About

I live at Bottle Creek on the Pauatahanui arm of Porirua Harbour, 30km north of our capital city Wellington.

I spent my 20’s working and travelling overseas, then worked as a lawyer for 25 years – first as a litigator and later in commercial/property. Art was my weekend antidote to that. Now it’s mostly art.

My work includes painting, principally New Zealand landscapes (oils in an expressionist style) and urban scenes (in acrylics adopting the style of Hiroshige); illustration and cartooning; sculpting (wood, Oamaru stone, mixed media); and stained glass.

Hope you enjoy.

NZ Landscapes
I am drawn to painting NZ landscapes, unfashionable or not, given that this country is a continuous postcard – blue and green all around plus white in the mountains. We’re very priviliged – why waste it.

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Japanese influenced
I got hooked on the ukiyo-e (woodblock prints) style via an exhibition of Ando Hiroshige’s fans at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London – bold flat expressive colours, clean line drawings and stories of another era and culture. I have tried to imagine, in a respectful way I hope, how Hiroshige (1797-1858) may have shown modern Wellington and Auckland urban scenes if he were alive today.

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Colour choices
I am one of the 10% of males who are red-green colour “blind”/”deficient” where (I think…) the colour reception of my red cones shifts towards green.

As example, I don’t see crimson/red flowers (eg pohutukawa) when on the tree – the whole tree is dark green – but I do see orange/red (eg rata) flowers. Tree trunks are also green. Presumably I don’t recognise red when it’s in some browns or violets, or pinks.

Which means that I live in a parallel (colour) universe to 95% of other people. But at least my universe includes colour (some don’t) – and it looks just fine to me.

Working with colour was a no-go from age 5 (the very common purple sky/unaware teacher story) until age 40 when I decided: first, that I had been gifted a point of difference and secondly, that I was interested but not driven by whether other people liked my work or not. And any temptation to do “realism” is out of the window, which is liberating.

There are degrees of “problem” of course (mine is rated moderate on the RGB Anomaloscope). Feel free to message me (FB or alistairsart@gmail.com) if you have a colour “deficient” child (1 in 256 females, it’ll be a boy) – don’t let him waste 35 years. Otherwise, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_blindness is a good starting explanation.

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5 Comments

  1. Loved the paintings Alistair. They are technically very accomplished, they are fresh and the colours are vibrant and interesting. Keep up the good work. I would love to see them some time when I am in Wellington. I live in Nelson and am a friend of Lester Oakes.

  2. Alistair

    I’m so glad to see your web site established! Now others can see how creative you are!

    Paul Grimwood

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