Opening 31 March 2023. Runs 1 April 2023 to 11 June 2023
Tairāwhiti Museum, Gisborne, New Zealand
I’m posting these paintings here as I do them to give you a sneak preview.
(left) I saw these trees on the first walk I did after the Level 4 lockdown was announced. It was early morning, and the trees hadn’t reached their full colours. Pastel on pastel paper. 66 x 46cms
(above) Tucker Road: This is a scene on Tucker Road with the hills on Back Ormond Road in the background. It’s Murray MacPhail’s beautiful red barn (there are actually two, but you can’t see the second one from this angle), and the deciduous trees he’s planted putting on their best autumn colours. It’s pastels and acrylic paint on pastelmat. 65 x 23cms
(above) Nick’s Head Station, Muriwai: Nick’s Head Station is at Muriwai, Gisborne. The owner has a focus on conservation, planting thousands of trees, restoring wetlands, and bringing back tuatara, mutton birds, and other endangered species. The grasses on this farm track have, I think, been deliberately allowed to go to seed to feed the birds and insects. Pastel on pastelmat, 65 x 29cm unframed
(above) Midway Beach – a temporary watchtower for the National Surf Lifesaving Championships held in Gisborne in 2020. There was something about the dark sky behind the trees creating quite a contrast with this bright little structure that caught my eye on my morning walk. I love the fence around it too, but once I’d painted this, it was the colours of the grasses I loved the most. They have echoes to me of the illustrations I saw in the Enid Blyton books I read when I was young.
(above) Te Wherowhero Lagoon, Young Nick’s Head/Te Kuri o Paoa. Pastel on pastelmat, 36 x 19cm unframed, 60 x 43cm framed. One of my favourite places to walk, and to paint. I love the headland – its folds, and the drama of it. And those grasses were an absolute joy to paint.
(above) Young Nick’s Head/Te Kuri o Paoa. Pastel on pastelmat. There are two ships here in the Bay – a very common sight. In fact we often have 4 or more ships, waiting to come into port. Currently the port can only load one big ship, and one smaller ship at a time. I don’t think the people on board would be complaining about their location.
(above) The Bond Store C1870, Gisborne Port. Pastel on pastelmat with acrylic underpainting. This is an historic building which was moved to its present location to make way for development at the port – see Gisborne Herald article here. There’s something about it that I love – the contrast of the blue and the pale yellow (complementary colours), the foliage in front, the strange windows which don’t match, and the way the corrugated iron folds around the edge of the building. I’ve since heard that this building is going to be moved again to another location. (Sold)
(above) Makarori Hills I: These are the dry hills at the end of Summer at Makarori. It’s 35 x 24cms unframed, pastel on pastelmat. I love the way the shadow on the hill leads your eyes towards the top of the hill. I’ve always loved the trees along the foreshore out at Makarori Beach. They’d been recently trimmed underneath by the contractors for the local council, and now we can see the lovely trunks. The stripes across the hillside are called slumped terracettes – they’re made by animals – probably sheep on these hills I would guess – over many years.
(above) Makarori Hills II: This is another painting of the dry hills at the end of Summer out at Makarori Beach, just north of Gisborne, New Zealand. The painting is 66 x 26cms unframed, pastel on pastelmat. I love the trees in the centre – a little forest someone has lovingly planted. The textures and colours of those trees were irresistible to me, especially with the folds and shadows of the hills around them. It looks as if I was standing in the sea to paint this, but it’s a very wide beach at low tide.
(above) Desire Path. Waikanae Beach, Gisborne, New Zealand. A desire path is an unplanned (and unauthorised) path. It’s usually the shortest route between two places – in this case from the boardwalk to the beach. This area is roped off to protect native grasses, but someone pulled the rope down and stepped over it. Many others have followed in those footsteps. 27cm x 36cm unframed: pastels on pastelmat.
(above) Midway Grasses. Waikanae Beach, Gisborne, New Zealand. 31 x 27cm. Pastels on Pastelmat.