Original Painting by Struan Macdonald. Oil on Canvas 90 X 122 X 4cm
Millars Beach, Stewart Island
The coastline surrounding Stewart Island's Paterson Inlet is highly indented and contains a number of small islands and bays. It's an interesting place to explore, especially by boat. This bay, Millars Beach, offered a tranquil scene with the waves lapping the soft sand bordered by dense rain forest.
Aoraki, Mount Cook
Kohaihai River, West Coast
Mount Sefton II
West Coast Bush
Arthurs Pass, near Bealey
The Bealey spur walking track winds steeply through native bush eventually climbing above the bushline affording a spectacular view across the Waimakariri flood plan towards Mt Bealey. The drama of the scene was added to by a rain storm making its way across the Southern Alps. This eventually closed in to obscure the whole view and necessitated a retreat back down the hill to shelter in the forest.
Pa Island, near Okains Bay
Among the many bays and inlets on Banks Peninsula is remote Pa Island. Once a Nga Tahu fortress the Island was connected to the mainland via a vine bridge. The island served as a defensive stronghold for the nearby kaianga. The scene here is captured on a day in late summer. The land is parched and the grass is dried to an intense tawny.
Arthurs Pass Forest
Arthurs Pass traverses some of the most spectacular native forest scenery in the country. This work was designed to hone in on just the forest to give a sense of the atmosphere and variation of colours in the forest.
Arnold River near Lake Brunner
Always a favourite subject to paint, New Zealand’s native forest, this time on the banks of the Arnold River near Lake Brunner. The scene here was characterised by an incredible stillness. With not a breath of wind and the water quietly flowing out of the lake the sense of peace here was profound.
Diptych A view of the north western shore of lake Tekapo, a late afternoon in July. Snow had fallen the previous night and another snow fall was on the way. This spectacular scene seemed to some alive just as the last rays of sun found a gap in the cloud illuminating the mountain side.
Another winter scene, this time Mt Earnslaw at the head of Lake Wakatipu. On this day, the late afternoon heralded an approaching front probably bringing another snowfall. The gradual build up of high altitude cloud helped increase the drama of the scene, particularly as the sunlight continued to reflect on the mountain while the sky beyond grew darker.
The Routeburn River threads it’s way steeply dropping from the Humbolt Mountains until it reaches flatter land before flowing into the Dart River. This scene of the calmer reaches of the river is backdropped by Upper Peak, one of a number of peaks in the Humbolt range rising above 2000 metres.
Ben Ohau Range
The Ben Ohau Range in the McKenzie Country clad in snow during winter provided a vista inspiring this work. Of particular interest here was the way that light is reflected and bounces around among the valleys. The cold of the snow covered hills is contrast with the warm tawny colour of the tussock in the foreground.
Adjacent to Aoraki Mt Cook, Mt Sefton rises above the Mueller and Hooker Glaciers. This extraordinarily beautiful part of New Zealand offers a diverse range of subjects to paint. Of particular interest to me here was the softened sunlight reflecting off the snow covered mountainside as well as a sense of the power of the glacier which carved its way through the rock to form the valley.
Head of the Lake
Matukituki River East Branch
One of the great pleasures of hiking is happening upon an unexpected scene. As was the case here, a tramp through forest in Fiordland for several hours was punctuated by this discovery of a clearing containing a small lake. It was the perfect location to be still, take in the scene and absorb the atmosphere before continuing on through the forest again towards the campsite to spend the night.
Original Painting by Struan Macdonald. 61 X 92 X 4cm. Oil on Canvas