I know very little about New Zealand artists, so lately I've been searching them out on the WWW and being inspired by some of the great representational painters that we do have. It is rather hard to find a gallery that actually shows paintings, it's mostly just 'art'. But now and then I come across a real painter/artist and I get excited. I discovered the works of John Crump recently and was really inspired by his work. Here is what the Ngaio Fine Arts website has to say about him:
'John Crump's painting journey began in the 1960s when he was inspired by the work of some of New Zealand's prominent painters - Peter McIntyre, Peter Beadle, Douglas Badcock, and others. Their bold, confident brushwork and beautiful colour; their drawing of the landscape, and their ability to catch the moment helped steer him toward impressionist painting in the outdoors. This now takes him to many favourite places - the rugged shores of the West Coast, the snow covered peaks of the Southern Alps , and the clear streams and native bush of the South Island .
'With time and experience he has found that his love of colour, tone, and design have brought new subjects - flower or still life studies done in the studio, on those windy or wet days when outdoor work becomes impossible.
'Painted with quality materials and finished with tasteful mounts and frames, John's paintings have gone into corporate and private collections in New Zealand and around the world.'
I love the looseness in his paintings. They are realistic paintings, and from a distance they look as real as the scene itself. I love best his paintings which have lots of contrasting edges and values.
From studying his paintings one can see how important the value (dark/light) relationships are in creating the illusion of reality. It surely isn't fine details that make his work look so real, if you take a small section of one of his paintings it can look like an abstract.
If I happen to find myself down in that part of the country I will definitely visit his gallery. Seeing paintings in person - the real thing - is such a different experience to seeing them only on a computer screen!
Website: www.johncrump.co.nz John Crump's webiste is well designed and easy to navigate. There are lots of photos of his work, and he has a blog on which he writes about his painting experiences and shares some helpful information.
Video: He appeared recently on Graeme Stevenson's show, Colour in Your Life. It's interesting to watch and see him paint. His 4x4 all set up for plein air painting is amazing!