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And There He Was (2018)

And There He Was (2018)

And there He was (2018)

This was the first painting I did immediately after finishing my realistic portrait exhibition of 7 women, and for the first time in ages I allowed myself to “let go” and see what would evolve on the canvas without using any reference material. I knew that I wanted to use layers of colour with the palette knife, and I knew that I wanted to paint someone… but I had no idea what would emerge! Very quickly this face appeared on the canvas – I called him George – and he became a calm, wise and reassuring presence for me throughout the preparation of this new series of work. He still makes me smile and feel warm and relaxed every time I look at him!


This piece is from a 2018 collection called Magic, Wisdom and Beauty and was done specifically for the SOLO 44 exhibition at New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts in Wellington. This series follows on immediately from a solo exhibition of realist portraiture (What Matters Most, Feb 2018, Bread & Butter Fine Art Gallery, Whitianga) and is clearly an unleashing of ideas and energy after months and months of controlled and restrained realism. Whereas the portrait exhibition was all about reflecting the spirit of the 7 women I painted – and my relationship with them – this series of work is about MY spirit, and the way I perceive the world: with enthusiasm, wonder and joy. This series is the story of the Intrepid Explorer – sure, calm and centred, even when alone, regardless of what is going on around them.

This explorer is secure in their own bubble but still very much engaged with the world: able to step back and appreciate the beauty and wonder with awe, without feeling overwhelmed by external factors.

These paintings are done predominantly with palette knife, layering acrylic to create the depth and excitement and colour and light that I feel around me.


    • 762 x 762 mm
    • acrylic paint and satin archival varnish on canvas
    • the sides of the canvas have been painted white 
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