It Had To Happen...
We finally got to a stage where we can think about this side of the business!
Moving across the other side of the world and establishing himself in the New Zealand art scene has been a slower process than anticipated.
Gwyn arrived in New Zealand (South Island -Christchurch to be exact), and was whisked away, first to Hanmer, to recover from the flight in a luxury lodge, then to Akaroa, to further catch his breath. After briefly touching base in his new home, the next leg of the adventure was undertaken. A scenic drive to Queenstown!
Spoilt for choice there were many (many) stops along the way to capture the magnificence that was the 'picturesque' South Island. Within the first few days of settling into this lifestyle, Gwyn had amassed enough stunning landscapes to keep him busy at the easel for months (years) to come. Add to this the regular jaunts round country and he's not expecting to get half of his reference photo's on canvas, in his lifetime!
The land and all its elements has long been spellbinding for someone with Gwyn's natural talent for linear storytelling. He is able to bring the viewer along to a point where they can feel the mist and hear the rivers run. Though not all Gwyn's landscape art is a direct narrative of the images he's captured, many art lovers will recognise the landforms which are the basis of his scenic depictions. Most feature water bodies of still or swift rivers or luminous, tumultuous seascapes, while others present the majesty of the snow-capped mountain ranges.
We were fortunate, on one such adventure to make a stop down by Erewhon Station, a striking 35000 acre sheep & beef property, nestled right amongst the Southern Alps of New Zealand. The property, and surrounds, provided a magnificent backdrop for the Lord of the Rings movie 'The Two Towers'. Edoras, the capital of Rohan, was located on Mt Sunday at neighbouring Mt Potts Station. As if by some grand design, amid a dreary, drizzly afternoon, came a muster of around 30 unbridled horses, preceded by a small group of riders, kitted out in swanndris and oilskins. Gwyn, camera in hand, followed them up the river and frame by frame, recorded the magic of the muster. This high country backdrop and iconic New Zealand working farm scene, begged to be painted.
To date Gwyn has created three compelling oil paintings from these images, 'Evening Muster I' and 'Evening Muster II' , and 'Riverside Muster'. Two smaller paintings were produced 'Where the River Bends' and 'Misty Jackson River' from a subsequent excursion to the West Coast. It's admirable the way Gwyn can switch from landscape to portraiture and back, which explains why his style of delivering a story within a portrait, with all the powerful elements of nature within the image seems to come so effortlessly.
If you have a particular setting you'd love to see in oils, let us know your thoughts.
Thanks for checking in, I hope to make these snippets a regular thing and share a few tall tales (and he has quite a few!) or some tips he has found and developed along his extensive art career.