My art practice involves two painting genres: Still Life and Portraiture.
In 2007 I held a solo exhibition of still life paintings of timeless, everyday objects, using simple forms which have endured through the centuries; the bowl, the jug, plates and cloth. The act of painting removes these objects from the mundane into another sphere. An object, ordinary and valueless becomes something curious and precious.
With these still life works I have explored the centuries old technique of glazing with transparent oil paint on a traditional gessoed ground. Just as the still life genre has a long history, so does this “indirect” method of oil painting. It is slow and requires long periods of drying times between glazes but achieves depth and lustre. Working as a realist painter I continue to explore oil painting techniques and the narrative of the object.
I have been involved with portraiture for many years and have fulfilled a number of portrait commissions. My most ambitious body of work in this field culminated in “The Face of the Writer” exhibition of twenty five portraits of contemporary New Zealand Writers.
Inspired by my love of New Zealand literature, I embarked on this collection of portraits of writers as a celebration of their work. In their writing I find the first point of revelation of personality.
I spent time with each author collecting as much information as I could drawing, using my camera and observing their enviroment and body language to protray more than mere visual likeness in the portrait. The background settings are an important extension of each personality. Some writers live in remote and beautiful landscapes such as Keri Hulme at Okarito and Joy Cowley at Kenepuru Sound. Others are depicted in settings which contain items of personal significance such as the Hotere painting behind Bill Manhire. The portraits are life size, which increases the sense of physical presence of the subject and their strength of personality.
© 2015 by Glenda Randerson