In the style of… Hundertwasser

Tree – mixed media, 2016
Tree – mixed media on watercolour paper, 2016
A tree in the neighbourhood, Christchurch ~ original photograph, 2015
A tree in the neighbourhood, Christchurch ~ original photograph, 2015

Austrian/New Zealand artist, architect and visionary Friedensreich Hundertwasser (1928–2000) was an amazing person and he is one of my favourite artists. His work is colourful and exuberent, bold and quirky, unique and significant.

If you’re not familiar with Hundertwasser, you can visit to read about him, his art and his philosophy. ‘Blobs grow in beloved gardens’ 1975 and ‘Green town’ 1978 are just two of the beautiful artworks that inspired my tree painting.

I’m not sure if I like ‘Tree’ or not… but I do like knowing that I’ll never look at another tree the same way again!

In the style of… posts are where I use my own photographs as a starting point and draw inspiration from some of the world’s greatest artists and illustrators. It’s not about copying someone else’s art; it’s an experiment in seeing things differently.


CBD – note card from an original illustration
CBD – note card from an original illustration

‘CBD’ is another favourite that is now available as a note card. This one sprang from my ‘In the style of…’ drawing experiment and was inspired by the work of Jim Flora. You can read the original post here. It is based on a photograph I took of Christchurch in 2010. The centre of town looks nothing like this now… I really need to go in and take an ‘after’ shot ― I suspect that the only thing still standing will be that tree.

Click on the image to visit my Etsy shop : )

The last autumn

This commission was a bit special, both for the client and for me. The Press Building was the home of The Press newspaper from 1909 until February 2011. A beautiful building situated in Cathedral Square, it was one of the casualties of the Christchurch 2010–2011 earthquakes. Even though the painting shows its last autumn (in 2010), we wanted it to represent happier times and evoke fond memories.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The painting is a combination of two of my In the Style of… paintings: the building and tree from The Press and the leaves from Tram. The red geraniums originally appeared in Press Lane, an experimental sketch I did in 2013. I photographed the final painting on a dull day — the tree is actually very dark brown, not black. And at 40″ x 54″ (1015mm x 1370mm), it’s my largest ever painting.

Shoot it, Sketch it: Cathedral Junction

Cathedral Junction — ink and watercolour, 240 x 180 mm, 2014
Cathedral Junction — ink and watercolour, 240 x 180 mm, 2014. SOLD
Tram photograph and WIP
Tram photograph and WIP

I’ve been meaning to get around to this one for ages. The photograph originally featured in my In the Style of… Fougasse and became an ink sketch coloured in Photoshop. I’ve redrawn it and replaced the digital colour with watercolour. After a little bit of trial and error experimentation, I decided on the version you see here. I did try it with more colour but it just looked wrong. Overworked and wrong. I may paint it again and colour only the leaves… ‘Cathedral Junction’ is now my first watercolour for sale on Etsy.

Shoot it, Sketch it: Little sparrow

Little sparrow — ink and watercolour study, 240 x 180 mm, 2014
Little sparrow — ink and watercolour study, 240 x 180 mm, 2014. SOLD
Sparrow – Akaroa, 2012
Sparrow – Akaroa, 2012

If this little fellow looks familiar, that’s because he originally featured in one of my In the Style of… posts (click here to see it). The photograph is a bit of a favourite and so I thought I’d see how he looked in a different medium. Even though the background didn’t go quite as planned, I’m pretty happy with how the sparrow turned out.