The beauty of the South Island landscape has been captured by one of the country’s leading watercolourists, Bernadette Parsons, in a new exhibition at Geraldine’s McAtamney Gallery this month.
The gallery’s new premises on Geraldine’s main street (40a Talbot Street) is playing the prestigious host to the exhibition, entitled Haast, which features 12 paintings, mostly painted on location in the Haast Pass area, evoking the solitude and serenity found in the mountains, bush and coast.
The Waikato-based artist often makes her way to our southern spot, drawing inspiration from the beauty of the landscapes. She started painting more than 20 years ago, moved by watching a watercolourist work, and clearly demonstrates a deep connection with the landscapes she turns her talented hand to. “Watercolour allows me to interpret the landscape, to find what is unique,” she says.
“This is the main thing in any painting. I also love watercolour’s spontaneity: it can be strong and wilful, yet there’s a transparency and softness too.” While working as a practice nurse and raising four children, Bernadette immersed herself in art, every chance she could, seeing as many international tutors as she could.
“I love landscapes, in particular trees, as a couple we’ve got a business growing trees, but a lot of it comes down to how you ‘see’ a landscape,” Bernadette explains. “Artists all have their own unique way of seeing a landscape.”
Today, Bernadette has numerous awards under her artistic belt, including the Best Watercolour in Show at the Easter Show and the award for Most Successful Artist in Show. Her work also features in the books ‘New Zealand in Watercolour’ and ‘Impressions of New Zealand’ by Denis Robinson.
Gallery Director Carolyn McAtamney says Bernadette is one of the country’s leading watercolourists and the proof is in the finished product. “Her ability to capture the moments of stillness and peace we feel in the natural world is breathtaking. Bernadette has mastered the loose brushstroke in a way that is second to none and has a style that New Zealanders adore.”
Find the gallery at 40a Talbot Street, Geraldine, opposite the Village Inn. For more information, phone 027 305 3000 or visit www.mcatamneygallery.co.nz.