After 21 years as a graphic artist and illustrator, a fortuitous meeting in Canada with Bill Braden, the owner of the Yukon Gallery, was the advent of my new career and a love affair with fickle watercolours.
My early paintings, in a detailed style and a limited palette, were of old log cabins and rusty mining relics in Canada. Back in New Zealand, this style continued until a watercolour workshop with dear Austen Deans gave me an appreciation of painting the landscape and a new direction. My current style, which has changed and evolved over the years, is to eliminate the detail and simplify and emphasise the effects of the sky's rythms and light on land or reflected water.
I now prefer to work on-site at every opportunity or from line and wash sketches. My inspiration is often just a simple sliver of light on the edge of a shadow or a cloud, or a glowing colour on the horizon. I use big brushes and gallons of pure colour to achieve a clean fresh result.
The flexibility and flow of luminous, transparent watercolour is exciting and as well as challenging me, watercolour creates its own unexpected (and sometimes awful) surprises. Painting intuitively and deliberately ignoring rules and theories is riskier but much more fun. I also enjoy the feeling of control when working with oils and acrylics. Making and meeting many like-minded friends at Watercolour Workshops throughout the country has been a bonus.
Canterbury born and bred, Lyttelton is now my home where I have a studio/gallery overlooking the everchanging harbour.
As a result of publishing this website, I have been invited to be in two books this year. The first is "New Zealand's Favourite Artists 2" (published in May 08) and "New Zealand in Watercolour" (published in October 08). They are or will be available at most bookstores or direct (post free) from the publisher's website at www.artdirection.co.nz.