October 16, 2019
I was given a very awesome opportunity early this year and was commissioned to do a painting from the Kelliher Art Trust New Zealand.
Sir Henry Kelliher in 1956 he set up the Kelliher Art Award “to capture the grandeur of the New Zealand scene in all its changes through the seasons”.The trust holds a collection of paintings by the celebrated New Zealand artists Stanley Palmer, Michael Hight, Justin Boroughs, Toss Woollaston, Rita Angus, Michael Smithers and Dick Frizzell to name a few.
I wanted to capture the remote, raw beauty of the New Zealand wilderness. I ventured into the rugged landscape.
"The painting is a view looking up towards the Lawrence river, with the Erewhon Station Hut on the left. I chose this view as it captures the expansive wide river bed contrasted with the steep rugged mountains, characteristic of the main wilderness rivers in New Zealand. The perspective creates depth however also communicates the scale of these extraordinary valley systems where glaciers used to fill".Back in the studio I did some tonal sketches from several photographs to create a composition that was most characteristic of the place. The small tonal sketches help me solve tonal and compositional problems.
"My underpainting onto the board consists of broad brushstrokes in a burnt umber, forming my landscape, keeping it loose and energetic. The following coat I map out base colours over the whole subject, allowing me to set an atmosphere for the painting. From there on I build up my layers through directional, confident, but refined brushstrokes, the process evident in the finished painting. Building up a complexity of colour relationship within the painting. Some layers are painted wet on wet and others wet on dry".
The combination of being a superb young painter and an experienced tramper led to Bellamy being chosen in 2018 by the global outdoor clothing company Kathmandu as a World Ready "ambassador" for New Zealand. She can be seen tramping and painting in a short film on the Kathmandu website.
The Kelliher are opening up their Trust Gallery for Parnell Day 2019 on the 19th of October from 11-4pm. My painting alongside previous commissions and other work from their collection will be on display. The address is 2 York Street, Parnell, Auckland. Please come check it out!
The 120cm wide oil painting Morning light in the valley, Lawrence River, New Zealand, depicts a dramatic view of the Lawrence River where it meets the Clyde, with Mt McRae to the left and the Potts Range on the right.
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