My current phase in painting ties in closely with my love of the sea, inspiration gained from a recent adventure to Antarctica and my passion for painting everyday scenes of Wellington (yes, even in winter).
The wonder and grandeur of Antarctica, light and the huge Ross Sea ice sculpture garden in particular just called out to be painted in watercolours. To experience this unique wilderness together with it’s extreme conditions was certainly a privilege and adventure never to be forgotten and one I have really enjoyed painting.
Why paint a city in winter you may well ask, I find there is just something magical about city life in winter. When it rains and a southerly blows, one's usual mindset is to dash to wherever one needs to be with the challenge to be outside for the least time possible. Thus in the hurry, with heads bent low or hiding under colourful and blown out umbrellas, an amazing light and colour show often gets missed. Winter is a time when the city comes alive in a vibrant and exciting new way. Rain transforms streets into huge mirrors, reflecting the kaleidoscope of colours which hang over them. Winter also brings dramatic southerly gales which lash the wild coast in between flat calm days which turn the harbour into a mill pond. On fine days, winter light with its strong contrasts and long shadow patterns cast an amazing ambiance around the city.
In my view there is no better way to capture these effects than with watercolours. The fluidity, wetness, luminosity and spontaneity of watercolours lend themselves beautifully to these favourite subjects. One thing unique about watercolours is that this medium doesn’t use white paint but instead relies on the actual white of the paper to shine through transparent colour washes for glowing colours. One other fact I enjoy is the challenge that this temperamental medium offers an artist.
With my paintings I aim to create a unique experience for the viewer by presenting them with scenes they can easily relate to, to provide viewers with the sensation of being there.
All Images Copyright © Alfred Memelink, All Rights Reserved