This is based on my good friend Karen who also featured as one of the subjects in my solo portrait show earlier this year. Although the refined beauty of realism (for the portrait exhibition) made a nostalgic and much-admired painting, this style captures far more of Karen’s energy and warmth. From 2010-12 I was the inaugural Director of the Wallace Gallery in Morrinsville, and Karen managed a beauty clinic across the street from the Gallery. Every Friday at 5pm we’d lock the doors of our respective businesses and head into Hamilton for a film night and much-needed catch-up: those regular evenings have such a special place in my memory! Although this is based on a specific person, the figure here could be anyone’s dear friend, laughing along with your stories and sharing your journey!
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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