Two New Zealand Landscape Painters
David Gibbons‘ and Jill Perrott’s approach as landscape painters
A basic understanding of landscape painting is that landscape painters create art that holds depictions of natural scenery, but what else? When looking at landscape paintings there is a variety of styles and understanding of representing nature that not everyone shares. While some landscape painters capture with precision to what is seen, others attempt to capture what it felt like to be there. They want to represent something specific about the landscape. The latter is what will be discussed in relation to David Gibbons’ and Jill Perrott’s approach to painting the New Zealand landscape.
New Zealand Landscape: David Gibbons
David Gibbons is a New Zealand landscape painter who explores the region of Otago, New Zealand and regions of England. Gibbons’ landscapes encapsulate the feeling of a place, whether sunny and warm or cold and dark. There are connotations that build off those aspects of encountering a landscape. This means his paintings such as Woods , capture not only the temperature and weather, but they trigger emotive responses. Consequently, evoking that which cannot be articulated, rather that which is felt or experienced.
In Woods, this landscape is built up of textures, gestures, strokes and tones with an incredible sensibility to light. This creates a sense of immediacy in his work as if he is trying to capture a memory before it fades or light before it changes. Gibbons has managed to capture the essence of impermanence and make it permanent.
The perspective in the painting makes it very easy to get lost in Gibbons’ painting, staring into the distance of a forest. Sharing the experience and essence of a place seems to be a value Gibbons seeks to express. Remaining wonderful to look at, while also being able to represent the feeling of an environment, is a desirable quality in these works that also make his paintings an excellent addition to the home. Works like these give the art lover an opportunity to bring the allure of nature indoors.
New Zealand Landscape painter: Jill Perrott
Jill Perrott uses Auckland’s West Coast beaches as a place of inspiration for her landscapes (the main New Zealand Landscape attraction). Jill is a master of her medium, building texture and conveying flatness in one painting. Jenkins Bay has both detail and depth. A thick application of paint for the landforms and smooth water running down the middle creates a juxtaposition. In the distance is a silhouette of a figure and the landscape is much flatter. By allocating a small area for the figure the emptiness and endlessness of the landscape are emphasised. It seems that the variation in texture, surface, and perspective of viewing the landscape has drawn the artist in, making it what she focused on representing in the painting.
The perspective of water in Jenkins Bay is accentuated by the portrait orientation of the painting. This creates an immersion which, rather than being all-encompassing like a horizontal orientation, it takes charge of its perspective, making you feel like you are looking onto and into a landscape through a viewfinder, rather than surveying across it.
Perrott’s understanding of how to use paint and her choice of format is what makes her paintings incredibly calming. Here we see Maori Bay in situ, placed above a writing desk, an area dedicated to quiet and focus.
David Gibbons and Jill Perrott are both landscape painters that use their experience of a place as inspiration for painting. It is what makes their paintings, and painters like them, so special. It is a wonderful way to share a landscape with someone, allowing the painting to speak to them in a way words cannot.