09 March 2009

Alps at Kaikoura, NZ

watercolour on Arches 850 gsm rough,
47cm x 75.5cm

Kaikoura is a magnificent place on the east coast of the South Island of New Zealand. Here, high mountains 'loom over' the sea, and eco-tourists flock to the Kaikoura peninsula for whale watching. In this place, i found two of my favourite landscape subjects: mountains and sea. This is the first watercolour, just completed, based very loosely on a photo i took of the mountains of Kaikoura. The painting is direct transparent watercolour to paper without preliminary drawing. i generally do not draw with pencil first as i once used to, unless i want the drawing to be integral to the finished artwork. But this is not a 'rule' i have set myself, rather just a way to help me interact with the emerging shadows and shapes that watercolour assumes on the wet paper.


tina said...

just got inspired by your experimental painting -vibes, really resonates with how i approach the process..... sometimes you just have to let it out + beautiful
i lived in sydney for a couple of years and still miss it every day....there is something very powerful about the island!!!

perugina said...

Wayne, Questa opera mi rende senza parole e anche senza respiro, sono stupita come una che si sentisse piccola di fronte una massa come questo. -
This renders me without words and breath and I am stupefied, as one would feeling small and insignificant in front of a mighty mass as this.
Un maestro – a master, in this case wielding his baton orchestrating his colours to honour Natura.
Wayne, Magnificent is this watercolour.

perugina said...

Wayne... see in my stupified state, was not even able to translate my Italian properly vedi un po` - see!
'Questa opera' - This work... This is why Italian is needed!
"This work" as a description (for me) does not 'cut the mustard' - this is why i say/write the Italiano...
OPERA!!! - because it is such.
Credo di si.

William K. Moore said...

Words fail on this one Wayne - the painting says it all (as it should (in this case)). A virtuoso work to be sure. Funny (ironic) I sit at my computer in my apartment compartment viewing this mountain range. When I first scanned the text thought you wrote eco-terrorist - glad there are some eco-friendly viewers left on the planet that still tread lightly and take only their memories away.

David Burge said...

Wayne, I'm thrilled to see this piece.As I've mentioned before it was the famous Roberts mountains and seascapes that drew me into your oeuvre many years ago.
You are a master of these subjects and I know the flow and nature of the medium is as much a part of the subject as the resultant image.
I'd love to see a demo of one of these direct paintings.

David Lobenberg said...

Well done! I have been doing more plein air h20 lately and glad to see other artists that work so well with the medium. Snow is fun to paint in h2o as you needn't use too much of that expensive paint.(:

wayne said...

Thank you Tina for your kind words! Clearly you've browsed a number of my website works ("Vibes"), and you're right in saying "experimental piece"... am glad *it clicked* for you :) Sydney is a beautiful city, and the "island" (Australia) i agree has a certain wonderment about it.. thanks again for your kind comment Tina! best wishes,

wayne said...

PG! Thank you so much for your enthusiastic, very positive and encouraging feedback on this watercolour! :) Your Italian adds so much colour and light to your comments, and, the spirit of meaning shines through, .. Yet i rely upon your eloquent translations (into English) of same!!

You have certainly *reflected*, (sensed) a feeling i have when standing in the presence of the mountains "...feeling small and insignificant in front of a mighty mass..". This is exactly how i feel. Yet there's also a wonderful feeling i sometimes get (when in the midst of huge mountains): a simultaneous awareness of the smallness of one's being, and yet, so too an expansive opening of the mind to *that Vastness*, beyond ourselves, yet of which we are part.

Thank you so much PG for your continued support and encouragement, best wishes,

wayne said...

Many thanks ωκ for your very kind words re this piece. It is a painting of mountains in watercolour, neither more nor less. To me, a landscape such as this, parallels in music the expressiveness and technical aspects of performance of a particular piece on a particular musical instrument. That is, of his/her 'reading of a music-like score': nature's compositions ( landscapes, the subject of painting...). One observes/'reads the notes', as it were, 'on the staves of a score', and then articulates (expresses via the instrument of watercolour, for example) these in a certain manner, adding emphasis here, a certain tonality, withholding an accent there, changing dynamics, tempi, etc. To me, watercolours, such as this mountain landscape, concern the art of performance more than the art of composition (although both come into play in any piece, to varying degrees). I feel you have expressed so very well and clearly in elegant simple terms this notion: "the painting says it all (as it should (in this case))." I highly value your positive feedback here ωκ, your comment spiced here with an apt linguistic gloss, and which perhaps could also be seen as a salient note of advice to us all to be careful not to see things that aren't there, and/or to see and foresee subtleties that alter perspectives and actions (for example say 'band-wagon words' (like "ecotourism") slipping into common language as respectable and reasonable, even desirable. Of course the questions springing from this are many, and also very important, not least to the environment's protection and sustainability itself. So often, i find wise thoughts laced within your spare words, hence i pause, so often, and reflect upon these things... Anyhow, thank you again. To receive a kind nod of approval from someone such as yourself is most appreciated! Best wishes,

wayne said...

Hi David, I've demoed these kinds of paintings to students in the past (for example intuitive watercolour seascapes) and it's kind of challenging to force yourself to make quick reactions and keep things moving along for the sake of the students' interest (as well as because the paper is usually damp-to-dripping wet!!) Teaching watercolour in those situations can force one to take risks, and these can sometimes pay off, other times, not so. I let my students 'see the struggle' to bring a work to some form of resolution. It's a great feeling when the watercolour forms are flowing, and you feel at one with the medium, and the colours are all kind of 'sorting themselves out' on the wet paper. (Not such a great feeling when you see the watercolours, paper and entire work go pear-shaped! My students have seen that too, It encourages them enormously to see their teacher fail dismally, lol! They then paint with renewed optimism!) Anyhow, thanks David for your pos feedack here, on the mountainscape and seascape watercolours, cheers,

Nick said...

Wayne, I'm on a ship with very slow and very $$$$ internet access, but had to check in here for a moment...very happy to see one of the pieces that I've been directing all people who attempt mountainscapes to, you set the standard. i'll be back soon, I see there's more new stuff. I shall return!

wayne said...

Thanks for your pos feedback David ("DL") - (Note that i've posted a reply to "DB" earlier..). I admire your braving of the cold++ northern hemisphere winter to paint h2o plein air! I've tried similar, mummified in warm clothes (except for fingerless woollen gloves). In coldest conditions water stayed liquid (ony just, and maybe due to frequent stirring) but fingers, so cold, i couldn't stop shaking and so work thus gaining unintended 'abstract' quality! This piece, Alps at Kaikoura, was painted in 'plain air' of a rather plain room i call the 'studio'. (And, yes, it's nice not to have to scrawl "white paint" on the h2o art-store shopping list...) Thanks again DL and best wishes,

wayne said...

Hi Nick,
Sounds like you're having a ball!! Totally understand the internet problems and $$$$ in such a situation! All the more reason i really appreciate your swinging by here to offer some kind words on my latest watercolour of alps. Looking forward to hearing more about your trip soon which sounds fantastic and will keep an eye on your blog!! Thanks again Nick, best wishes,

David Lobenberg said...

Wayne: Your response to my comment rings so true to my own experience demoing for both my college classes and workshops. One works faster for students and within a limited time frame. Sometimes you hit it. Feels so good! Sometimes you don't hit it and struggle. That is good for students to see, because no matter what level one is at, one cannot expect to not have struggles... especially with such a spontaneous medium like watercolor (oops- watercolour).

joel said...

i love mountains so so much. they are part of my psyche.

i do not know if i could bring myself to paint them for fear of becoming maudlin.

your work here is restrained, yet the overall effect is breathtakingly beautiful!!!!!!!

stunning work - i do not have the words...


-- Joel.

wayne said...

Thanks David (DL) for your additional comment here re h2o-color demoing and its challenges, the struggle 'to resolve an image', interactively, 'in-real-time' with such a "spontaneous medium". As you say, such challenges are always there no matter how many years one has chalked up with h2ocolo(u)r! cheers,

wayne said...

Hi Joel,
..sincere thanks for your very kind words here!! I really apreciate it!

..it's interesting we're both inspired by mountains.. [..and as i review your own watercolours, i see a certain epic ('mountainous') quality of space and atmospheric perspective, as well as 'filtered light' that's frequently seen in high mountains .. ]

Your specific observation (re restraint) means a lot to me coming from an artist/poet of spare well-chosen colours and forms in watercolour. So too, of words.

Thanks again Joel, cheers,

Sandy Maudlin said...

Wayne, Searching through your website is so much fun, full of intrique and discovery, and certainly enlightening and mind provoking. I've been there many times 'cause I can't take it all in at once.
Then there's this painting - so majestic and yet so fluid and moving. It's a perfect watercolor, taking advantage of what it does the best. Love your work and the diversity you show. Thanks, too, for stopping by my blog. I really appreciated it. I'll be bcak soon.

wayne said...

Hi Sandy,
.. so sorry for a little delay getting back to replying to your very kind comment.. i had a 'blogosphere-break' over Easter..
Thank you for taking time to explore my website ..and for your generous comments re 'diversity'... and also re this particular piece... it's very much appreciated :)

Best wishes,

Ana Hernandez said...

me he dado una vuelta por tu blog y me ha encantado.un saludo desde España

wayne said...

Hi Ana,
..muchas gracias :)

Fernando Pena said...

Wayne, you make it seem to be easy painted and it was so masterful painted, a watercolor to look for hours... and hours

wayne said...

Thank you Fernando for your kind words. And please accept sincerest apologies for my v late reply -- my computer crashed and has been out of action during July. Thank you again for taking the time to comment.. Best wishes

Sandy Maudlin said...

INCREDIBLY BEAUTIFUL and breathtaking! So glad that you share posts of your work for us to enjoy. thanks.

Don Coker said...

This is a beautiful piece, Wayne!

Wayne said...

Hi Don,

I really appreciate the pos feedback!
Apologies for my late reply: my computer had problems for 2 months and I was off-line for virtually the entire time apart from several days. Am now back on-line.
Thanks so much once again, ... glad you liked this piece,

Tonya Vollertsen said...

I'm so happy to have found your work! Very inspiring for a person back amongst the Colorado mountains and mesas after such a long time away. I found myself very overwhelmed when I got here a few months ago and it has taken this long to attempt a watercolor of the landscape here. Everywhere I looked was so beautiful I couldn't decide what to paint! I'm thoroughly enjoying looking through your paintings and reading your writings. Thanks and cheers, Tonya

wayne said...

Hi Sandy! Again thank you so much for taking the extra time to write an additional comment under this work. I really appreciate it. I had some computer probs, so now catching up on replies.. Best wishes again,

wayne said...

Hi Sandy! Sincere thanks for your additional comment under this painting and for your kind positive feedback. No matter how long one has painted (for me, a long time, lol) it's helpful to get feedback that one's work has connected positively with others.
[btw my computer has been off-line for quite a while, so apologies for my delay in replying], Best wishes, Wayne

wayne said...

Tonya, .. the Colorado mountains/Rockies are sure inspiring! Last time I saw them I was 13 (but i won't tell you the year lol!) I seem to remember we climbed up to a lake at the foot of Diamond Peak?? Anyhow, the weather was perfect.
BTW, one of my favorite watercolorists of the American mountains and coastline is the late Ted Kautzky. His book Ways with Watercolor was really the one that started my own watercolour journey. [I loaned it to someone but it was never returned. Now I can't find the person to whom it was loaned. I think it's out of print but maybe secondhand copies are available.]
Enjoy the spirit of Colorado!! Thanx for stopping by, & best wishes, Wayne

Anonymous said...

Beautiful !
I discovered your works and career in the latest issue of the magazine "L'Art de l'Aquarelle".
Your landscapes say all the beauty of nature, with a great mastering and an incredible spontaneity !
Love the colours of this piece, btw.

wayne said...

Thank you Catherine for your kind words, and I'm glad you like this watercolour (aquarelle) of the mountains around Kaikoura, NZ. I did try to balance 'spontaneity' (i.e. going with the flow of watercolour) whilst simultaneously trying to achieve the emergence of the massive mountains. Spontaneity (liquid thinking) and solid forms (concrete thinking) need to be balanced in subjects like this. Like yin and yang.
Thanks again, and I'm so glad you liked the L'art de L'aquarelle article,
Best wishes,

Sandy said...

WOW!!!!!!Thats all i can say about ur works!!!!!U are truly a gifted artist and thinker,i enjoyed viewing all the paintings and the wonderful philosophy that u believe in!!!!!Simply BEAUTIFUL!!!!!

wayne said...

Hi Sandy and thank you so much for your kind comment :)
Sincerest apologies for my lengthy delay in posting your comment, but reason is i have been offline for quite a while! Anyhow, back on line now and hopefully some new art posts coming up. I'll head over to check on your art blog too ASAP. Thanks again Sandy, cheers wayne