Topic: Nick Eggleston: Artist Stimuli, Changing Places
Last week an exhibition of exciting new works by watercolourist Nick Eggleston opened at Zohar Gallery in Mount Maunganui. The exhibition is called ‘Changing Places’ and reflects on what it feels like to be living in New Zealand after moving away from familiar things on the other side of the world.
I first met Nick in 2007 when he was teaching watercolour painting at Tauranga’s Historic Village.
It was there that I saw examples of his painstaking work and began to appreciate the wonderful process in what many consider to be the most difficult of painting styles.
This attention to detail, accurate drawing and highly original composition make Nick’s watercolours so interesting and unique.
Nick Eggleston at work on his painting ‘Icarus, Icarus Don’t Be So Ridiculous’.
In the painting ‘Icarcus, Icarus Don’t Be So Ridiculous’ Nick is exploring the idea of risk taking and deliberately seeking experiences that are new and could pose difficulties.
In Nick’s version of the well-known Icarus story, it’s about going ahead with an idea and ignoring possible negative consequences even if others tell you it’s ridiculous.
“The real allure in watercolour for me is the magical alchemy involved and it’s as much about the enjoyment of the actual painting process than producing a finished work,” says Nick.
When I ask Nick about the various processes involved he adds, “Watercolour painting cannot be fully mastered, for to master a thing you would have to control it completely. That would squeeze the life out of it.
“I love the changes that occur during the picture making as you guide the application of colour while not completely controlling it.
“The pigments carried by water flow into each other and one colour can become another colour right before your eyes.”
‘What Ears?’ watercolour and gouache. 2011.
The painting ‘What Ears?’ is about being from the UK and living in New Zealand.
The European hare is wearing a kiwi mask, but the ears like the Yorkshire accent are a bit of a give-away.
Nick and his partner Paula emigrated to New Zealand from Guernsey in 2006 and since then he has established a solid reputation as one of our leading Bay of Plenty artists.
Nick also shares his extensive knowledge by teaching others the art of watercolour.
These ever popular art classes are held in his expansive studio space in Judea.
In many of his paintings Nick celebrates the beauty of nature and in particular his love of our local surroundings in the Bay of Plenty.
Nick’s entry ‘Meditations in White’ for the inaugural 2010 Miles Award at Tauranga Art Gallery was widely admired by those who saw it and the favourite of many I spoke to.
At the annual Bethehem College exhibition at the end of August, Nick’s intriguing new works attracted much attention and were quickly snapped up by a growing number of collectors.
The eagerly awaited new works at Mount Maunganui’s Zohar Gallery are a continuation of high quality watercolour paintings that explore interesting ideas and excite the imagination.
The exhibition is on show at Zohar until November 27h.
You can see more of Nick’s work on www.artnik.weebly.com
by Pete Morris (14 November 2011).
Pete Morris is an occasional painter and an art lover. He is a freelance writer with a particular interest in promoting the visual arts in Tauranga and the Bay of Plenty.
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