I have always had an interest in art. In fact, my favourite subject at school was Art History. I don’t think it was only because I studied Art History for just one year whilst I seemed to have to endure Science for ever!
For years I was involved in graphic design and book production and also in owning and running a printing business so creativity in the design and layout sense was always important and present.
I had a hankering for learning to paint for years but had neither the time nor the resources to commit to that until quite recently. Through reading, experimentation, trying and failing and trying again, and more latterly with the help of YouTube, I have been painting in acrylics. My initial efforts involved biblical scenes that I had seen pictures of and I used these as “tools of learning.”
My first painting for sale was created from a number of photographs. The painting was of an old and very interesting hut in an area I was looking at because many of the locations and features were named after a namesake, John Henry Whitcombe. There is Mount Whitcombe, the Whitcombe River, Whitcombe Pass, Whitcombe Valley and even a park in Hokitika called Whitcombe Park.
I followed this with a painting of the Jean Hut, also found in the Southern Alps. It fascinated me because it is clad in the metal from 44 gallon drums which were somehow carried up the mountainside and then cut and beaten into metal sheets!!
My focus continues to be landscape paintings of various and diverse scenes from around this beautiful country we live in. I am seeking to extend myself by painting a variety of scenery from farmlands to waterfalls and to iconic New Zealand destinations.
I paint in slow drying acrylic paint, predominantly using Golden OPEN artist grade paints.
I have painted on stretched canvas, on especially prepared board and now I paint on high quality, archival grade, museum quality canvas which is mounted on especially prepared board.
All my paintings are sealed with archival grade varnish which preserves the paint and keeps the colour while ensuring that the painting is easy to clean.
I prefer to frame my paintings either in the white frame that is custom made or in high quality timber frames that are chosen to fit the colour and style of each painting.
I am blessed to have a very large office which also has room for my “studio” and all the gear. This includes the counter-balanced easel that I designed and built some years ago and my drawing board (draughting table).
I have recently added a light source above the shelving unit to the right of my easel. I found a lighting setup that we had purchased some years ago for video work which just happened to have bulbs that were the correct colour temperature. It also had a diffuser screen that works perfectly well for my needs. So, no more squinting at night in the gloom!
I use and recommend GORDON HARRIS (the Art and Graphic Stores) at the Northridge Plaza, Don McKinnon Drive, The Albany Centre, Albany. They supply my paints (predominantly Golden Paints) and high quality canvases plus invaluable knowledgable and advice. You can visit them at: https://www.gordonharris.co.nz/
I use and recommend FACTORY FRAMES at 22 Apollo Drive, Mairangi Bay for framing my paintings. Their service and range of framing options is exceptional. You can visit them at: https://www.factoryframes.co.nz