|Working the Field - progress.
I've painted rural scenes for the last few years now, beginning with Brothers which is in the John Deere art collection in Illinois. I grew up around farms, my parents always had small blocks, dad and I always doing various tasks together. It's a time and place where people really form a bond I think. An environment that most New Zealanders have been lucky to be connected to in some way. My studio is in the city, we live in the apartment upstairs, have the performing arts school two buildings down. Although we fortunately have the wonderful wetlands and estuary two minute's walk from here, I feel even more compelled to paint these pieces now!
I love the way this subject was captured by Millet, Van Gogh, Bernard, Gauguin. The shape created by a person working the land in this way is very strong yet humble. Another inspiration for this work is the fields near the Papamoa hills here in the Western Bay of Plenty, which to me look quite European with the furrows and poplar trees. I've always intended to photograph this, never take my camera with me! But I have seen it enough times to remember what I like about it.
Working the Fields is quite an accomplishment to me. It's very New Zealand, yet it could be anywhere. Something I often set out to capture in my work, and I think in this case have achieved.