The Taupo Volcanic zone is a geothermal field extending from White Island off the Bay of Plenty Coast to Mt Ruapehu far to the south. The thermal wonderland in which I live inspired my latest body of work, which in turn lead to working in a more abstract style.
I have for now, abandoned the precision of the paint brush in favour of a palette knife, roller and at times my bare hands. Applying the paint thickly to build up texture and relief I then introduce various paint mediums to help manipulate the colour pigments below.
In these paintings I am not so much attempting to capture the image itself, but rather convey a mood or feeling through the use of colour and texture. In so doing I hope to leave room for the viewer to interpret what they see. Perhaps inspire some to look more carefully at the world around them and discover beauty in the unusual places.
‘Where boiling mud pools and hissing fumaroles explode from the earth’s crust
And misty veils barely conceal rainbow coloured silica terraces
Where a mystical waka wairua – spirit canoe foretells of coming disaster
And flashes of azure and emerald are revealed within cascading waterfalls’
BALKAN – Ottoman Turkish translation ‘Chain of wooded mountains’.
Breathless beautiful blistered and bruised
Savaged lands strewn about through time
Caught between Occident and Orient,
West and East, Europe and Asia
In this set of work I move freely between realism and abstraction. Allowing more space for intuitive expression I kept myself open to surprises and ‘happy accidents’. The intentionally limited colour pallet allows the many and varied textures to speak for themselves.
These raw and at times unfinished paintings invite you to interpret and connect in your own way and in so doing become part of the story telling.
“I like ruins because what remains is not the total design,
but the clarity of thought,
the naked structure,
the spirit of the thing.”
This collection of paintings focuses on boats and bodies of water. From a long boat in the shallow lagoons of Borneo to a blue boat in the pristine waters of Milford Sounds, from fishing boats in Northern Scotland to crowded house boats in the canals of Amsterdam. Based on photographs taken during our travels my aim was to capture the moment by carefully replicating the scene as accurately as possible.
Within this collection is a series of work where the humble dinghy holds centre stage. An object I’ve found that’s dear to the hearts of many, as it evokes happy memories of a carefree childhood.
‘There’s nothing – absolutely nothing
Half so much worth doing
As simply messing about in boats’
WIND IN THE WILLOWS by KENNETH GRAHAME