and peace. This is also reflected in my painting process which has become an act of mindfulness - quiet brushstrokes and subtle mixes of tones and colours, where hours go by unnoticed.  

The Post article 2024
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