On 3 April 2020 my exhibition East, Of The Sun was to have opened at the Tairawhiti Museum in Gisborne. Before I could get the paintings down there, New Zealand went into Level 4 COVID-19 lockdown. The Museum closed its doors. On Monday 11 May our Prime Minister Jacinda Adern announced that on Thursday 14 May the country would go to Level 2 lockdown, and that Museums could re-open. I took my paintings to the Museum, and the exhibition opened on 15 May 2020. Here are the press releases:
* The Gisborne Herald
* Tairawhiti Museum
This painting was awarded second place in the open section of the PANZ Journal challenge in August 2019. I was painting landscapes for my 2020 exhibition East, of the Sun, and felt like doing something different. I wandered down to the Gisborne rail yards one morning, and was immediately captured by the colour of these wagons, the complexity of the rust and wear, and all the tiny details of the machinery. In the background is the shed which houses the Gisborne vintage train WA165. I’ve taken a ride on WA165 out to the beach loop at Muriwai. I was smiling all the way – the smell of the smoke and the chug chug of the engine, the clickety-clack going along the tracks, and the stunning scenery, including going across Gisborne airport runway.
Pastel on Canson mi Tientes, NZ$680
This painting, entitled “Tucked Away, Matawhero” of a small shed in a field on Bloomfield Road near Gisborne was awarded a merit prize in the national PANZ exhibition Purely Pastel. The exhibition was held at the Percy Thomson Gallery in Stratford in March/April. One of the judges, Karol Oakley, did a walk-through of the gallery talking about the winning paintings. She said this one had “jumped off the wall” the moment she walked into the gallery. She said the focal point (the shed) was the lightest spot near the darkest spot which gives the picture some drama, and the fenceline pulls your eye towards the focal point. She loved the fun colours of the fence posts.
Currently in the Tairawhiti Museum as part of my 2020 exhibition East, of the Sun.
In April 2018 I won the open section of the PANZ Journal challenge with this painting. I started painting it as an ordinary seascape, but soon realised there wasn’t enough of a focal point to hold the viewer’s interest. I’d just been reading about Aurelio Rodriguez Lopez whose paintings have a little twist, or a catch which pulls you in and holds you. I decided to try something. I took the painting off the easel, lay it down on a table outside, placed my cup of lemon verbena tea, some shells (because it’s a seascape), some pastels, and the corner of the photograph I was using as a reference for the painting right on top of the painting. I photographed the setup, and then put the painting back on the easel to complete it as you see here. Rather than only putting the pastel sticks I was using for the seascape in the foreground as if I had just stopped for a cuppa while working, I decided to place pastels that I would need to paint the still life in the foreground, just to tease the viewer. I also made the maroon/brown pastel in the right foreground look as if its dust has just fallen on the paper after using it to brush across the bottom section. It was so much fun thinking about how to do this – I was grinning while I worked on it. My friend Travis Lapointe who’s a surfer here suggested I call it “Painting Break” as there’s a wave break in the seascape, and the subject is taking a break from painting. Thanks Travis.
Pastel on Canson mi Tientes, 89 x 68cms framed. NZ$890
I was invited to put a piece in the Gisborne Contemporaries Exhibition “Seeing Angels.”
In August 1990 I had a small exhibition at Tairawhiti Museum of photographs.